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  #41 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2013, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

this thread has been going for a while...and I just cant resist to thrown in my 2 cents...

I will say after working in fly shop's for over 30 years, I learned an awful lot about this topic...not opinion...fact...the dirty little secret in the fly fishing industry...even with internet sales...

I will only speak of two tod lines here...both I have a lot of experience with...and they both are also the price points mentioned at the outset of this thread...

TFO produces an excellent rod...and a good one can be had for 150-180 bucks...the Lefty Kreh "Pro series" is a great rod...I have several and use them for lessons etc...also as back up rods guiding.and have caught some really nice fish with them...also their warranty is second to none...

retail is generally almost double of retail...ie...a 150 retail unit generally sells to a dealer for 75-85$...allowing the shop to "keystone" the cost...the term used for doubling the cost...

Sage is generally a shop item, or at least used to be...now is sold on all the better internet sales outlets too, Cabelas etc...an outstanding rod...excellent workmanship...great casters...actually my favorite "lookin" unit out there...great colors etc...

retail on a 700-800 $ sage , dealer cost is about 480$...mark up( or profit) from the sage is basically double the TFO...and has all the high end appeal...sages does a great job marketing their product...and is a status item on the stream...and to some this is extremely important...

the point here is that one sale genrates more income for a shop...and if they are geared to a "high end" clientele, it only makes sense to try andsell the best unit they can...offering quality, name brand recognition, and any prestige that goes along with it.

so is the 700 dollar rod worth it...it depends on your own personal prefernce and available disposable income...is the Sage Rod nicer to fish...maybe...but 5-600 dollars worth?? only you can answer that...

for me all the mark up is a turn off...and is why I started making my own rods a good while back...some guys want all the name brand stuff...waders, fleece, boots, vests , reels and of course rods...even the brand of flouro is a big deal...then some folks are into watching their $$...and saving their dough for gas money for trips...

if you are cruising to all the really nice spots in your range rover with all the neat rod racks on your roof...go for it...its great for the econonmy( and I know its fun too...I have been able to cruise with clients in similar)...maybe even fishing with a great guide and fishing private ranches...more than awesome...Im sure you worked extremely hard to be able to afford all that ...and also took some chances in life to attain your success!

if you are a regular "Joe" that has an old F 150...and that new TFO is a proud possesion...buy your off brand flouro...waders from ebay...and anything else you can do to "bend the curve" for yourself...and know its all realtive...who is to judge??...you!

that really nice fly shop you visit with the stone fireplace, located by the best waters, incredible fly selection...beautiful rods and reels...great advice form seasoned anglers and guides,and all the cool T'shirts...didnt get that way from selling low end gear. The luxury has its price...and is only fair...all that stuff required some serious capital investment...and a lot of work no doubt...

we all live in a "Chaste System" in life...some of us are nail bangers & electricians...some of us are lawyers and architects...and there is no reason to be ashamed of either...I have many angling friends in both...and what we spend on our personal gear is our own business...my bottom line here is this...neither end of the spectrum should be held in anything other than respect etc...just dont spend the mortgage payment on that beautiful rod...LOL...
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Last edited by silvertip8k; 04-04-2013 at 07:56 PM.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:23 PM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

Quote:
Originally Posted by silvertip8k View Post

I will say after working in fly shop's for over 30 years, I learned an awful lot about this topic...not opinion...fact...the dirty little secret in the fly fishing industry...even with internet sales...

Retail is generally almost double of retail...ie...a 150 retail unit generally sells to a dealer for 75-85$...allowing the shop to "keystone" the cost...the term used for doubling the cost...



retail on a 700-800 $ sage , dealer cost is about 480$...mark up( or profit) from the sage is basically double the TFO...and has all the high end appeal...sages does a great job marketing their product...and is a status item on the stream...and to some this is extremely important...

the point here is that one sale genrates more income for a shop...and if they are geared to a "high end" clientele, it only makes sense to try andsell the best unit they can...offering quality, name brand recognition, and any prestige that goes along with it.

so is the 700 dollar rod worth it...it depends on your own personal prefernce and available disposable income...is the Sage Rod nicer to fish...maybe...but 5-600 dollars worth?? only you can answer that...


that really nice fly shop you visit with the stone fireplace, located by the best waters, incredible fly selection...beautiful rods and reels...great advice form seasoned anglers and guides,and all the cool T'shirts...didnt get that way from selling low end gear. The luxury has its price...and is only fair...all that stuff required some serious capital investment...and a lot of work no doubt...
I worked in retail, and was co-owner of a bicycle shop. I can't do apples to apples when talking about bikes shops and fly shops, however. We were able to keystone items like locks, pumps, racks, most clothing, shoes, helmets, and most bike components. Bikes were a different story, and most of the bikes we sold were between $325 and $600. Markup on bikes was around 55%, but we had to pay the salary for one full-time and two part-time mechanics who spent considerable time assembling them. We also gave one free tune-up on new bikes, and had to pay the mechanics to do that. Of course we sold $2,000-$4,000 bikes as well, and made much more on each of these bikes per unit. However, service accounted for at least half of our shop's profits, and items like tubes, water bottles, cables, bottle cages, chains, etc, were marked up as much as 700%...but keep in mind that 700% on a $1 wholesale unit is $6 over cost. When a shop employee has to stand there and listen to a customer ask about the virtues of one tube over another, and then try to remember which size tube their bike needed (you didn't think they all brought in their old tubes, did you? ), that $6 is quickly disappearing into payroll.

Then there's the rent, electricity, various insurance, taxes, an accountant that did our books, and all the other costs of doing business. I never sold anyone anything they didn't need, and my own bike is rather modest. I will tell you that we always enjoyed fondling fine bikes, and fought over working on them. The cheap bikes were usually a hassle to assemble new, and got worse with time. Our repair rates were for the same for all bikes (except new Sears bikes that were brought in for re-assembling the day after they were bought: TWICE the usual charge). A quality bike that was maintained could be repaired/tuned up in a fraction of the time we spent on a rusty Huffy. We had mailorder to compete with, and many customers were using our shop to determine shoe size for the mailorder catalogs (early to mid 1990's, so actual catalogs were used). We would spend time fitting shoes for a customer, and then find out that they bought them mailorder to save a few bucks the following week. More payroll going out the window.

So yeah, if you like the local shop, be good to them. That doesn't mean you have to spend your retirement fund there, but don't waste their time testing rods and then buying them from online dealers. I suppose if you spend money buying other products from the shop, it's not too bad, but they're paying for your test ride.
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Old 04-04-2013, 09:28 PM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

Interesting to read the thread. Seems to me there are two questions. One is, what is the advantage of buying a $700 rod over a $400 or a $150, etc, that is, what is the difference between the rods besides price? The second, is the $700 worth it. I'm guessing there are some 'objective' answers to the first, but the second is personal.

You can describe the difference between a Maserati and other cars, but personally, if I was given one I'd sell it and buy something I'd want to drive with plenty of cash to spare.
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Old 04-05-2013, 08:03 AM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

what I was alluding to was this...and wanted to leave it up to most folks common sense...but I left out one major point...mainly because I was trying very hard not to go over a line with shops...since I think they are a very important part of the pursuit...a place I hate see losing their grip due to the internet...similar to what home depot etc has done to the small hardwares stores I grew up with...or the old school lumber yards where you actually knew the guy behind the counter...and the guy in the yard that helped load up your truck...

God help us if Fly Fishing is brought us to that level...fly fishing shops are , and have been a very serious back bone of the pursuit...a credit card transaction on a computer screen isnt the same...and will never be.

ditto the remark by Frank...its cheesy to try out the sage one in a shop...then buy it from cabelas or similar...

but that said...a rod that retails for 200 dollars generally costs a shop 100-125...the actual cost for a distributor or mfg is probably half that...just say 60-65 dollars...actual value in object less markups etc.

a 700 dollar rod the sells to a shop for 375-400 costa about 200 to make...only 135 dollars difference at cost from the lesser priced unit...but 500 or better in retail.

this was my main reason to start building my own rods many years ago...I cant make waders, boots , hooks or reels...and they kill us on the fly lines too...but I wanted to try and bend the curve in my direction a bit...I love my Simms gear...but if I was paying out for the high priced rods...my waders would always have leaks...

the real answer for anyone that makes or builds things...get as close to the raw material as possible...thats what I have done for decades in my cabinet and furniture work...buying an oak board at home depot is pretty pricy...but buying it in bulk and in the rough, planing it yourself saves a considerable amount...

and if someone gave me a masserati...first thing I would do was go to home depot and buy two things...a 4X8 sheet of ply wood...and a can of spray paint...and spray "4 Sale" all the best...t
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Breac linne, slat coille is fiadh freach - mirle s nach do ghabh gidheal riamh nire.
a fish from the river, a rod from the woods and a stag from the mountain , thefts ne'er a Gael was ashamed
...and old gaelic proverb...

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Old 04-05-2013, 08:12 AM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

Ha, I used Maserati as an example for sure but I drive a 1995 VW Passat wagon with a manual trany...I bought it new because I liked the way it handled and assembled fly rods fit straight down the middle without bending. Fly fishing, along with family (and my wife is my frequent fishing partner) is obviously central in my life. Each rod in both my fresh and saltwater quiver is carefully selected and regularly upgraded based on comparative evaluation purely on its performance match to specific applications. There are $150 Albrights, $300 ECHO3's and Rise Levels right next to and sometimes selected over premium priced Hardy Zenith/Proaxis, Scott S4s, Loomis NRX and Sage ONE. When I pick which rods I am taking fishing, their brand, color, reel seat design, age and certainly not price point are not taken into consideration...length, line weight and performance characteristics relative to anticipated fishing conditions are the decisive factors.

Having two 5-weights in the vehicle on a particular occasion I selected the Albright EXS over the in many ways superior Sage Z-Axis because IT HAS LARGER SNAKE GUIDES and the section of river I was spending the evening on requires a lot of slack line feeding into the drift which is enhanced by the fluidity of larger guides. I would have paid EXTRA for Sage to have fitted custom sized snakes on my Z-Axis and it would have been WORTH IT.
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Old 04-05-2013, 04:51 PM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

and here I remember a friend freaking out when he learned that the rod I loaned him cost $80.00! He thought I was nuts spending so much for a 'fishing rod'.

I hope I'm not out of line here by saying I find it a bit... I dunno... I just can't find the word right now but to tell the world what the margins are in the fly fishing business is not right.
It's really not any business of the consumer and if they are buying the gear without remorse everyone in the supply chain wins. That's the way of the retail world and how shops of all sorts can afford to stay around and offer personalized service.
It's easy to throw numbers around once you know them and then get out of the business but it just doesn't seem right. I'm sure costs weren't so easily shared when someone was in the business trying to satisfy a need and keep food on the table.
Some things that haven't been addressed are the costs of R&D. It is far easier to reverse engineer and clone a good product than it is to come up with the original concept, design and engineering involved... not to mention the costs of trial units and the redesign of them complete with the new mandrels and techniques needed to come up with them.
The market itself will tell if the prices are worth it.
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Old 04-05-2013, 05:10 PM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

It's an old joke of Lefty's....

"Do you know what the difference is between a fishing pole and a fishing rod ?"

"A hundred dollars"
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Old 04-13-2013, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Is it really worth it ?

Hello All:

I very much appreciate the topic. I think a fellow should buy the rod of his dreams. Luxurious spending is not something to be criticized. If a fellow has the thousand dollar rod, I say more power to him.

I cannot afford a rod in the $500.00 + range.
I don't really know if their performance is so much the better.
I won't criticize an expensive rig though. If I had a lot of money I'd have the best.

One casting instructor who worked with me, a friendly old fellow from the Federation of Fly Fishermen, told me the finest casting rod he ever had was a discounted model from Wal-Mart going for $10.00. Really, that's just what he said. Now, I don't think he meant that it was as fine a rod as a Winston, Sage, or what-have-you; but it was clear that the rod was a very capable rod for casting his flies where he wanted it.

I think the issue of fact comes down to the material.
How much better is the Graphite in one Rod make, than the Graphite in another?

How much better the Bamboo? How much better the Fiberglass?

This may sound redundant, but since yours truly was nothing but the local "idiot" fisherman, I didn't know something distingushed quality until I began noticing Rod Guides, and how all the cheap rods had guides that bent and twisted with a little thumb pressure.

I noticed the other day, on the Fenwick Rod I got for ...I dunno, I think $50.00 on e-bay (as a back-up---just--in-case--rod) that the handle feels like it is attached to the lower part of the blank with the manufacturer's equivalent of Spit---&---Scotch Tape. So...the blank might be great, but the Handle and Butt are just #)^A@@**&^ or something like that.

So I do appreciate things that make a better rod that will last. Solid Handle & Butt, a good Blank.

What is the Best Blank in terms of State of the Art, anyway.
I honestly don't know. IM-10?

There's a lot I don't know.

When I see people bandy about brand names like Sage though, I have a certain admiration for them. It's undoubtedly a better rod than I use and I respect fly fishermen who know their stuff.

.
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