But hey, I just got an email that there's free shipping on all Orvis orders through Dec 2!
Well at least the free shipping is good news! The other day I was looking for a new streamer fly line, but when I went to order it online from Orvis, they wanted to charge me $9.95 to ship a single fly line. That was it, no order from me.
Orvis has been in operation longer than I've probably been alive. What is clear to me today is they have a much different business model than what got them into 21st century. In this past year on the internet I purchased a reel and line with the option to have the line installed with free backing. Well the reel shipped from back east and the line shipped from local store. So no line on the reel and guess what no backing shipped at all. Called and they refunded my shipping. That sucked as now I must use my time and gas to drive minimum 30 miles to purchase backing and use my time to install. Then I purchased a reel on the internet that the chat person told me would have sealed bearings and good for saltwater use. Received the reel and in clear instructions is says not recommended for saltwater use. Returned the reel and used the shipping label they provide and that cost me another $8.95. Then drove the 50 miles round trip to the Woodlands, TX store to get some basic fly tying materials. Well guess what? That's correct, they do not sell fly tying materials at that store! Again a waste of my time and gasoline. The website listing for that store does not say one word about don't waste your time and gas because we don't sell fly materials. I refuse to to Orvis. It is this petty inattention to the customer that how has caused me to cross Orvis off my shopping list.
I now use only local fly shops and private internet fly shops. It is a rare internet fly shop that doesn't provide free shipping. I've never needed to return or ask for a refund from a private no label fly shop.
It appears the Superfine has gone up drastically. Ain't that just my luck,,I was waiting for maybe a holiday sale and get a holiday increase !
I do have to say, the Allen rods are looking better all the time. Those are some very very handsome rods.
Superfine rods are one of the finest pedigreed rods out there, still made in the USA. I have three different generations of Superfines, and they are all incredibly smooth, mid-full flex casting machines.
I'm sure some other rods look good and will catch fish though....
That all being said, poor customer service is poor customer service, of which I have never experienced with Orvis. Prices do go up on things, on everything, unless manufacturers learn to cut corners one way or another.
I hear you on the stores. Their Jackson, WY store has no fly tying materials, and is now mostly clothing. Not so long ago, they had hooks, materials, all the lines and gadgets, and looked a little like a "fly" shop. There used to be a store in Green River, Wyoming that barely had any fishing tackle at all, but the big "Orvis" sign made people think otherwise. The Pinedale, WY store is pretty thin. Even the Ennis, Montana store leaves much to be desired. Every other fly shop in Jackson, Pinedale, and Ennis offer more goods than the Orvis shops. Clothing is where their emphasis has been for quite some time, and its mostly over-priced in my opinion, but that is where they make profits. I buy only what I "know" from them.
I lOVE their big-eye dry fly hooks. I use their leaders and tippet. I buy some flies from them, and even once in a while at one of their retail stores. I own a few of their basic rods and reels. I like their Silver Label waders. I really, really like the new Hydros fly lines for saltwater.
I never expect much from mail-order except to ship what I order. I put on my own line, backing, tie my own knots, etc.
I do expect a retail store with an "Orvis" sign to be well-stocked with quality stuff including flies, materials, rods, reels, lines, leaders, boxes, etc. I've noticed over the years that it doesn't take much stock these days to fly the Orvis banner over a store, or call it an "Orvis store."