Now maybe I am expecting more than I should out of this company, but I have just had an experience that I would consider to be personally very poor.
Both the System 2LA reels I was given a while back are having problems with their clicking. The small tension bars in the internals seem to be stretched and not applying enough pressure now. Additionally, one of the triangle clicker pieces has the back filed down and is not the same shape as the other. Like I mentioned, I was given these reels and, as they are no longer made, not sure where in their life cycle this happened.
I emailed SA to ask them for two replacement tension bars and two triangle clickers, both of which I'm certain are causing the issues and that I can replace in all of 30 seconds. They proceeded to tell me that I must ship the reel back. When I told them that I was disappointed and did not see the need to send it back for such a small and inexpensive part request, they still insisted that I must send it back. They then proceeded to tell me that they only have one reel tech who is there "as needed" and that since he was just there, he would not be returning for a few weeks. This made me even more angry. Even if my reel got blown to hell, I would have expected better staffing and a better potential turnaround time.
This has pretty much caused me to lose all faith in SA, as they would rather spend exponentially more money in shipping and manpower than to mail me some $2 parts.
Is it unreasonable for me to think that they should have just sent me the parts, or am I just the victim of a terrible but standard product service model?
I would guess that they ask to have the reel because the repair person may not know what parts would actually fit that reel. Unless he has been with the company for years I doubt he would know which springs & pawls would match.
That's a guess, I would probably call them if possible (and I would be very friendly because I need them to help me) and hope to get the thing solved. Maybe you can simply send the worn parts in an envelope for 43 cents rather than the reels for 15 dollars.
Many of these large tackle companies have changed hands recently and SA is one of them. I suspect that what I said about the "reel Tech" not being overly familiar with the old system 2 reels may lie at the bottom of the issue.
For every guy like you who can fix the reel, there are a dozen who think they can but can't. It makes sense to require everything to be sent back in. And it's equally reasonable to not have a reel tech on hand 24/7.
The fact that you're getting a free, transferable, full warranty on two reels should hopefully be more than enough to compensate you for having to use a back-up reel for a couple weeks.
I agree that they might have techs not familiar with the older reels, but they should certainly have the parts and specs on file for their reels, especially one like the 2LA which one one of their most popular models.
Taking the parts out would still require me to take the reel out of service for 3-4 weeks. It works in its current condition, it is just obviously not performing as it should. I have taken the pieces in question out before when I noticed the problem, they are very quick to take out and put in, no need for any fancy technical work, just need new pieces.
Idk, maybe your right, I just expect that I wouldn't have gotten this runaround from a company like Redington or Lamson. The very fact that they only have one reel tech and that hes on call is alarming.
The other thing is that I don't have a backup reel for one of the reel weights, nor do I want to manually unspool (then respool, then unspool and respool again in the case of one of the reels) 150yards of backing plus the fly line before I send the reels. I can understand them wanting the reel. I get it. But it my circumstances, for what I'm asking, this just seems like overkill.
I get that you feel inconvenienced but if I where a reel maker...I am not and neither is SA (they make fly lines)...I would instruct my receptionist to inform customers to send the product in. It is the only right way to service the public. I have dis and reassembled countless reels and I was just given a cork to Rulon drag reel that, as you set the drag, you reel against the same tension as outgoing. The maker won't discuss it with me, they politely insist on my sending it in. And I will, with the backing on it and include that in my cover note. They claim they will "make it like new", no charge. If they can't, all I am out is postage sending it...I did not buy it and they have no obligation to honor any warranty. They, like most fly fishing tackle makers, are being over-the-top helpful and the correct attitude is to be thankful.
I dont mean to keep badgering the point here, but it comes down to exactly what I'm asking for. Sweetandsalt, I would completely understand if this was a situation with disc drag or something more complicated and with more expensive parts, but we are talking about some cheap as hell $2 parts that any dummy with a thumb and a screwdriver could replace. Protocols are great to have as a business, but I think in some situations (like mine) they don't apply and should be waived.
I'll put it this way, if you lost a small screw for your reel, a size that only the reel company made, would you really want to send your reel away for 3-4 weeks (with no good replacement) to have that screw replaced? Or would you assume they could just send you a screw and call it a day.
If the bladder on my float tube bursts, I wouldn't expect to send the float tube back for inspection, I'd expect them to ship me a new bladder, stuff it in my tube, and be ready to go again.
I once lost a part to one of my System ll reels
I emailed them the part number from the schematics and they sent me 2, for free, the very next day.
Not even knowing what the "triangle thing" was even called might have been a problem
They didnt ask me for specifics at all. They just said no basically. There arent many exposed internals to the reel. I definitely didnt use the exact terms but shouldn't be hard for an employee, let alone anyone decently familiar with reels to understand what I mean.
They didn't do it out of spite. Independent tackle shops buy their parts and fix their reels by the dozens
They didn't sell you the parts because they figured if you didn't know the lingo, you didn't know what you were talking about.
Seriously though, a monkey with a wrench could diagnose and fix this with those 2 parts. There are only three parts involved in the clicker. There's the cog, the tension bar, and the triangle piece. If I said "the two pieces above the cog" it should have been enough.
They finally emailed me back (after an email expressing my disappointment in length) and said the tech gave them the part numbers and they would mail them out to me.
There's a lot of excuses we could all use to say that I didn't know the correct part names or that its company policy. At the end of the day, they could have directed me to look at the schematic book, provided me a diagram, or asked for more information about the specifics of the part. The fact that they did not even try upsets me, and is very off putting.