Buyer Beware. Cabelas does not repair their rods.

madison320

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I accidently snapped my Cabela's rod tip the first day I received it, yesterday. I brought it in to the local Cabelas today to pay to get the section replaced. I figured it would cost $30 or so like most other rods on the market. To my surprise Cabelas does not repair their rods, they only replace them if they have a manufacturer's defect. So if you accidently break a rod you're out of luck. Luckily I only broke the tip so it's pretty easy to repair myself. But I'd never buy another Cabela's rod for this reason.
 

Ard

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This should not come as a surprise to many, Cabelas is a rod seller not a rod maker. In my experience it is companies who have a rod production capacity who carry extra blank rod sections. Through the years I've pretty much stuck to rods made by companies that were either in the business before I got my first rod or those who entered later such as Sage.
 

sweetandsalt

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Ard, or course, is correct. If you wish to purchase an inexpensive rod like Cabela's sells which are mass produced in China and Cabela's orders batches in their color and logo, buy it from accompany that has their rods made for them to their specifications...also likely in China or possibly S. Korea. This way there is a higher probability that materials and quality control have been specified and the brand can stand behind you, the customer.
 

trout trekker

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Manufacturers Defect, check - That's what their warranty states. Their return policy limits bargain bin returns to net sales, bargain bin stuff purchased in stores is yours to keep. Fine prints always the last thing we think about when we're jones'n for a new trinket, then find a deal ( we think ) and have some coin burning a hole in our pocket......but then they're able to sell you that little 5/6 glass rod for sixty bucks. So it's kind or gamblers wash that I'm willing live with on a few small ticket items.

Dave
 
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smcnearn

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Cabelas has a lifetime warranty on defects under normal wear and tear. But.....

Put it this way, I found a cabelas rod that had spent a couple years in the river, it was rotten, took it down and got a brand new rod/reel setup for free.

Lay some sugar on the customer service lady and she may treat you right


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madison320

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Manufacturers Defect, check - That's what their warranty states. Their return policy limits bargain bin returns to net sales, bargain bin stuff purchased in stores is yours to keep. Fine prints always the last thing we think about when we're jones'n for a new trinket, then find a deal ( we think ) and have some coin burning a hole in our pocket......but then they're able to sell you that little 5/6 glass rod for sixty bucks. So it's kind or gamblers wash that I'm willing live with on a few small ticket items.

Dave
LOL! Yup! That was the rod! Cabelas 5/6 CGR glass on sale for $60.

Like you said as long as it's a small ticket item it's worth the gamble. Once you start getting over $100-200 it's probably not worth the risk, especially if you use and abuse your equipment a lot like I do.
 

plecain

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I bought a Cabela's 8 wt. rod to use as a backup on a trip.
I never used it on that trip or after. It sat in my shop in the garage.
Two years later I tried it out on my bass pond next to my house. It snapped on the second cast.
I had the receipt (I save all of them; just ask my wife). Took the rod to the nearest Cabela's store.
They simply credited my card with the original amount paid.
The only question was 'Do you have the receipt?"
 

madison320

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Cabelas has a lifetime warranty on defects under normal wear and tear. But.....

Put it this way, I found a cabelas rod that had spent a couple years in the river, it was rotten, took it down and got a brand new rod/reel setup for free.

Lay some sugar on the customer service lady and she may treat you right


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It's funny you mention that because last night I brought the rod in and the girl asked me if I wanted to return it or replace it. I felt guilty returning a damaged rod, especially without the rod case so I told her I'd be back with the case and then return it. When I came in this morning the narrative changed from "getting it replaced for free" to "you're out of luck we won't even fix it for a fee".
 

audax

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I don’t recall Cabela’s ever offering a no-fault warranty. The limitations of their product warranty are clearly stated. Who’s to blame?

Some fly anglers wish rod manufacturers would go back to a limited warranty and lower new rod prices.
 

madison320

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I bought a Cabela's 8 wt. rod to use as a backup on a trip.
I never used it on that trip or after. It sat in my shop in the garage.
Two years later I tried it out on my bass pond next to my house. It snapped on the second cast.
I had the receipt (I save all of them; just ask my wife). Took the rod to the nearest Cabela's store.
They simply credited my card with the original amount paid.
The only question was 'Do you have the receipt?"
That was a manufacturer's defect.
 

madison320

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I don’t recall Cabela’s ever offering a no-fault warranty. The limitations of their product warranty are clearly stated. Who’s to blame?

Some fly anglers wish rod manufacturers would go back to a limited warranty and lower new rod prices.
I understand and was not expecting them to replace it for free. I just mistakenly assumed they would replace the busted section for a fee like my Redington, Orvis and TFO rods.
 

ia_trouter

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You said it all in the O.P. It is Caveat Emptor when we buy cheap products. I have more than my share of Cabela's gear. I always research and I still win some and lose some. I always ask myself if it's a big deal if it doesn't perform like high end gear because it usually won't. I tend to avoid their fly rods with VERY few exceptions.
 

Rip Tide

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I tried to get a Cabela's reel fixed once.
They won't even tell you who makes the reel so that you can order the part and fix it yourself

Moral of the story ?
Never... ever... buy a Cabela's reel unless you know in advance who the manufacturer was.
 

nevadanstig

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I consider the OP lucky. I guess it comes down to your local Cabelas.
My first fly rod was a Cabelas Prestige 2 combo. Supposed (yes supposed) 1 year warranty. It literally broke in half while casting two WEEKS after purchase.
Took it back to the store and they refused to warranty it. Simply told me, that warranties are "at their discretion" and they choose not to do it. Tried corporate numerous times, couldnt even get them to respond. Should of just took that $179 I spent on that combo, and instead put the cash in a paper bag, lit it on fire and threw it out the car window on the freeway. Would have been as useful as purchasing that combo.
Ive never set foot in a Cabelas store since, and urge every single person I talk to about it not to either.

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audax

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I get it and understand; you’re disappointed the option you wanted wasn’t available. The model Cabela’s follows isn’t the same as the brands you mention, but what those other guys offer us is something virtually unknown in the world of consumer products.

When I started fly fishing, graphite rods were still in their 1st generation, and a top quality rod was around $200. Winston or Orvis, for example, could build you a replacement tip but at a cost of many times more than the “handling fee” charged under unlimited warranties today.
 

knotjoe

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LOL! Yup! That was the rod! Cabelas 5/6 CGR glass on sale for $60.
I would be very surprised if anyone has a policy in place to repair a $60.00 rod. Realistically, if you were willing to pay $30.00 for a replacement tip, why not just buy a whole new rod for the asking price?

If you really like it so much, go get another one, keep the old pieces for repair/replacement of the new one. Use the old handle section to load backing, transfer lines, etc. It's actually handy to have a short rod section, guide, and functional reelseat for such purposes. If you busted the rod, you'll probably damage a guide and now you have scraps to practice rodbuilding skills on. It's a win/win here, dude.:thumbsupu

Sixty bucks on one heck of a deal if you dig the stick, even if you have to pay twice.
 
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sweetandsalt

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Me to my local wine shop; "I bought this bottle of whisky but a week ago and now look, its empty and useless. Please refill or replace it". Moral of the tale is buy rods from companies that make them (or have them made to their specs reputably) and sip your cocktail slowly.

Unless considerable on-site effort is expended to strive to produce quality fly fishing tackle in off-shore factories under contract, numerous short-cuts may be taken in materials and fabrication to increase profit in tiny increments. Most Chinese factory fly rods are built from leftover scrap graphite pre-preg from their last big run of (also cheaply made) spinning rods. Chris-crossed fibers and lay-up gaps are invisible. Decent quality blank building is a time consuming craft.
 

Ard

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I get it and understand; you’re disappointed the option you wanted wasn’t available. The model Cabela’s follows isn’t the same as the brands you mention, but what those other guys offer us is something virtually unknown in the world of consumer products.

When I started fly fishing, graphite rods were still in their 1st generation, and a top quality rod was around $200. Winston or Orvis, for example, could build you a replacement tip but at a cost of many times more than the “handling fee” charged under unlimited warranties today.
The first graphite rod I ever touched was a Leonard and was followed quickly by Orvis in 1974 - 75. I bought an Orvis for 375.00 because the Leonard was 800.00, you are right, there were no instant replacement offers but you could get tips for 100 dollars. I bought one for my Far & Fine just in case and still have the rod. I don't know when other rod makers entered into graphite but back in the early and mid seventies those two were the rods. Both had history in bamboo followed by fiberglass with Orvis using Phillipson blanks until the mid seventies when they began producing their own blanks. Both of the companies developed manufacturing for their own graphite blanks and they were great rods.

I still feel like a second class fly fisher because I've never owned a Leonard Diamondback 5 or 6 weight......................
 
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smcnearn

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It's funny you mention that because last night I brought the rod in and the girl asked me if I wanted to return it or replace it. I felt guilty returning a damaged rod, especially without the rod case so I told her I'd be back with the case and then return it. When I came in this morning the narrative changed from "getting it replaced for free" to "you're out of luck we won't even fix it for a fee".
I have had this happen with other companies/products. Customer service reps arnt on the same page.... makes a customer pretty unhappy.

I just took a replacement rod off the shelf, I think that’s easier to get than the refund.


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madison320

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I would be very surprised if anyone has a policy in place to repair a $60.00 rod. Realistically, if you were willing to pay $30.00 for a replacement tip, why not just buy a whole new rod for the asking price?

If you really like it so much, go get another one, keep the old pieces for repair/replacement of the new one. Use the old handle section to load backing, transfer lines, etc. It's actually handy to have a short rod section, guide, and functional reelseat for such purposes. If you busted the rod, you'll probably damage a guide and now you have scraps to practice rodbuilding skills on. It's a win/win here, dude.:thumbsupu

Sixty bucks on one heck of a deal if you dig the stick, even if you have to pay twice.
That's a good point and I would've done that but I didn't really like the rod that much and the sale is over so it's now $130.

I guess I should've known but I just got into fly fishing about 4 years ago and every rod I've bought has a similar deal where you can get a section replaced for about $40. I just kinda expected it especially since Cabelas brags so much about their customer service. Anyway it's no big deal it's only $60. Still it'll be painful to throw it out with the tag still on it. :D

Anyway the real purpose of my post is to warn anyone from buying an expensive Cabalas rod. If it's on sale for less than a hundred go for it, but I wouldn't buy a $200 rod from them.
 
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