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  1. Default Re: Big Changes at Pure Fishing (Hardy USA)

    but if Korean built is better than an equivalent US made rod I am going to be fishing it..." there's more than mere assembly to create the rod and where does that more come from...where does that river run through it exist south of the 38th parallel?
    I'm not prejudiced against craft and art originating in Korea... I'm prejudiced against the rapacious USA capitalists looking for the piece of the pie with off shore mfg at an inflated price point with a price that's been stepped on more than a dime bag with slick marketing...esoteric glittering performance generalities based upon opinion, conclusory technology that's "guaranteed" to make me a better caster...Is there anyone on forum who could not use effectively fly rods made by Sage, Loomis, Winston, Scott, Orvis, St Croix 5, 10, 15, or 20 years ago...for fresh or salt...for me in salt any 8,9,10,11, or 12 would do it all I would have to do is "futz" with various line weights and head lengths...I'm done the Colts won today

  2. #22

    Default Re: Big Changes at Pure Fishing (Hardy USA)

    I'm glad your football team won, my baseball team lost. I wrote in another thread yesterday that I took a 1984 Orvis rod out for a casting session and, though I have far better newer rods, I could fish it just fine without skipping a beat.

    We had two 9'/#6's in Montana camp this season, one a Scott Radian which is arguably the sweet spot among this popular series and a Douglas SKY, kind of a descendant of the earlier Hardy Zenith and built in the same Korean shop. Four of us casting them side-by-side decided the SKY was the superior performer, including the Scott's owner. No, that did not equate to it catching more fish, they both did that fine, but it was more fun to cast. It is designed by an astute American (well, Californian) but would not exist without the availability of the fabrication skills of this Korean shop.

  3. #23
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    Default Re: Big Changes at Pure Fishing (Hardy USA)

    Quote Originally Posted by cooutlaw View Post
    I do not wish for fly fishing to become NIKE, where every tennis or athletic or running shoe can be had from one giant source produced in a thousand locations with no connection to quality control or any idea where any product derived from...I don't want every fly fishing product to merely be distributed in packaging from a giant source.
    I do not disagree with your wishes for fly fishing companies; however, I will disagree with the point I've isolated above, which is 100% false.

    I worked in footwear factories overseas for Nike for 7 years, leading teams of quality inspectors who combed the factory every hour that the factory was producing. I personally inspected every shipment of footwear before it left the factory. I oversaw the destruction of tens of thousands of pair of shoes that did not meet standards (and the factory learned to up their own quality control as a result). I knew where ever scrap of leather came from, where every shoelace came from, where every shipment of rubber and EVA came from. We checked dwell times in rubber presses, watched cutting and stitching to make sure our specs were met all the time, etc. As I developed a lot of friendships with folks who are still doing the same thing I did, I know that these standards have not changed.

    Keep in mind that Nike never, ever, wanted to be a boutique or niche industry, they reached for the sky from Day 1. They still build the footwear that the best athletes in the world WANT to wear, and not just because they might get paid for doing so.

    So your claim above is baloney.

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  5. #24
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    Default Re: Big Changes at Pure Fishing (Hardy USA)

    Quote Originally Posted by weiliwen View Post
    I do not disagree with your wishes for fly fishing companies; however, I will disagree with the point I've isolated above, which is 100% false.

    I worked in footwear factories overseas for Nike for 7 years, leading teams of quality inspectors who combed the factory every hour that the factory was producing. I personally inspected every shipment of footwear before it left the factory. I oversaw the destruction of tens of thousands of pair of shoes that did not meet standards (and the factory learned to up their own quality control as a result). I knew where ever scrap of leather came from, where every shoelace came from, where every shipment of rubber and EVA came from. We checked dwell times in rubber presses, watched cutting and stitching to make sure our specs were met all the time, etc. As I developed a lot of friendships with folks who are still doing the same thing I did, I know that these standards have not changed.

    Keep in mind that Nike never, ever, wanted to be a boutique or niche industry, they reached for the sky from Day 1. They still build the footwear that the best athletes in the world WANT to wear, and not just because they might get paid for doing so.

    So your claim above is baloney.
    Interesting overview of your manufacturing operations experience. I'm sorry if you felt my post was a claim of any sort, especially a claim of baloney, perhaps I completely failed in my communication, but it was merely a statement of opinion not a claim of any sort. With that, I appreciate your response but it was not at all what I was eluding to or trying to communicate in my post.

    What I meant...was that the consumer has no connection to quality control nor to any idea where any mass distributed product derives from or its material sources. IE: If I (a consumer) buys a Scott Fly Rod here locally in Colorado, I know where it was made, by serial number I can be put on the phone with the person that inspected it before shipment, I can speak directly to any of the people that touched it during production, I can visit and see the graphite scrim myself, I can even drive over and meet them all in person...I know the address of where everything originated from......conversely, If I purchase a mass distributed and manufactured product from any of thousands of dealers or distributors, I do not have any connection, as a consumer, to quality control, nor do I have any idea where the product derived from or was produced. That is what I meant....poorly phrased perhaps....but I did not mean to insinuate the makers do not have quality control standards nor that they do not know where their production material is sourced from....I was referencing the consumer experience and how boutique makers offer a full connection to a product where giant manufacturers do not. Again, apologies for poorly communicating the actual premise of my opinion.

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  7. #25

    Default Re: Big Changes at Pure Fishing (Hardy USA)

    My friend, cooutlaw, might have added that his personal connection to the rod maker is of intrinsic value to him, loyalty derived from friendship and trust. Now, I am acquainted with and can call or email individuals at Scott, Sage, Loomis...I can not "drive over", they are airplane miles away from me. Of course, I can also communicate with makers of some Asian produced rods too at Douglas or Taylor and I used to have friends at Hardy too. I only see these persons in person, usually once a year, at the Edison Show.

    I have done so previously but it is a slow morning on the Forum so I will reiterate. There is a super substantial difference between a fly rod fabricated at a custom, specialized shop in S. Korea and one made using mass production methods in a factory on the other side of the Yellow Sea. I'm not saying all made in China rods are garbage (many are though), Redington for example produces some good product with quality control oversight and inspecton...it is not that the Chinese can not make a good rod it is more that their services are employed to obtain low price point rods so innumerable "shortcuts" are taken. On the other hand, the shop that builds the Hardy's and other fine rods will not let junk out their door. Independent cross sectional and X-Ray analysis have revealed that their fabrication methodologies may yield superior blank construction compared to some of our US makers! Unlike China, the are not offering their stolen property product for re-branding to bulk distributors but rather, work under contract for Western companies and adhere to the specifications of the makers rod designers.

    Clearly, the back-and-forth between the Korean shop and the US brand is not as seamless and direct as total made by fly fisherman for fly fisherman that you get at Scott, Sage, et al. However, the build quality, taper design and how it fishes may well be equal and occasionally better than a directly comparable US make rod. While I have been open for decades to develop a relationship at some level with every rod and reel company and have gained much insight during this process, performance remains my premier value.

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  9. #26
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    Default Re: Big Changes at Pure Fishing (Hardy USA)

    Two points to add to SweetandSalt's comments:

    One, The level of QC in and tech in the higher end Korean rod shops and CNC machine shops for reels is very impressive. A few knowledgeable people in the industry have informed me that the even the quality of raw graphite pegs available in the far east is superior to what we see in the lower 48. There is no question that the Zenith and Proaxis rods from Hardy were a real breakthrough in materials and construction. As far aluminum machining, Hardy had a much lower rejection rate for machining quality in the Korean reel shop than in Alnwick.

    Two, in defense of the buy American guys. It is cheaper to fabricate a reel or rod in Korea, not at the Chinese level which borders on ridiculous margins. But I do think Hardy/Pure has made a mistake elevating the price of these rods/reels into premium territory. When the Zenith, Proaxis and UL DD were about 20% under the price of the premium comparable options made in the US they were market leaders. I believe had they continued with this pricing model they would have built on that success. They didn't and with a few exceptions I'm seeing very little Hardy at retail in the marketplace.

    I also believe the decision makers at Hardy could have done a much better job engaging and gathering information from their sales staff than they did. They missed a lot of trends in specialty marketing, and in many cases did things that made no sense in the N American market. I remember them discontinuing switch sizes in one line of Greys rods while they continued to import 15' 10 weights ( a size no one I've ever met runs in NA). They refused to even consider marketing Streamer rods, Musky, Pike, or bass specialty rods, and yet I remember a year later after it was suggested the rest of the big makers had jumped headfirst into that fray. Look at the traditional look Spey and trout reels like the new Gunison and the Sage trout/spey reels, those should have been Hardy's. But their leadership was too out of touch to see that trend.

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