Just curious - percentage bought on line? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Just curious - percentage bought on line?

12-23-2005, 07:46 AM
With the holidays upon us, I know online buying has changed the face of how we buy. I was curious what percentage of flyfishing items we have converted to online purchases over the last year?

12-23-2005, 08:11 AM
yeah, I feel bad for small fly shop owners these days. I've bought all my fly tying materials online this past year. Guidebooks too. I'll be picking up some new 8wt reels this coming year and will probably buy them online too.

With the cost of gas,my big ol gas pig Jeep, it's convenience of it showing up at your door and all the information/specs of reels/rods ect at your fingerstips it's hard not to go that way.

12-23-2005, 08:32 AM
I only buy online if I am using eBay or have found a significant discount from an online vendor. If I am going to pay retail I give that money to the local shops. I do think some shops shoot themselves in the foot though. I once bought a $750 Abel from one shop that then turned around and charged me for the backing. I did want Gel Spun so I would have understood charging me the difference between it and dacron but I thought it was really bad business. When you can go and get the top dollar equipment off eBay for 20% off or more in most cases (new with a warranty card) you need to close the gap somehow. The shop that throws me a free hat or some tippet every now and then has earned it back time and again with my repeat business.


12-23-2005, 08:59 AM
Online purchases this past year would be < 10%.

I use the web for the hard-to-find items (specialized materials / hooks etc.) but do most of my general purchasing at local (i.e. Manhattan :roll: ) fly shops.

I tend to do quite a lot of shopping at the shows too. :lildevl:

12-23-2005, 09:46 AM
I buy all my tying materials at the Bear's Den. I like to look at what I'm buying instead of buying tying materials online. I do buy rods and reels online since you can easily save 1/3 of the retail price a shop charges. I'm not made of money!

12-23-2005, 10:41 AM
Forgot to post my own preferences...

I never buy any materials on-line, zero. I even shop around several shops for the right hackles etc. I have to buy some hooks and hardware on line once in a while because it's so hard to find certain things on the rack but these are the unusual items.

I never buy rods on line, I want to feel and inspect the individual craftsmanship. If I am not familiar with the rod I want to cast it first.

I do buy reels on line, Danielsson reels. Actually by phone so not really online. There is nothing that can compare for quality and price anywhere and I support and appreciate the magnificent work they have done. They are a small family business with a world-class product. I still go check out other reels at shops and look for used vintage reels on line.

I never buy waders or boots online, I've got to try them on.

I buy some lines because not all shops stock what I need especially Spey lines in the east coast.

But for me the best part is dropping by a shop and shooting the breeze, checking out what's new with my own eyes at a fly show, or comparing notes at claves.

Auctions for me are for used / rare items and fund raisers. I do buy other things like camera accessories and lenses on line, books, gifts etc - but for my own flyfishing goods I only buy a few things on line.

12-23-2005, 11:02 AM
There are not many shops around my hometown that stock saltwater fly tying materials and fishing equipment. So, I am forced to buy most of my equipment on line. When I am away from home fishing, say in the Keys, I will stock up on the things I need.

12-23-2005, 01:07 PM
I buy nothing on line. I buy plenty of stuff over the phone though. I find it is much quicker to order it over the phone. I can be certain if the item is stocked and when it will be shipped, and if i have any questions, I can get them answered. No need to get a password, check the box not to sell my email info, type in my addy and card # etc.
I almost exclusively order from Forum sponsors, and I hope that everyone tries to. If the prices are equal, why not? I view them as a "local" shop too. I also support my local shop as well. If they can order something, and I'm not in a hurry, I like to support them. They are good people.
As for discounting (even backing), that is suicide. Small shops that engage in this practice are going out of business, and they don't even know it (do a search on discounting). Figure at the end of the year, the shop only makes 15% on their investment (and this is if they are REALLY good at it). Lets say they make 80 dollars on that reel and then give away 35 dollars (700yds. wholesale gel spun. $25 for 500yds. of 30# dacron) worth of backing. Wow, that's close to half their profit down the drain. Maybe not even worth the sale. This is an over simplification and the #'s are off the top of my head(it is actually worse for the shop). I don't know why any consumer would begrudge a bussiness that only make 15% off of their investment. If you give a hoot, give your local shops a break. I feel bad accepting a discount when it is offered. But hey, I'm human :lildevl:

12-23-2005, 01:14 PM
I get most of my crap from my local fly shop. The manager is a good friend of mine. I usually go over about an hour before closing time, get a few things then we go to the Bar across the parking lot for a few cold ones. :lildevl: It is a weekly ritual.


12-23-2005, 06:20 PM
With one of the best Fly Shops in the West close at hand :cool: I find myself buying nothing on line. I really enjoy shopping in Fly Shops and like to check them out in other towns and citys when I travel. Probably buy a few items from time to time that I do not really need but compared to some of the other Vices I have compromised myself with in past lifes its pretty cheap entertainment. :smokin:

12-24-2005, 10:14 AM
This seems to be shaping up as a matter of access and convenience, judging for some of the responses above. I think most of us would prefer to support the local economies whenever we can. In my case, there are no fly specialty shops, or shops with even a modicum of tying materials within 100 miles of me that I know of. Consequently, I buy at least 50% of my fly fishing needs over the net. When I'm in a town with a fly shop, I like to drop in and see what's what. A couple of these shops have web sites, and I'm able to order directly from them..



12-24-2005, 10:30 AM
I said 26-50% but it might be more than that if we're just counting the past year because I bought tying materials online a couple of times, but I didn't buy any rods or other expensive items that I would probably buy at a shop.

The local sporting goods store/fly shop closed this year after 50 years of business. I bought from them when I could, but I often had to look elsewhere to find the things I needed, especially for saltwater stuff. It was still fun to stop in to chat with the owner and his assistant, and that's a benefit that you miss out on when you shop online.


Greg Pavlov
12-26-2005, 11:21 PM
I buy most of my stuff face-to-face nowadays.