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  #16  
Old 11-08-2003, 10:13 PM
roballen roballen is offline
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Nevada Caster..

Prices ARE where they should be.. I guarentee you that you would not have the quality fly rods today if they could not charge 500+ for them.
I'll tell you one thing comong from the industry perspective. If my boss couldn't sell a rod for 500-900 dollars I wouldn't have a job. neither would thousands of other fly fishing industry employees. High end products are the engine of the industry.
Every morning I wake up I thank God for 500 dollar rods, 400 dollar reels 300 dollar waders and 60 dollar fly lines.. They are my lively hood.
Thank God for orvis and Sagewho popularized 500 dollar rods..
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  #17  
Old 11-08-2003, 11:00 PM
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Are you suggesting that I shuld be happy paying $600 for a rod, $500 for a reel,etc, if it puts another person (that I don't know) to work?
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Old 11-09-2003, 01:20 AM
roballen roballen is offline
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No I am suggesting that the reason rod makers have the ability to produce such good rods in such quantities is because they can charge 500 bucks for them. If they sold for 1-2 hundred there would be no profit most makers would go out of business and what was left would not be the quality and quantity you are used to.

What do you do for a living Nevada caster??
are you worth what you get paid??? The market bears rods in the 5-800 dollar range. You certainly aren't required to pay that much there are plenty of less expensive rods on the market. I encourage people to pay for good stuff because it's worth it. 500 bucks is not excessive because peoples labor is worth something, peoples passion is worth something and peoples commitment to excellence is worth something all of which exsist in the high end rod market.. If you don't value thoes things there are plenty of cheap rods available.
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  #19  
Old 11-09-2003, 02:07 AM
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Some just don't understand

That prices really aren't up much compared to income.

I know my first rod/reels cost me almost 2-3 weeks pay to buy. That was 20 years ago. That was top notch gear back then. Now, I can buy a top notch rod/reel just at a weeks pay. Same job, same constant upswing on raises to hit cost of living. I know that my Dad is in about same boat. But his rod and reel he first bought back in the very early 50's cost almost 2 weeks pay. And, same thing, he could buy a top notch outfit well within his weeks pay nowadays. Well, until he just recently retired that is. I don't mind paying the money for the rods. But myself, I buy the top notch rods used and a fraction of the cost. I can see rob's point. Eventually, we will be a country of buyers, not producers. There is NO way we could compete with overseas production costs. I know I was offered by a friend to have a plant he owns produce flies for me. Would cost me about $4 a day to have a ton of flies to be produced (not including me providing the materials). $4 a day for labor cost per person is DAMNED cheap. I'm sure not many people here would sit down for $4 for a DAY to tie flies.
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  #20  
Old 11-09-2003, 03:12 PM
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my $0.02 worth

I have nothing against the small rod builder who makes a quality product and sells direct to his customers. Production output and business economics pretty much dictate that method of doing business in order for him to offer his product at a price that makes it worth his effort.

For the larger companies that are trying to cut costs however, it would seem to me that with the internet capabilities we have today, why do the manufacturers not consider selling directly to the flyshops? Why do we need to go through distributors? Why should a flyshop have to carry the entire line in order to qualify as being worthy of representing Sage, T&T, Ross, Tibor, or ???

The original concept, as I was led to believe, was that the distributor could screen out the shops. The end result being the establishment of Fly Fishing "Pro" Shops. And it worked. At least for many years. Then why am I now seeing shops that are selling mountian climbing equipment, river rafting boats and equipment, hiking and skiing equipment, and back in the corner is the fly fishing section? With one guy in the store that will try and talk to you as if he knows as much about what he is tring to sell you as you do?

I had better quit before I step on too many toes and P.O. too many people.
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  #21  
Old 11-09-2003, 04:06 PM
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IMHO - It's a big gamble.

The flyshop adds a tremendous benefit to the consumer's decision making, customer service, and they give you a lot more than what's in the bag when you leave the shop. Flyshop staff are avid fishermen and have a lot to offer. If you cut them out, you cut out your own local supply house for all the other things they invest in to stock their shelves so you can get what you need in a pinch. I can't tell you how many times a last minute run to a local shop has made my trip, and the shop could be 5 minutes away or 3,000 miles away from home when I am on a fishing trip. From my point of view, the more flyshops that dot the countryside the better!

JD - FYI

Manufacturers don't want to sell directly to the consumer in most cases. They would much rather have an intermediate party invest $ and hold the inventory. The last thing they want to do is handle the picking, packing and shipping to individuals from manufacturing, especially when the rods aren't out there in the various shops on location for people to fondle and fall in love with in the first place. IMHO, I don't think it's desirable in the vast majority of cases for them, but I could be wrong.
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  #22  
Old 11-09-2003, 06:23 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Steelheader69,

And the folks who are having flies tied for between $2.00 and $5.00/day in labor costs for sale in the U.S. or other markets are still selling those same flies for a very high profit. How many flies have you seen of decent quality that are imported selling for $.50 each? I sure haven't. And how many of the imported flies are selling wholesale for $7.00/dozen for salmon and steelhead flies or $4.00/dozen for trout flies? Many of the importers are selling them wholesale for the same or very little less than what very good U.S. tyers will tie for.

Worse is how many shops do you know that have the majority of the flies they have in stock tied by U.S. tyers? Damn few in my experience, and it doesn't matter what area of the country you look. Almost without exception, shops are selling imported flies from the large importing manufacturers that are being tied with the $2.00 to $5.00/day labor. And some of these manufacturers own the hackle growing operation, are the hook distributer, and the material distributor; thus, they have extremely low costs.

Just because something can be produced with lower labor costs in another country does not mean it is the best thing for consumers, shops, or the wealthier industrialized countries. The big importing manufacturers make a lot of money doing this though, and it doesn't help the shops or tyers in the area (or country for that matter) that the shop is located in. And the shops aren't making anymore profit nor buying the flies any cheaper than from local tyers.

Food for thought, Hmmmmm..............
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  #23  
Old 11-09-2003, 09:42 PM
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FT, if you know US flytyers that can match Targus (or even get close) on price (wholesale), I would be very surprised and impressed. I wish it was so. I don't think there's a shop in the country that would choose offshore ties over domestic, were it not for pricing.
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  #24  
Old 11-10-2003, 03:44 AM
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To reiterate

What I was trying to say was that we need the flyshops, with knowlegable people running them. They provide a valuable service to the fly fishing community.

It's the distributors, the middle men, that I question. Granted, there are some who buy things in bulk quantities and re package them in quantities that are suitable for individual use. They have their place as well. But why should a flyshop not be able to place an order directly with Sage, T&T, Tibor, whoever?

I can see where a brand new start up company needs someone, a rep if you will, to go out and pound the streets to get their products known and in the fly shops.

But do the well known "big boys of the industry" still need that?
And do we, the end user, benefit from that? I think not.

><///('>
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  #25  
Old 11-10-2003, 04:21 AM
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Well Eddie

What FT meant was not the materials, but the tyer's themselves. Alot of the hooks some of us who tie professionally are imported from Japan (do believe Daiichi are made their). These fly distributors buy up materials wholesale (like those of us who tie commercially) and export them to these shops whereever they may be. They have these people sit all day and pay them nothing to tie these flies. Then, like FT said (which I TOTALLY agree with it all) the shops here sell them at rates that a local tyer would sell them at. In fact, alot of times they are using inferior hooks and materials. So huge profit, crappy product. Also, you'd be surprised what the upmark on hooks is. I have most wholesale catalogs on hooks. I know Targus isn't the cheapest wholesale, and I'm not talking about Mustads being cheaper either. Higher end hooks.

I had only brought up fly tying because it's another thing that's being produced overseas (like fly rods and such). You get better deals, but not always better product. I've seen these "quality flies" tied overseas. Laughed. Made me feel 1000% better about my ties. But most fly shops don't want to pay prices for quality tyer's around the area. Most want to buy super cheap and sell super high.
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Last edited by Steelheader69; 11-10-2003 at 04:24 AM.
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  #26  
Old 11-10-2003, 04:40 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Eddie,

Like Steelheader69 found, nearly every shop here in the Puget Sound area sells imported steelhead flies for prices that would allow them to buy from domestic tyers. I know of no shops that are exclusively fly fishing in this area that sell steelhead flies for less than $2.50/fly. And speys and G.P.'s are being sold for $3.50 to $5.00/fly. At the same time, they want local tyers to tie the standard steelhead flies for $9.00 to $11.00/dozen (remember they are selling them for $2.50 each) and the speys for $12.00 to 16.00/dozen (which they are selling for $3.50 to $4.00 each. G.P.'s they want for $14.00 to $18.00/dozen (and they sell them for $4.00 to $5.00 each).

I will not tie speys for these prices (and the local shops expect blue eared pheasant or Whiting Spey Hackle at this price from local tyers) because you cannot tie a dozen well-tied ones in an hour. Likewise, I will not sell G.P.'s for for these prices because you cannot tie half a dozen of well-tied ones in an hour. The shops are charging enough for the imported flies that they could easily pay local tyers reasonable prices for them; however, nearly none of them will.

And I have seen very few imported flies tied with cheap labor that were of high quality. Even the so-called superior flies of Umqua are not of consistent quality, and they aren't cheap wholesale.

Fly fishers will pay a reasonable amount for quality well-tied domestic flies. A better question is: Why do shops buy imported flies at $5.00 to $7.00/dozen and then sell them for $1.50 to $2.00 each and expect local tyers to sell better quality at the same price/dozen as the cheap imported flies? Likewise, why will shops buy from Umqua at prices very comparable to what U.S. tyers need to get and then expect local tyers to sell for less?

Sorry about the rant on shops regarding local vs, imported flies. It is just maddening to see this and then see shops tell local tyers they can't make a profit if they buy local flies.
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  #27  
Old 11-10-2003, 08:23 PM
Eddie Eddie is offline
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FT, I miss understood. I thought you were saying that domestic tyers could match the offshore prices. I agree, they can not.
I have spent a fair amount of time selling flies, and trying to think of better ways to sell them. I wish it was easy to sell more expensive flies. I wish the general customer could be educated on the value of well tied and proportioned flies. The desire to stay in business is not the same as greed. Obviously the markup on flies isn't keeping many shops in business. Every shop would love to sell bamboo rods and domestic ties (both are low mark up propositions), but the market for more expensive stuff is shrinking. Sad but true.
JD, there is no middle man (wholesaler) for the most part. Any shop that qualifies can deal with T&T or Sage or whoever. Most companies do have a rep (middle man).
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  #28  
Old 11-10-2003, 10:58 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Eddie,

The desire to stay in business is not greed. That said I must tell about a friend of mine who had a fly shop on the Olympic Peninsula. He sold only locally tied steelhead flies that were tied by myself (I tied 90% of them) and one other tyer (he tied 10% of them) for a period of 9 years.

He sold all the flies that we tied for him and at normal market prices while paying myself and the other tyer a fair price. Additionally, he would sell either of us (or the 3 folks he had tying trout flies for him) anything he had in his shop, or any item he could get for us at his actual wholesale cost (he was the only shop I ever dealt with over a 25 year period of tying commercial accounts that did this).

He had people travel as much as 8 hours just to buy steelhead flies he had in his shop. I tied and he sold as many as 20 dozen spey flies in a week at times. He also found that people would buy true low-water featherwings and pay a fair price for them in summer-fall. The shear quantity of steelhead flies he sold at times was nothing short of remarkable. I vividly remember one day going into his shop with 20 dozen spey flies and having 3 customers who were in the shop buy 9 dozen of them immediately. And as he was ringing up these sales, he got a call from a customer who lived 4 hours away inquiring about spey flies and he sold the other 11 dozen to him.

The towns on the Olympic Peninsula are blue collar, small towns that are a long way from the city. What the owner of this shop found was that people would pay a little more for quality, well-tied. well-proportioned flies because they held up better and caught more fish. He was surprised at the how many of the local folks would keep coming back for the locally tied flies because they nearly always bought low to mid-priced rods and other equipment. Interestingly, when he began taking some of the his end rods outside for casting demos or lessons, many of the locals decided that the expensive rods were worth saving for and they bought them.

I don't think his exerience is unique nor unusual. He took the chance to sell flies at a smaller margin (he gave the tyers 60% of retail for them) and at a slightly higher price than the imported ones. He found that his customers not only bought them in the same numbers they had bought the imported flies in, they actually bought more flies because he had flies they could not find in catalogs. And his customers told others about the flies who then bought them resulting in their telling others, etc.

The biggest complaint I have heard about the steelhead flies found in shops is they are poorly proportioned and poorly tied.

Sorry about taking this thread off in a new direction.
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  #29  
Old 11-10-2003, 11:48 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Hey FT! I had no idea I had bought and fished your flies from Manuel, correct? Pretty nice ties indeed, in fact I recall a very nice Sol Duc summer fish I landed on one.
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  #30  
Old 11-10-2003, 11:58 PM
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There are several reasons that I suspect Powell is starting to sell direct to consumers. For one, if the company is indeed in a state of transition, the new owner may think that the terms dictated by distributors for excessive discounts and extended credit terms are a load of bull; this is, btw, regardless of how long the guy's been in the rod-building profession. In the long run, a distributor can squeeze the manufacturer for so high a discount that even though there are sales figures, the manufacturer is working his tail off and making literally no money. In that case, why continue to go through distributors? And if the stores happen to have agreements with their distributors that they will only sell what the distributor carries, then Powell is SOL in that case as far as sales at the retail level are concerned in those particular stores. So the manufacturer sells direct to the end user at wholesale, which is probably still more than three times the cost of manufacture. What's to lose?
There are other reasons to get out of distribution, but the ones listed above are reason enough. Let Powell sell direct; people will still walk into their LFS a couple of times each year and pick up a new rod by some other manufacturer.
If it were my company, I'd probable sell direct to stores at wholesale with discounts based on volume, and to consumers as well at prices a few points above the MSRP. That way, everone wins.
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