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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
the materials used in fly rods has come a loooong way in the last 20 years or so, so I have a question.

the £20 rod of today is far superior in many ways to the £200 rod of the 1980's so why do so many rods still come with utterly ridiculous price tags?

i understand that hand crafted bats will command a greater price than the mass produced efforts of the japanese but a lot of the difference is purely cosmetic and pure snobbery.

I was looking at some bats the other day and i really couldnt see any difference between them other than the material the butt end was made of. and thats certainly not worth an extra £200+.

even the holders, specifically the Hardy ones, were priced way out of proportion, commanding up to £400!!

I know some people want the best and will pay for it, but its my belief that too many will pay £600 for a hardy rod simply because they dont want to be seen with a £20 Leeda or Ron Thompson.
 

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Certain brands do attract unwarranted premiums if it were based solely on better quality components or customisation. And, as you point out, from certain prospective customers' perspectives snobbery may influence their decisions.

But the ad agencies - as with certain cars and luxury products - spend 'big bucks' convincing us consumers we must have that German silver winch fitting or hardwood insert.

However one of the most significant factors that bumps up the price of 'high end' rods is undoubtedly the unconditional lifetime warranties. Watch one of my friends at 'work' clipping thin, fast action blanks with weighed flies or walking into ceiling fans and you'll see they're unlikely to make a lot of money out of him.
 

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Certain brands do attract unwarranted premiums if it were based solely on better quality components or customisation. And, as you point out, from certain prospective customers' perspectives snobbery may influence their decisions.

But the ad agencies - as with certain cars and luxury products - spend 'big bucks' convincing us consumers we must have that German silver winch fitting or hardwood insert.

However one of the most significant factors that bumps up the price of 'high end' rods is undoubtedly the unconditional lifetime warranties. Watch one of my friends at 'work' clipping thin, fast action blanks with weighed flies or walking into ceiling fans and you'll see they're unlikely to make a lot of money out of him.
I'm not sure that the warranty thing actually makes any difference to the price of a top quality fly rod.
I can tell you as a fact that a top line fly rod. Lets say "designed" In the U.S.A. but made in the far east with cheap labour costs around $20-$30 max! Sometimes a lot less.

You can replace that £500 rod on an unconditional warranty an awful lot of times at that price without losing money. Add the fee for handling the warranty and then the "unconditional warranty" pays for itself almost ad infinitum.
 

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xcrisx

Whilst I agree with your post, Leeda or Ron Thompson are ****e! Better examples would be rods in the £100 range, especially for rods aimed at saltwater use.

I own Scott, Loomis, Winston and have owned many Sages but over say £150-£200 the law of deminishing returns applies. Below £150 the quality, finish and components are obviously inferior.

Also remember the price breaks for rods in the UK are distorted by the crazy £=$ RRP's of the US rods. £600 is $1100!!

No Hardy is worth £600 as most are made overseas and in my experience they are inferior to most of the top US brands.

Redington CPS is the prime example of a £180 rod that is better than most £600 rods.

Flyguy.
 

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I've had a few rods in my time, some cheap some even cheaper and yes they did the job. Then as I progressed getting better at fishing met some people and then met Martin Cloke. This guy makes his own rods and has a company called Aquarius. In Scotland. I thought my fly casting was pretty good until I tried one of his rods and then my casting got even better. They are not the cheapest rods but these are not just cheap rods with a high price tag Like sage ect. that are made for about £50 and sold at more than ten times that. (for the fassion fisher) ( look at me I have a Hardy rod) and can't even cast a line. The rods are made for FISHERMEN. He even has some endorsed by a professional. Look him up at the game fairs on the internet. If your are serious about your fishing then you should be serious about your equipment.



Freedom of speach.
 

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xcrisx

Whilst I agree with your post, Leeda or Ron Thompson are ****e! Better examples would be rods in the £100 range, especially for rods aimed at saltwater use.

I own Scott, Loomis, Winston and have owned many Sages but over say £150-£200 the law of deminishing returns applies. Below £150 the quality, finish and components are obviously inferior.

Also remember the price breaks for rods in the UK are distorted by the crazy £=$ RRP's of the US rods. £600 is $1100!!

No Hardy is worth £600 as most are made overseas and in my experience they are inferior to most of the top US brands.

Redington CPS is the prime example of a £180 rod that is better than most £600 rods.

Flyguy.
"No Hardy is worth £600 as most are made overseas and in my experience they are inferior to most of the top US brands."

This is in part true. I'm not sure I would go as far as saying worse than most US brands. I have seen some pretty dire designs in top brand US flyrods!

All of Greys rods are far eastern sourced and much of Hardy rod production is either made in the far east or the blanks are then completed in Alnwick. The angel rods were totally built in house at one time but I'm not sure if that is the current situation.
All the reels are now made by another company and not made by Hardys anymore in the factory. The company making at least some of them is british though. One step away from total offshore production I think though.
 

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I've had a few rods in my time, some cheap some even cheaper and yes they did the job. Then as I progressed getting better at fishing met some people and then met Martin Cloke. This guy makes his own rods and has a company called Aquarius. In Scotland. I thought my fly casting was pretty good until I tried one of his rods and then my casting got even better. They are not the cheapest rods but these are not just cheap rods with a high price tag Like sage ect. that are made for about £50 and sold at more than ten times that. (for the fassion fisher) ( look at me I have a Hardy rod) and can't even cast a line. The rods are made for FISHERMEN. He even has some endorsed by a professional. Look him up at the game fairs on the internet. If your are serious about your fishing then you should be serious about your equipment.



Freedom of speach.
Yes Aquarius do some very nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
thanks guys, you have confirmed my suspicion that most of the high end rods are the same blanks that the cheaper models use with different stickers on.

this happens in almost every sport but the amount of snobbery and one up amnship in flyfishing really gets my goat.

I will stick to my low end bat and 'composite' reels in the knowledge that they will serve me just as well as a £600 hardy from the same bloody factory.
 

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thanks guys, you have confirmed my suspicion that most of the high end rods are the same blanks that the cheaper models use with different stickers on.

this happens in almost every sport but the amount of snobbery and one up amnship in flyfishing really gets my goat.

I will stick to my low end bat and 'composite' reels in the knowledge that they will serve me just as well as a £600 hardy from the same bloody factory.
Err... that is certainly NOT true mate. All the crappy no-name rods may use the same blanks, but the top-name name rods and blanks come from their own factories. The top US models are completely made in US factories. The decent mid-priced rods are made in the far-east but to US/UK design, spec and QA.

Rods cost £30 for a reason. If you can't tell the difference between a £30 rod and £300 rod stick to the cheap one and learn to cast.

What the posts above are saying is that after a certain price point, say £200 the performance and quality between this and £600 rod becomes far less obvious. But the £200 rod will be MUCH MUCH better than a £30 fly rod.

The same can be applied to most things such as HiFi. £1000 of of separates is going to sound light-years better than a £50 stereo, but the difference between £1K and £2K systems is less obvious.

Flyguy
 

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Err... that is certainly NOT true mate. All the crappy no-name rods may use the same blanks, but the top-name name rods and blanks come from their own factories. The top US models are completely made in US factories. The decent mid-priced rods are made in the far-east but to US/UK design, spec and QA.

Rods cost £30 for a reason. If you can't tell the difference between a £30 rod and £300 rod stick to the cheap one and learn to cast.

What the posts above are saying is that after a certain price point, say £200 the performance and quality between this and £600 rod becomes far less obvious. But the £200 rod will be MUCH MUCH better than a £30 fly rod.

The same can be applied to most things such as HiFi. £1000 of of separates is going to sound light-years better than a £50 stereo, but the difference between £1K and £2K systems is less obvious.

Flyguy
Sorry but you are naive in thinking that top range rods are all made in american factories. The americans have been using cheap offshore labour and materials for many years.

Now you didn't hear this from me ok?

A certain manager of a subsidiar tackle supplier of a famous rod company in the north east of England told me an interesting story at a Gamefair.
He said when he was in China sorting out the years order he was speccing a middle range rod of 10 ft in 3 sections for a #7 line. Price point was to be £120 retail. The Chinese plant manager said no problem we will just give you the L****s blank it will save a lot of work. The L****s rod sells for around £700 in this country. He said when he got the delivery he got hold of a 10 ft L****s and he could interchange the sections from one to the other! I know the guy fairly well. I had no problem believing him.
 

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i don't profess to know a whole lot about the manufacturers, but not all makers use the far east, look at greys (hardy), conoflex, and of course, harrisons.

as for the snobbery surrounding rods in the fly fishing market, do you really think it's any different to the sea fishing game ? how many people do you see with a top of the range zziplex, century, or other good brand name rod, which might cost £300+, who can't cast for toffee,

beach/boat/fly/coarse, there'll be tarts in all sectors, it's the way of the world,


the guy who said that the difference twen a £30 and £200 rod is big, and £200-600 not so visible is about right, i have used many cheap rods over the years, and i now use a pair of abu's. which retail around £200 each, do they cast better ? are they built better with bhng guides etc ? is the over-all quality better ?

hell yeah, of course it is. just by getting a sensible beach rod i added around 50yrds to a cast in a matter of hours, then by getting the abu's, i've added a further 50yrds,

it could, of course, be argued that my technique is improving, but trust me, i improved to the point where i could not cast any further with the rods i was using, they just wouldn't do it.

as for fly, i recently bought a custom built g loomis from StanM on this forum, i have little experience with fly, and had only played around with a 7# 9ft rod and reel that was gifted to me by a pal, it was ok and i was getting the hang of it, but when my new 5-6# 8'6" loomis rod came, i had a play with it and my cast was already much better, landing the line much more smoothly each time, more accurate, etc. the build quality is far far superior to the cheaper rod, with decent salt proof guides and reel seat etc. i won't tell you what i paid for it, cos i had a bit of a deal up with Stan, but trust me, it's a £200+ rod all day.. easy !
 

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i don't profess to know a whole lot about the manufacturers, but not all makers use the far east, look at greys (hardy), conoflex, and of course, harrisons.

as for the snobbery surrounding rods in the fly fishing market, do you really think it's any different to the sea fishing game ? how many people do you see with a top of the range zziplex, century, or other good brand name rod, which might cost £300+, who can't cast for toffee,

beach/boat/fly/coarse, there'll be tarts in all sectors, it's the way of the world,


the guy who said that the difference twen a £30 and £200 rod is big, and £200-600 not so visible is about right, i have used many cheap rods over the years, and i now use a pair of abu's. which retail around £200 each, do they cast better ? are they built better with bhng guides etc ? is the over-all quality better ?

hell yeah, of course it is. just by getting a sensible beach rod i added around 50yrds to a cast in a matter of hours, then by getting the abu's, i've added a further 50yrds,

it could, of course, be argued that my technique is improving, but trust me, i improved to the point where i could not cast any further with the rods i was using, they just wouldn't do it.

as for fly, i recently bought a custom built g loomis from StanM on this forum, i have little experience with fly, and had only played around with a 7# 9ft rod and reel that was gifted to me by a pal, it was ok and i was getting the hang of it, but when my new 5-6# 8'6" loomis rod came, i had a play with it and my cast was already much better, landing the line much more smoothly each time, more accurate, etc. the build quality is far far superior to the cheaper rod, with decent salt proof guides and reel seat etc. i won't tell you what i paid for it, cos i had a bit of a deal up with Stan, but trust me, it's a £200+ rod all day.. easy !

"I don't profess to know a whole lot about the manufacturers, but not all makers use the far east, look at greys (hardy), conoflex, and of course, harrisons. "



I guess you missed this earlier post then Crazyplums? I can assure you all of Greys and much of Hardy stuff is far eastern sourced.

"All of Greys rods are far eastern sourced and much of Hardy rod production is either made in the far east or the blanks are then completed in Alnwick. The angel rods were totally built in house at one time but I'm not sure if that is the current situation.
All the reels are now made by another company and not made by Hardys anymore in the factory. The company making at least some of them is british though. One step away from total offshore production I think though.
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Sorry but you are naive in thinking that top range rods are all made in american factories. The americans have been using cheap offshore labour and materials for many years.

Now you didn't hear this from me ok?

A certain manager of a subsidiar tackle supplier of a famous rod company in the north east of England told me an interesting story at a Gamefair.
He said when he was in China sorting out the years order he was speccing a middle range rod of 10 ft in 3 sections for a #7 line. Price point was to be £120 retail. The Chinese plant manager said no problem we will just give you the L****s blank it will save a lot of work. The L****s rod sells for around £700 in this country. He said when he got the delivery he got hold of a 10 ft L****s and he could interchange the sections from one to the other! I know the guy fairly well. I had no problem believing him.
Sorry mate you are talking based on heresay!

I KNOW for a fact that Sage, Winston and Loomis top range rods are rolled and built in the US. See the link below. I have friends who have done the Sage factory tour as well.

http://www.winstonrods.com/winston_channel.html
http://www.scottflyrod.com/difference_graphite.html

These brands also do cheaper lines of rods that are produced oversees to reduce cost but not their top ranges. It's the top ranges that cost £600.

Now I have cast many Loomis's and own 2 GLX's, I have yet to cast a Hardy that feels anything like these or the CC GLX's that I have cast.

I have just emailed Loomis and asked them where their blanks are produced for their top range models and will post the reply when I get one.

Flyguy
 

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Sorry mate you are talking based on heresay!

I KNOW for a fact that Sage, Winston and Loomis top range rods are rolled and built in the US. See the link below. I have friends who have done the Sage factory tour as well.

http://www.winstonrods.com/winston_channel.html
http://www.scottflyrod.com/difference_graphite.html

These brands also do cheaper lines of rods that are produced oversees to reduce cost but not their top ranges. It's the top ranges that cost £600.

Now I have cast many Loomis's and own 2 GLX's, I have yet to cast a Hardy that feels anything like these or the CC GLX's that I have cast.

I have just emailed Loomis and asked them where their blanks are produced for their top range models and will post the reply when I get one.

Flyguy
If You have clicked on my profile you will see what my job is. I have been doing that for over 30 years professionaly. I think I know a bit about the business. I have worked as a consultant on rod design for a number of companies. including Hardys. I worked on the early design of the Angel fly rods for instance.

You may choose to disbelieve what I said and say I'm talking rubbish.
That's your choice but lets keep it civil. I'm not attacking anyone. Just stating my point.

That doesn't change the fact that in quite a few instances on top american rods what I said is a fact not heresay, including my earlier post about the actual cost of these rods from far eastern sources. It is pasted below to save you scrolling through the posts.
I used to import some years ago, this before I starting making my own blanks. Blanks direct ftom Loomis's factory in Taiwan. Sorry to burst your bubble. Loomis may come back and say no way! That would not surprise me one bit.

I have looked at you links. Not sure what that proves? Tobacco manufactures say smoking doesn't harm you as well!
Some of that may be accurate but a lot of it is hype to keep you thinking what I am saying is not true.

I'm surprised you find that situation so abhorrent. It is the current way of the world to look for the least expensive source to make the product.


Originally Posted by PanamaJack
Certain brands do attract unwarranted premiums if it were based solely on better quality components or customisation. And, as you point out, from certain prospective customers' perspectives snobbery may influence their decisions.

But the ad agencies - as with certain cars and luxury products - spend 'big bucks' convincing us consumers we must have that German silver winch fitting or hardwood insert.




However one of the most significant factors that bumps up the price of 'high end' rods is undoubtedly the unconditional lifetime warranties. Watch one of my friends at 'work' clipping thin, fast action blanks with weighed flies or walking into ceiling fans and you'll see they're unlikely to make a lot of money out of him.

Rajabatis replied:
I'm not sure that the warranty thing actually makes any difference to the price of a top quality fly rod.
I can tell you as a fact that a top line fly rod. Lets say "designed" In the U.S.A. but made in the far east with cheap labour costs around $20-$30 max! Sometimes a lot less.

You can replace that £500 rod on an unconditional warranty an awful lot of times at that price without losing money. Add the fee for handling the warranty and then the "unconditional warranty" pays for itself almost ad infinitum.
 

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Rajabatis,

Sorry for being so abrupt, I was shocked by your generalisation of most top brands being far-east produced. Claiming this is potentially libellous.
So you are only talking about certain Loomis blanks then and not MOST top american brands?

I know that since Loomis have been sold (to Shimano?) that certain models have shifted to the far east but I have been assured that all the GLX and Crosscurrent GLX's are rolled in the states. What rod lines/models are we talking about?

Also I think the Winston factory tour video is pretty conclusive as shows each stage of production, including rolling and baking of the blanks. It also states that all 'green' blank models are US made and only their cheaper lines are imported and then assembled in the US.

Flyguy
 

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its like saying... why make landrovers and farrari,s when theres loads on micras for sale.

because theres a market and lots want one.
 

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Rajabatis,

Sorry for being so abrupt, I was shocked by your generalisation of most top brands being far-east produced. Claiming this is potentially libellous.
So you are only talking about certain Loomis blanks then and not MOST top american brands?

I know that since Loomis have been sold (to Shimano?) that certain models have shifted to the far east but I have been assured that all the GLX and Crosscurrent GLX's are rolled in the states. What rod lines/models are we talking about?

Also I think the Winston factory tour video is pretty conclusive as shows each stage of production, including rolling and baking of the blanks. It also states that all 'green' blank models are US made and only their cheaper lines are imported and then assembled in the US.

Flyguy
Thats okay.

If you want to believe what you are saying or are being told as "fact" fine. We will leave it at that.

I will give you one more illustration of "Made In Amerca."

Again a similar story I heard about guitars, another hobby of mine.

A certain very well known manufacturer of guitars. Gets parts made in Mexico with cheap labour. Ships them ships them back over the border to the states, builds them up and they are labelled "Made in America." They sell for lets say £700

Those same or similar "Made In Mexico" labelled guitars with that Mexican country of origin after the famous name label sell for about 50% less £350
I can state honestly having tried guitars from that manufactures. Same model - one with the US made logo and one with the Mexico origin logo. I can't hear the or see the difference apart from logos.

I'm sure you understand by now what I am saying?
 

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Agree dabcatcher, the manufacturers as a whole cater for those not so well off and for those that are. A rod can be bought for £30 or £300. And the problem is?
Hi there is no problem in that but the threads are do make comments related to profiteering. and the prices charged (were the profiteering points come in) for fly rods at the high end of the price range
 
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