The outrageous cost of spey rods

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by luckybalbowa, Jan 17, 2006.

  1. wolverine

    wolverine Member

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    I was fortunate to get mine as a gift. I still can't spey cast it properly, but I can do a reasonable decent job throwing heads overhead. If I was just starting out and needed a rod I would build one. One of the east coast catalog/net shops has Batson Forecast complete spey rod kits on sale for $85-100 depending on length & line wt. Use it to learn on and then upgrade to a better rod when your skills improve. Just like in golf. You're better off spending a few bucks on cheap clubs and take lessons from a good pro than dropping 2 grand on a set of new Calloway's and just hacking your way around the course.
     
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Inland,

    Hmmm, I wasn't trying to be argumentative. I responded initially to Lucky's post to suggest that although a lot of Spey rods are costly, there are less expensive alternatives that don't require much, if any sacrifice in quality. Now he has that information. Also, it is apparent that quality is an attribute that lies in the eye of the beholder, and is not always measurable by an objective yardstick.

    Yes, mandrels are expensive. So are steel planing forms. I don't think that's at issue. A lot of nice graphite blanks came out of Jimmy's basement without use of a power wrapper. We wrapped the cellophane by hand. Of course, wrapping a cane blank can be done by hand, too, but a power wrapper for that certainly eases the chore. So yes, there are sunk costs and marginal costs in rodmaking, whether bamboo, fiberglass, or graphite. There is or can be still quite a disparity between the cost of production and the retail sales price.

    Sticking with bamboo, it doesn't cost more to produce a quality bamboo rod at Winston or T&T than it does at some of the smaller lesser known one man shops around the country. And to the extent quality can be measured objectively, many of these rods are every bit the equal of the well known brands. But because the well known brands are well known, they can charge and receive $3,000/rod, whereas the lesser known, with the same costs of production, sell for around $1,200. Marketing and market perception are as big a factor in pricing as costs. The same principles are at work in making and selling graphite rods. That was my point, and plenty of evidence indicates it's a valid one.

    Nonetheless, I agree with Davy above. Everyone should buy the rods they prefer and can afford, regardless of price.

    Interestingly, I've cast a lot of lower end rods the last couple years and have been very impressed. Only found one out of a few dozen that I flat didn't care for. This was among single handed rods. My conclusion is that it's become hard to buy a bad one handed fly rod, regardless of price. That is due largely to the improved quality of imported rods, I believe. That does not yet extend to two handed rods. Quality hasn't yet trickled down all across the board, but it probably will in time. Nonetheless, it looks like good Spey rod blanks can be economically had from Anglers Workshop and Rainshadow and possibly others.

    Sincerely,

    Salmo g.
     
  3. inland

    inland Active Member

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    Salmo,

    Just BS'n. The wrapper I am talking about is the tool that tightly wraps the graphite fabric around the mandrel. Maintaining even tension along the taper. Maybe there are easy to make hand tools to do the same job. Would be interested as I never get tired of playing around.

    William
     
  4. Dan Page

    Dan Page Active Member

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    Quality always costs. You can always buy used or do any of the mentioned options.
    Once after telling a non flyfishing buddy of mine what I paid for a new T&T spey rod, he ranted and raved about how crazy I was for spending that much on a fishing pole. A few minutes later he began to tell me about this Harley-Davidson he was about to buy.:rolleyes: I didn't say a word.
    It's all relative!! :cool:
     
  5. Jim Fitz

    Jim Fitz Member

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    2nd what James says - I e-mailed Bob today regarding the blanks he sales. He e-mailed back within minutes and suggested we chat directly about what I am looking for which I will do pretty soon. Bob's rods are works of art. Makes the rods I have built look like a stick just cut from a tree.

    River Run Anglers "might" sell Bob's rods. I was thinking I saw some of those trees in Aaron's graphite forest. This is getting off topic as Bob's rods are not on the cheap end of the scale. They certainly do get rave reviews. As James said, you can get his blanks for less than a fortune and building a 2 hander is not all that much more $ than a 1 hander.

    It seems a safe prediction that going forward, more blank (and rod) manufacturers are going to fill the void and provide more selection (hitting more "price points") and also fill in the range of sizes - that is, more selection in the 10, 11, 12 foot lengths as you move from 1 to switch to 2 hander. Just a prediction. (Wish folks at TFO sold TiCr blanks in 10, 11, 12).

    James - I was going to read the spey rod/CCS data thread you started on the rod.building.org forum but it was a lot to take in and decided I will print out and read later when I have more time.:thumb:
     
  6. Dan Page

    Dan Page Active Member

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    Jim,
    You can't go wrong talking to Bob.
    River Run Anglers has several of Bob's rods there to try. Call Aaron and ask about the ones he has available.
    It seems reasonable that if thousands of people took up spey rods that huge productions could lower prices. Of course the best rods would still cost the most. With huge productions and huge sales and more R&D there would likely be even better rods come forth.--Super Rods!
     
  7. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

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    Shuuuuush

    more people on the river!!!!:beathead: :beathead: :beathead:

    I am all for competition. I think we are seeing a lot of it. Meiser, ACR, Burkheimer, CND, TFO, ECHO,,,,etc. And I don't like "price fixing" anymore than anyone else. But,,,,there is a bonafide reason for the way things are in the fly fishing industry.

    It all started years ago with the concept of fly fishing pro shops. Where quality products, service, knowledgable advice, instruction, etc. were to be the norm. As opposed to cut rate, out the door, mis-matched outfits, resulting in "I tried flyfishing once" Once being the key word here.

    The powers that be realized that in order for this to work, it meant that all shops, large or small, had to be able to operate on a level playing field. Otherwise people would have gotten advice & played with the toys at the little guys shop on the river, and then bought from the big guy when they got back home to the city.

    I've lived in the big city and used to shop at Bob Marroitt's store. It's a nice store. And I was able to get some good deals once in a while on close outs. But it's nice to walk into a small shop, see a rod or a reel that I may be interested in, and know that I will be able to get just as good a deal as I could anywhere else. And I can have it NOW.:thumb:
     
  8. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    To sum it all up, the CCS data is what it is. It sounds like Dr Bill will be explaining more about tip and reserve power in an upcoming issue, which may help. But at this point, there are no dynamic tests that accurately describe how a 2 handed will load (especially since it's loaded from water). I think Harry Emory is pushing for some resonant frequency tests which may help :)

    At any rate, that post ended up being fractured in to about 3 seperate topics. There's lot to read, and overall it's full of good info.

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     
  9. SSPey

    SSPey Member

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    whatever happened to test casting?
     
  10. speyforsteel

    speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

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    Test casting was replaced by impulse buying.
    That is the bad thing about double handers not many shops want to stock two dozen rods as they are not what brings in paying customers River Run being the odd ball shop,that guy is possessed with the spirits of the river spey
     
  11. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    The biggest expense that the big manufactures incur is the back cover of every single fly fishing magazine in the world, millions of pounds of glossy catalogs, the super high quality pics inside them...advertising aint cheap, this type of advertising in part fueled the modern boom in fly fishing, it payed for the magazines and tv shows that promoted the products and the same time the destinations. I once heard a guy from a major company that starts with S scream at another guy..."You dont know what we did for this industry, we made it what it is!" True perhaps, but not necesairly somthing to brag about.
    Jim
     
  12. jetstream

    jetstream New Member

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    That is the bad thing about double handers not many shops want to stock two dozen rods as they are not what brings in paying customers River Run being the odd ball shop,that guy is possessed with the spirits of the river spey

    Long may this continue with guys like Aaron,Joe public will definately be the winners, because once you have tried something that is not suitable, you certainly wouldn't buy it.The opportunity to try before you buy is a great idea,this is why the guy has a great reputation in the Speyworld.
     
  13. Big K1

    Big K1 Large Member

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    Here! Here!:beer2:
     
  14. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    Well if anybody heads over to Aaron's to test out his spey rods on the river you won't find any of the cheaper brands there. He uses the higher end rods. And back to rods,I got a L.L. Bean catalog and now they have spey rods. Cheap also. But I still won't get back into it.

    Jim
     
  15. FT

    FT Active Member

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    I dunno about Aaron not having the lower end 2-handed rods at his shop because I've seen Cortland 2-handers there that sell for $200.00 or thereabouts, and I've seen Redingtons that sell for about $350.00. Seems to me these are lower priced 2-handers. I believe Aaron has about 55 2-hand rods in his shop at any given time and they range from the low priced ones (great rods for newcomers to spey casting to get) up to the high priced rods of T&T, Sage, Loop, and Meiser.