Pandemic fly rod warranty blues.

hookedonthefly

Active Member
I just went thru a repair/replacement with Winston, sharing their name because they held up their end of the bargain from way back when. After sending them the broken rod, they told me the day they got the rod that they couldn't repair it, but could offer any of their lineup (except Air 2 which had just been released) as a replacement at no cost. I was expecting to have to pay (like some of the others who've changed their warranty policy), but after letting them know which rod I was looking for, they sent off a brand new Alpha + next day (and they paid for the 2 day shipping back to me). Turn around time was under 2 weeks. Thumbs up for Winston.
I am glad to hear that Winston stepped up. That is really good. It appears many companies go through this...not just the flyfishin’ industry. I forgot to mention them as a worst service company...about 8 years ago. I have 2 Winston rods. A client of mine bought a used Winston (not original owner)...the repair cost for a single-hander was $350. I called and asked them to look out for my client. “lady” was rude. I actually sent them 2 dirty Winston hats back with a polite; but, not so pleasant note. Told them I would never buy or recommend another Winston product. Ed
 

_WW_

Geriatric Skagit Swinger
WFF Premium
I feel so inadequate. I don't have enough lifetime warranty rods from different manufacturers, let alone breaking them, to even make a comparison between brands. I broke a Sage 8136 a few years back. It was a used rod I bought here on the forum. I think they charged me $125 and when it came back it had two new sections. I considered it a fair deal.
 

Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Premium
Honestly, I'm surprised that it's taken this long for many of these warranties to have their wording changed. There are just too many people that take complete advantage of it. It wouldn't surprise me if sometime in the near future, they'll just do away with them all together or have them as just an add-on.

It should be noted that in no way am I suggesting the OP is doing anything close to such a thing. I'm just noting what I experienced in a couple of years at Orvis....some stuff was just so egregious.
 

quilbilly

Big Time Hater
I feel so inadequate. I don't have enough lifetime warranty rods from different manufacturers, let alone breaking them, to even make a comparison between brands. I broke a Sage 8136 a few years back. It was a used rod I bought here on the forum. I think they charged me $125 and when it came back it had two new sections. I considered it a fair deal.
Just the fact that they'll fix it for a reasonable charge is enough for me...for whatever reason I'm just not inclined to try and game the system on warranty stuff.
YMMV
 
Here is a quote from my St. Croix's Legend rod warranty registration card that I purchased over 26 years ago:

Unconditional Lifetime Warranty
St. Croix will promptly repair or replace this Legend fly rod free of charge if it becomes damaged for any reason. This warranty applies to the original owner only. Damaged rods must be returned to: ......
Some of you may recall my sob story from last summer of driving off leaving my favorite St. Croix Legend Ultra on the roof of my car and going back to find it had been run over. It is a rod that is no longer made and I am eternally grateful to the forum member who had the exact model that he was willing to part with. I did contact St. Croix, who apparently only sells one line of fly rods now, and they gave me a new rod. It did take 7 months to deliver, due to aforesaid supply line issues. I bought the one I broke in 2003. I've fished the St. Croix replacement rod a couple of times now and really like it.

I've been hard on rods over the years and have taken advantage of lifetime warranties from Sage, Redington, and now St. Croix. None have required more than a service charge.
 
I think a direct comparison can be made to retirement benefits. For a couple of generations, private and public sector jobs often came with fixed benefits that accrued once you had put in enough time. These are becoming rarer and rarer as companies discover that they did not plan sufficiently to have the resources to pay out the pensions to retired employees. Most have now switched to investment based retirement plans where the money is invested while the employee is working and the employer has no lingering. commitment to meet after the employee retires.

Failing to honor a lifetime warranty on a fly rod is like the companies or municipalities that renege on their pension plans to retirees. The commitment was made up front and should be considered like a contract that cannot be broken unilaterally.
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Premium
Honestly, I'm surprised that it's taken this long for many of these warranties to have their wording changed. There are just too many people that take complete advantage of it...
taking complete advantage of it???
Now I believe that the "lifetime unconditional" warranty for rods was created to get anglers to switch from glass and bamboo to the early lightweight high modulus graphite rods, that were thought to be be brittle and would break, and others piled on because it attracted a lot of buyers.

But are the original owners abusing or stealing from a manufacturer when exercising their rights under the terms of a lifetime unconditional no-fault warranty agreement that the company made with them to get them to purchase a their rods?

BTW Tenkara-Keiryu-Seiryu-Ayu rods do not have warranties. That's OK because I've landed a few hundred fish and not broken one on a fish or even when snagging a tree or bush. Part of the reason I haven't broken more than one tip is the short collapsed length, and the very quick time it takes to collapse and redeploy them. But when I have done something stupid and broken a section of one of my (very good - high quality, designed in US, made in China) T-rods, I get online, order the section, pay $20 to $35, and it's at my door in 3 days. Very high quality Japanese rods, $35 to $50 and wait 1 to 2 weeks.
 
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Clarkman

Huge Fly Guy
WFF Premium
now you're putting words in my mouth. I never said anything specific to "no-fault" warranties. and yes, some many people take complete advantage of warranties on rods (and well, everything else under the sun that has a 'warranty'). You don't take a car in after an accident caused by you (when it's within the warranty period) and expect the warranty to cover the costs, right?

not to mention the fact that some folks seem to think that normal wear and tear constitutes a warranty replacement free of charge.
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Premium
taking complete advantage of it???
Now I believe that the "lifetime unconditional" warranty for rods was created to get anglers to switch from glass and bamboo to the early lightweight high modulus graphite rods, that were thought to be be brittle and would break, and others piled on because it attracted a lot of buyers.

But are the original owners abusing or stealing from a manufacturer when exercising their rights under the terms of a lifetime unconditional no-fault warranty agreement that the company made with them to get them to purchase a their rods?

BTW Tenkara-Keiryu-Seiryu-Ayu rods do not have warranties. That's OK because I've landed a few hundred fish and not broken one on a fish or even when snagging a tree or bush. But when I do something stupid and break a section of one of my (very good - high quality, designed in US, made in China) T-rods, I get online, order the section, pay $20 to $35, and it's at my door in 3 days. Very high quality Japanese rods, $35 to $50 and wait 1 to 2 weeks.
My mind went to non-original Owners who bought the rod used and got a blank warranty card with their purchase. Or original Owners who never fill out the warranty registration until after something bad happens so that they can resell for higher value because you can sell with blank warranty card. Dishonest on both parties in my opinion.
 

cdnred

Active Member
Fly fishermen have been paying dearly for fly rods on account of these lifetime warranties, some in the neighborhood of $800+. A 3 or 5 year warranty would be more suitable for a new rod. New cars offer a limited warranty and then offer an extended warranty if that's what you'd like to get. The same could be offered with new rods as well. As others have said earlier, if a defect doesn't appear it that amount of time then it would be more a case of abuse rather then an actual defect. Now that warranties seem to be getting re-worded, I'd hope that it would be reflected in lower prices as well..
 

kmudgn

Active Member
The cost of the "free" lifetime warranty on my Sage rods is now so high I will never buy new from them again
 

LilCutts

fish & whistle
WFF Premium
I can't imagine this is Sage. They've always taken care of me. I broke a tip clean off, which they would charge a flat fee for. I didn't even have a warranty, it was my TU lifetime member rod. I've also had them replace the top piece of an Approach, which they don't make anymore. The tip wouldn't stay connected and I kept throwing the top piece with my line. They're backed up like everybody else but I was surprised to get my rod back within a couple months.
 

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