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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Is it me ?

In this months T&S there is a 3 page spread on Hardys new HBX rod and reel range .
The rods are priced at £900 for a single hander and £1300 for a double handed .
I recently tried the Sage X and a mighty fine rod it is but at a RRP of £829 i will not be buying one. I bought my last premium rod about 4 years ago at a discount , I was still baulking at the price.

Am I alone in thinking prices have gone bonkers?
 

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They know people will pay it so they set the price to suit. I would rather wait a couple of years and grab the same rod from john norris second hand section. It may be older tech by then but still a step up from my current set up so i would get the same benefit if there is any benefit for the average caster.

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There's one certainty: no one is making great profits or getting rich making salmon rods (except the VAT man). This is because the UK & Ireland market for premium salmon rods (i.e. priced over £450) is about 1,000 units per year, and declining. That means a lot of overheads loaded on very few rods. There's a rough explanation of the economics in Where the Money Goes.

When Hardy was owned by the Sheldon Group they were losing money on every salmon rod they made, except for the Alnwick finished Sintrix Artisan series (around £1500+), which they could sell faster than they could make them. There are and have always been people with enough money to indulge their tastes: that's why Rolls Royce (£200K per car), Purdey (£100K per gun) and the best Savile Row tailors (£7500 per suit) are still in business.

The most transparent economic model of salmon rod manufacture is provided by Bruce and Walker. They don't change their models very often, minimise their overheads, work in England and sell direct to the public. The result is a first class rod selling for around £650 (Norway 14' 4 piece). A similar rod made by another company in England and sold via retailers would have an RRP around £880 (the retailer has to make a living as do his staff).

Hardy are not expecting you to buy one.
 

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Puuh! That’s a new announcement in price.
Of course for most of us it’s simply crazy much money that should be paid for a rod!
But, as already have been said, it’s a very small market and there are people behind each single new rod, being involved in work to make their living.
There will be people to buy all those rods, for sure. It’s okay.
And it’s not only you who is in doubt if one needs the newest and most expensive rods.
But anyway and no matter, which fraction each single one belongs to:
Isn’t it interesting? New materials, refined methods in building process, maybe less weight, better feeling...
We all, each single one who can’t afford those prices for the newest rods and maybe who are looking only for the best bargain in a rod, is participating of the benefits of those expensive rods and their buyers !
No expensive rods, no development in technology - that simple ! And no used rods market and no cheaper way to get one of those after discontinued...

I for myself?
...very very picky with my equipment, testing and testing, trying out everything new most of the time.
I for myself don’t see the need to jump in for the newest rod at once. I am covered with rods all over. Too many... It’s crazy what I already own. It’s becoming difficult what to choose.
After all I am convinced, it’s not the rod for itself, it’s the combination with the line. It can be a lot of work to find the perfect fit.
I also think in the last years there was a bigger step in line technology and inventions in line taper than it was in rod technology - when it comes down to the pure effect for itself in performance.
For now my old rods got new lines and became better than ever... Compared side by side regularly with the newest of the newest in rods they stay with me. Only some new rods join the Harem...from time to time...
And mostly it’s because of the taper and consistency I am looking for in a rod.
But there are so many more aspects in a rod that can’t be taken by rationality alone. Everybody who is fishing and loves what he is doing knows.
Always interesting!
 

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Why not if you can afford it , when people work hard and gain success and wealth what does it matter what they spend their money on , all I can say is fair play to anyone that's able to buy the latest rods and reels and go to the best fishing destinations .
 

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Its not the rod that makes the man

I fell in to that trap.
I was on the North Esk last weekend and didnt have a 10ft 6wt to fish the hitch so rang norrises and got a shakey agility 6 and 7wt posted up for round £100 for me and my father in law. Great rods. Not once did i feel i was struggling.
 

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Latest geat

Why not if you can afford it , when people work hard and gain success and wealth what does it matter what they spend their money on , all I can say is fair play to anyone that's able to buy the latest rods and reels and go to the best fishing destinations .
Dont have a problem anyone buying top gear it's going to happen I do it myself
 

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Doing a little writing and conservation work here in the states I've been able to buy most equipment at wholesale pricing. As a result I've bought the latest generations of rods for quite a few years now, and sold the older ones to my friends. To be honest I was just as happy with what I was buying 15 years ago as I am with the latest products. As wetwader said, I think the advancement in line tapers has been more revolutionary and useful than anything.
 

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If people can afford the latest high end tackle and they get pleasure using them then good luck to them. My concern is more that if salmon fishing is in decline we will loose the great choice and innovation in all aspects of the sport which we enjoy today.
I would definitely agree that the advancement in lines has been the biggest change for my fishing and even here as volumes decline the prices increase
 

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I wouldn't moan at all, have paid wonga for top end rods before and probably will again.Never pay the asking price though.
Any way, you should take a step back and look at what coarse fishing gear cost's.If you are into match fishing especially on the team or open circuit ,spending the brass really does make a difference!.Several time's I've spent £1000's + on long poles, and you do get what you pay for!,look at the cost for new fancy seat box's, that will make ones wallet bleed.
As for whether a rod is worth it or not?,well I for one take pride in a good rod.I'm serious about my fishing and when I dip my hand into the bank of Rennie to go fishing somewhere I want to do the best job I can,I want something up to the job and more, that won't let me down, will give that little more than I ask and is always better than I am.
I agree with any one whole heartedly about buying second hand or pre owned, a good rods still a good rod.However when the times right for me to buy and I've done my homework, unless outrageously so the price isn't an issue and thats low as well as high!.I've some excellent very good less than £100 rods bought new!,I've also a few that were a bit more!.
One thing I never ever hold stock with at all is that a rods good because its cheap!
Having been round the block the odd time,I've seen quite a lot, more so than most maybe, I've seen the folly of spending unwisely-and believe you me that go's both expensively and cheaply!
An individual will be very lucky indeed to source a Wow! rod for a song, maybe over time or second hand, there is jealousy out there in many forms and what is one mans meat may well be another's poison etc.But honestly some of you should just try getting hold of your own wow rod now and again,it may well not be cheap and may well be expensive and it may well not be the one you think either!
The last bit is never pleasant to say or even hint at, but for the learning caster some rods will do a lot to help initialy(which is great) but only to a certain level.However the more expensive rods while technically more advanced will demand a higher input from the caster in terms of casting skills.The rod will give you more, but only if you understand and are capable of doing the necessary!.Many seem disappointed when an expensive rod fails to transform their casting skills instantly!.Forgive me all, no offence intended but a trip to a casting instructor may well pay better dividend than forking out on a Loomis NRX,Sage X or what ever.Maybe after a few years and some casting and fishing miles under the belt.
If you are serious about your sporting pleasure, just maybe there's a different perspective to some one who is less driven by the sport!.
Any road, tight lines dude's and dudette's what ever sticks you wave over Salar.
Pedro.
 
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Any angler spending that sums of money on the latest gear, in the current salmo climate, quite frankly needs their head examined. I’ve stated on here before I admire those who work hard for it and earn the right to purchase what they want and fish the waters that still produce at great expense, but to me it’s like driving down the road in your car rolling down the window and throwing a bunch of £50 notes out. Don’t tell me there is not better things to be spending that money on, family .. friends .. charity even. And as for companies making barely a profit and scraping by, spare me, there’ll be plenty margins in those rods still or they wouldn’t produce. And if not now, they’ve had it coming for ripping off the anglers for years when the sales were there, or simply not squirrelling profits away in times of bounty. It’s the second hand market for me, in fact no market, I’ll fish with what I’ve got and replace consumables of lines nylon hooks and flies and that’s it. The fishing is kaput.

DCH
 

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Les

One of the best salmon fishermen I knew, old Les, had an ancient reel most folk would have been annoyed if they'd found it.

One of the bars was welded to side casing with a massive lump of weld. Great countryman and a sad loss. I have to laugh at the gear nowadays but it's like golf: latest-this-that-and-the-other every year - its a must. Keeps the Chinese and Korean economies going.

Any angler spending that sums of money on the latest gear, in the current salmo climate, quick frankly needs their head examined. I've stated on here before I admire those who work hard for it and earn the right to purchase what they want and fish the waters that still produce at great expense, but to me it's like driving down the road in your car rolling down the window and throwing a bunch of £50 notes out. Don't tell me there is not better things to be spending that money on, family .. friends .. charity even. And as for companies making barely a profit and scraping by, spare me, there'll be plenty margins in those rods still or they wouldn't produce. And if not now, they've had it coming for ripping off the anglers for years when the sales were there, or simply not squirrelling profits away in times of bounty. It's the second hand market for me, in fact no market, I'll fish with what I've got and replace consumables of lines nylon hooks and flies and that's it. The fishing is kaput.

DCH
 

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And as for companies making barely a profit and scraping by, spare me, there'll be plenty margins in those rods still or they wouldn't produce. And if not now, they've had it coming for ripping off the anglers for years when the sales were there, or simply not squirrelling profits away in times of bounty.

DCH
Don,

believe me, there's very little money in the salmon rod business. I know how to run a profitable business and once spent a month crawling through rod companies' accounts, talking to executives and crunching numbers in Excel, and the same answers kept coming out in red ink.

For example:
Hardy - on the ropes until taken over by Pure. The money making bits had nothing to do with fishing tackle.
Loop - re-financed 3 times before being taken over by a Canadian billionaire with a fishing hobby.
Guideline - a brand and design house, with everything else as lean as it gets with outsourced manufacture.
Vision - likewise.
Loomis - brand taken over by Shimano (who make most of their money from cycle components)
Orvis - tackle side heavily supported by travel, leisure, lifestyle and clothing

A lot of people in the fishing tackle business are there because they like fishing, not because they wish to get rich.
 
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Don,

believe me, there's very little money in the salmon rod business. I know how to run a profitable business and once spent a month crawling through rod companies' accounts, talking to executives and crunching numbers in Excel, and the same answers kept coming out in red ink.

For example:
Hardy - on the ropes until taken over by Pure. The money making bits had nothing to do with fishing tackle.
Loop - re-financed 3 times before being taken over by a Canadian billionaire with a fishing hobby.
Guideline - a brand and design house, with everything else as lean as it gets with outsourced manufacture.
Vision - likewise.
Loomis - brand taken over by Shimano (who make most of their money from cycle components)
Orvis - tackle side heavily supported by travel, leisure, lifestyle and clothing

A lot of people in the fishing tackle business are there because they like fishing, not because they wish to get rich.
The accounts wouldn't always have looked like that I'd bet, all built up brands based on profits, and as you state because many in the business are there because they like Fishing, therein maybe lies the problem.

DCH
 

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Hardy

I live near Hardy's, they built a great name as innovators but had an arrogant management probably stemming from the nature of the business and the social status of the family.

They must have done well, as you say, since they owned Hempsford, Junction and Sprouston on Tweed at one time. I think they bought these from one of the old Roxburghs going though a lean spell. Females were involved and not just to make sandwiches.

They had at least one beat on the Wye too and maybe interests in Norway.

When Harris and Sheldon ( H & S ) bought them out, it was for the fishing above. The fishing was then stripped out by the buyer who had received an unbelievable offer for the wallboard business of H & S - they were one of my customers. He was left with the lift business of H & S which I think was the more profitable part anyway.

They were then hit by massive competition and were too slow in reacting - trying to live upon arrogance and a former good name was the route to failure.

p.s. I think they had Stanley on Tay too, maybe more.

The accounts wouldn't always have looked like that I'd bet, all built up brands based on profits, and as you state because many in the business are there because they like Fishing, therein maybe lies the problem.

DCH
 

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The accounts wouldn't always have looked like that I'd bet, all built up brands based on profits, and as you state because many in the business are there because they like Fishing, therein maybe lies the problem.

DCH
Unfortunately past profits are irrelevant especially once bigger business buy family owned businesses. I am sure many years ago at it's hey day some companies made money. The problem is today and if a business does not make money it is usually sold, forced to diversify and deprioritise fishing or shut down. I suspect this is going to be a future reality for some big brands which I think will be a shame.
 
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