Humans want stuff. Specifically, American humans. American flyfishers want even more stuff. God this sport has gotten bogged down with stuff. The catalogs are full of stuff. I ranted about the new Orvis catalog on wvangler.com recently. The uber expensive novelties are growing like a cancer throughout that catalog. Orvis is in a heated race with Sage and Winston to see who can put out the most ridiculously expensive graphite rod. Pushing the market. I stopped in at Angler’s Xtreme in Parkersburg yesterday and talked to Rich & Dave.
P: So how much are the regular edition Helios rods going to cost?
R: (thumbing through price guide) Under $800. I can’t afford one.
P: Too much for production graphite, but don’t we all own graphite that we couldn’t afford? What about all that extra fluff?
R: Nothing stays in that catalog unless it sells. The greatest selling items from Orvis now are the women’s clothing line.
P: Hmmm, sounds like Abercrombie and Fitch all over again.
So I feel for these guys. They are kickass individuals running a business that is a difficult market sell in Georgetown, let alone Parkersburg (for those of you in Rio Linda, about a 4 day’s jog from a wild trout stream – 2 hour drive). I hope they keep plugging on, but I don’t like where Orvis is taking their market strategy. At least Sage doesn’t sell $400 flyswatters and cardigans. The growing niche in fly angling is the cyber generation. Not the pretentious a-holes with sweater vests who only fish 1 week of the year on private club-stockie water.
So that brings me to the gear that sets right with me. The stuff with good karma.
Calviello & Trucco Rods – Holy integrated bamboo ferrule Batman, these are awesome. The price is not bad either. I’ll own one of Marcelo’s rods someday. You just watch. The integrated bamboo ferrule is really unique. Some others may be doing it now (Marcelo makes no bones about how to do it…but it ain’t easy), but Marcelo pretty much perfected the technique. No dead spot on these blanks. He also uses native Argentinian bamboo…sweet. I dig innovators. Marcelo is a good guy too. Check out his blog.