scud dog wrote:
WNC, in my opinion the Thomas and Thomas Heirloom at $760 and the other rods in the Hardy lineup makes these Sirrus rods look cheap.
Sure, by those measuring sticks.
I guess my point is that I basically see there as being four tiers (based on price, not necessarily quality) of production rods: (4) Ultra low (Cabela's, especially when on sale); (3) low (sub-$300, so Fenwick, Echo, Redington); (2) mid ($400ish, so Orvis and the new Hardy); and (1) top ($600+, so Scott, Epic studio builds). Not quite sure where Diamondback fits at $325 and I'm sure I left some companies out.
Anyway, I can see a lot of people opting for a Cabela's or one of the low category rods (not saying $300 isn't a lot of money, just that it's less than $400 and a lot less than $600) because they're buying their first glass rod, that's the top of their budget or they could but just don't want to spend more for a rod. And I can see a lot of people, where budget isn't really an issue, opting for a Scott, an Epic or a custom rod. But, in my view at least, that middle category is tough. You have to convince the consumer that your product is $100-$150 "better" than the lower category, and also so good that they shouldn't spend $200 more for a top category rod (or only $100 more for a custom Steffen). At least Orvis has its own stores and a certain core customer base that is happy to buy what they see on the Orvis rod rack and not look around elsewhere. I think it'll be tougher for Hardy.
I don't think I'm wading into political territory here, but looking beyond the fly fishing industry the last couple of years there's been kind of a barbell syndrome among retailers. This is obviously a generalization and there are exception at every level, but for the most part the dollar store/low-priced retailers have done well, the luxury retailers have done well but the mid-tier retailers have struggled.
Anyway, I've become a big Hardy fan. As said above I love my Zenith and I love what they're doing with their reels. I just think their price point may be challenging with this new offering. I guess we'l; see. Obviously a lot will depend on reviews.