Tackle for a Loss

Regarding the Monday Report (Dec. 7) on fishing tackle: One of the issues facing the consumer is a confusion about the country of origin of many products. While the name may look as American as apple pie or as British as bangers and mash, in reality tackle is being brought inform all over the globe. Many products simply are not made for American fishing needs. For example, fly reels with interchangeable spools don't fit and the frames are often slightly egg shaped.

Ross Reels of Montrose, Colo., was running at full production capacity, yet was back-ordered all last season. People have had it with cheap imported tackle that falls apart on their "trip of a lifetime" to Alaska or Mexico and so are willing to pay $150 or more for a quality, fully machined (not die cast) fly reel.

The mass merchandisers are no help, either. Poorly trained staff--people who don't know (or care) about a properly balanced rod, reel and line--are hurting the industry. A consumer who buys a product and finds that it doesn't work, or is wrong for the species of fish being sought, often just gives up on the sport.

Tackle stores that specialize in an area--fly fishing, ocean, bass or whatever--as well as give instruction, book trips, do repairs and others services will continue to grow as the backbone of the industry.



(Editor's note: Mintz is a public relations representative for a number of small U.S. fishing tackle manufacturers and retailers.)

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