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April 17, 2009

Fly Fishing Purchases: Fly Shop or Internet?

By Tim Romano

Our friends over at Midcurrent.com posted an interesting story via the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette written by John Hayes. It's regarding the $800+ million in sales that's spent total in the fly fishing industry. The question is, are these people spending their money online or in the specialty fly shop?  

Personally I do pretty much all of my purchases in my local fly shop. Luckily we have four in town and I rather like the personal attention, quality information, free coffee and doughnuts I get when I go to pick up a couple leaders or flies for my day out. Plus you just don't get tips like the one below when purchasing online.

There seems to be a perceived value getting almost anything online. I'm not so sure this exists in fly fishing... What about you, where do you get your fly fishing gear? Specialty fly shops, national chains or online sources?

TR

Comments (28)

Top Rated
All Comments
from MB915 wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I shop both online and at my local fly shop. The only real reason I go to the local shop is to get reports on certain streams and get some tips on what I might need to catch some fish. These guys are always very knowledgeable, just a matter of getting the info out of them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I live near the coast but not close enough to the actual beach to have a good selection of merchants. So fly fishing shops are near none existent. We do have one of those yuppie outdoor sports shops that smells of patchouli with a decent selection of tying materials. So most purchases are on-line for me with the exception of rods. I will almost always buy a rod in person just because the extra shipping due to length negates a reduced price found on-line most of the time. If I ever do buy a rod online it will be because I have pined over it in a store for awhile and know what I am getting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ramcatt wrote 5 years 4 days ago

John Hayes is a douchebag of the highest caliber
I would not believe ANYTHING he "writes"

the internet is hurting fly shops??? real cutting edge stuff there John

He is also the kind of guy who would go to a fly shop to spec a rod and buy it online for less.
His "articles" are the kind of fluff that fail to address the true complexes and challenges of any situation.

The shop in the article is a bi-weekly stop for me... usually for about an hour
great guys... super helpfully... help any skill level

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from TheRiverYeti wrote 5 years 4 days ago

With all due respect to those with a differing opinion, I'll tell a quick story: Had a friend who owned a small brick and mortar store (not fishing related). Folks liked to come in and play with the gear, test out their options, compare brands, get a custom professional opinion. Then they'd say thanks and leave. Two weeks later they'd be back with a piece of equipment they played with in his store but purchased on line for $5 less, or sometimes only saving the cost of state sales tax, having trouble figuring out how to use it, and wanting someone to show them how. They never spent a dime in the store, but they expected my friend and his employees to share their expertise free of charge. Viewing everyone as a potential customer, they would politely share their knowledge (again, and frustratingly so).

I see it at the local fly shop, too. Folks stop in wanting to know the current hatch, the hot streamer color, the river conditions, etc. etc. etc. But they never spend a dime. They want the local expertise, but they don't do much to support the ability of the local expert to keep his doors open to provide such information. You may pay a few cents or a few dollars more at a local privately owned fly shop, friends, but hopefully you are getting a highly valued service in return. That service is worth *something*.

Yes, there are times when mail order/online purchases are needed, like if they just don't have or can't get what you need or some such. But in general, I believe in supporting my local business owners.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from scooby wrote 5 years 4 days ago

Rods and reels online; store owners pitch what they carry, and don't always have enough selection.

Everything else at the store; basically buying advice, but when you've blown a few hundred bucks to get to your destination, another hundred at the shop to get the right colored caddis emerger is worth it, and if the logo hat gets them free advertising, so much the better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 5 years 4 days ago

River Yeti, I could not agree with you more.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I must say that I use both. The lack of a rod building supply store near the springs has me on the net buying rod building supplies. And as of late, I have been keeping track of all my fly tying hardware(hooks, lead eyes, beads). I shop online to get the best bang for the buck as this is the bulk of fly tying costs for me. I do buy hardware at a local shop too, but only where I can get it just as cheap or very close to the same price per unit. I buy all my feathers, marabou, flash, tinsel, thread and a few other items at a local shop. The information I've gotten from the owner is awesome, so much so that I won't go looking online for the things I buy from his shop.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from O. Clarki wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I buy most everything from my local fly shop because I want them to stay in business. I order some things from shops that have websites I check regularly as compensation for having provided me some information even though I don't know a soul there. Never buy fly gear from the big internet retailers. The only time I deviate from this pattern is for a specific item that the shop doesn't have. Too often lack of inventory is the biggest reason I go elsewhere.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I'm a touchy feely kind of guy. I have to have my hands on something before I buy it. I've never understood how a person can buy a rod over the internet without first seeing how it feels in your hand or how the reel will balance it.

Even something as simple as fly tying material. Who wants to buy a hackle with a bunch of webbing or short stubby deer hair when your looking for longer hair.

I can't buy from a picture in a catalog. No way.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 5 years 4 days ago

When you don't have a job, you can't afford to spend 30$ more on something just because its from a privately owned store.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vfgdarin wrote 5 years 4 days ago

The rapidly growing extinction of the local fly shop is a sad commentary of our current age. Technology and online shopping is a reflection of society. The fly fishing industry is no different. Stopping in to a local fly shop to pick up supplies or to just hang out and share stories was the Mayberry-like atmosphere we are losing. The biggest benefit of the local fly shop, in my humble opinion, is to mentor the new fly fishers. Teach the basics and instill the responsible practices like “catch and release” and the like. And most of all, sharing your knowledge so others can enjoy this extraordinary experience of catching fish on a fly.

It’s my belief that fly shops, outfitters, and professional guides have to accept some of the blame for the demise of their livelihood. The focus for many has become the almighty dollar. The push from fly shops to manipulate customers into believing that hiring a guide or buying a ton of stuff is the only path to success are symptoms of this trend. On more than one occasion, in different locations around the west, fly shop representatives have demonstrated this attitude that the customer is clueless and if you don’t follow the advice of the shop, you are more or less an idiot. The attempt to make fly fishing a mystery has contributed to their destruction. Whatever happened to customer service?

Not all shops are like what is described above. My local shop here in Tucson, Dry Creek Outfitters, has gone above and beyond to demonstrate customer service. In addition to catering to their clients, the shop hosts a Lie and Tie, where fly fishers can come and hang out, tie flies, and share stories. There are others shops who have not given in to the pressure sell mentality and I applaud them.

If your fly shop is suffering from the growing trend of losing sales to online shops, ask yourself if you are putting the customer first. Fly fishing is much too fun keep secret. Share what you know and maybe you will have a customer for life.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 4 days ago

Seems the in store stocks of fly tying materials has been gradually decreasing over the years ... as had the number of local fly fishing shops. It hurts the soul whenever one disappears. Some things just have to be ordered.

I always stop in at local shops to say, "Hi!" and buy a handful of flies. Fair for the advise. Plus the flies are locally produced for the waters. One shop/lodge has an excellent fairly priced restaurant. Had some memorable meals there with people that mean a lot to me. There is one shop that I will go of my way for, mostly because of the owners' great contributions to the conservation of the local watershed. Have waited to purchase a couple of nice reels so I could pick it up at their shop. Just a little way to say, "Thanks!" for all they have done.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from j-johnson17 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

It depends on what I'm buying... I purchase nearly 100% of my fly tying materials/supplies online. The prices are generally better and I never have to wonder if what I want is in stock.

When it comes to rods and reels, vests, and lines, I try to buy everything from my local shops, or at least from local shops online stores.

I live in SE Colorado, and I have two fly shops in town. They are OK, but that is about it. I can make online purchases from fly shops that I used to go to in Denver, and I still feel like I'm supporting the local businesses...

The thing about the online stuff is it is so convenient. However, I would have a hard time purchasing a rod online, unless it is already a model I am very familiar with...even then I'd rather go to a shop and pick up the rod.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from abcdpete wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I used to buy flies online until I noticed them falling apart a dozen or so casts later. You might pay a buck or so more but it's worth it in my opinion. I hit a shop near the Roaring Fork valley a few years back and was sold about a dozen flies. The guy in the shop who sold them to us was a wealth of information. I used every fly on an epic day of fishing. We didn't remember how much the flies cost, nor did we care. We just remembered the quality outing. Priceless.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 5 years 3 days ago

If I go into a store and someone shares local info or is friendly I always by something to show my appreciation for good customer service. Even if I already have what I need. It is amazing how many times you go in and ask "What are they biting on?" and get the answer, "I don't know." It boggles my mind. I am standing there with money in my pocket ready to make a purchase and get that.
I am extremely lucky in that two of my friends guide in the Roaring Fork Valley and sell me flies at what amounts to wholesale price. I stock up whenever I visit the valley. I also have a friend who ties my pike flies for giggles if I buy the materials.
I never buy over the internet, I'm too old fashioned and I like to see, touch and feel what I am buying. I will say that recently I have contemplated buying some stuff because my local stores don't stock them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jerry k wrote 5 years 3 days ago

who needs the internet when you have great shops like the hatch and the bluequill angler

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 5 years 3 days ago

i remember when you used to be able to get a cup of coffee at the fly shop. either way i prefer to get my stuff there than online.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I feel that way about most any shop

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I went to a local shop for pretty much everything... until it closed and left town like a thief in the night.

I still go to some "local" shops, but one is an hour from home and the other is along a stream I frequently fish about 90 minutes from home. I probably order about 1/3rd of the stuff I buy per year.

yrs-
Evan!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bassgittinart@b... wrote 5 years 2 days ago

I have no fly shops close to were I live so I usely order from catalogs. Feather-Craft in ST. Louis,MO. has been in business since 1955 and has great stuff. I also order from cabelas and bass pro shops. When we go to the Smookie Mountains I like to go to Little River Outfitters to buy flies for the local streams.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Troutdawg wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Great thread and I do both, but prefer local shops if possible!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from anselmo wrote 5 years 2 days ago

I'd prefer to shop in a fly shop but there are none here in Dublin. There are a couple of tackle shops (complete with the obligatory surly service and lack of stock), but when I went in asking for fluorocarbon tippet and was asked 2 questions: whats fluorocarbon, whats tippet? I realised maybe these places weren't the best for me and my needs! They do ok for emergency stuff like a certain colour of thread if I run out and need some urgently (only if I need black or white though), or if I'm (shock horror) going bait fishing and need bait. Generally though its not only cheaper to buy from the UK or even the US and Japan, but I get a better range, better price (even allowing for postage and potential customs charges) and definitely MUCH better service. My fishing (which encompasses fly fishing, float/bait fishing, lure fishing, fly tying and tying fully dressed classic salmon flies) tends to use items I just cannot get for love nor money over here so the net shops do tend to get my business. That said, when I travel to fish, I ALWAYS visit the local fly shop (if there is one) and buy some local flies, get fresh tippet material, and chat to the shop guys. You guys in the US with fly shops close by - I hope you realise how lucky you are!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbc149 wrote 5 years 1 day ago

I shop at both local fly shops and online. Normally, the online price is cheeper, but there are some things (rod, reel, waders, etc.) that you just have to have you hands on to test it out before purchasing. Also, the "service" being sold at teh local stores can't be matched by any online site.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 1 day ago

One of the main reason why I shop online is for the prices. A lot of the prices online outbeat the outdoors stores. Although I like the advice the and the helpfulness of the clerks, it often comes as an added price.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Meat without Feet wrote 5 years 19 hours ago

That's a great thread. What about local fly shops vs. big box stores. Personally I'm gearing up for the campaign "Friends don't let friends shop boxes". That's the working title, at least.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 5 years 19 hours ago

I see the internet as an extension of a fly shop, if one decides to participate. Consider it The Back Room. An opportunity to reach people hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Any shop can develop a web page, a site, extending their inventory farther than ever imagined. I see it more as a tool than an encumbrance.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

The trick is going to be for the local fly shops to get in on the internet. One shop mentioned somewhere else in this thread, Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN., is doing this. I would guess it is the only way for them to keep afloat. You have to really want to go to that shop as Townsend is not on the way to anything. Byron really goes out of the way to be sure the personal touch is not lost in the internet commerce. I know that a lot of shops don't have the financial ability to do this, but it has been a good marriage in some instances.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from agiyo wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

I started fly fishing early last year, bought some stuff online before I discovered that I live 4 miles from one of the best stores of any type I have ever visited, River City Fly Shop in Tigard, Oregon. Since then, I have bought online only to use a gift card I'd received, or when River City did not have what I wanted. It is an investment that pays exponentially; the guys in the Fly Shop know so much, and it is cheating to go in there and ask for advice, then send my money to some stranger across the country. Besides, most brick and mortar stores are well aware of the internet competition and offer very decent prices. AND, I have never dealt with any store of any kind that offers the service these guys do.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from TheRiverYeti wrote 5 years 4 days ago

With all due respect to those with a differing opinion, I'll tell a quick story: Had a friend who owned a small brick and mortar store (not fishing related). Folks liked to come in and play with the gear, test out their options, compare brands, get a custom professional opinion. Then they'd say thanks and leave. Two weeks later they'd be back with a piece of equipment they played with in his store but purchased on line for $5 less, or sometimes only saving the cost of state sales tax, having trouble figuring out how to use it, and wanting someone to show them how. They never spent a dime in the store, but they expected my friend and his employees to share their expertise free of charge. Viewing everyone as a potential customer, they would politely share their knowledge (again, and frustratingly so).

I see it at the local fly shop, too. Folks stop in wanting to know the current hatch, the hot streamer color, the river conditions, etc. etc. etc. But they never spend a dime. They want the local expertise, but they don't do much to support the ability of the local expert to keep his doors open to provide such information. You may pay a few cents or a few dollars more at a local privately owned fly shop, friends, but hopefully you are getting a highly valued service in return. That service is worth *something*.

Yes, there are times when mail order/online purchases are needed, like if they just don't have or can't get what you need or some such. But in general, I believe in supporting my local business owners.

+5 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ramcatt wrote 5 years 4 days ago

John Hayes is a douchebag of the highest caliber
I would not believe ANYTHING he "writes"

the internet is hurting fly shops??? real cutting edge stuff there John

He is also the kind of guy who would go to a fly shop to spec a rod and buy it online for less.
His "articles" are the kind of fluff that fail to address the true complexes and challenges of any situation.

The shop in the article is a bi-weekly stop for me... usually for about an hour
great guys... super helpfully... help any skill level

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from vfgdarin wrote 5 years 4 days ago

The rapidly growing extinction of the local fly shop is a sad commentary of our current age. Technology and online shopping is a reflection of society. The fly fishing industry is no different. Stopping in to a local fly shop to pick up supplies or to just hang out and share stories was the Mayberry-like atmosphere we are losing. The biggest benefit of the local fly shop, in my humble opinion, is to mentor the new fly fishers. Teach the basics and instill the responsible practices like “catch and release” and the like. And most of all, sharing your knowledge so others can enjoy this extraordinary experience of catching fish on a fly.

It’s my belief that fly shops, outfitters, and professional guides have to accept some of the blame for the demise of their livelihood. The focus for many has become the almighty dollar. The push from fly shops to manipulate customers into believing that hiring a guide or buying a ton of stuff is the only path to success are symptoms of this trend. On more than one occasion, in different locations around the west, fly shop representatives have demonstrated this attitude that the customer is clueless and if you don’t follow the advice of the shop, you are more or less an idiot. The attempt to make fly fishing a mystery has contributed to their destruction. Whatever happened to customer service?

Not all shops are like what is described above. My local shop here in Tucson, Dry Creek Outfitters, has gone above and beyond to demonstrate customer service. In addition to catering to their clients, the shop hosts a Lie and Tie, where fly fishers can come and hang out, tie flies, and share stories. There are others shops who have not given in to the pressure sell mentality and I applaud them.

If your fly shop is suffering from the growing trend of losing sales to online shops, ask yourself if you are putting the customer first. Fly fishing is much too fun keep secret. Share what you know and maybe you will have a customer for life.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 5 years 4 days ago

River Yeti, I could not agree with you more.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I must say that I use both. The lack of a rod building supply store near the springs has me on the net buying rod building supplies. And as of late, I have been keeping track of all my fly tying hardware(hooks, lead eyes, beads). I shop online to get the best bang for the buck as this is the bulk of fly tying costs for me. I do buy hardware at a local shop too, but only where I can get it just as cheap or very close to the same price per unit. I buy all my feathers, marabou, flash, tinsel, thread and a few other items at a local shop. The information I've gotten from the owner is awesome, so much so that I won't go looking online for the things I buy from his shop.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from O. Clarki wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I buy most everything from my local fly shop because I want them to stay in business. I order some things from shops that have websites I check regularly as compensation for having provided me some information even though I don't know a soul there. Never buy fly gear from the big internet retailers. The only time I deviate from this pattern is for a specific item that the shop doesn't have. Too often lack of inventory is the biggest reason I go elsewhere.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I'm a touchy feely kind of guy. I have to have my hands on something before I buy it. I've never understood how a person can buy a rod over the internet without first seeing how it feels in your hand or how the reel will balance it.

Even something as simple as fly tying material. Who wants to buy a hackle with a bunch of webbing or short stubby deer hair when your looking for longer hair.

I can't buy from a picture in a catalog. No way.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MLH wrote 5 years 4 days ago

Seems the in store stocks of fly tying materials has been gradually decreasing over the years ... as had the number of local fly fishing shops. It hurts the soul whenever one disappears. Some things just have to be ordered.

I always stop in at local shops to say, "Hi!" and buy a handful of flies. Fair for the advise. Plus the flies are locally produced for the waters. One shop/lodge has an excellent fairly priced restaurant. Had some memorable meals there with people that mean a lot to me. There is one shop that I will go of my way for, mostly because of the owners' great contributions to the conservation of the local watershed. Have waited to purchase a couple of nice reels so I could pick it up at their shop. Just a little way to say, "Thanks!" for all they have done.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from j-johnson17 wrote 5 years 3 days ago

It depends on what I'm buying... I purchase nearly 100% of my fly tying materials/supplies online. The prices are generally better and I never have to wonder if what I want is in stock.

When it comes to rods and reels, vests, and lines, I try to buy everything from my local shops, or at least from local shops online stores.

I live in SE Colorado, and I have two fly shops in town. They are OK, but that is about it. I can make online purchases from fly shops that I used to go to in Denver, and I still feel like I'm supporting the local businesses...

The thing about the online stuff is it is so convenient. However, I would have a hard time purchasing a rod online, unless it is already a model I am very familiar with...even then I'd rather go to a shop and pick up the rod.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from abcdpete wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I used to buy flies online until I noticed them falling apart a dozen or so casts later. You might pay a buck or so more but it's worth it in my opinion. I hit a shop near the Roaring Fork valley a few years back and was sold about a dozen flies. The guy in the shop who sold them to us was a wealth of information. I used every fly on an epic day of fishing. We didn't remember how much the flies cost, nor did we care. We just remembered the quality outing. Priceless.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from chuckles wrote 5 years 3 days ago

If I go into a store and someone shares local info or is friendly I always by something to show my appreciation for good customer service. Even if I already have what I need. It is amazing how many times you go in and ask "What are they biting on?" and get the answer, "I don't know." It boggles my mind. I am standing there with money in my pocket ready to make a purchase and get that.
I am extremely lucky in that two of my friends guide in the Roaring Fork Valley and sell me flies at what amounts to wholesale price. I stock up whenever I visit the valley. I also have a friend who ties my pike flies for giggles if I buy the materials.
I never buy over the internet, I'm too old fashioned and I like to see, touch and feel what I am buying. I will say that recently I have contemplated buying some stuff because my local stores don't stock them.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 5 years 3 days ago

i remember when you used to be able to get a cup of coffee at the fly shop. either way i prefer to get my stuff there than online.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Meat without Feet wrote 5 years 19 hours ago

That's a great thread. What about local fly shops vs. big box stores. Personally I'm gearing up for the campaign "Friends don't let friends shop boxes". That's the working title, at least.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 5 years 19 hours ago

I see the internet as an extension of a fly shop, if one decides to participate. Consider it The Back Room. An opportunity to reach people hundreds or even thousands of miles away. Any shop can develop a web page, a site, extending their inventory farther than ever imagined. I see it more as a tool than an encumbrance.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from MB915 wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I shop both online and at my local fly shop. The only real reason I go to the local shop is to get reports on certain streams and get some tips on what I might need to catch some fish. These guys are always very knowledgeable, just a matter of getting the info out of them.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from vtbluegrass wrote 5 years 4 days ago

I live near the coast but not close enough to the actual beach to have a good selection of merchants. So fly fishing shops are near none existent. We do have one of those yuppie outdoor sports shops that smells of patchouli with a decent selection of tying materials. So most purchases are on-line for me with the exception of rods. I will almost always buy a rod in person just because the extra shipping due to length negates a reduced price found on-line most of the time. If I ever do buy a rod online it will be because I have pined over it in a store for awhile and know what I am getting.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from scooby wrote 5 years 4 days ago

Rods and reels online; store owners pitch what they carry, and don't always have enough selection.

Everything else at the store; basically buying advice, but when you've blown a few hundred bucks to get to your destination, another hundred at the shop to get the right colored caddis emerger is worth it, and if the logo hat gets them free advertising, so much the better.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 5 years 4 days ago

When you don't have a job, you can't afford to spend 30$ more on something just because its from a privately owned store.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jerry k wrote 5 years 3 days ago

who needs the internet when you have great shops like the hatch and the bluequill angler

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I feel that way about most any shop

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejunk wrote 5 years 3 days ago

I went to a local shop for pretty much everything... until it closed and left town like a thief in the night.

I still go to some "local" shops, but one is an hour from home and the other is along a stream I frequently fish about 90 minutes from home. I probably order about 1/3rd of the stuff I buy per year.

yrs-
Evan!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bassgittinart@b... wrote 5 years 2 days ago

I have no fly shops close to were I live so I usely order from catalogs. Feather-Craft in ST. Louis,MO. has been in business since 1955 and has great stuff. I also order from cabelas and bass pro shops. When we go to the Smookie Mountains I like to go to Little River Outfitters to buy flies for the local streams.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Troutdawg wrote 5 years 2 days ago

Great thread and I do both, but prefer local shops if possible!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from anselmo wrote 5 years 2 days ago

I'd prefer to shop in a fly shop but there are none here in Dublin. There are a couple of tackle shops (complete with the obligatory surly service and lack of stock), but when I went in asking for fluorocarbon tippet and was asked 2 questions: whats fluorocarbon, whats tippet? I realised maybe these places weren't the best for me and my needs! They do ok for emergency stuff like a certain colour of thread if I run out and need some urgently (only if I need black or white though), or if I'm (shock horror) going bait fishing and need bait. Generally though its not only cheaper to buy from the UK or even the US and Japan, but I get a better range, better price (even allowing for postage and potential customs charges) and definitely MUCH better service. My fishing (which encompasses fly fishing, float/bait fishing, lure fishing, fly tying and tying fully dressed classic salmon flies) tends to use items I just cannot get for love nor money over here so the net shops do tend to get my business. That said, when I travel to fish, I ALWAYS visit the local fly shop (if there is one) and buy some local flies, get fresh tippet material, and chat to the shop guys. You guys in the US with fly shops close by - I hope you realise how lucky you are!

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jbc149 wrote 5 years 1 day ago

I shop at both local fly shops and online. Normally, the online price is cheeper, but there are some things (rod, reel, waders, etc.) that you just have to have you hands on to test it out before purchasing. Also, the "service" being sold at teh local stores can't be matched by any online site.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 5 years 1 day ago

One of the main reason why I shop online is for the prices. A lot of the prices online outbeat the outdoors stores. Although I like the advice the and the helpfulness of the clerks, it often comes as an added price.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Wags wrote 4 years 52 weeks ago

The trick is going to be for the local fly shops to get in on the internet. One shop mentioned somewhere else in this thread, Little River Outfitters in Townsend, TN., is doing this. I would guess it is the only way for them to keep afloat. You have to really want to go to that shop as Townsend is not on the way to anything. Byron really goes out of the way to be sure the personal touch is not lost in the internet commerce. I know that a lot of shops don't have the financial ability to do this, but it has been a good marriage in some instances.

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from agiyo wrote 4 years 49 weeks ago

I started fly fishing early last year, bought some stuff online before I discovered that I live 4 miles from one of the best stores of any type I have ever visited, River City Fly Shop in Tigard, Oregon. Since then, I have bought online only to use a gift card I'd received, or when River City did not have what I wanted. It is an investment that pays exponentially; the guys in the Fly Shop know so much, and it is cheating to go in there and ask for advice, then send my money to some stranger across the country. Besides, most brick and mortar stores are well aware of the internet competition and offer very decent prices. AND, I have never dealt with any store of any kind that offers the service these guys do.

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