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Merwin: Pink Gear for Serious Fisherwomen?

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September 04, 2009

Merwin: Pink Gear for Serious Fisherwomen?

By John Merwin

So how about all the pink gear and clothing designed for female anglers? Right up front, I think it’s idiotic. None of the women anglers I know--including Mrs. Merwin--would be caught dead wearing this stuff. They like good gear and clothing just as much as men do, but would of course prefer that a fishing shirt, say, be tailored in women’s sizes. And definitely not garish pink. Pink clothing or ribbons or accessories are sometimes promoted to enhance breast-cancer awareness, which is certainly a worthy cause. But pink marketing has gone far beyond that as various manufacturers try to tap the buying power of female anglers.

So there are pink rods, pink fishing boots, pink gear bags, and on and on. It’s just silly. And I think marketers are being just plain condescending to women in general and thereby hurting--rather than helping--their sales goals.

This is enough of an issue that Southwick Associates, which does the monthly online Angler Survey to inform both anglers and the fishing industry about attitudes and buying trends, has included some “pink” questions in the September version. By all means check that out, but first tell me: Would the lady in your life wear a bright pink fishing vest or desire a bright-pink fishing rod?

Comments (17)

Top Rated
All Comments
from OneShotGirl wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I dont wear pink. Why? Because if your too busy trying to match your pink fishing rod to your pink boots - your not going out there for the right reasons. God forbid you get mud on them.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

Well, my two daughters, and my wife all have pink stuff. We even have a pink 10/22 that my 7 year old picked out. i mean i already have a gaudy bright orange rod that i love dearly, so, i feel that if my kiddos will fish with their pink ugly stiks that they (inclding my wife)picked out, then by all means i am for it. this goes in the "anything to get my kids in the outdoors" category, i do feel like it is a darn good marketing ploy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

Ugh! No! I don't wear pink, ever! I try to avoid Pepto Bismol colored things. I saw a stainless .357 magnum in the gun shop that some one thought they could appeal to the "girly" market by giving it pink plastic grips. Ugh! the only worse thing was when some brainiac at Ruger put out the pink synthetic stock for the Mini-14- Put Out My Eyes, that thing was ugly! Women never design such monstrosities, For me the height of firearms decoration had to be back in the age of wheellocks, they really knew how to make a pretty pretty pistol back then, just look in the Metropolitan Museum in NYC (now there are some "fashion accessories" in there!)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I couldn't agree more, John. Mrs. Deeter, who fishes, actually prefers made-for-women products, that are, um, as you say, made for women. Namely they fit. They're the right form and function. Pink for pink's sake (cause-related programs not included) are insulting to her.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I like Bella's attitude about this, but I must confess that some of the ladies look pretty in pink. On a gun stock or a fishing pole, it doesn't look right to me, but I guess it's a feminine thing. To each his, or in this case her, own. My wife isn't into pink, but if that's what it took to get her into the outdoors, I'd probably cave in and buy her a pink one of everything.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

My buds girl wants a high end pink casting rod, and no one makes one, so I'll be painting a high end blank pink and building a $300 casting rod for her. If it keeps her happier in the boat, he'll be happier. If it garners more fishing support from a crowd that would be on the wall, I'm all for it, regardless of the color.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from karmano wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

As a woman in the outdoor industry, I can understand where guys are coming from designing this, but for the most part it is designed for young girls in my opinion and not women. Again, I understand the cause issue for designing pink items, but I wish they would have chosen any color but pink. It is a great way to get girls outdoors, but I think it is insulting to women who are already there or even women who want to start.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from troutrageous1 wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

For little girls and entry level equipment, it's a no brainer - Barbie Rod anyone?

For women...well I've seen this happen in other areas of sporting goods too. Fast Pitch softball manufacturers tried to cram pink (& purple) equipment down the throats of middle & high school girls over the last 10 years and there has been noted backlash. It sells really well the first year, but when others jump on the wagon and flood the market with pink, it backfires. Seems those that use pink subtlety as an accent or color "pop" are more successful - i.e. a black softball glove with pink stitching. I see no reason why fishing shouldn't follow suit.

Yes, there will be some women that will choose a pink rod or bag from time to time, but for manufacturers to flood the market with this stuff, well...they'll just find out the hard way.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

My wife enjoys fishing quite a bit and isn't afraid of getting dirty, muddy, wet, whatever in pursuit of fish and she loves pink. If a good rod/reel was available in a variety of colors including pink, she would pick pink nearly every time. She wants it to be functional and then she wants it to be pretty. She's pretty serious, while about 8 or more months pregnant she took off her shoes and got down to shorts that she had on under her pants to wade out past the lilypads and moss so she could cast her spinner and not get it caught immediately. She caught the biggest fish of the day, I would have taken a picture, but she had the camera and I was standing on the bank with my shoes and pants still on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I'm not sure who likes pink and who doesn't like pink but I am sure that if they stop selling it then there will be a demand for it. Basic supply and demand. If some guy or girl wants to wear pink, have at it. I see no problem with the color.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

The first time I saw pink gun stocks I thought it must be a selling gimmick for my granddaughter. But no, that and fishing gear are aimed at women. Geez, you don't have to wear or use pink outfits for me to recognize you.
Hope that ad agency has been fired.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

You know now that I think about it. I bet if I had a pink jacket I wouldn't have other guys crowding me on the river...maybe throw in a little four finger wave and a broad smile and I'll have the river all to myself.

Sold!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pismo wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

As a woman fly fisher, I wouldn't be caught dead with all this pink gear. Not that pink is bad necessarily, I just don't like it in this realm. For starters I think most of the gear looks extremely tacky. I like other fishermen to take me seriously when I'm out there on the river and I just don't think that would be possible if I were standing there all decked out in pink. I agree with the author that the marketers of this stuff are being condescending. It's hard enough to find quality fishing gear designed for women, don't insult me by making what little is available an ugly shade of pink.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mop4pom wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

If I had the money Ive spent on pink gear for my girlfried back I would be able to double my fishing tackle supply. Pink pleases them and that means less fuss on the water, less time helping them fix their gear, and more time actually fishing. If pink is what she wants, then get it! Its like chocolate, a cheap fix.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I believe that as soon as you put on or use something like that, which is covered in pink... people in fishing will tend to not take you very seriously. I know for a fact from many experiments that women want to be taken seriously. So I do not believe that women would want to wear something that would cause them to get such treatment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chartucson wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

I do wear a light pink vest. Why, its actually fitted for women. I tried a mens vest and it was uncomfortable and constantly pulled across the chest. So I figured the color was worth wearing, just for the excellent fit to my shape.
Fly fisher in AZ.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bunny Collucci wrote 10 weeks 3 days ago

I just want to say....i fish hard....i use a bait caster....i throw the big lures....i fish the big fish and who cares what colour i choose to use as my choice.....i have a multitude of pink purple and other "girlie" colours. I wear pink on my boat.....and no one looks at me or treats me any differently for wearing pink.....i think the market under produces products for female anglers....does it matter that i wear fisholauge clothing....the real matter is what the fish are hitting on....not what im wearing or the colour of my rod.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from OneShotGirl wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I dont wear pink. Why? Because if your too busy trying to match your pink fishing rod to your pink boots - your not going out there for the right reasons. God forbid you get mud on them.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from karmano wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

As a woman in the outdoor industry, I can understand where guys are coming from designing this, but for the most part it is designed for young girls in my opinion and not women. Again, I understand the cause issue for designing pink items, but I wish they would have chosen any color but pink. It is a great way to get girls outdoors, but I think it is insulting to women who are already there or even women who want to start.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from troutrageous1 wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

For little girls and entry level equipment, it's a no brainer - Barbie Rod anyone?

For women...well I've seen this happen in other areas of sporting goods too. Fast Pitch softball manufacturers tried to cram pink (& purple) equipment down the throats of middle & high school girls over the last 10 years and there has been noted backlash. It sells really well the first year, but when others jump on the wagon and flood the market with pink, it backfires. Seems those that use pink subtlety as an accent or color "pop" are more successful - i.e. a black softball glove with pink stitching. I see no reason why fishing shouldn't follow suit.

Yes, there will be some women that will choose a pink rod or bag from time to time, but for manufacturers to flood the market with this stuff, well...they'll just find out the hard way.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bella wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

Ugh! No! I don't wear pink, ever! I try to avoid Pepto Bismol colored things. I saw a stainless .357 magnum in the gun shop that some one thought they could appeal to the "girly" market by giving it pink plastic grips. Ugh! the only worse thing was when some brainiac at Ruger put out the pink synthetic stock for the Mini-14- Put Out My Eyes, that thing was ugly! Women never design such monstrosities, For me the height of firearms decoration had to be back in the age of wheellocks, they really knew how to make a pretty pretty pistol back then, just look in the Metropolitan Museum in NYC (now there are some "fashion accessories" in there!)

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

My buds girl wants a high end pink casting rod, and no one makes one, so I'll be painting a high end blank pink and building a $300 casting rod for her. If it keeps her happier in the boat, he'll be happier. If it garners more fishing support from a crowd that would be on the wall, I'm all for it, regardless of the color.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

You know now that I think about it. I bet if I had a pink jacket I wouldn't have other guys crowding me on the river...maybe throw in a little four finger wave and a broad smile and I'll have the river all to myself.

Sold!

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from deanlikes2fish wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

Well, my two daughters, and my wife all have pink stuff. We even have a pink 10/22 that my 7 year old picked out. i mean i already have a gaudy bright orange rod that i love dearly, so, i feel that if my kiddos will fish with their pink ugly stiks that they (inclding my wife)picked out, then by all means i am for it. this goes in the "anything to get my kids in the outdoors" category, i do feel like it is a darn good marketing ploy.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I couldn't agree more, John. Mrs. Deeter, who fishes, actually prefers made-for-women products, that are, um, as you say, made for women. Namely they fit. They're the right form and function. Pink for pink's sake (cause-related programs not included) are insulting to her.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from seadog wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I like Bella's attitude about this, but I must confess that some of the ladies look pretty in pink. On a gun stock or a fishing pole, it doesn't look right to me, but I guess it's a feminine thing. To each his, or in this case her, own. My wife isn't into pink, but if that's what it took to get her into the outdoors, I'd probably cave in and buy her a pink one of everything.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Levi Banks wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

My wife enjoys fishing quite a bit and isn't afraid of getting dirty, muddy, wet, whatever in pursuit of fish and she loves pink. If a good rod/reel was available in a variety of colors including pink, she would pick pink nearly every time. She wants it to be functional and then she wants it to be pretty. She's pretty serious, while about 8 or more months pregnant she took off her shoes and got down to shorts that she had on under her pants to wade out past the lilypads and moss so she could cast her spinner and not get it caught immediately. She caught the biggest fish of the day, I would have taken a picture, but she had the camera and I was standing on the bank with my shoes and pants still on.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

I'm not sure who likes pink and who doesn't like pink but I am sure that if they stop selling it then there will be a demand for it. Basic supply and demand. If some guy or girl wants to wear pink, have at it. I see no problem with the color.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jim in Mo wrote 4 years 32 weeks ago

The first time I saw pink gun stocks I thought it must be a selling gimmick for my granddaughter. But no, that and fishing gear are aimed at women. Geez, you don't have to wear or use pink outfits for me to recognize you.
Hope that ad agency has been fired.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Pismo wrote 4 years 31 weeks ago

As a woman fly fisher, I wouldn't be caught dead with all this pink gear. Not that pink is bad necessarily, I just don't like it in this realm. For starters I think most of the gear looks extremely tacky. I like other fishermen to take me seriously when I'm out there on the river and I just don't think that would be possible if I were standing there all decked out in pink. I agree with the author that the marketers of this stuff are being condescending. It's hard enough to find quality fishing gear designed for women, don't insult me by making what little is available an ugly shade of pink.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from mop4pom wrote 4 years 29 weeks ago

If I had the money Ive spent on pink gear for my girlfried back I would be able to double my fishing tackle supply. Pink pleases them and that means less fuss on the water, less time helping them fix their gear, and more time actually fishing. If pink is what she wants, then get it! Its like chocolate, a cheap fix.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from FloridaHunter1226 wrote 4 years 17 weeks ago

I believe that as soon as you put on or use something like that, which is covered in pink... people in fishing will tend to not take you very seriously. I know for a fact from many experiments that women want to be taken seriously. So I do not believe that women would want to wear something that would cause them to get such treatment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from chartucson wrote 3 years 33 weeks ago

I do wear a light pink vest. Why, its actually fitted for women. I tried a mens vest and it was uncomfortable and constantly pulled across the chest. So I figured the color was worth wearing, just for the excellent fit to my shape.
Fly fisher in AZ.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Bunny Collucci wrote 10 weeks 3 days ago

I just want to say....i fish hard....i use a bait caster....i throw the big lures....i fish the big fish and who cares what colour i choose to use as my choice.....i have a multitude of pink purple and other "girlie" colours. I wear pink on my boat.....and no one looks at me or treats me any differently for wearing pink.....i think the market under produces products for female anglers....does it matter that i wear fisholauge clothing....the real matter is what the fish are hitting on....not what im wearing or the colour of my rod.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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