Thing are looking up for the fly rod industry. Or it seems they should be.

There’s been an effort to stimulate overall interest in fly fishing. Rod companies are making more rods and anglers are buying new rods for different applications, using them to catch carp, bass, and small stream natives. Some take their fly rods along for saltwater fishing. But, despite what seems like progress, fly rod sales are plodding along.

Check out this interesting chart I received from a good friend who also happens to own a fly shop. You can see that he’s been successful in growing his shop in an era when many others have folded. And he’s done while rod sales have remained flat.

Some businesses are like selling copy machines. The real money isn’t in selling the actual machine; it’s in the toner people need to make them work. Is the fly rod the base tool, and all the smart money in flies and accessories?

I am interested in what you think, as I know this will be a hot-button topic at the trade show next week.