Fair Warning: The Rod Warranty Assessment Will Soon Be Under Way


undercovershopperBecause rod manufacturers insist on selling a lifetime rod warranty to customers whether they want it or not, and because some retailers have issues with rod warranties as well, we think it only fair to do an analysis of what people actually get with warranties.

We’ve found 10 broken rods (tip breaks) from each of 10 major rod brands.  We’re having 10 “undercover anglers” ship them in for repair, following the instructions from each company’s respective website.  The manufacturers won’t know these rods from any others they get returned.  We will have them sent them on the same day.

And then we’re going to find out:

1)    How long it takes to get the rod back.
2)    How much it really costs.
3)    How the consumer rates the customer service (any hassles?).
4)    If the rod performs as well when it comes back as it did when it was new.  (Is it a new tip, a new rod, etc.)?
5)    And if the customer, based on this whole experience, TOTAL cost, etc., thinks having a warranty was worth it (a simple yes or no).

When we find out the answers, we’re going to share them with all the retailers who read Angling Trade, the online readers of fieldandstream.com, and all the members of Trout Unlimited.

Good luck.



  1. I love the idea, but confused as to why you would warn the companies before hand. Seems like it would have been a better test had it been kept a secret.

    • Angling Trade on


      Is was more to let the industry at large know what we’re doing. The companies will have no idea who our testers are.

  2. Ben Furimsky on

    How long it takes to get the rod back could have to do with shipping method, distance to the factory, make and model, and how busy that warranty department might be at the time. I would rather pay more per warranty issue and have it handled well than pay for an “average” amount of replacements where I’m paying for someone that abuses their equipment. I’m always happy to have a warranty when I break a rod, but i’d be willing to pay. I spend more days frustrated that I’m paying for another persons replacement than I do sending mine in. I’d like to see a change in the “unconditional” part of the warranties. I recently had a rod break on about the fifth false cast. I’d like to think that company would have handled the replacement if they had a warranty or not because it was obviously a fault in the rod or that model would have had a quick recall if they all broke on the first use. I’d like to see some research into how many people actually recoup the cost of the built in warranty we pay for and how many abuse it.

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