Is the Warranty Issue Really a Registration Issue?



We talk about warranties, over and over.  Some hate the lifetime rod warranty; some can’t imagine life without it.  And, of course, some are indifferent.  We’ve talked to both manufacturers and retailers about it, and they all say it probably isn’t ever going away (can’t put that genie back in the bottle) even if some want it to.  We’ve also talked to plenty of consumers about rod warranties, and the feeling there is that they hate to pay for it (some even resent paying for it), and yet they’re all glad to have it when they break their rod.  Go figure.

The interesting thing, however, in all of this informal consumer research, is finding out just how many people are sending in second-hand rods for free repair.  Tons.  More than you think.  “I bought this rod through eBay… broke it the other day, and sent it back in.”  And most of the manufacturers we speak with aren’t really, truly challenging the “original ownership” issue.  Aren’t most warranties only for the original purchaser of the rod?  Is anyone really tracking that?

The realistic answer is probably “no.”  Which is interesting, because we live in a technology age when some 20-year-old kid can take a bar code scanner, and aim it at my ski pass, and within nanoseconds, know exactly who I am, where I live, how many times I’ve been skiing that year, and even how many runs I’ve taken that particular day.  And yet most rod warranties are “registered” with what is quite possibly the most antiquated mode of communication and data tracking still existent on the planet today–a self-addressed (no postage) post card, to be sent via the U.S. Mail.

Does anyone else smell what we’re cooking here?  Is it time for a deeper discussion on registering rod warranties?  Is anyone really aggressively chasing a technology fix to this issue?

Regardless, it does nicely set up this month’s Angling Trade Monthly Survey…



  1. It amazes us how far behind our vendors are computer technology wise. All systems seem geared to the lowest level, so that as little as possible is achieved. Registrations should be done online at the time of sale. However, many shops don’t have that capability. Shops are a bigger culprit in this case. Surely this may improve, but in the meantime make the customer do his online registration and rod manufacturers hold the line.

  2. Always have been in favor of the life-time warranty. Also feel that the warranty is good only for the registered owner (unless the manufacturer states otherwise). Getting people to register their rods for warranty certainly can be an issue. At our shop we normally register the rod for the customer. While some feel this is a pain, we see it as one more service to offer the customer. Sometimes you have to work for the money. Also, we always let the client know that we are willing to ship their rod to the manufacturer should the need arise. And while this is even more effort, we get two MORE customer visits by helping with warranty. Customer service generates $….

  3. I believe that the original owner of the fly rod pays for the warrantee and should be responsible for completing the warrantee registration. Unless the warrantee is transferrable, the original owner is the only benefactor of the manufacturers warrantee. That should help keep the cost of fly rods a reasonable levels and keep the manufacturers profitable. That policy works for the benefit of all of us.

  4. Chris Garrett on

    Lifetime – no fault warranties – aren’t warranties. They are insurance and should be sold separate to the rod.
    “This here Superbrand fly rod, is $250 sir. If you want it for another $200 you can have a lifetime – no faulty warranty(Insurance) – Here is the paperwork that goes with the No Fault Policy”.
    When has anyone seen an insurance policy with as little paperwork that goes with a rod purchase?

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