Immediate Business Growth Opportunity: Understand Fly Lines Better



I am always amazed by the amount of thought and discussion that the rifle, shotgun, and archery community pours into ammo/arrows.  Seriously.  Google “165 grain or 180 grain ammo for 30.06” for example, and see what kind of results you get.  Or search “cedar shafts for recurve bow” and behold just how much thought and banter people are willing to pour into that.

So why is it that the average fly angler consumer doesn’t really, truly know the difference among most fly lines, while there are many, many highly specific, diligently designed options out there (many of which are sitting in your shops right now).  We did an informal mini-poll, dialing up 10 angler consumers (my fishing friends) and asked a simple question:  What is the fly line you use most?  And nine out of 10 said, simply, “Weight-forward, 5F.”

The minute anglers, as a group, start looking at fly lines as “ammo” rather than accessory, I cannot help but believe that a world of possibilities will open for retailers.  And the retailers are the key gatekeepers to making that happen.

Admittedly, this notion hit me (forehead slap) at a RIO Products dealer event two weeks ago on the Missouri River in Montana.  I was really impressed to hear Simon Gawesworth explain many fly line nuances, and then take several different lines to the water and compare them to each other.  Different lines clearly do different things in on different rods… in different fishing situations… in the hands of anglers with different skill levels.  I’ve been fishing for over 30 years, and writing about it for more than half of that time, and I realized how woefully inadequate my understanding of fly line technology really is.  (But I’m fixing that.)

Unlock this riddle for your customers, and you’re not only going to sell more product, you’re going to be an information resource, the likes of which the customer cannot easily find online, or at a big box store.

Two other points Simon makes:  Anglers should be encouraged to switch leaders, and clean their fly lines every day they fish.  Tell the truth… do you do that?


1 Comment

  1. This is a great article…flat out! I am glad to hear you voice your newly acquired outlook at what a fly line really is…a projectile. It is also a living thing as it transmits energy down the line to the fly. I designed the Kayak Fly Line a few years ago to assist kayak fly anglers that must be seated while casting. Jim Teeny makes the line and sells a lot of them to not only kayak anglers but to everyone who understands what a line needs to do. Try sitting on the ground and make a cast without any body movement or angle. Awkward is an understatement for most anglers.
    Your article is exactly how every fly angler needs to think about lines and every line manufacture and retailer needs to develop meaningful language to convey how it all trickles down into a relatable usage.
    Great job…thanks.

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