"We all operate out of our own self-interest first."
I think that is how it goes; mostly it's probably
true I guess. Self-preservation sort of thing.
Nothing wrong with it. Seems to have worked ever
since we popped up on this planet.
Along the way several styles of society have been
tried. They all worked in their own way for varying
periods of time. Those participating in them had
mixed reviews of what was good or bad about each.
In the end they all seemed to either collapse from
external forces or from some pressure from outside.
Some societies morphed into different forms and
tried to continue under a modified plan for and
with a changing set of circumstances. So it is
with civilizations and societies and life.
A benevolent dictator situation often works for
a while, perhaps a King and a Camelot thing, that
is until a 'Robin-Hood' emerges. There is one type
which seems not to have worked anytime it has been
tried. Marxism, Communism, Socialism; like a chain
letter, they are best for the guy who starts them.
They look good on paper, but never seem to fly well.
The style of society where we all have the same
amount of stuff; we are born equal, but doomed to
stay that way. This is sometimes brought about by
taking from those who have a lot and distributing
it to those who don't. The 'haves and the have
nots' and even them out.
To me that is what the 'bullet-proof' guarantee is.
The lifetime unconditional warrantee which makes
sure we will never be responsible for anything.
But you say, "They sold it that way and I paid
for it, so what's the big deal?"
Good question. Let's see if there is a good answer.
One problem I see is that, and let's get to the
point here, fly rods are offered to folks of all
ages. Not a problem when you first think of it,
but what happens when you look at it a little
further? Start with a five hundred dollar rod
and cover it for ever for everything and anything.
The manufacturer might have to replace it a few
times and builds in a margin of profit to cover
You are twenty-five and buy one. If you are careful,
really take care of it, it should last a life time
for you. They don't wear out. Replace the guides
maybe but that is about it. You have been
overcharged because they included a dollar margin
to cover replacement and you didn't need it. So
what really did you get? A fly rod and an
insurance policy (which you had no choice in
purchasing), that was hidden/included in the
How about you buddy though? He is a gorilla and
sent his in several times for replacement. Whenever
it got dirty, nicked with a bead-head or a bit worn
looking he whacked it and got a nice new one,
sometimes even an improved model.
Now, how do you feel about that? Fair? You are
careful and end up with an old rod, he is a klutz
and gets new rods, which you paid for.
How about your dad? He got one the same day you
did, but he only got to fish it for twenty years
or so. Did he receive the same value as you? The
insurance policy cost him the same but was for a
shorter time period. Fair?
Grandfather got one that day too. He only fished
for five years then hung it up. Why did he have
to help pay for the rods your gorilla buddy
busted? Again, do you think that is fair?
For me the idea of spreading the costs of all
replacements among everyone who buys a rods
is not a fair thing. I think repairs should be
paid for by those who need repairs, period. Just
as taking stuff away from those who have worked
for it and earned it and giving it to those who
have not is not fair, neither is making those
who do not need replacement rods pay for those
who are careless or unethical.
This is not to say that, if the companies are
willing to give such a guarantee, you are wrong
in buying from them or using it to the fullest
degree. In fact, in my opinion, go to it, rip
them a new one. Perhaps they will drop the stupid
idea. It is detrimental to our whole sport.
Nothing is worse than watching someone who has
absolutely no respect for his gear, and we have
all seen it many times. They degrade our sport
and have no place in our society. It is the direct
result of the unconditional guarantee and the
company that started it and those who were forced
to follow suit to stay in the game.
I think it is very proper for a rod maker to
unconditionally guarantee a rod for a time period;
a year, five maybe, lifetime for that matter,
against things they have some control of, materials
and workmanship. But that's it. Today most are
charging a fee for replacement. That is a start,
but what is really needed is at least one of them
to state, "This rod is guaranteed for one year
against defects in materials and workmanship."
Anything more than that deflates. Repairs should
probably be offered, but, not necessarily. They
are a rod 'making' company, not a 'fix-it' shop.
You bust your fly rod, take it to someone who
knows how to repair them. Worked for many years,
still might. Let the rod makers concentrate on
what they are geared up for and do the most
cost-effectively, simply make fly rods. The cost
will come down, free enterprise will guarantee
I value my equipment and try to take very good
care of it. I take pride in it no matter of its
value. It is mine and it should reflect my values.
My rods and reels run the gamut of price range
but I value them all. Sure they are all just
fishing rods and reels, but I don't have to
treat them like crap. ~ James Castwell