August 18th, 2008

Prices Are Going Up
By James Castwell

You guessed it. The cost of oil goes up and it's not just gasoline that goes out of sight. Actually I am sure you have figured a lot of this out for yourself. When the cost of petroleum goes up a whole series of steps are set in motion. The domino effect to some degree.

For a long time now, in some cases our manufacturing companies have been trying, due to competition, hold their prices. They have not always succeeded but they have tried. Often there have been small increases in the incoming cost of raw materials needed for fly rods, fly lines, leaders, tippet's and a few other related items.

By closer management of time and stocking methods and efficiency they have attempted to absorb these rising figures. This time they can't and that includes any of them who are making anything effected by the cost of a barrel of oil. We get some of the trade journals here and the word is out. In 2009 expect to see increases. The prices are going up.

In some cases the actual cost of a main component (plasticizers) has doubled in cost. Elsewhere, doubled or nearly so. These things can not be dealt with in house. They must be passed along to the consumer and there has to be some profit. I'm not telling you this just to try to justify the rises. These are not speculative price hikes. These prices will more accurately reflect the higher cost of the main component, oil.

Remember too, if the cost to manufacture an item doubles, that new price will be added to by each plateau of the distribution route. For instance, your fly shop will most likely 'doubles' the price of a rod. He might pay a hundred bucks to land it and charge two hundred for it. Sometimes it is a bit less than that but not too often. In the end, whether he makes a profit on the sale is still questionable.

In the general manufacturing of products in our country, one way of dealing with higher raw material costs is to discontinue a few items that have been part of the normal product line. This can give better control on costs in several ways. We may see some of this in our recreation as well. Some rods may be dropped. Some fly lines, or leader selections, some tippet sizes could be removed from the list of materials carried, or manufactured. Things will change. Count on it. There will be less to pick from and what is left will cost more. Period. Fact of life.

So don't be surprised or too angry when you see next year greeted by a hike in the cost of much of what we often consider almost absolutely, one hundred percent, can't live without, necessary stuff. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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