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December 20th, 1999

Age = Discount
By James Castwell

It is fairly accepted if you buy an appliance you will be offered, no, rather encouraged to also add on an insurance rider to 'extend' the warrantee. It is not in the price. It is in addition to it. Also, most will agree the cost of the policy is higher than if you bought it from your insurance agent. You are paying for the additional convenience of being able to buy it right on the spot. Everyone gets a little bit of the pie. This is the way things are in today's society.

I notice the appliance dealers do not try this though. They do not just add it in from the start. They could you know. They could mark up the thing a certain percentage to cover anything that may happen, not tell you they did this, and then 'bally-hoo' the fact it is covered for life, forever, for any reason, at any time, under all situations; you bust it, they will give you another one forever. Wow, ain't they wonderful!

I heard a story of an old guy telling his doctor, 'Heck, at my age I don't buy green bananas. You never know when you might check out." Could be some merit to that comment. Now we need to look at something here. It is the older guys who have been purchasing rods and such from the manufacturers of our toys for many years. Not to brag, but we made most of them what they are today. And now they do this to us. The way I look at it is this. A young guy buys a fly rod and fly fishes for forty years. During that time (if the manufacturer stays in business) he may get it replaced several times for nothing. He wins; big time.

But, now you take a old guy like me. I am not going to fish for too many years but I wouldn't mind a new fly rod. And I will have to pay the same as the young guy did for it. Except I will not live long enough to swap it back a dozen or so times. I lose; big time! I am paying for his inexperience and non-respect of the fly rod. Great thing the manufacturers have done here. Discriminated against the guys who made them and caused the newcomers to have no respect for their product. And you wonder why the world is in the shape it is. No one is responsible, no one has any respect. Why clean and polish a 'pet' fly rod; just trade it off when it gets dirty?

We used to be cautioned to respect our elders, now whip the bird on 'em. To respect our parents, now call the CPA on them. To listen to our teachers, now we have cops in the halls. To drive nice, now we have 'road-rage.' And . . .TAKE CARE OF OUR STUFF! But, now we don't have to.

If we didn't take care of our stuff, we didn't have it. If we broke it, we fixed it, or got a new one. We valued things we had. We worked for them, saved for them, and took care of them. We had to; we were responsible for them. Well, the pendulum has swung to it's utmost point and it is time for it to swing back the other way. I guarantee it will not if we don't give it a push. It may not even then, but we can try; or at least I can try and I am going to.

It is time for some rod maker to step up to the plate and tell the fly-fishing world that he will no longer penalize the old guys, the ones who made the sport what it is today. He can do it one of two ways. Bring down the price and take off that stupid 'bullet-proof' guarantee and sell it for what it is really worth. Or, if he would like a choice try this:

Give the buyer a discount worth his age. If he is 50, give him 50% off. He is 65, give him 65% off, and so on. I prefer the former, but with rod makers, they like to think they made the decisions. Let them take their pick. Who am I to tell them how to do things.

Let's say a rod sells these days for $500, under my plan you could get it for about $300. And you would have to shell out another $300 if you broke it. Sounds fair to me. Does the rod maker lose money? Nope, probably makes more. Depends on how greedy he is. If he charges too much, I will buy some other rod. That is called the 'Law of Supply and Demand.' Rather sound economic principle.

Now let's see some rod maker with guts step up to the plate and hits one outta here. It's time. ~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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