Looks like one retailer's finally had enough of being undercut by Costco...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Alosa, Aug 6, 2013.

  1. I respect your posts as an informative opinion. While I think we could have a solidly enjoyable conversation on the topic over a beer - I think you're making a LOT of assumptions here.

    Sage has repeatedly been first to market with new rod technology. They're paving the way for a lot of other manufacturers to then reverse engineer and add their own styling or interpretation of those very expensive R&D costs at a much much lower cost.

    My "guess" is that Sage's r&d costs are probably twice that of most of their competitors. Furthermore, for a relatively small local company located on a relatively small Washington island.... I am damn proud of them and their ability to create a sustainable and profitable US based manufacturing company.
  2. You always have to realize that a lot of these rods are designed and built by professionals correct ? Well to have the best in the industry, which some say Sage does costs more than say the engineer at another brand. Yes all companies have the same types of costs associated with bringing a product to market, however they don't necessarily have the same amount of costs. Sage might pay there employees more, rent might be more, the products they use my cost more, it might be relative in terms of type but not necessarily the same in terms of Scope. The old owner of Winston sales rods out of his house for 4 grand, bc that's the amount of time effort expertise, testing and materials goes into making one rod while still making a profit to pay the bills. I just don't see why people blast Sage bc they charge high end prices for there high end rods. People make it sound like there just greedy and throwing out an average product but charging steep bc there name is on it.
  3. Cheers to US made rods!!!
    jaybo41 likes this.
  4. Evidently I need to apologize as you must have thought I was arguing with you. I agree with everything you said, and was only adding to it the need to STAY on top once you're there. It all costs money. lots of it. Until someone puts out a product of equal performance for considerably less money and still produce it in the US, these top tier manufacturers will be able to get these kinds of prices. And there's nothing wrong with that. Same with the structured retail pricing that fly shops agree to when bringing on a line.
  5. Huh? So WInston, T&T, Orvis, Loomis and others are simply coasting to success by reverse engineering Sage's designs and laughing all the way to the bank because they have no R&D or COGS expenses?

    Wow, just wow.

    Patrick Allen likes this.
  6. That's not what I said.
  7. Fishing rods are worth exactly what you are willing to pay for them.
    Peyton00 likes this.

  8. As is every product on the market, some buy nice clothes, some nice houses, some nice cars, some drugs, some sporting events, some vacations and some spend money on fly rods :)
  9. or fly tying materials....holy christ that stuff gets expensive. I have started telling my significant other about rod and reel purchases and hiding the tying receipts.
  10. the biggest problem with this thread is people taking the few "elite" models sage sells with an extra tip and extra fancy finishes and make it seem like that sage is more expensive than their competitors. if you look at winston and loomis, the price points on the standard top of the line rods is almost identical.

    sage's prices are comparable with the other US manufacturers. yes, they sell some dressed-up methods and one's for more money... but you can still get a one or method for roughly the same price as a loomis nrx or winston's top of the line boron.

    it is too bad this thread has turned away from leland's blatantly dishonest advertisement into bashing a single rod company.
    JesseC and Skysoldier like this.

  11. No No...should be other way around. Hide the reel and rod purchases and tell her how much your paying on those feather and hook supplies but in addition tell her how much you are actually saving by tying your own. :D
    Kcahill and flyfool like this.

  12. Yeah it is...but when you are on top expect the constant bashing ! :rolleyes: The real focuse gets lost, diversion tactics, no fault strategies, blame avoidance protocals, etc. We have some spin doctors on this site! :eek:
  13. you are right Jesse, i admit i AM making a lot of assumptions and i hope i haven't suggested that I am privy to the financial statements of a private company. i'm not. and i feel the same about your posts and i'd love to have that beer. or several. and do some fishing together.

    it's possible their r&d budget is twice that of any competitor, but i did try to qualify my statement by saying "as a percentage of their overall budget" or something to that effect. so i acknowledge what you're saying, but i was responding to a post from someone else which implied that sages costs were higher than others', and i was just suggesting that everybody's costs are most likely very similar as a percentage of their p&l. i doubt it's a stretch to suggest that sage's revenues are also twice that of the next competitor. or that that their net margin is higher than the competition.
  14. I haven't read much, if any, bashing of Sage. Just explanations for why the price point is where it is, when those who know about manufacturing know how little that costs relative to the mandatory retail price.

    I still think that free market capitalism should apply, and Sage, distributors, and retailers should sell at whatever price they see fit, and that Sage should not fix the retail price. Call it what you want, but that is what they are doing. Apparently there aren't many laissez-faire free market capitalists in the fly fishing biz, based on this thread.
    Builder likes this.
  15. sorry if i took you the wrong way Rob. no apology needed whether we disagree or not. i agree, its costly to stay on top. i was just saying, basically, it's at least as costly to catch up and get on top, which is what the other guys are trying to do.
    Rob Hardman likes this.
  16. Fly fishing is still a free market. Sage isn't forcing anyone to sell their products. If the policy of enforcing MAP pricing caused a loss of revenue, they would change it. Again, this policy really does protect independent fly shops from being squashed by big box.

    Any shop can sell a variety of rod brands that don't require MAP pricing. Those brands will not keep the doors open or the lights on. A very well run fly shop will make 10% profit after it pays it's bills. If customers come in and expect to get any more than 10% off, bye-bye local shops.
  17. i could only wish i had learned what little i know about MAP pricing and other retail concepts from working in the fly-fishing industry. that would be a dream job. but the truth is it applies to every kind of product, and maybe somebody who understands it better could explain it better than i could. all i know is, sage doesn't have absolute control over the price a dealer sells their goods at (witness costco and leland). but they do have control over who they do business with. and they have told everyone they do business with (as most manufacturers do), that if they want to deal their product they have to sell at MAP, and if they don't, sage won't do business with them. it's not as if sage can prosecute leland for what they've done. but they can choose to end the relationship cause it doesn't suit them. that seems fair to me.
  18. I'm new to fly fishing and I'm sure that I suck at casting when compared to those of you who have been fishing your whole lives...but still. That doesn't change the fact that better technology will produce better rods. As a scratch golfer who knows the value of good equipment I find it amusing when people try to downplay the amount of technology advancements in graphite over the years. Sage has been at the forefront of this for quite some time in the FF industry. The R&D in graphite/resin is incredible. Even the smallest tweaks can make a worlds worth of difference.

    Yes the TXL's, Circa's, Methods, Ones, etc are expensive and you can get by just fine with a cheaper rod. If you personally don't see the quality boost enough to justify the higher price, that is perfectly fine and nobody will fault you for that. However that doesn't give you the right to then turn around and bash Sage for offering higher quality stuff at a higher price.

    I would never bash someone for playing off the shelf stock shafts in their driver even when I know they are missing out on an absurd amount of advantages for ponying up the $$ for a new shaft. Does that make them wrong? Nope. Does that make me wrong for paying $300+ more for a piece of graphite that I see value in? Nope. Does that mean Aldila/Mitsubishi are wrong for producing them? Nope.

    As a final note, it is also very possible that for a specific individual, the cheaper model is actually better to them. That still doesn't give them the right to rip into a company for pumping more tech into products that results in a higher price tag. Lots of the high end golf equiment will actually be a worse fit for an average player. Granted fly fishing is different than golf, but the materials and technology going into shafts/rods are remarkably similar
    Tony James, Porter and Matt Paluch like this.
  19. Matt P,

    That's true. Sage offers business according to their model on a take it or leave it basis. So OK, it's legal. However, Sage doesn't protect small shops from big shops or big stores. Larger stores that buy more rods, i.e., quantity or bulk purchase, get wholesale price breaks that are not available to small shops that place "onesie, twosie" orders. Consequently the larger stores, and chains like Cabela's, enjoy a much wider margin between their wholesale purchase price and the mandatory retail selling price. So I see Sage's policy as being more beneficial to Sage and large stores than as a policy intended to protect the small shops that generally deliver the best customer service.


    The increases in rod making technology have made an impressive difference in distance casting, but not accuracy. I think good bamboo rods made nearly a century ago by Leonard, Payne, F.E. Thomas, and other makers placed dry flies just as accurately in the ring as a Sage ONE. Of course, a cane rod by one of the old masters costs a tad more than a Sage ONE. However, my point is that rod technology hasn't changed as much as manufacturers would have you think. But there is no doubt that modern rod makers offer products that are far lighter for the power available, and allow a decent caster to fish from sun up to sun down with less work. That is what rod technology has mostly delivered.

    In case I've been misunderstood, I'm not bashing Sage, or anyone. I'm happy to learn more about fly fishing topics any time. I'm grateful to Sage and the other leading fly rod companies. Their advances in rod technology have trickled down such that today's inexpensive import rods are better fly rods than the very best rods offered by the very best American and European companies 35 or 40 years ago. Fly fishermen have never had so many excellent products to choose from at price points from very affordable to those designed to appeal to those who have to have what they perceive to be the best or for whom money truly is no object.

    However, it's unlikely that I'll every spend $1,000 on a plastic fly rod, especially when that price point can buy the basic model bamboo fly rod from Sweetgrass (the former Winston 'boo boys) in Twin Bridges, Montana. In this world, there is value, and then there is value that is also art.

  20. "MAP pricing isn't fixing" ....? .. hmmm,,,,,,smells like a duck...?..... it would have been called fixing 35 years ago. I guess not now, " they" have come up with a "fancy" name so they can avoid talking to their children thru a glass plate while wearing pumpkin orange .

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