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The_Natural

Rod Marketing is No-Brainer....

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I honestly think marketing a rod is quite easy right now.  If you are a custom rod builder....this may be your chance to become mainstream.  Today's consumer is obviously putting looks at the forefront of their buying motives....even guys who swear by and own higher-end rods are trying Abu's new Vendetta.  Why?  It looks hot.   If I was a builder; I would order a few thousand Batson RX-6 blanks and start building split foam grip rods with a cool color.   Take that RX-6 blank and add polished winding checks and a Fuji reel seat painted metallic red and you have a hot item that could fetch $125 or more.  Hot looks make the consumer perceive the rod as superior.  St. Croix's Mojo started the trend, and Abu Garcia and Wright & Mcgill have followed.  Loomis must not have a marketing person on staff, because they are sitting on a gold mine with the GL2 blank.  Revamp that Gl2 with split foam grips and a cool blank color and you have a huge seller....guaranteed.  This may be the easiest market trend to identify I've ever seen.  Flechero....want to go in business? :)

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I honestly think marketing a rod is quite easy right now. If you are a custom rod builder....this may be your chance to become mainstream. Today's consumer is obviously putting looks at the forefront of their buying motives....even guys who swear by and own higher-end rods are trying Abu's new Vendetta. Why? It looks hot. If I was a builder; I would order a few thousand Batson RX-6 blanks and start building split foam grip rods with a cool color. Take that RX-6 blank and add polished winding checks and a Fuji reel seat painted metallic red and you have a hot item that could fetch $125 or more. Hot looks make the consumer perceive the rod as superior. St. Croix's Mojo started the trend, and Abu Garcia and Wright & Mcgill have followed. Loomis must not have a marketing person on staff, because they are sitting on a gold mine with the GL2 blank. Revamp that Gl2 with split foam grips and a cool blank color and you have a huge seller....guaranteed. This may be the easiest market trend to identify I've ever seen. Flechero....want to go in business? :)

i doubt he'd wanna go in business now you just spilled all the beans  ;D

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Agreed.  The JDM trend is catching up here with a vengenace.  

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All of what you said is so true.  It would definitely make a dedicated builder with some spare time on his hands some quick money.  

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I'm still hanging with the companies that make fishing rods the old fashion way and not something that looks like it was turned on a lathe.

I think the difference in this SG rod fad is these new rods really offer nothing in the way of an advantage over traditional rods.  If the rods actually offered more sensitivity or comfort vs old style rods you'd see this new genre in rods a stayer in the business.  It doesn't though.  

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I'm still hanging with the companies that make fishing rods the old fashion way and not something that looks like it was turned on a lathe.

I think the difference in this SG rod fad is these new rods really offer nothing in the way of an advantage over traditional rods. If the rods actually offered more sensitivity or comfort vs old style rods you'd see this new genre in rods a stayer in the business. It doesn't though.

eh.... I admittedly was very anti-split grip before the Steez rods came out. I hadn't held a split grip that didn't seem tip-heavy. It seems that Abu corrected this problem by increasing the handle length. If you notice...the Vendetta has a longer trigger handle than other rods of the same length. This helps balance out the rod. Smart. Granted the blank is the most important piece regarding a rods performance....lighter overall weight equals more sensitivity. I'm a firm believer in that. Less pressure on the hand makes vibrations stand out more. A 10lb fishing rod weighing down your hand just won't be as sensitive as a featherweight 3.5oz stick that floats in your palm....think about it.  That is an extreme example.....the difference in a 4.7oz rod and a 3.4oz rod isn't going to be that dramatic...but the theory still applies.

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What both Muddy and the Natural state is the truth.  Muddy is simply the exception to the Natural's rule.  There will be others that think similarly but the majority is definitely hot to trot for sex appeal.

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"Beauty is only skin deep."

Looks is everything for many people that don't really understand what to look for in a rod.

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If I had $100 to spend on a rod I would go for a quality rod over one that "looks cool". I do see your point though. But we are in a recession, and I'm in a slump as well- I would personally go to a quality.

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 "Muddy is simply the exception to the Natural's rule"

                                                     rubba bubba

Maybe "simply" but definitely not the only :)...

skillet

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Hey ! I like old fashioned rods.  :)

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1. Weight/Feel

2. Sensitivity

3. Sensitivity

4. Warranty

5. Looks

Natural has a good point though, a lot of people tend to buy what looks cool.  Custom rod builders can/should really take advantage of that.

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Muddy speaks volumes and probably for most fisherman( not all fisherman are BR members).  No question that there is always a market for custom, cool looks and enhanced performance, but what is the number 1 selling rod?  My guess is Ugly Stick and probably will be for years to come.

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Marketing it's not as easy as you think. How are you going to get the press, the publicity, and the advertising to get it out?

That's a lot of overhead and a full time job in itself.

Let's say you hit a home run and sell a bunch of rods - enough to make a nice profit after you pay for all that advertising. How you going to make that many rods as a custom builder?

Custom builders are a different market. They aren't mainstream. That's kind of the point of them.

All these trends started from custom builders - not factories. Rich Forhan was building split grips, modified reel seats, etc a long time before the first factory ever did. Kinda funny if you think about it.

You're saying the custom builder should copy the factory who copied the custom builder.  ;D

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but what is the number 1 selling rod? My guess is Ugly Stick and probably will be for years to come.

Yeah according to something I saw in one of the magazines the Ugly Stick is the #1 selling rod

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The problem with mainstream (for me and many other builders) is twofold... warranties and prices. Today's consumer is used to paying little or nothing for a replacement even if he shuts it in a car door... and the other side is that most rods are sold very inexpensively on the front end.

Take that RX-6 blank and add polished winding checks and a Fuji reel seat painted metallic red and you have a hot item that could fetch $125 or more.

In that equation, I'd only have about $20 in labor. I can't build them fast enough to pay my mortgage like that. I can't (and really don't want to) compete with any mass production... but you are right in that they would sell like hotcakes!

Natural has a good point though, a lot of people tend to buy what looks cool. Custom rod builders can/should really take advantage of that.

We do... since it's custom, we build exactly what our customer wants. :)

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I admit I like what looks cool and if I could I would match my rod and reel colors to some extent, but I also like what works well for me also.

I like form and function and quality and that's why I come here and read peoples post and opinions on products cause to some a $100 might not seem like a lot but I want to be able to catch fish with that pretty rod rather than have it sit in the corner cause it didn't work to my liking.

I think we all like something a little different from the norm at times and hence the custom rod builders who will build a rod to not only suite your particular fishing application but make it in the colors you want as well. I'm willing now to pay that $100 or more for a custom rod and add my colors and know it works for ME rather than the masses.

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"Muddy is simply the exception to the Natural's rule"

                                                     rubba bubba

Maybe "simply" but definitely not the only :)...

skillet

Hence the "There will be others that think similarly but the majority...":) :)

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Looks, quality and performance are not mutually exclusive of each other. If you can have the high performance you desire in a package you find aesthetically pleasing, that's the appeal of a custom rod. Some mass producers will try to substitute style over substance the same way some cars are held together with a paint job. You just gotta do your home work before you buy.

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I'm still hanging with the companies that make fishing rods the old fashion way and not something that looks like it was turned on a lathe.

I think the difference in this SG rod fad is these new rods really offer nothing in the way of an advantage over traditional rods. If the rods actually offered more sensitivity or comfort vs old style rods you'd see this new genre in rods a stayer in the business. It doesn't though.

eh.... I admittedly was very anti-split grip before the Steez rods came out. I hadn't held a split grip that didn't seem tip-heavy. It seems that Abu corrected this problem by increasing the handle length. If you notice...the Vendetta has a longer trigger handle than other rods of the same length. This helps balance out the rod. Smart. Granted the blank is the most important piece regarding a rods performance....lighter overall weight equals more sensitivity. I'm a firm believer in that. Less pressure on the hand makes vibrations stand out more. A 10lb fishing rod weighing down your hand just won't be as sensitive as a featherweight 3.5oz stick that floats in your palm....think about it. That is an extreme example.....the difference in a 4.7oz rod and a 3.4oz rod isn't going to be that dramatic...but the theory still applies.

In my opinion a lighter rod will not necessarily fish better than one that weights 1-1.5 oz more, but is better BALLANCED with the reel or by adding a bit of weight to the but of the handle.

Annother issue is that a  3.5oz rod with a 9oz reel on it might be more "tip heavy" than a 4.5oz rod with a 8oz reel on it. If the blanks have similar properties, the 4.5 rod might fish better and be more comfortable on a whole day of fishing than the lighter one, even though the combo weights the same.

Regarding the "bling,bling" aspect, it's a "no-no" for me. I fish rods with no "flash", full cork handles.

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Have to disagree here

I honestly think marketing a rod is quite easy right now.
In this economy.....
If you are a custom rod builder....this may be your chance to become mainstream.
Answer this why would a CUSTOM builder want to go mainstream?
Today's consumer is obviously putting looks at the forefront of their buying motives....even guys who swear by and own higher-end rods are trying Abu's new Vendetta.  Why?  It looks hot.
They aren't buying custom, mostly all the big box mfg's are doing is copying the looks of custom rods from years ago. I have been personally building split grips and spiral wraps for better than 6 years....
If I was a builder; I would order a few thousand Batson RX-6 blanks and start building split foam grip rods with a cool color.   Take that RX-6 blank and add polished winding checks and a Fuji reel seat painted metallic red and you have a hot item that could fetch $125 or more.
If you had the account to by a FEW thousand blanks, then you would also have the account to open your own MFG shop. You would no longer be a custom rod builder (you would be a rod manufacturer) and probably building off of a spec sheet were every rod built in a length and action would all be the same (ie Loomis, Kistler, St Croix, Shimano, etc).....
Hot looks make the consumer perceive the rod as superior.
Can you say gimmick...
St. Croix's Mojo started the trend, and Abu Garcia and Wright & Mcgill have followed.
No they didn't, actually it was the custom builders that started that trend about a decade ago.....
Loomis must not have a marketing person on staff, because they are sitting on a gold mine with the GL2 blank.
Couldn't say for sure ask bantam1 they own the company...
Revamp that Gl2 with split foam grips and a cool blank color and you have a huge seller....guaranteed.

Tight Lines All!!!  

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If the day comes for me to spend over a 100 bucks for a rod , it will then be custom made and only Flechero or EJ Taylor would get that call 8-)

Are you sure you don't want to up that limit to $150? It is just my opinion but there are some really good rods from $120 - 150 that are a nice jump in quality from a $90 rod.

As for the other posts, maybe I misunderstood The Natural's original post but I thought he was making more of a "tongue in cheek" statement about those who buy just for looks and ignore the quality of a rod. Whatever the case, none of my rods are hot-looking but they get the job done. That's good enough for me.

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I bought a custom rod last month from a reputable maker here in Florida.  He said bring it back if you don't like it, I didn't and he gave me a full refund, NQA.  I'd buy only from a bricks and motor store and I want to know the ground rules upfront, I'd buy from his store again, he lived up to his "oral contract".

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If the day comes for me to spend over a 100 bucks for a rod , it will then be custom made and only Flechero or EJ Taylor would get that call 8-)

Are you sure you don't want to up that limit to $150? It is just my opinion but there are some really good rods from $120 - 150 that are a nice jump in quality from a $90 rod.

As for the other posts, maybe I misunderstood The Natural's original post but I thought he was making more of a "tongue in cheek" statement about those who buy just for looks and ignore the quality of a rod. Whatever the case, none of my rods are hot-looking but they get the job done. That's good enough for me.

How can the only person to get my post be the Senile guy  :).  It was totally tongue in cheek....you guys are slackin'.    

Reelmech-  I wasn't serious about a builder throwing together a bunch of rods...just making a point.  However, in reference to your response, the ecomony would only affect the price point of marketing a rod, not the design and style trends, which are extremely easy to identify right now.  I was referring to the Mojo as being one of the first inexpensive rods marketed in this way (not the first split grip).  Cabelas and Bass pro can't keep the mojo in stock....but they have plenty of premiers.  Why?  The Mojo is purple and has a split grip.  See what I mean?

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I was a machinist mate in the Navy for 10 years, mostly working as QA inspector for SSBN repairs all over the world.  I developed a love of fine machinery.

I bought one of the first Mazda RX-7's to ever be sold in Charleston SC because it was a wonderful machine and it looked great.

Today, I want fishing equipment that first works perfectly, or as close as humans can make it (that I can afford) and is a beautiful machine as well.  Rod and reels together represent the essence of true basic machines, the lever and the pulley, expressed in a fine presentation preforming a basic task of life, finding food.  What could be better?

With so many great choices for such relatively low prices, I can demand function and beauty and get it, even on a working man's budget.  You can bet any custom rod I buy will look like a million dollars.

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