Category Archives: product

Can Stink Bomb Be Far Behind?

plopplopFinally … fishing is saved.

I’ve oft wondered what would be the miracle technology that would restore fly fishing to living room prominence, and now via the miracle of BaitCloud, we can fling Alka Seltzers at each other and bask in the body count …

I keep thinking of how much safer it’ll be to wade treacherous currents knowing you’ll bob to the surface amidst a plume of ersatz Squid Bitz, or Sea Salt Crustacean.

With all the truly beneficial flavors in development; Garlic-mashed Pteronarcys, and Sriracha Earthworm, can Low Holing Stink Bomb be far behind?

Of late we’re no longer tormented about the far ranging impacts of Prawn-flavor_Number9, or whether Yellow_Dye #3 (which is released in quantity via Peanut Butter Caddis),  adds to the algae bloom,  or assists in feminizing trout. We’re still giggling about the trunk full of Stale Beer or Damp Diaper we can lob into the hole above the SOB with the nerve to take our spot …

Somewhere between tenkara and Hardy

It positioned me on the fringe of acceptable, but I’ve always felt comfortable there given my insistence that a hobby should cost less than a 30 year mortgage. A twenty-nine dollar fly rod and my prized,  eleven dollar “Red Rocket” reel made my ensemble cost less than fifty bucks … and at that price most of the “debutants” I was rubbing shoulders with were shunning me for not propping up my portion of the economy.

… but not before asking what fly I was using to land all them fish, naturally.

The reel was a trifle exorbitant, given that I had to buy six feet of extrudable nylon to use for the venerable “click-pawl”mechanism, and the postage from Amazon was another five, so the reel was ninety seven cents worth of powdered corn husks and six bucks worth of nylon scrim.


As I’d always stocked my vest with non perishables should a misstep leave me stranded on a trail somewhere, knowing the reel was once plant proteins and equivalent to a Wonka Everlasting Gobstopper, I knew a broken leg meant while awaiting rescue I could gnaw on the spool for precious proteins.

Calories not withstanding, us candy-assed “technological fishermen”, with our fixation on precision engineering and expensive materials from aerospace and the military, have never really thought through the physics of what we do and the cost benefit of what we carry.

Tenkara-style fishing has adequately demonstrated a reel isn’t critical to fly fishing. For eighty percent of us, our quarry is a nine inch, pen raised, pellet eating, softie – not likely to peel line for a city block or give us more than a few head shakes before we stomp life out of it.

It shouldn’t be overly surprising that hot plastic shat via computer nozzle can construct complex shapes whose tolerances make a simple storage device with a classic drag. “Ruby Red” and “Lemon Yellow”,  won’t earn any envious glances from the parking lot throng, and may even draw a few snickers, but parking lot loyalties have always shifted to whomever is catching fish, despite their initial fixation with form and fashion.


One of the fellows from work had printed out a prototype using Eclectic Angler’s plans, and while fluorescent green PLA was a bit hard on the eyes, the action on the reel was sound. The prototype is about the size of an LRH Lightweight (or Medalist 1494 1/2) and can hold 50-75 yards of backing and a WF-5F.

I was quite pleased with the reel and its simplicity. While reel companies fuss over titanium and composites it’s nice to return to the bare essentials – if for no other reason than to understand how  tackle has evolved into software; new features added without thought for the quarry, the physics, or the ROI.


Considering 3D printers are flirting with the $400 price tag already, this capability is likely to be mainstream fairly soon.  While the 3D reel is not likely to replace your existing trove of tackle, I would think it a great way to introduce your kids to fishing. An old rod coupled with a new technology yielding a flashy reel may stimulate your kid into giving Dad’s pastime a try – perhaps even making a life long impression.

Where these will really shine is the casting club’s twice yearly casting classes. Marry these with a couple dozen Chinese manufactured double tapers from eBay, and you can teach the public without fear of theft or breakage.

Wherein the ravages of time and middle age require prosthesis

It was a case of not knowing … what I didn’t know; how one day I too would be swearing at a tangle of glasses and lanyards, and how tenuous the grip on my sunglasses would be as I swapped them mid-riffle for my magnified readers …

… how I would find that suspending them from my neck just meant they would intertwine with clippers and hemostats, suck fly line into their snarl at the slightest breath of wind, and how either set would routinely tangle in branches and bankside undergrowth and threaten to garrote me should I move in any direction.

I too would learn that bifocals and trifocals suck in earnest, and how the “sweet spot” on their lenses isn’t sweet enough to bring into focus my water-refracted feet, and how anything short of a crablike scuttle is unwise while wading.

I guess my older buddies were reluctant to confess that the ravages of Time would deprive me of things I assumed I would enjoy forever – so I was ill prepared to require Little Blue Pills of Turgidity and “Coke Bottle” glasses to see tippet.

Two pairs of glasses dangling from your neck simply doesn’t work, given how quickly they will become intertwined with one another and anything else dangling from your vest. The venerable magnified loupe dangling off your sunglasses was a bit better, but after we parted company (compliments of scrub oak) I opted to abandon sun glasses altogether, and simply hung a set of 250X readers around my neck for all knot tying.

Unfortunately, you can’t wear the readers so you’re without eye protection or polarization and that solution is far from elegant.

Bifocals require you to move your head to find the small spot in the magnifying area that brings your fingers into focus, and while I’ve tried diligently to make the switch, I’ve abandoned them entirely. Too much of the lenses are neither magnified nor focused, so I find them infuriating to use.


I do keep tinkering with the combination of sunglasses and readers, and occasionally I spy something with the potential to alter my inelegant solution.

I am currently fiddling with the Hydrotac product shown above. These are a pair of semicircular lenses that can be stuck to any regular eyeglass (or sunglass) by simply moistening them. They peel off with finger pressure when you wish to remove them from your sunglasses.


Here is what they look like when dampened and attached. I’ve tamped the excess water off the lenses, and worn them for an hour or two fishing. They act much like a bifocal, but have the advantage that there is no out-of-focus areas. The Hydotac semi-circle are 250X magnification and the surrounding lense area are all the identical prescription for distance.


Here is a sample of the 250X magnification portion of the inserts. The magnification works quite well, and any issues of fish splatter or the lenses getting dirty can be resolved by peeling them off, rinsing them clean, and reattaching them to the glasses.

Naturally I would do this while resting comfortably on the bank. Cold fingers and fast water will likely peel these from your hands and you’ll be left with nothing.

I have not subjected the glasses to a lot of abuse so this is still a “work in progress” review. Falling headfirst into fast water may peel these off the lenses, so I don’t yet know how much stress the adhesion can withstand. Their protective container doesn’t strike me as being a good solution for your fishing vest, so some attention to their storage may be needed as well.

In either case, they work well for their purpose – and are about the same price as low cost reading glasses, about $20.00 per set. They are available in +125 to +300 magnification.

* Due Diligence: I purchased the set used in this review using my own money, no vendor freebies nor contact with the vendor was initiated nor accepted.

Certainly the IPO may make you some coin, but the value of will be the money you save

The financial wunderkind of Wall Street are already lining up in anticipation of the IPO of, a Chinese B2C web company that makes look like a neighborhood market.

… and it may seem odd to be talking high finance and initial public offerings on a fly fishing blog, but Alibaba and I are old friends, and has been the source of much of my fishing tackle, and all for pennies on the dollar.

Whether you plan on investing in the company is immaterial, what’s important is to understand how you can leverage their business model as a simple customer.

Computers were once thought to make offices paperless, electronic transactions replacing whiteout, staples, typewriters, and most interoffice correspondence. That promise has never been been realized  yet the migration from paper to electronic media continues. Each step forward results in some unforeseen Target debacle that makes us all leery of anything more complex than a #2 pencil ..

The internet held similar promise diminishing the “bricks and mortar” retail presence in lieu of countless web clicks, and while its impact on physical stores has been substantial, companies with significant retail presence have augmented their square footage with websites, and leverage both mediums.

What the Internet did successfully is destroy the notion of “B2C”, business to customer relationships, as the worldwide draw of a web presence made many millions of micro-transactions hugely profitable.

Pre-Internet a company would require a minimum order of 5000 bicycles to establish an account, and only other businesses could absorb that volume, private citizens could not.

The internet has undone the notion that other businesses are necessary to broker consumer sales and manufacturers are now free to cut the middleman out of transactions to enhance profits. Alibaba is an aggregator of manufacturers within a searchable interface that allows consumers to find manufacturers willing to sell direct to them, instead of only to other businesses. Consumers benefit from wholesale pricing, manufacturers get more profit per transaction, and the jobber is reduced to making the small dollars that bulk discounts can grant – rather than making profit at the expense of both manufacturer and consumer.

As manufacturing has largely been shipped overseas, China and the Orient are now the manufacturing engine for the entire world, and Alibaba breadth of product is ample demonstration that “Made in America” has been replaced by Hong Kong, Sialkot, or Hanoi.

Many of the rods, float tubes, waders, fish hooks, and fly tying materials, that we paw through at your local shop stem from the Orient, which is why is such a compelling shopping experience.

I’m not a fly shop, how can I benefit from wholesale?

As you can buy float tubes, motorcycles, or saddle hackle from Alibaba, all you need is the desire to buy a bit more than a bubble pack of something, or perhaps you wish to broker a purchase with a group of like minded fellows from your casting club.

Let’s take simple brass beads for fly tying as an example. Launch your browser at the address, and enter the search term,”fly tying beads” on the search bar at the top of their website.


Here is an example of the first vendor returned by that search, the Qingdao Leichi Industrial And Trade Co., Ltd., of Shandon, China. They sell every fly fishing item known, from fish hooks to IM6 fly rods and reels. From our perspective the most important feature is the Minimum Order required by the company, and for Tungsten or Brass socketed fly tying beads, that is 500.

In a fly shop a 25 pack of socketed brass beads is somewhere between $3 and $4. This manufacturer’s price varies weekly based on the international spot price of copper, brass, or tungsten, so a quote request (delivered typically as an Excel spreadsheet attached to an email) will only be accurate for a limited time.

The last time I purchased copper beads from this vendor they were about $4 per thousand, which is what a jobber like Spirit River pays. Most jobbers will allow the shop to double its money on the retail price, so it will sell a 25 pack to the store for $1.50 – $2.00. The jobber makes about $80 on its $4 purchase, netting them a profit of about 2000%.

… which is why both consumers and manufacturers want to reduce the middleman’s share.

Was I a fly shop owner Alibaba would be my only catalog, as I no longer need the jobber or his wares. The limitations of fly fishing’s niche customer base suddenly mitigated by my ability to get product directly from the manufacturer, thereby increasing my profits substantially.

… which has been the promise of micro-transactions and the Internet, now realized.

Because many thousands of small transactions are the same as a few large transactions, all manufacturers are moving to this B2B / B2C platform, and why Alibaba is such a hot topic among the retail brokerage houses.

Sending Money overseas, avoid Banks

Conducting business overseas has also been simplified by the Internet. There are three basic options available; your local bank, an ePayment vendor like PayPal, or Western Union.

Doing business with an entity like Qingdao Leichi Industrial And Trade Co., Ltd, will require you to exchange US dollars for Renminbi or Yuan. As the currency exchange rates also vary daily, prices quotes are usually good for a fixed amount of time. Banks like Wells Fargo or Bank of America should be avoided, as they are still stuck in archaic bank to bank exchanges and typically levy a $45 charge for brokering the transaction and money swap. Paypal (if the vendor accepts it, and many do) has a sub-$10 fee, as does Western Union, which can transfer money to Pakistan or Hong Kong faster (usually overnight) than banks (about a week), and for about a quarter of what banks charge ($10).

A Western Union account can be tied to a credit card making repeat shopping easy. You will need to call your credit card company on large transactions, and certain countries are on “watch” lists – due to fraud or hostile governments, you may need to pre-authorize the transaction to the destination country in order for it to complete its journey.

contactInitiating contact is done via email with the vendor. Each company has a contact name to request price quotes and all will contact you in English.

For small items like fly tying beads or fish hooks I typically ask if I can get samples, or can I pay the shipping to receive samples.

I don’t pretend to be anything I’m not, and typically will explain what my anticipated transaction will be if satisfied with the samples. You don’t need to be a company to do business here, so tell them up front you’re looking for a buy of about 10,000 beads, 2500 each of 3mm, 4mm, and 5mm, and perhaps a couple thousand more in Tungsten.

The Perils of the Orient

Each of the vendors on Alibaba are interested in sales, not fraud, and each of them have a satisfaction and longevity rating, allowing new customers a bit of insight into their past dealings.

It’s never a sure thing, but ask yourself how many of the thousands of affiliate shops on Amazon are intent on fraud. Good ratings drive sales, and sales is the reason they are offering their services, so it’s reasonable to assume a modicum of professionalism.

Copyright laws have little bearing in China and imitation goods are rampant, so you need to be cautious about “Made in China” versus a wader that appears to be a famous US manufacturer at a fraction of the cost. Sometimes it really is the same wader, sometimes it is merely an imitation of that wader, made of very poor quality materials and leaks like a sieve.

Note the availability of the “Battenkill” reel for $35. Whether this is the same reel rebranded by Orvis, we’ll never know. Request a sample, and if it’s a good reel, order a dozen more for your casting club and use them on rods loaned to the public during free casting classes. Fly lines and rods are available for a fraction of store prices, why not equip your club with an inexpensive and serviceable set of tackle for casting practice.

A great deal of the rods and high dollar equipment we use (float tubes, reels, etc.) are made by these same manufacturers and re-labeled by American companies, so you’ll need to do extra diligence before dropping the large dollars. Ask if a vendor in the states carries the item already, perhaps you can view or inquire of that middleman for additional information. Caveat Emptor, baby.

Take this standard one man rowable boat. In the US it may go for $600 –$1600 each. This vendor lists it as $300, minimum quantity only one needed. Postage will boost its price much more, so always inquire of the shipping fees. Typically DHL is used for normal packages, and freighter is likely used for the bulky pallet sized items. Nothing of size shipped from mainland China to the US will be cheap. is also one of the best sites to bulk purchase fly tying materials. Most of the iridescent and opalescent synthetics in use today are also manufactured in the Orient, so getting a few skeins of something that sells by the yard will save you considerable money.

It’s worth a couple evenings simply browsing all the categories and viewing prices. Our colloquial terms for items may not hold in their listings, and “float tube” might be “floating boat”, but you’ll find plenty once you drill down to the proper keywords.

The only real downside is you can’t park it by the John for uninterrupted browsing, like the old Herter’s catalog ..

Barbed wire, machine guns, and a handful of hackle

manzanar My past experiences with fishing videos had made me unprepared for something quiet and truly dignified.

I’m used to a (pirated) over-amped  Van Halen “Jump” – blaring at me while the artsy- angle turns Agile, Big & Silvery into Slow-Mo, while it showers the camera attempting to free itself from some coifed super-consumer, who’s just as intent on not spilling his Banana Daiquiri, while waving the carbon equivalent of a house payment.

Rather it was a simple historical narrative suggesting that to us fishermen, the McQueen-esque “Great Escape” is something we’re all willing to endure, given how fishing can be both defiance in the face of oppression as well as instrument of restored dignity and balance.

The film is entitled “The Manzanar Fishing Club” and recalls the outbreak of World War II and the subsequent removal of Japanese Americans from the West Coast and their relocation into the interior of California, near Lone Pine.

You see, in our house there was a sort of family prejudice against going fishing if you hadn’t permission. But it would frequently be bad judgment to ask. So I went fishing secretly, as it were–way up the Mississippi. – Mark Twain

With trout streams bordering the mile-square perimeter, and with 10,000 Americans penned within, many featuring a life-long fishing heritage, it’s not surprising that the barbed wire and armed guards of the US Army might prove porous in the face of large and willing fish.

As it was Veteran’s Day and my television was already dominated by tales of bravery mingled with blood and guts, it seemed fitting to take a break from Steve McQueen and James Garner evading the Nazi Menace and watch the ingenuity of an internee fashion a split bamboo rod out of glue, a garden rake, spent brass cartridges as ferrules and bent paperclip guides.

Funny how there are no red carpets and Academy Awards for that …

Lines made from cotton sewing thread and hooks made from bent needles, flies scrounged from Sears Roebuck or Herter’s, or simply a pocketful of freshly dug earthworms to make unsophisticated trout into a meal.

What’s more astounding is the details of long forays into the Sierra, how the lure of Mount McKinley had the most adventurous in search of Golden Trout, climbing the 12,000 foot peak and catching both the Colorado Cutthroat and Golden Trout, spending weeks in the woods with a minimum of equipment and often alone.

I’ve always been keenly interested in this period in American history, so I enjoyed the 70 minute feature very much. It illuminates a sordid piece of our past we’d just as soon forget, yet through their narrative gives us anglers insight and understanding on how our hobby can represent so much more in the face of loss of Liberty.

The DVD is $24.95 and available from

Redington to ply its wares straight to the Public

In what amounts to direct competition with fly shops, Redington will be marketing its products directly to the customer as of October 1st. Visitors to the Redington web site will be able to purchase products three ways; via dealers, direct from Redington, or via online dealer web sites.

“We are planning to go direct, but in no way, shape or form are we closing dealers,” he told Angling International. “It is simply a case of providing our customers with an additional option.”

Bale did concede that some dealers may choose not to continue working with Redington because ‘they may not like the direction we are heading’, but emphasized  that the underlying point is not to lose sales.

– via September 2011,  Angling International

Redington is part of the Farbank group of companies, which includes Sage, and Rio.

“Asked whether Redington’s plans for going direct could be the precursor for similar moves by fellow Farbank brands, Sage and Rio, Bale said there was currently no intention for this to happen.

However, if we look down the road five or ten years it is very likely that most brands will be selling direct and Sage and Rio could well be among them,” he added. “It is a question of timing, who goes first and how you do it.”

Looks like a significant break shaping up between the large manufacturers and the small fly fishing shops that make up the fly fishing business, something we mentioned a couple months ago. Are we to be left holding up the little guy while the big players woo Target and Walmart?

How to torment a Bamboo Rod Guy …

Do not accept imitationsWUSS, you’re nothing without those precious nickel silver ferrules kept limber by red deer fat

… especially since Hardy extincted the supply many years ago, and what few are left are stalked by flute playing sophomores  with a penchant for re-enacting “Her Majesty’s Secret Service.”

One of many treasures recently unearthed from the pile of unwashed laundry and fly tying materials in the Room That Has No Name.

I carry it on the outside chance that someone will forget butter and I’ll need something to flavor my Grits while they’re being rendered lovingly in the camp fry pan.

… Nose grease being right up there with Crisco as a potential substitute, unless BP has a well in the area and you can simply dip your ferrule in the creek …

Risk public ridicule and earn a hat in the doing

The Singlebarbed Grease Magnet

At one point both of them were black. The one on the left is what I’ve been wearing the last couple of years; fragrant with stale human, pomade, and insect repellant – the one on the right is clean, sterile, and looking for a home …

Them as has commented plenty are to be admired, given their penchant to lead chin first into the public space with wit, insults, and factual detail that corrects me when I get hasty or sloppy.

Ed Stephens, John Peipon, Jim Batsel, JP2, and Peter Vroedeweij – drop me a note with a mailing address, you’ve all earned a new brim.

… and yes, in polite company I’ll wear a clean one, maybe …

Technorati Tags: , , , ,

I really do fish in water and muck, wear waders, and fall in

airgill_shirt I took the commission without really thinking it through. I’ve never had to justify my extreme utilitarian sense of wardrobe, designed mostly to remove any fun out of shopping, with notes of Johnny Cash Black, and preference for solid colors so you can’t tell how many days I’ve worn it, or what that stain really is …

Columbia Sportswear had asked me to try a fishing/outdoors shirt, and as they were the maker of my prior shorty vest, worn some twenty years and recently retired, I agreed without thinking.

A few years spent guiding in hot weather had framed a pretty solid idea of what makes a good fishing shirt.  It had to be long sleeved, as a long sleeved shirt can be rolled up for cooling, or down for additional SPF rating, there would be a tee shirt under – so the exterior fabric wouldn’t stick to flesh if its owner was wet or sweating, and it would be a light neutral color – partly to blend in with surroundings, and partly to reflect sunlight.

Columbia’s latest iteration in outdoors fashion being the “Airgill” shirt, designed to keep the angler well ventilated and cool via numerous “gills” crafted in panels on both sides and rear of the garment.

The idea is sound, given how we move – and the nature of a light synthetic fabric worn loosely, but in practice what we do and how we do it prevents the shirt from achieving that goal with consistency.


Most anglers fish wet, with waders up to their chest and a fishing vest containing their flies and terminal tackle, and while I’d like it to be otherwise, in that configuration the Airgill shirt is pressed tight to the body and has no ability to ventilate.

If worn in a tucked in and belted configuration, one-third of the rib gills are obscured by pants and belt, and offer no ventilation at all.

In all I wore the shirt six times in three configurations; loose with nothing over the top, with fishing vest over the top, and the hot weather configuration – loose with vest and hydration pack.

You can guess the outcome.

Loose and unfettered was the coolest configuration, as it allowed all those technical panels to let in breeze and pass it across vast expanses of sweaty flesh.

Bound with a vest, or sealed at shoulder and mid chest with the straps of a hydration pack, removed almost all the cooling qualities of the gill areas in sides and the back, and made the shirt an ordinary long sleeve shirt.

It’s difficult to suggest the design is flawed, but ignoring the presence of waders, nets, lunches, and all the connective straps of waders and belts, suggests the designer was enamored of his technical vision, and ignored entirely what it is that fishermen do.

Perhaps if I had my tackle lying in the boat, and was stalking a fish on salt flats in an effort to get closer, with some guide whispering encouragement – this may be the shirt needed. If I’m looking to cut a rakish and technical figure in my flip-flops while embracing a pre-dinner cocktail, this may be the shirt … but if I want my monies worth on all that carefully crafted stitchery, I don’t see how that’s possible given the way we fish.

There were a number of issues with the product that I liked:

The fabric was light and absorbed almost no water. If an angler was to get the garment wet, a simple hand-wringing and the shirt would be dry to the touch. Really excellent choice of fabric, given how frequently an angler takes a bath unbidden.

Nice technical touch on the arms, allowing a rolled up sleeve to be secured to the arm in the rolled-up position. A small loop and a eyed segment of cloth inside the sleeve allows the sleeve to roll up and be secured in that position. Useful if you dip the arm in water (wading deep)and all that rolled up sleeve loses its integrity, flopping wetly against the arm while casting.

Tight weave on the cloth ensures a high SPF rating. If you feel you’ve had your limit of sun and roll the sleeve down, the dense weave ensures you won’t bake further. Manufacturer claims the weave to be SPF 50 (see commercial).

Size of the garment was true to label. With most garment manufacturers off-shoring most of their business you can sometimes get different ideas of what Large, Medium, and Small, can be – especially so given the prevalence of the metric system in many of the manufacturing countries, despite the wearing public living in foot-inches. The sizes were accurate and matched with other quality clothing.

Shortcomings of the shirt are limited to price and function.

Obligatory Vendor Sermon

With the uncertainty of the economy, an unreliable body politic more interested in posing than accomplishing anything, with 10% of homeowners either underwater or mailing in the keys to their homes, and with 10% of the workforce idle, now is not the time to buy extraneous $80 shirts …

Why? Because clothing is always the bastard child of the fishing industry, with big city stores stocking great gouts of stylish fabrics and colors, and destination shops limited to tee shirts – the only constant being that after Christmas you can buy all of it for 70% off …

If my luggage didn’t follow me to Bogota, I’ve got an issue … but saving that, I’m not buying “fishing” shirts because with all the austerity measures I’ve taken, the pending Christmas sale coming, and my spouse’s ever-present worry about whether we’ll have jobs tomorrow, there’s no reason to purchase anything not absolutely critical to the success of the trip.

In the meantime, I’ll buy some nice long sleeved cotton shirts that lack all the technical functionality, yet just .. simply .. work. I’ll save a few bucks for the Christmas sale, but likely I’ll be sidetracked by a reel, or extra line.

Without the garment being designed for fishermen, by a fisherman, it loses much of the technical functionality it boasts – making it just an expensive long sleeve shirt for me – and a technical statement for the fellow that growls by in a bass boat, flanked by bulging tackle boxes and bigger ice chests.

Summary: I actually liked the shirt when worn outside of fishing. It was light, comfortable, and worked well in the blistering 105 degree temperatures. It’s not a “fishing shirt” however, as once you expose it to fishing conditions with vests, waders and everything else – it’s just a normal shirt.

Full Disclosure: Columbia Sportswear graciously provided me with sample shirts to wear, and has been a good sport about the endeavor given the prior article I wrote (link above) and my initial reactions to the color provided.

I have since turned down another clothing vendor as my lack of fashion sense and my inability to make small talk at cocktail parties, coupled with the fact that I really do fish in water and muck, wear waders, and fall in – makes me a poor judge of clothing.

A change of heart is fine, just drop the shoe price by half and we’ll like you again

vibram As mentioned this morning in Angling Trade, SIMMS has apparently pulled the plug on its self imposed felt ban, and will be making all manner of felt soled wading shoes for 2012.

Naturally we’ll assume that’s it’s the suddenly decreased threat of Didymo that’s the root cause of this change-of-heart, or it may simply be the recognition that angler behavior is the key to invasive species spread, and like prostitution, it’s tough to legislate morality.

Me, I think their holy oath resulted in being spanked smartly in the retail aisle, given any discussion on rubber soles amongst anglers brings great froth, dissent, and much vitriol over their efficacy. Adding additional burden has been the lack of reliable information from shoes owners, given that the same boot is mentioned both as slippery, useless, and wonderful, depending on who’s doing the pontificating.

One industry insider said it best, “Simms tried to score green marketing points at everyone else’s expense, and after they largely succeeded, now want the brown dollars to go with them…”

Nothing like the potential for a downward slide of the sales graph to make folks rethink their commitment to the Pristine.

We know felt is not the only material that has spread invasive species and disease,” Walsh said, “but felt is surely part of the problem. At Simms, we’ve decided to be part of the solution.”

The SIMMS “solution” being to orphan your current shoe, sell you a new rubber variant that is less reliable in slime, then have a sudden change of heart, hoping us anglers follow blindly and buy another set?

Fat chance of that happening, you’ve mortgaged what faith your public had already, Lumpy.

I say SIMMS should drop their shoe price by half, allowing us anglers to purchase two pair, which will allow us to be less infectious as we can swap wet for dry, and potentially restore some of that good will we once had toward vendors.

You can get some good will…  I love SIMMS already – due to the panic caused by their earlier announcement, I scored three sets at $40 when the shops unloaded all that tasty felt  …