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I just had to trod on some kids fingers to get my rod, but he’ll live

Incredibly worthless cultural dregs compliments of eBayOur earlier post on expensive fly rods led me to  eBay, it’s one of those places folks warn you about like CostCo;  impossible to stick to your budget, the sizes are huge, and you walk out with 6 weeks worth of Tootsie Rolls, only because that’s the only size they had…

The eBay phenomenon is legend, tales of sundered marriages, accumulation of worthless stuff in hidden corners of the garage, and the arrival of little cardboard boxes – punctuated by you being thrown off the computer because some auction is expiring.

It’s still home to the occasional bargain, and beats paying $750 for a rod – assuming you can find what you need. My mission was to replace a 7 weight with a stress crack without giving up the kid’s college fund or skipping a mortgage payment.

Everything I remembered still holds true, nothing matters but the last minute of the auction and the professionals (those with garages full of crap) outnumber us amateurs handily.

Using the simplest query “fly rod” yielded 2500 rods, and I perused all of them. Think marathon, not sprint – I saw old, new, bizarre, and busted, with retailers providing the bulk of the inventory, not individuals with treasure in the attic.

Leland Outfitters in San Francisco sells all their trade-in rods on eBay, as do a number of shops. It’s also a fertile field for the wholesalers that sell “cosmetic seconds” from vendors like Orvis, Sage, and the Powell Rod Co.

My first attempt was for an Orvis 9ft 7 weight, tip flex – 2 piece, no case. I knew better than to think I was going to get this beast, I just needed practice on how to throw elbows on that critical last minute of auction. That rod went for $127.50, with about 9 bids landing in the last 45 seconds.

The rod I was really after was an Orvis T3, 10 ft #7 line, 2 piece, no case, a discontinued model that will replace my float tube “bass rod.” The extra length is handy when you’re low to the water, and I can always make a tube with PVC pipe and some adhesive. It was $90 going into the final minute, I gave it a $160 maximum offer, and waited for the ensuing carnage.

Six other lads had the same idea, but I offered 50 cents more and am the proud owner – at $150 it’s fairly priced. ($162.50 after shipping)

EBay is the “elephant graveyard” of the 4 piece flyrod, it’s obvious that both owners and shops have trouble unloading these specialized travel rods – if you’re contemplating such a purchase, it won’t hurt to take a “look see” – I must have seen 50-75 of them, mostly new – and in every line size possible.

As always, caveat emptor, but don’t take prisoners. 

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But wait, there’s more …

Good against remotes is one thing, good against the living is another I’m not so sure the biggest fly shop on the planet isn’t our old friend eBay.

Been busy with mundane tasks this weekend, none of them fishing related – but managed to reacquaint  myself with the eBay phenomenon and how it’s morphed over time.

So few people selling rods and tackle and so many shops – makes perfect sense as the season is closed for many of the little “destination” shops, and they can use eBay to hawk their tackle and flies year round. I think that’s great.

They claimed the Internet was going to change everything, while it may not have done so completely, it’s clear evidence of an option we never had before.

It’s clear that the seller’s know what they have – but it’s still fun to wander through the catalog looking for an extra spool for a 10 year old reel, a replacement tube for a rod, or some vendor trying to get rid of last year’s fly lines so he can restock.

An odd mix of fly shop, flea market and caveat emptor. I can certainly see why the tales of junk collecting are true. The temptation to buy that shattered Leonard rod so that you can salvage a ferrule off it can lead to a garage full of crap.

I have my eye on a couple items, and we’re not averse to throwing a elbow at some faceless stranger. See you on the sniping line.

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The Mayfly Boxers are worth the trip

Mayfly Boxers are the Shiznit! An interesting story about an artist that abandoned life as a Wall Street equity trader to paint trout on absolutely everything.

The Painted Trout may be the first “trout theme” items that didn’t make me cringe, then again, I might be completely jaded.. At least the greeting cards didn’t have any of the stuff Daytripper mentioned in his “Top 10 Played Out Words” post.

I found the stuff tasteful and interesting, you might want to give it an eyeball.

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