Being brand loyal or (just a bit) faithless

IMG_3044Some fly fishing tackle manufactures offer a lifetime warranty on their products. But warranty is one thing – long time relationship to one brand is another. And to be faithful for life… well that sure is a long time.

Any high profile brand has got their dedicated followers: People who are dying to get their hands on any new product from their favorite brand. I’ve never been into that: Mainly because every brand has their ups and downs. Say fly rods. Every major brand (and even some pretty obscure brands as well) has made rods that are fabulous, some that are mediocre and some that are just plain lousy.

A faithful marriage to one brand – is like joining a political or religious movement. You kind of have to take the whole package – even though part of it sucks big time. Anyway, regarding fly rods… these days I find myself dividing my loyalty between Telluride, Bainbridge Island and Woodland :0)

“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens”

J. R. R. Tolkien

In my rod rack I have a number of rods that I find outstanding: Some for their versatility and some for their ability to perfectly fit just one purpose. Today I guess I’m mainly a streamer fishing kind of guy, so the bulk of my collection is rods in the # 5 – 9 weight class, with a few lightweight exceptions thrown in for good measure (and for dry fly and nymph fishing days).

Most of these are classic rods from Sage, G. Loomis, Scott, Fenwick, Hardy and a few other brands. Classic in this context meaning: Rod series that have been around long enough to prove their lasting value in hard core fishing situations. I mean… the brand new Sage Salt might be regarded a freaking classic in a few decades, but no one can say for sure, yet. Only time will tell.

But rods from Sage RPL, RPLX, SP and LL series have shown their enduring qualities. The same has rods from Fenwick’s HMG series (the first generation), G. Loomis GLX Classic and quite a lot of others. All of these rods have achieved some kind of cult status (ok… the RPLX might be an acquired taste, but I like it for what it does best, long distance casting with bulky flies- even in a gale).

New rod series are announced every year. Some of these will disappear and be forgotten in a blink of an eye. The only one that will remember these blind alleys in the fly rods path of evolution will be their designers (who probably would want to forget everything about them).

But then… some of the new rods for 2015 will be the classics of the future. Question is: Which

If you have a guess on that last question, a meaning on brand loyalty… or even a full blown love affair with one brand, feel free to comment :0)