Saturday, June 23, 2012

Why it is Important to Buy Fly Fishing Gear Made in America

Back in December 2011 I did a post on buying American made goods, and how it would help our economy here in the United States. Well recently I came across an article that was written about this very issue at the Perfect Fly. The article was written by James Marsh with what I think is a very in depth view of why we as individuals should buy American made products. This article really touched me to the point I just had to share it with you guys.

Fly Fishing Gear Made In America?The other day a friend of mine said something like "I wouldn't have such and such -
it isn't made in America". It reminded me of an annoying automobile insurance
company TV ad and I said in response, "have you been living under a rock'? I
wasn't sure he caught on to that so I added
"Get your head out of the sand, Sam
- fly fishing gear isn't made in America".
I reminded him of the last trip I made to Bentonville Arkansas to deal with the
sporting goods buyer for Walmart. She said, "Mr. Marsh, you are lucky to get an
appointment with me - I'm in China most of the time". If you took everything made in
China out of the nation's largest retail stores of Walmart, there wouldn't be anything
left but the girls that cut hair in the beauty salon and most of them are probably from

The same thing is true of the so-called sporting good box stores. If Bass Pro Shop
gear was made in America, Jamie McMurray would watch Saturday's Bristol Nascar
race from his couch instead of the #1 Bass Pro car. There has to be a White River
in Asia.

If Cabelas fly fishing gear was made in America, Dick Cabela would probably still be
selling "hand tied flies" by mail order from his kitchen table. Well, I take that back.
He's a very smart man. He would have probably developed the world's first machine
that ties flies but for now, I think Cabelas gets their flies from Kenya.
Oh, I almost completely forgot about the few remaining Mom and Pop fly
They all would feature "Retail Space for Lease" signs except for those that
still had a few pairs of Simms waders and patch kits remaining in their "Going out of
business sale".

I can't think of any other waders made in America. Everything sold by Patagonia, for
example, sure wasn't made in California. All the other items Simms sells, or
soft-goods such as their fly fishing bags and other accessories come from China
unless I'm badly mistaken.

By the way, check the shoes on your own two feet. Where did they come from?
Where did the computer monitor your reading this article on come from? Do you
have an American made TV? If so, please let the rest of the world know who
manufactured it. What about your cell phone - was it made in America? If you have,
a fishfinder or GPS receiver on your boat, was it made in America? If you're going to
pretend to buy America, you better crawl under your couch and do it. Well, maybe
not the couch. If it's fairly new and the entire sofa didn't come from a foreign
country, the material it's made of probably did. By the way, the flies in the fly box on
the coffee table - the ones you just purchased from your local Mon and Pop fly shop
- they most likely came from Indonesia.

Oh, please excuse me.
I almost forgot the American fly fishing icon - Orvis.
They still assemble their high end fly rods in Vermont - but not the low priced ones -
they come from China
along with all of their fly reels and most everything
else they sell
. If Orvis product was made in American, they have a Guinness Book
of World records - the world's smallest factory. The only Orvis factory I've seen isn't
much larger than an average automobile tire shop.

Now you may be one of those highly sophisticated anglers. You may buy from
Hardy of Great Britain? They almost have a complete line of fly fishing tackle.
That's just fine with me as long as you realize
everything the sell is made in
There are still a few fly rods made in America but I guess as a matter of survival,
companies like Winston and Saint Croix now have their low-end rods made in China.

Loomis Rods is owned by Shimano of Japan. They are certainly not made in

Even the age old icon of an American rod company Sage, now owns Redington.
Everything Redington sells is made in China unless I am bad wrong and I don't think
so. Well, some of the parts may come from other foreign countries.

I'll give Scott Rod Company credit. They are still all made in America as far as I
know. Notice they no longer make an entry level rod. I wonder why?

Not everything is seemingly non-American. When you get away from the small
markets like fly fishing, you have to consider that many of our large, good old
American companies such as
Bank of American and General Motors are still
going strong, or at least they seem to be doing well. I'm glad they are because like
most of you, some of
the income tax I paid went towards the money the
federal government loaned them back when they were bankrupt and year
or two ago.
Opps, let me get back to fly fishing. I almost forgot the newest, hottest fly rods on
the market -
Temple Fork. They are good old made in Texas fly rods - right?
No, Wrong.
Temple Fork fly rods are made in Korea. Yes, even though 75% or
more of the people that own a Temple Fork fly rod are unaware of it, their rods were
made in Korea. Yes, I'm sorry but this is true even though the fly fishing American
Icon himself, Mr. Lefty Craig, praises them enough to put his name on some of
them. He's the X Mr. Sage fly rod man, remember?

By the way, I own a Temple Fork fly rod. They are very good rods for the money.
They are more than that. They are proof of the real problem that exist on a much,
much larger scale.
They are proof that fly rods made in America cost a lot
more for very little more.
Just in case you are wondering, writing this is making me sick at my stomach
because I don't like anything about what I have written..
China and other
countries are rapidly replacing what made America
and for my grand
children's sake, I'm very concerned about it. One reason this is happening, is the
general public is mostly unaware of just how big this problem is. The average
person is not aware of just how fast we are losing out to other countries and what
that means to the security of this country.

I am writing this for information to make sure none of the thousand plus people that
read my daily articles on this website are not living under a rock like my buddy Sam.

If you did the numbers, you would find less than 10% of all fly fishing tackle,
gear and flies are made in the United States.
If every citizen n the United States was aware of just how much of the product they
use came from foreign soil, they would likely be just as upset as I am. It's not just the
small items like electronics and fishing gear. It's not just the furniture, clothes,
shoes, etc. It's not just a part of the automobile industry. Nowadays, it's even most
of what a high-rise building is constructed of. It's almost everything we need or use.
It's almost everything but the soil we live on.

If you think there's not anything you can do about it, your wrong.
The only one that
can do anything about this is you.
That said, buying only American made
product isn't the answer. That's not a feasible solution for anyone. That's probably
even impossible.
Like it or not, we live in a global economy.I think the answer lies in electing leaders who first of all are able to grasp and
understand the problems involved and who will strive to do the things that are in the
best interest of the United States of America.


Michael Agneta said...

It's an interesting point you raise Bill. I don't think there's anything one can do to get large scale manufacturing back to the US. Even besides China, there are too many underdeveloped countries were companies could move in a heartbeat to keep production costs low.

In my opinion, it's more important to me to support American companies, or even foreign companies that employ a lot of Americans by having a solid corporate presence in the United States. It may be a narrow view, but that's where job growth (or at least retention) will come from... Like you said, it's a global economy, everyone needs to recognize that.

cofisher said...

Gee whiz Bill, just made me sick to my stomach also. First things first. Let's try to find an honest politician that hasn't sold his soul to the devil for a handful of Yen. Then tax the hell out of those Asian fly rods when they try to sneak across the border. Of course, then someone will give them amnesty as long as they haven't broken any laws..Sorry, I've got so many issues with this country right now I get my problems confused.

Feather Chucker said...

Pretty good, and your article did have me thinking. Looking around my house thinking how much of this is actually made in america? I always wondered why even hooks aren't manufactured in the US? Is the material for those even more expensive to produce here?

Ty said...

Interesting post Bill. I had this conversation recently with a friend who owns a business here. He needed to buy 500,000 small magnets for his business. He wanted to buy from another American company, but their magnets cost twice as much as those from China. He had to buy the magnets from the Chinese company because that made the most financial sense for his own business. It's a tough deal all around.

WDSTK3 said...

Miller's Fly Shop of Tyler, TX?

Bill Trussell said...

Yes even hooks are manufactured in China,very little we come in contact with everyday is manufactured in the U.S.--SAD!!
Thanks for the commnet

Bill Trussell said...

Every time I read an article like this it gets me upset. You are right we as individuals can do something about this situation. We need to realize that sending the same politicians back to Washington time and time again is a waste of our of our tax dollars. The public here in this country seen to be like robots; programmed to vote for the same elected officials over and over again. Nothing is going to change until we get new bodies in Washington, some that will hopefully be committed for a better economy. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

Until the politicians here in this country wake up and realize that outsourcing jobs to other countries is counter production to our economy; then we will continue to see economic decline. Thanks for the comment

Josh said...

If we elect Romney, it's gonna get worse out there!! We need more checks and balances in this free market society. Buy American and buy my flies, lol.

ian said...

i am truly shocked if you are right and that all hardy products are made in china

Mark Kautz said...

Hi Bill. Let me tell you a little story about where I used to work. Senior Vice President talking to the employees at an "all hands" meeting. Everybody in our branch was in attendance. He says, "We have people in India, with Masters Degrees, doing the work at 1/10 the cost of employees in the United States. We don't call it Outsourcing, we call it Globalsourcing" That was following a massive layoff at our branch. Good thing nobody had a gun on them.


Bill Trussell said...

I realize that we will never be able to stop the outsourcing completely, but there could be an effort made to slow it down. My wife and recently saw a guy on Shark Tank by the name of Donny McCall who had invented a Cargo Management System for any size pick-up truck. To make a long story short all the Sharks refused to invest in his product because he wouldn't have it build in China. Check out these links this guy is an American Hero!!--He proved all of them wrong

Bill Trussell said...

I really feel for anyone who has lost their job. It is a shame when huge corporations puts more effort into profits as oppose to helping individuals keep their jobs. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

I really don't think it makes any difference who is elected President nothing will get done simply because of the all the gridlock in Washington. The President can only do so much and without the cooperation of congress his hands are tied. That is why I made the statement to Howard we need to clean house and start with a new congress; but of course we know that isn't going to happen--too many powerful lobbyist will keep them in power –thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

I hope I am wrong, let me know what you find out. Thanks for the comment

Bill Trussell said...

A great example of a family own business. Thanks for the link

Brk Trt said...

It's no longer our economy. Most American company's in order to compete have to have some of if not all of there products built on foreign soil. I will buy much of my gear from US companies, making sure much of it is made here.
Do what you can to help the little guy and hope it's enough.

Bill Trussell said...

I agree small businesses are the backbone of this economy. I only hope they can survive. Thanks for the comment