Angling Trade September 2010

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The "Show" Issue


  • September2010

    InSIde The ShOW ISSue New Rod Technology/All About Margins/Legend Frank Moore/Reel People/ More from Guides/Q&A with Andrew Bennett/Growing the Sport


    the buzz on the flyfishing biz

  • / Septem

    ber 20103

    Departments6 editors Column The budding AFFTA democracy... The worm may indeed be turning, and it couldnt happen at a better time. By Kirk Deeter

    8 Currents The latest people, product and issues news from the North American fly fishing industry.

    20 Travel The steps any retailer can take to expand their travel business from hosting trips, to organizing full-on adventures. by Bill Marts

    22 Interview Reel People A brief Q&A with two of our favorite reel manufacturers, John Torok from Hatch Outdoors, and Kristen Mustad of Nautilus. By Will Rice

    40 Recommended ReadingA writer fly fishes... a sharp and poignant new collection of essays (even poetry) from an Alaskan scribe. Reviewed by Kirk Deeter

    60 Backcast Tom Bie on trade shows, and the need for this industry to create, and sustain, its own identity.




    Managing editor


    Art director


    Copy editors

    Mabon Childs, Sarah Warner

    Contributing editors

    Tom BieGeoff MuellerBen RomansAndrew SteketeeGreg Thomas


    Monte Burke, Joe Cermele, Lance Gray, Bill Marts, Will Rice, Bruce Smithhammer, Jeff Wagner

    Photos unless noted by Tim Romano

    Angling Trade is published four times a year by Angling Trade, LLC. Author and photographic submissions should be sent electronically to Angling Trade is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and/or photo submissions. We ask that contributors send formal queries in advance of submissions. For editorial guidelines and calendar, please contact the editor via E-mail.

    Printed in the U.S.A.

    Advertising Contact: Tim Romano Telephone: 303-495-3967 Fax: 303-495-2454

    Mail Address:PO Box 17487Boulder, CO 80308

    Street Address:3055 24th StreetBoulder, CO 80304

    Features26 Gonzo Graphite? Are the rod wars back on? A new resin has led to claims of newer, stronger, and better fly rods... but some companies are sitting this one out... for now. Is the new technology all its cracked up to be? By Geoff Mueller

    34 Icons... Frank MooreFly fishing is as much about people as it is fish, rivers, and insects. Angling Trade profiles a living legend, and one of the finest ambassadors and environmental stewards this sport has ever known. By Monte Burke

    42 Maintaining MarginEvery retailer knows that sales are one thing... but maintaining a profit margin is the key to success. We take the gloves off and dive into this sensitive issue, offering some keen insights on the gorilla in the room. By Jeff Wagner

    48 Q&A with Andrew Bennett of Deneki OutdoorsHow one guy has taken a passion, leveraged a unique marketing approach, and created a new paradigm for fly fishing travel. And... how you can work with him to make money. By Bruce Smithhammer

    54 The Guide Game How retailers can get more sales action through their best business ambassadors... fishing guides. By Lance Gray



    the buzz on the flyfishing biz


    Geoff Mueller Geoff Mueller is a contributing editor for Angling Trade trade magazine, and senior editor at The Drake. He was formerly the managing editor of Fly Fisherman magazine.

    Monte Burke Monte Burke is a staff writer for Forbes. Hes also a noted author, and a frequent contributor to Angling Trade, as well as a number of other fly fishing magazines.

    Bill Marts Bill Marts is a Destination Travel Specialist with The Fly Shop. A former fly shop owner and contributor to various fishing magazines, Bill has been to and fished just about everywhere weve heard about.

    Lance Gray Lance Gray owns Lance Gray & Company, a Willow, California-based guide service. He also conducts schools on everything from bass to steelhead fly fishing.





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    Will Rice Will Rice has a day job with Qwest but hes also a frequent contributor to Angling Trade, and he writes articles for a variety of fishing related blogs and magazines.

    Bruce Smithhammer Bruce Smithhammer is one of the masterminds behind the popular weblog Buster Wants to Fish, and a frequent contributor to The Drake. This is his first appearance in Angling Trade.

    Jeff Wagner Jeff Wagner is a merchandise financial planner with Cabelas Inc. Hes long been a part of the fly fishing industry as an aquatic biologist, a master casting instructor, and one of the longest-serving members of the Angling Trade team.

    Joe Cermele Joe Cermele is associate online editor for Field & Stream magazine. Check out the Hook Shots video series he produces at

  • Visit booth #615 at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Denver, CO Sept. 9-11.

    JOB#: RDT001-Angling Trade - Dealer Ad | PUBLICATION: Angling Trade - full page, full bleed, 4 color | TRIM SIZE: 8.375in x 10.875in, .25in bleed HAMMERQUIST STUDIOS:, 425.285.3363

    The New world of rediNgToN.New ProducTs To ATTrAcT New cusTomers.

    Check out our new line of products, aimed at bringing more people into the sport of fly fishing.

  • Angl




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    edITORS COLuMn

    All of you who have followed Angling Trade know Ive been throwing some high-and-tight fastballs lately. Not a coincidence. Weve talked about everything from divorces over trade shows to lost water in Utah to the waning trust in manufacturer-dealer relationships, and much more. Its my job to incite debate and action. I wont apologize for any of that in fact, Im proud of it. And now, more than ever, this industry needs action more than words. We need solutions more than explanations.

    The amount of thanks for telling it like it is feedback Ive received has been overwhelming. I did, however, receive one (only one) phone callinterestingly, from one of my oldest friends in this indus-try. I remember fishing with him as young trout bums, long before he became a powerful rep in this business, and before anyone ever cared about things I wrote in books or magazines. He wasnt calling so much to complain that I was being

    I had a long chat with Jim Klug, AF-FTAs newly anointed chairman, and as a result, I cannot help but like the way he thinks and where he intends to direct the trade group.

    But it isnt just an AFFTA thing nor should it be. If we think AF-FTA is equipped and ready to lead a renaissance at this point, we are sorely mistaken. It isnt a matter of intent its resources. All of usmanufacturers, media, retailers, and othersmust control our own destinies.

    To wit, Orvis launched a Fly Fishing 101 program that brought over 2,600 prospects (most of them, admittedly, had never fly fished) to stores and dealers in July alone. I say thats nothing short of great. And I hear Orvis only plans to amp the plan in the coming months even better.

    Ive heard many shops tell me the sledding has been hard, but theyre seeing the worm turn, and theyre making money. I am hopeful.

    We dont need another darn movie. The inherent beauty of fly fishing stands on its own merits. Frankly, Im willing to trust those who get it to convey that. And I know that the barriers between fly fishing and the bass nation werent borne of fly-snobbery; theyre there because the bass people put them there.

    So break them down.

    Just how we break down barriers, expand the sports appeal, and reach an end goal? Well, thats up to us to decide.

    Trade shows, consumer shows whatever else well, in the end, its all good and I cant help but won-der, Why cant we have it all?

    We can. We should. We Must. at

    When All is Said and done We Are a Family

    heavy-handed rather to remind me that were all in this together. His point was well taken.

    And as such, Id add that some of the points made in this forum have been well-taken also. We, as a fly fishing industry (or segment, or business, or whatever else you choose to call us) arent out of the woods, not by any stretch. But there are some things happening that make me optimistic.

    The International Fly Tackle Dealer trade show in Denver will be smaller in scale than past trade shows. But the effort put into pulling this thing together cannot be described as any-thing less than admirable. Its going to make money. And by mandate, half of the money it makes will be plowed into a revamped Discover Fly Fishing program that is specifi-cally designed to grow the sport. A little bit can go a long way in the effort to bring people through the doors of fly shops and that is, after all, AFFTAs mission.

    A few years ago, getting people to serve on the AFFTA board was about as easy as conscripting a crew to work a freighter bound to Indo-nesia. Twenty-eight different people threw their hats in the ring to contest for nine open positions on the AF-FTA board. I think this is a very good sign also.

    In direct response to the complaint that AFFTA was a manufacturer-dominated organization that has underserved the interests of retailers, guides, lodges, and the media, AF-FTAs board composition now m