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BrianBM

Century demo at J

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Going to a manufacturer's demo day at a tackle store is fun for any tackle nut. Van Staal and Advanced Tackle, the Century rod people, had a demo day 10 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. at J&H. Ryan White was there with an assortment of rods and blanks, and couple of rods are apparently staying at the store for sale - at least, they had J&H tags on them. The lawn out front of the store is long enough for a little cautious, cautious test casting, so Ryan and I went out front and I had fun. I made notes on the following rods.

 

Century S-1, 1325, 11' and two pieces,rated for 1-4 oz., in a spinning rod configuration with choker (? might've got that wrong) guides. This has a moderate, almost parabolic action. There is probably a CTS VT rod that's sorta somewhat similar. I liked this rod a LOT. Depending on your taste in guides and bling, this would be a high $400 to low $500 rod. I had brought one, two, three and four ounce sinkers, liked it really well at the bottom of the weight register. This would, I suspect, be a heck of a light bucktail/bomber rod, and go with pencil poppers fine. I don't think I'd fish it at 4 oz. A grand summer rod.

 

Century 1505 and 1506, two piece rods, which correspond with the earlier 144L and 144M; the 144L was HPD's pick for surf roosters, when he was writing about his rooster excursions to Baja. These are big rods, 12'6", both test rods in spinning configuration with concept guides. The rods were rated 1-4 and 2-5 but both have - I think - more at the top end. The 2-5 could just as well be 2-6 or 3-6, (based on the very limited casting I can do in a parking lot with plenty of windshields and plate glass windows within reach of an errant cast.) They'd be nice rods with which to fish a fall ocean surf with a stiff wind in your face. They might be too big for crowded locations, a jetty or the Cape Cod Canal. Too big for use under Montauk light, and probably not a good choice if you like to swim to a rock. I think I'd want shorter and slower, if I fished that way. Montauk, north side to Shagwong? Sure. YMMV.

 

Century F-MA, the successor to the FMJ, concept guides, a split reel seat, 12' and a beast, an absolute beast of a rod. This is, IMHO, more rod than a NE plug and tin caster needs, save for those few here (and we do have some) who regularly fish 4-6 oz. plugs. It could go higher, too.

 

KNE 1206, one of the Northeaster series; 10', 1-4 oz., concept guides. This was fine too.

 

I didn't put money down on anything. If I'm going to spend these prices on a rod on a really top-technology blank, it's going to be custom to specification. as opposed to the limited-production product in the store. The single most important thing I want is placement of the reel seat exactly where I want it. If a store rod gives you what you want, great. More often the distance from butt cap to the center of the reel seat is sized for a ballpark average buyer. Even if you're not into rod bling, these rods cost up to $750 (you could spend more, if you really want to do so.) I didn't like the split reel seat on one rod. I want the entire length of the butt covered by something, foam, cork tape, no graphite exposed to chipping on a boulder on that inevitable occasion when you take a pratfall. Things like this ..

 

It would be really, really fun to compare these rods with similar product from CTS, but a joint demo is not likely to happen. Flyvice has three of every rod, reel and line known to man. Let's plan a Flyvice Raid Fling, we'll swoop down on his house in the dead of night and take his rods out for test casting while he's distracted by a stripper that we'll hire for the occasion. I will set that up later in the winter. ;)

 

Ryan had something else that was interesting - a pre-production Release Reels Surf. This wasn't a complete reel, lacking a handle, and it had the tool markings you get when you're setting up a production line and running test samples. He said it'll be out "soon." Lever drag enthusiasts, take note.

 

This isn't an endorsement of Century vs. CTS, or Lami, or anyone else, so please don't mistake it for one.

 

I didn't stop to chat with Craig Cantelmo about VS product, as I don't need to swim with reels.

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I have no clue why gear manufaturers (rods, reels, plug bags, etc) have not thiught of the idea i am about to propose... Its a no brainer.

Here it is: nothing sells a product faster than letting someone test it out first hand. Many people will buy a rod they tested iver another simply because they got to actually use it, and they like it.

Demo days are a decent attempt, but fall short as they are a few times per year.

If i were a rod manufacturer or sales rep, I would provide popular tackle shops with one rod of each model to be available on demand for a free overnight demo by an interested customer. I guarantee you this would result in substantial increase in sales. Its a no brainer, with minimal investment. I you have the option to try brand "x" rod for a night, and cant test any of the other brands, i bet the majority will buy a model they got to try vs. a rod they just violently shook or their friend pulled on in the shop .

Seriously... Why this isnt happeneing is beyond me. You can do it with surf tops, reels, rods. Its essentially a 365 day a year demo day for a brand.

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Its not available... Its my idea of how to run a business if you want to make money, and what i would be doing if i was a distributor.

Its a no brainer, yet completely overlooked.

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Stopped for a while with my waders still on. Most of the rods on display I own. Brian. Did you get to see Ryan's 5 piece 12' prototype SS. Fantastic Travel Rod. Only thing is that it would be much more in price than the 2 piece SS.

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He mentioned the 5 piece rod to me, but the two piece rods are pricey enough. Bassadanna, which of the rods were you fishing this morning, and what do you like it for?

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The 144SS. It can do anything. Plugs ....Tins....(Thanks Lou for that build).. That's just the first rod I pulled out today. Didn't need distance. When I do the FMA is such a good distance fishing stick it's what I'll pull out when throwing lures and you need a little more. The Tip Tornado didn't feel as good to me.

Oh yeah.... I did pull out the CTS S8 144 in red this morning.......Cancer Awareness.

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Its not available... Its my idea of how to run a business if you want to make money, and what i would be doing if i was a distributor.

Its a no brainer, yet completely overlooked.

 

Pistol....don't think it's been overlooked.....think it's not practical from seller's/vendor's perspective:

 

1-For rods, butt length would vary by caster, as would guide setup vary by reel/line used.......no way a seller could accommodate those variations. How would you determine if it were a fit issue or a tester technique issue? For every person the setup may work for, there'd be 10 it would not.

 

2-For reels, you have the challenge of each tester wanting his own brand and/or size of line filled to just the right amount (height on the spool).....that could be the responsibility of the tester....but here again the greater risk is with the seller. When the line wraps the guides and breaks off, is it the tester's problem with the amount of line he loaded, the kind of line he used, the diameter of the line he used? could it be his flawed technique? or could it be the reel and/or the distance from reel stem to first guide...........How does the tester and seller work thru these challenges?

 

3-There will always be those who will abuse the system, i.e. not return the merchandise or return it abused/damaged.....unless the collateral were the cost of the product.....which obviously would not be attractive to the tester.......just buy it and return if does not work out. Why would a vendor take all these risks.....don't think it's a viable business model.

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Bassadanna, interesting that you like the FM-A as a distance stick. Casting in water is a lot more informative then a lawn; what range of weights do you like with it?

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The potential with it is scary. I love it throwing 3 oz to 5 oz. sweet spot? Hard to say. Pendulum with ease. Plugs are worked easily thanks to that light weight blank. My rod was made with Lowriders in contrast to what you may have checked out today in K guide set up. I paired mine with a Penn Affinity 8000 although not the lightest distance reel anyone that knows me knows I can put it out there.

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I have no clue why gear manufaturers (rods, reels, plug bags, etc) have not thiught of the idea i am about to propose... Its a no brainer.

Here it is: nothing sells a product faster than letting someone test it out first hand. Many people will buy a rod they tested iver another simply because they got to actually use it, and they like it.

Demo days are a decent attempt, but fall short as they are a few times per year.

If i were a rod manufacturer or sales rep, I would provide popular tackle shops with one rod of each model to be available on demand for a free overnight demo by an interested customer. I guarantee you this would result in substantial increase in sales. Its a no brainer, with minimal investment. I you have the option to try brand "x" rod for a night, and cant test any of the other brands, i bet the majority will buy a model they got to try vs. a rod they just violently shook or their friend pulled on in the shop .

Seriously... Why this isnt happeneing is beyond me. You can do it with surf tops, reels, rods. Its essentially a 365 day a year demo day for a brand.

When the Legends came out a few years ago a local shop had a couple of models they would let guys take out and try. The problem is how do you make sure they don't steal it or break it If it were reels you have to keep replacing the line,stuff getting scuffed up and scratched. Once you let people use it ,it becomes a used and cannot be sold as new. IMHO too much down side with minimal return.

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Its quite simple...

 

You leave a small refundable deposit wit credit card number. If you steal it you bought it.

 

The rod being i designated as a demo rod... If you like it, you buy a NEW one. Then more people try the demo rod, and then they buy a new one... Thats the whole point. The demo item does not get sold, so a scuff here and there doesnt matter.

It takes money to make money. Theres more to moving product than stocking items and hoping for the best.

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