This business appears not to be in operation anymore. I can understand why. Decent idea on paper, but I’d think it would be hard to make it work.
I saw a little link on The Trout Underground to a new business that is renting rods and reels. This is one of those things that is hard to see how it plays out. It could be that someone rents an Xi3 and takes a trip to Belize and realizes that he/she needs to do this every year and they go back and buy that rod. It could be that the angler who has a once in a lifetime trip to the Bahamas rents that Xi3 and never fishes the salt again. Does the “industry” come out ahead or does it lose out? I don’t know. My crystal ball is in the shop at the moment… can’t wait to get that thing back!
You can rent a Sage 6000 series reel for $15. That reel is normally $600-$700. That sounds really reasonable as the rental is for a week.
You can rent a Sage Xi3 for $100 for a week. The rod normally $725 (for the 8 weight). That sounds a bit high, really.
In saltwater the rod is kind of important, but the reel… that’s where your trip falls apart really, really fast if things go wrong and there are way more things that can go wrong with a reel than there are with the rod (me thinks). Am I off base on this?
For the consumer, it offers you another choice… you can rent a rig for a week and see how you like it (so long as that rig is either a Sage or TFO rod and one of two Sage model reels). You could take that trip without dropping $1,400 for the reel and the rod… what you’d pay for that Sage rod/reel combo.
If it means fewer sales at your local fly shop… well… that’s bad. Enough fly shops are shutting their doors these days. Each local fly shop is a gem and each time one closes, we are poorer for it, as anglers.