Rent the Rod?

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.

Xi3 – a great stick.

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.

Tags: , , , , , , , ,


  1. Not sure this is a really big deal. I dive. I have my gear. Often I will simply rent rather than dragging it along for me and my wife. I used to ski. I always rented demo models of the best stuff. I knew I would get the newest gear, recently tuned, and it was cheaper for a week or two than buying really good outfits. Both of those sports are in a similar situation to independent shops. They are not big box places, at least the places I go/went. I have fished lots of places. Good tarpon guides have some of the best gear on the planet. I have my own. I used to use , rent?, theirs, before I had my current load of rods and reels. When I have guests in Colorado they often rent waders a for a long weekend , and when they hire a guide, or float — the gear comes with the deal. On and on. The independent shops have huge problems, and I support them as much as I can. But, I think that is an issue for another blog ( I don’t buy fishing gear from e-bay. But, I have seen a Billy Pate Tarpon Reel go for as little as $100. Old style? Pate himself seems to do ok with them, even today. So many records ). So, though I do think it is a bit of a unique idea for this rental operation, it is not a huge deal. Heck, I have a few fine rods/reel outfits that aren’t used more than a few times a year. I could do just fine renting them. Of course, I won’t. But I also figure any good independent shop will rent gear. That’s income, not as much as selling, but some cash. Oh, and there is one very out of the way lodge I know of that requires their guests to use the camp’s wading boots, to make sure that they don’t bring unwanted visitors (eg the materials that build pesky whirling disease, etc). I really like your interesting topics.

  2. If you have a rod & reel already, it would be a lot easier on the wallet to rent a spare on that once in a lifetime trip when you don’t wan tot be SOL if your gear breaks down than to buy a second outfit. Those of us who aren’t world famous fly industry bloggers don’t have an easy time getting loaners from the mfrs. LOL.

  3. Yeah… maybe it isn’t a big deal… and maybe more choices are better for anglers and the industry as a whole. Or, this little company, that appears to be brand new, could destroy the entire industry as we know it, force every fly shop to close, bankrupt social security, cause instability in Saudi Arabia and interrupt global bacon supplies… although I admit that the last scenario there seems a bit far fetched.

  4. Um… Pate is dead, may he rest in peace, as they say.

    As for renting gear, not a bad idea… although most of my clients complain that they don’t bring their own gear because of the sheer hassle of traveling with it, not because of the cost of gear. Hell, if you’re in this sport at all you’re used to paying ridiculous prices for equally ridiculous hunks of metal and graphite. If this company offered to also ship/mail the gear to the renter’s destination, that would be something. However, that scenario seems fraught with a whole plague of problems, starting with the customs in any Third World country.

    Anyways, decent idea. Like it… but let’s see if we can keep the bacon.

  5. mmmm…. bacon.

    We’ll see how they do. It doesn’t look like they’ve been up and running too long. No reviews on any of the gear. Most of the product descriptions come right from the Sage or TFO websites. I don’t even know if they’ve ever rented anything to anyone.

    We shall see, I suppose.

  6. What one learns from this blog. Did not know Billy Pate died ( April 20) Yes, R.I.P. Thanks , Windknot

  7. It’s where I get all of my information.

  8. … and relevent news of the day…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *