Made in USA Fly Fishing Gear
There is a dichotomy behind the idea of “buying local”. On the one hand, buying local means supporting the local economy as well as jobs here in America. The past handful of years has shown us that the global economy is an unwieldy beast, answerable to no one . Keeping jobs local is a great way to ensure the longevity and prosperity of America’s working class.
On the other hand however, foreign built products oftentimes cost considerably less than their domestic made counterparts. Again, the economy in the shape that it is in; folks don’t often have as much extra funds to spend on the products (and fly fishing) gear that they wish they had. It seems you can get more bang for your buck with foreign made products.
In the long run is the cost savings worth it? Is saving money on a few items here and there worth sending jobs overseas in the long term?
These are questions we here at Duranglers don’t actually know how to answer. With so many products being built overseas (and great products at that, just look at Redington), it is not wise to claim a moral superiority with how one chooses to spend. We truly care about the longevity of the sport of fly fishing, the conservation of our rivers, and the protection of wild fish. We cannot see these ideals spread if we do not embrace fly fishing gear at price points that allow anyone to get into the sport. A $100 fly fishing set up has the power to change the mind of an individual from an interest in trout fishing to full blown conservation minded sportsman. We want this sport to be accessible to all of those interested no matter what walk of life they are from.
That being said; we are also a fly shop based in Durango, Colorado and we have a passion for carrying and stocking fly fishing gear that is built right here in the USA. We understand that there are times when a company must make a business decision to ship part or all manufacturing overseas. This happens, and it can actually be beneficial for that company. We get it. However, we only have so much wall space in the shop and when it comes down to a choice of what to carry, items with the stamp “Made in USA” will win out more often than not. We cannot carry every brand, make or model and with the multitude of fly fishing companies popping up every year, we pride ourselves in stocking a wide variety of American made fly fishing goods.
We also know the power that buying Made in USA fly fishing gear has not only on the American economy; but with the development of new and better fly fishing gear in general. When the ones who are building the products are also the ones using the products, ideas happen. Innovation happens.
There is another mentality that we have noticed (especially with many just starting out in the world of fly fishing). It seems that younger generations are seeing the value and importance of spending a little more one one piece of gear if it means buying something that will last a lifetime. Gear that has high quality manufacturing practices, is built sturdy and strong, and has a great warranty and repair service. Most times, this fly gear is of American made origin. For many, it is more desirable to own one high quality American Made fly rod than to own a quiver of rods made elsewhere. Obviously, this is a subjective mentality….but we are still using many rods built 20 and 30 years ago and none of them were build overseas. CNBC had a very interesting article written about this subject in fact.
Now it can be confusing at times to know which products are actually manufactured in America. To help those who are interested in American made fly fishing gear, we have added a category to our Duranglers Online Store that includes all products we carry that are made in the USA. This category will be ever changing and evolving as it takes time to determine exactly what constitutes the label “Made in USA”. Some gear manufactures are very forthright with this information, others are not even though they have products built in America. Some gear manufacturers also do build some products in America while other products are built overseas. It can be a mixed bag and does take time to research.
We will be using Federal Trade Commission’s label of “Made in USA” to determine if a product fits in this category or not. This category will not include companies that use foreign made components that are then assembled in USA. A product “Made in USA” is different than “Assembled in USA” (even though many great products we carry are assembled in America). This is only to keep our category consistent.
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Again, don’t get us wrong; we use lots of foreign made fly fishing products. However, when we can, we like to support companies that use the label “Made in USA”.