Firstly, I would like to thank those that have been kind enough to comment on my recent article that explores the addictive world of lure fishing. It was a very personal exercise, very much a labour of love that I spent a couple of months on trying to make sure it clearly articulated the right message so to get such positive feedback is really pleasing. Being a bit of a perfectionist I have still spotted a couple of typos that I need to correct – I still find it amzing that despite 101 proof reads they still slip through. I guess sometimes when you are that involved in it and have read it so many times that you get to a point that you just can’t see them anymore.
Although the comments on the article were all so positive I would also encourage everyone who takes the time to read this blog especially or any of the articles to be really honest with their views when commenting. If you disagree with what’s written, have a different view, or hell feel down right offended by something then speak up. It stirs up lively debate, provides a balanced perspective on things and personally helps me guage what’s hot and what’s not in terms of topics to write about. I’m sure Nath won’t mind me saying on his behalf that he too welcomes any comments on any facet of the site, afterall by doing so you are helping to shape the future direction of SWSF.
Continuing the feedback theme, I noticed a couple of threads that have popped up on the forum over the past week or so on the subject. The first related to some frozen bait of questionable quality. If you find yourself receiving less than satisfactory products then you should let the tackle shop know. Any tackle shop owner worth his salt will encourage this so he can correct the situation. Afterall these shops rely very much on word of mouth and regular, local support to survive. Anything that might adversely impact their reputation should be a high priority because if word gets out that they are consistently flogging naff stuff then they are in big trouble.
I would always give the shop the benefit of the doubt by letting them know discretely, either by phoning them or going in. They will more than likely either refund you or at the very least replace the product. I get the feeling that some anglers are reluctant to provide less positive feedback and I don’t know why it is. Perhaps they feel intimidated by the masses of tackle shop “groupies” that hang around the shop doing nothing but get in the way or perhaps the shop doesn’t give the impression that feedback would be welcomed.
My message is simple:
Tackle Shops – get rid of the “groupies”. They don’t boost your profits, they create an uncomfortable atmosphere and they deplete your tea and coffee stocks. (and by “groupies” I don’t mean the chaps that stop for a quick 10 minute chat and a cuppa whilst buying something, i’m talking about the ones that loiter for what seems like hours.)
Anglers – get over your inhibitions. Tackle shop owners are not some scary beast, they ARE approachable. If you do get a negative reaction then I would recommend relieving them of your custom. Trust me, if enough people did the same then they would soon change their ways.
The second thread relating to product feedback touched on (amongst other things) poor quality treble hooks that come fitted on certain plugs. These have to be replaced straight away before the lure even hits the water to ensure you don’t run the risk of losing a fish. This problem is widely known so why is it still happening? As someone rightly pointed out, if it is such a regular issue then the tackle company should take note and do something about it. The trouble is – how do you let them know?
My own personal opinion is that you should take a two-pronged approach. Firstly, the shop or online website that flogged you the lure should be accountable for the products that they sell so feedback should be provided to them. They in turn need to get on at the tackle company representative to drive change. If the product remains defective then the outlet should stop stocking it.
Secondly, as the consumer you can always contact the tackle company direct, either by writing, email or perhaps calling their customer service line if they have one. If enough people do this then hopefully something will happen. A complaint can lead in general to some form of ex-gratia payment (compensation). We as consumers have to create a situation where the cost of any reparation exceeds the cost of fixing the problem. When that happens then companies generally start pulling their finger out. Reputation is everything out in the marketplace and class action speaks loudly.