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A Bad First Impression - Troutfitters in Fergus

Why you spend your fishing money where you do.  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. What is the biggest factor for you in a tackle shop?

    • Price
    • Customer Service - Friendly and Efficient
    • Staff Knowledge, Willingness to Discuss Conditions
    • "I've just always gone there"
    • Location
    • Selection


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Well Folks,

 

I hate to sound like the Grinch here, but it always ruffles me up a little bit when I walk into a tackle shop and have a bad experience. I'll keep the vent to a minimum and try to keep the discussion unbiased. It's frustrating that some of these smaller tackle shops can't seem to understand that a) they can't compete on prices with online stores or bigger shops and B) that because of a) they need to elevate in other areas (such as customer service).

 

So, Sunday afternoon, My girlfriend and I are on our way back from a weekend BBQ and I convince her to do a little fishing. Generally, I'm bushwhacking and pounding through remote areas and looking for Browns. Sunday, I know I need to switch things up and do something a little more girlfriend-friendly or these impromptu fishing trips will be a thing of the past. I decide we'll go to Belwood lake in Fergus for a few hours, take in some sun, and ride the wall with minnows and hope the get a pike or two (I haven't done this kind of fishing in 2+ years now). I hear that the family that sold minnows there had a death in the family and no longer sell minnows out of their garage, and I hear troutfitters (somewhere I've been meaning to go since I bought my first fly rod earlier this year) is now selling minnows.

 

I go into Troutfitters and am impressed immediately about the appearance of the store - a true fly shack with a clean and classy look. Sadly, I'm greeted (by presumably the owner) with some kind of a grunt that more resembles ogre than English and nothing more. I ask for minnows, they say they have them, and I grab a $7 minnow bucket (I'm unprepared). I make an odd inquiry if they have any rope or string I can buy because I'd like to tie my minnows off at the wall. The owner rudely exclaims "Rope?". The young guy working found some and gave it to me but the damage was done again. I browse around for awhile as the minnows are being prepared as I am interested in new, expensive waders, and bulk flies that match the hatch on the grand. I ask for assistance and receive none, and by this point I'm ready to take my fish and leave. As I am waiting to pay, some friends of the staff and a member of the staff itself start grilling me on what I am fishing for. They ask me what is open (like they don't know) and they try to make it sound like I'm bass-hunting because there "aren't many pike" in Belwood. (http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=27&Sub1=119&sub2=0#fishing) At that point they try to tell me that it is a pickeral lake primarily and that bass don't open until June 25th. I've reached just about my boiling point, so I grab my crap and leave. I get to the lake and the overpriced, under-quality minnow bucket doesn't close properly and is close to a write off for Sunday afternoon at least.

 

They probably thought I was just some fishing scrub, who fishes once or twice a year, and just tries to catch "whatever." They probably weren't aware that I was someone just starting out my fly stock, who is almost addicted to tackle shops, and spends an unhealthy amount of money at said tackle shops. They had an opportunity to win my fly-fishing based business (I am still pretty loyal to 2/3 shops in KW for general purchases) and they completely blew it. Rude, Ignorant, Righteous, Bad-Business Minded. Even if I was just the once or twice a year fisher, them of all people, should know how infectious fishing is, and they should be doing whatever they can to lock up long term customers.

 

Now all they got was bad word of mouth and this post here on an internet forum.

 

Feel free to share your experience.

 

Ryan

Edited by BillsTheBassMan

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haha My local Tackle shop is almost the same way. They arent really that stuck up, or rude... but Im a younger guy and when I walk in there.... someone watches me LIKE A HAWK.... i cant just cruise the fishing section without being stared at the whole time ! They think im going to steal something ???? come on ! Also... Im in the market for a couple new combos.... one in particular I had in mmind was a Citica paired with a 7ft MH (prefferably shimano rod ) I walked in teh store saturday and low and behold... they have the EXACT combo im looking for ( I forgot to mention he has reels on the shelf from the 90's... brand new... asking list for... REALLY ??? ) He has the Convergence priced at $79.99...No big deal, I was told you can pick them up for $70 at some places..... now the reel... Brand new citica... $184.99 !!!!!!!!! INSANE !!!! So I asked if I could have the reel to try in on the rod and man it felt like an extension of my arm... light, small, PERFECT !!! I asked if he price matched and he said " Well if your talkin about Cabelas or BPS then no we dont " I said I can pick the rod up for $70 and the Reel for $129..... he laughed and said the best he could do was 10% off...... Really ???? I handed him the reel back and put the rod away and walked out.

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Ken Collins up in Troutfitters is okay. If anything he usually talks too much.

 

I'm amazed they were selling minnows in his shop in the first place LOL!

 

Far, far worse is John Valk of Grindstone Angling in Waterdown (another high end fly shop).

 

He's one of the most arrogant elitist's I've ever had the displeasure of dealing with.

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Brand new citica... $184.99 !!!!!!!!! INSANE !!!! So I asked if I could have the reel to try in on the rod and man it felt like an extension of my arm... light, small, PERFECT !!! I asked if he price matched and he said " Well if your talkin about Cabelas or BPS then no we dont " I said I can pick the rod up for $70 and the Reel for $129..... he laughed and said the best he could do was 10% off...... Really ???? I handed him the reel back and put the rod away and walked out.

 

Funny enough you use that as your example. I was shopping around Kitchener Waterloo for a Citica a few months ago before I decided to get into Fly-Fishing. There is one store I won't even walk into, but the other two had it at 180.00 and 165.00. They hadn't accounted for the CDN dollar going way up and were still charging with the exchange rate. Both stores were willing to go down to about $140 and were great about the transaction (that never happened, but as I said, I did buy a fly setup).

 

Regardless, small tackle shop owners needs to wake up and realize that the consumers can go online and get just about anything cheaper & shipped. They can't compete on prices, so at least they should have the decency to be friendly, or at the very least respect, their customer base.

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Funny enough you use that as your example. I was shopping around Kitchener Waterloo for a Citica a few months ago before I decided to get into Fly-Fishing. There is one store I won't even walk into, but the other two had it at 180.00 and 165.00. They hadn't accounted for the CDN dollar going way up and were still charging with the exchange rate. Both stores were willing to go down to about $140 and were great about the transaction (that never happened, but as I said, I did buy a fly setup).

 

Regardless, small tackle shop owners needs to wake up and realize that the consumers can go online and get just about anything cheaper & shipped. They can't compete on prices, so at least they should have the decency to be friendly, or at the very least respect, their customer base.

 

I didn't reply to the poll because only one of my criteria was there.

 

For me only 2 things matter : selection and price.

 

I could care less about customer service, friendliness or whatever. :D

 

(I should say if someone is blatantly unfriendly I won't shop there regardless of how good the store is. Case in point Grimsby Tackle which is just down the road from me)

Edited by solopaddler

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I didn't reply to the poll because only one of my criteria was there.

 

For me only 2 things matter : selection and price.

 

I could care less about customer service, friendliness or whatever. :D

 

(I should say if someone is blatantly unfriendly I won't shop there regardless of how good the store is. Case in point Grimsby Tackle which is just down the road from me)

 

I'll play Devil's advocate. If you are concerned exclusively with selection and price, why not just shop for EVERYTHING online (save hardware). Online (Ebay, BPS, Cabelas, Reelflies, etc) have FAR better prices than most tackle shops and have infinite selection due to no storage limitations.

 

I'll add selection to the poll.

 

Ryan

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What is wrong with our society that we only expect good, prompt, courteous service from "smaller shops" or places that can't compete on price... I'm not that old - but I seem to (mis)remember a time when that kind of service was expected and anything outside of that was noteworthy. Nowadays, I have to agree that I am pleasantly surprised any time I can go in to a shop of any kind and not be treated like an intruder.

 

Haven't been to that shop and don't plan on ever taking up fly fishing - but just wanted to make a comment that crappy service should not be tolerated from any size store or business. I can walk in to a big box like Rona/HD/Lowes and have 2-3 people walk up and ask me if I need help and provide it in a timely fashion most days - heck I can usually even find someone at the Walmart to help me find what I need in a polite timely fashion - why wouldn't I expect the same at a tackle shop where the people working there presumably love fishing and should be happy to be surrounded by fishing stuff and fishing talk on a daily basis.

 

Weird.

 

Charles the bitter old man :)

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I get nothing but abuse at my local tackle shop.

As I walk in the dog starts barking and Steve says "There goes the Bull meter, it must be SlowPoke".

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I get nothing but abuse at my local tackle shop.

As I walk in the dog starts barking and Steve says "There goes the Bull meter, it must be SlowPoke".

 

Hehehe. Rainbow in Waterloo has a canine greeter as well. Always there to make sure you can find what you're looking for, or at the very least come over and give you a gentle nudge and wag of the tail.

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I should add something about my Troutfitters trip . . . . how I discovered that they carried Minnows in the first place!

 

I was calling around, looking for Minnows on a Sunday afternoon and I called Fishing Fanatics, one of the stores I frequent in Kitchener-Waterloo. I knew they kept good Sunday hours, but not being a minnow-buyer often, I wasn't sure if they had any. I spoke to Eric and he had a few ideas of how to get some minnows in a pinch, but didn't carry any himself. 10-15 minutes passed and it looked like I was going to have to make alternate plans for the day and the phone rang. It was Eric calling me back. He found out in the 10-15 minutes that passed that Troutfitters now carried minnows and told me how to get there.

 

This is the type of customer service and above-and-beyond decency that we should expect from the places that we spend our money at.

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Price and selection are important, but I do expect a certain level of customer service if I make the effort to go to the shop.

 

I mainly shop at Kazim's in London, and that is the level of service I expect. They are always friendly and willing to help no matter if it is Kazim or his sons. Customer service does matter.

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I'll play Devil's advocate. If you are concerned exclusively with selection and price, why not just shop for EVERYTHING online (save hardware). Online (Ebay, BPS, Cabelas, Reelflies, etc) have FAR better prices than most tackle shops and have infinite selection due to no storage limitations.

 

I'll add selection to the poll.

 

Ryan

 

Exactly, which is why 90% of my purchases are made online.

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I should add something about my Troutfitters trip . . . . how I discovered that they carried Minnows in the first place!

 

I was calling around, looking for Minnows on a Sunday afternoon and I called Fishing Fanatics, one of the stores I frequent in Kitchener-Waterloo. I knew they kept good Sunday hours, but not being a minnow-buyer often, I wasn't sure if they had any. I spoke to Eric and he had a few ideas of how to get some minnows in a pinch, but didn't carry any himself. 10-15 minutes passed and it looked like I was going to have to make alternate plans for the day and the phone rang. It was Eric calling me back. He found out in the 10-15 minutes that passed that Troutfitters now carried minnows and told me how to get there.

 

This is the type of customer service and above-and-beyond decency that we should expect from the places that we spend our money at.

 

 

That is above and beyond and i don't think we should "expect" that level of customer service but it is great that there are people out there going that extra mile. Respect and a basic friendliness should be expected however and from the sounds of it Troutfitters missed the memo...

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[quote name='solopaddler' date='17 May 2010 - 10:13 AM'

 

(I should say if someone is blatantly unfriendly I won't shop there regardless of how good the store is. Case in point Grimsby Tackle which is just down the road from me)

 

You've had that experience too?

 

In retail, if the prices aren't the best, then you better have good quality and selection, and bang on service. Far too many people working tackle shops with their hands down their pants and won't waste their time on you if you are not a regular. Happens at local shops and big shops like BPS, alike.

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Well Folks,

 

I hate to sound like the Grinch here, but it always ruffles me up a little bit when I walk into a tackle shop and have a bad experience. I'll keep the vent to a minimum and try to keep the discussion unbiased. It's frustrating that some of these smaller tackle shops can't seem to understand that a) they can't compete on prices with online stores or bigger shops and B) that because of a) they need to elevate in other areas (such as customer service).

 

So, Sunday afternoon, My girlfriend and I are on our way back from a weekend BBQ and I convince her to do a little fishing. Generally, I'm bushwhacking and pounding through remote areas and looking for Browns. Sunday, I know I need to switch things up and do something a little more girlfriend-friendly or these impromptu fishing trips will be a thing of the past. I decide we'll go to Belwood lake in Fergus for a few hours, take in some sun, and ride the wall with minnows and hope the get a pike or two (I haven't done this kind of fishing in 2+ years now). I hear that the family that sold minnows there had a death in the family and no longer sell minnows out of their garage, and I hear troutfitters (somewhere I've been meaning to go since I bought my first fly rod earlier this year) is now selling minnows.

 

I go into Troutfitters and am impressed immediately about the appearance of the store - a true fly shack with a clean and classy look. Sadly, I'm greeted (by presumably the owner) with some kind of a grunt that more resembles ogre than English and nothing more. I ask for minnows, they say they have them, and I grab a $7 minnow bucket (I'm unprepared). I make an odd inquiry if they have any rope or string I can buy because I'd like to tie my minnows off at the wall. The owner rudely exclaims "Rope?". The young guy working found some and gave it to me but the damage was done again. I browse around for awhile as the minnows are being prepared as I am interested in new, expensive waders, and bulk flies that match the hatch on the grand. I ask for assistance and receive none, and by this point I'm ready to take my fish and leave. As I am waiting to pay, some friends of the staff and a member of the staff itself start grilling me on what I am fishing for. They ask me what is open (like they don't know) and they try to make it sound like I'm bass-hunting because there "aren't many pike" in Belwood. (http://www.grandriver.ca/index/document.cfm?Sec=27&Sub1=119&sub2=0#fishing) At that point they try to tell me that it is a pickeral lake primarily and that bass don't open until June 25th. I've reached just about my boiling point, so I grab my crap and leave. I get to the lake and the overpriced, under-quality minnow bucket doesn't close properly and is close to a write off for Sunday afternoon at least.

 

They probably thought I was just some fishing scrub, who fishes once or twice a year, and just tries to catch "whatever." They probably weren't aware that I was someone just starting out my fly stock, who is almost addicted to tackle shops, and spends an unhealthy amount of money at said tackle shops. They had an opportunity to win my fly-fishing based business (I am still pretty loyal to 2/3 shops in KW for general purchases) and they completely blew it. Rude, Ignorant, Righteous, Bad-Business Minded. Even if I was just the once or twice a year fisher, them of all people, should know how infectious fishing is, and they should be doing whatever they can to lock up long term customers.

 

Now all they got was bad word of mouth and this post here on an internet forum.

 

Feel free to share your experience.

 

Ryan

 

Wow Ryan that does not sound good. I have not actually shopped at troutfitters but I did use them for a guided trip yesterday on the grand. I will post a report later, my guide was excellent however the shop had told my guide a different start than me.

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Wow Ryan that does not sound good. I have not actually shopped at troutfitters but I did use them for a guided trip yesterday on the grand. I will post a report later, my guide was excellent however the shop had told my guide a different start than me.

 

Sounds like they're unorganized as well haha.

 

A bucket of minnows and a guided tour are clearly in two different brackets, but each and every customer should be treated well . . . that's just my point. I'm not asking these people to wash my feet: a pleasant hello, offered assistance, and dropping the inquisition would be a good start.

 

I don't expect them to discuss conditions with people they don't see more often than once. I wouldn't do that either.

 

It was apparent they have invented a pedestal and placed themselves directly on top of it.

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I didn't reply to the poll because only one of my criteria was there.

 

For me only 2 things matter : selection and price.

 

I could care less about customer service, friendliness or whatever. :D

 

And that's fine for you, Mike, because you know what you're doing and you know what it is you want to buy. I also buy probably 90 percent of my stuff either online or directly. But I feel sorry for new anglers who are just starting out, and who could really benefit from having some friendly advice - especially from a local dealer who knows their local waters.

 

Sadly, that's becoming far less commonplace, and no doubt contributes to declining numbers of anglers overall.

 

I'll add my one exception - Burns Fishing, on Plains Road in Burlington, ON. It's a small, independent shop that can't even begin to compete against the big boys on price. But Steve Burns knows how to compete on service, so he has customers drive to his store from incredible distances. We need more tackle dealers like him.

Edited by Craig_Ritchie

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And that's fine for you, Mike, because you know what you're doing and you know what it is you want to buy. I also buy probably 90 percent of my stuff either online or directly. But I feel sorry for new anglers who are just starting out, and who could really benefit from having some friendly advice - especially from a local dealer who knows their local waters.

 

Sadly, that's becoming far less commonplace, and no doubt contributes to declining numbers of anglers overall.

 

I'll add my one exception - Burns Fishing, on Plains Road in Burlington, ON. It's a small, independent shop that can't even begin to compete against the big boys on price. But Steve Burns knows how to compete on service, so he has customers drive to his store from incredible distances. We need more tackle dealers like him.

 

You're right Steve is a great guy, I've known him for years.

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I guess my young, innocent look with bright puppy dog eyes makes people want to sell me stuff :lol: …I’ve never had a problem dealing with any of the smaller tackle shops in Southern Ontario (even the aforementioned ones in this thread).

 

I mostly shop around local places for non-specialty stuff I need. The service has always been great, prices are pretty good...Location-wise I live down the street from a fair number of shops…The rest of the stuff (mostly carp and some rod building supplies) which I can’t find locally I order online or through mail order.

 

If anything, when the UPS man cometh with a parcel from the US, I get the Vaseline ready and prepare myself for a violation to the nth degree :o:(

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Sounds like they're unorganized as well haha.

 

A bucket of minnows and a guided tour are clearly in two different brackets, but each and every customer should be treated well . . . that's just my point. I'm not asking these people to wash my feet: a pleasant hello, offered assistance, and dropping the inquisition would be a good start.

 

I don't expect them to discuss conditions with people they don't see more often than once. I wouldn't do that either.

 

It was apparent they have invented a pedestal and placed themselves directly on top of it.

 

I agree, I was not pleased with the time mix up but the guide made up for it with a great day and it wasn't his fault.

 

I asked why they were now selling minnows and its because no one else up there does. I thought hmm, its a good way to get people into the fly fishing shop and maybe grow the fly fishing sport little by little.

 

That won't happen without treating customers with respect.

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ya the guy on plains road is pretty good,bill's bait on upper james he is super friendly and will thank you ten times and give you info happily,even fishing world on barton is a bit bigger and they're alright.

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ya the guy on plains road is pretty good,bill's bait on upper james he is super friendly and will thank you ten times and give you info happily,even fishing world on barton is a bit bigger and they're alright.

 

I havn't shopped there a lot but you're right. The guy on Upper James is unbelievably nice and friendly.

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