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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gentlemen,
I have asked for help in the past and you guys have delivered! I got my fishing store off the ground last year but not to the degree i want!
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I want to have a premiere ultra lite specialty trout store. I wanna have the best selection of ultra lite equipment in the whole central pa area.
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Please give me suggestions of things you like, things that you like but can't find and any spinner, reel rod maker company that you believe in.
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If you are a dealer or manufactor of a great trout item I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU!
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The store will be in carlisle..
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Thanks for your time... Dan Parson 717 386 0087
 

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I've gone thru alot of reels. Had some trigger cast shimano's that I liked, but i got an Okuma in 2008 after I moved back to PIT and scored it on clearance, half price at Dicks. I'm a convert. that is the smoothest reel i've ever had the pleasure of fishing with. i loved my dad's old mitchell 300 too, but on an ultralight the Okuma just feels like glass.

So...try to get Okuma reels. and you can't NOT have Penn reels
 

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St. Croix, G.Loomis, Shimano, Star (some of their rods) are the rods I mostly use. Reels are usually Shimano, and Diawa. Just my opinion and personal likes.
Another tip. McCoy line. Great line. Getting harder to find. It can be pricey, but it is worth it. I really like the flex it has when it comes to a natural flow for bait. Sometimes it's hard finding smaller hooks (smaller than 14) at sm business shops. I even use small fly hooks. Try and carry a great selection on different color rooster tails. It's almost to the point now that I collect them. Even though their are always my go to lures I'd feel better I having a color ready for a fish that wants something he hasn't seen before. The different color roostertails are harder to find. If you need examples I'd be happy to help.
 

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I like the 1st one you mentioned ACEarcher, I own a St. Croix Triumph 5-foot ultra-lite, the feel on that rod is unbelievable, I use it early season for trout. You can feel the slightest nibble, it's also a great rod for tossing spinners, for me Rooster Tails are the go to, in black, brown, green and as ACEarcher mentioned a variety
of other colors just to give them something different.

My current LITE reel is a Shimano AXUL, I think that's the model, it is the lightest reel I've ever owned, it performs well and costs less than $20 most places. They used to make one completely out of plastic and it did weigh less than this current model I have, I am into LIGHT LIGHT LIGHT and this reel is just the ticket, well by far you can spend more but I take this reel out every time.

You might find a niche in selling ultra-lite gear for back packers and even fly guys that want to pack a spinning rod in their vest for those windy days or to try and catch trout while back packing. There are several varieties of pack rods out there. I am primarily a fly guy excluding very early season, however I still keep a telescopic 4 1/2 foot spinning rod and the Shimano UL in my vest, I also have a 6-piece 5/6 weight fly rod that works as a pack rod.
When you're back packing UL is just the ticket.

While we're on the discussion I'm remembering a very special rod that I had for nearly 20 years. A Kunan 5-foot ultra-lite. Kunan has since gone out of business, but that rod even surpassed the St. Croix, not for feel but lightness, there was something special about that rod, with it's spongy grip, not cork, it was quite the rod, I was showing off it's feel and bending it a couple years ago and to my horror it snapped on me, probably old age which I guess gets us all, wish I could get another.

Besides the pack rods I think the general consensus is for 1 piece rods, you can never get the feel with a 2 piece rod like you can with a one piece. Just to respond to HuntPhillipsburg's post, I bought a Quantum at a camp store once while camping in Promised Land, I love that rod, I've used it for smallmouth in the Susquehanna tossing spinners and it's fantastic, only 4 1/2 feet long but it can bring those smallies in before they are all kicked out, and what a blast.

Good luck with your store, you might also consider adding back packing products such as ultra-lite stoves, I own an Optimus Crux that weighs practically nothing, it can boil water in seconds and you can cook right on it, the smaller size propane/butane mix cans take up little room as well.
You can also consider stocking some 2,3 & 4 weight fly outfits, some are very pricey, if you're shopping for a 2 or 3 weight fly rod the selection seems very limited.

Ultra-Light all the way, that's what I say, lol, who wants to carry heavy stuff around.
 

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good luck with the store. I managed one in the Reading area when we still had them. we sold alot of shimano we also sent alot of them back for repair. the penns didn't come back for repair so much.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guys,
I really appreciate the feedback. Trust me I'm taking notes and already met with some employees about making this stuff the first bought! I wanna have the kinda of place that when people want something to do with ultra lite trout fishing i will have it without a doubt! I'm still wriying so let the suggestions fly!
 

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I've always been partial to fenwick rods; their customer service is tops. I like their reels too, as long as they stay dry. Fish for awhile in the rain or take a dunking in the river, and something swells up and makes them hard to reel.

A selection of Pcolas(sp) would be GREAT!
 

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small hooks 14's and up especially split doubles for threading minnies, and better quality creels and tackle/fish bags, getting tired of every body with walmart junk
 

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Make sure and stock some float rods and noodle rods for salmon/ steelhead guys. They are ultralights too. Nothing quite like floating with my 10'6" noodle rod with 2# test and a single waxie under a small Thill balsa float. Divine.
 

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The only thing I got so say about all this is that for the most part the higher end rods and reels are low volume. You will make a nice profit on them, but make sure you find something that will sell enough of to pay the light bill every month. A big problem with that is that it's really hard to compete with Wal-Mart on lower end rods. They can sell them for cheaper than you can buy them.

I must say that terminal tackle, bait, and quality lines should keep the lights on. Most of the big box stores carry very little if any. Since that's the case you can charge a bit more as long as there isn't too much compotition in the area (I don't know the area).

Another thing you may want to think about is having products that sells all year. Up this way ice fishing can get you through if it's cold enough. If your just carrying untralite tackle you will have to put a couple more notches in the belt as you will most likely get a little thinner over the winter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hunt/Fish thank you for the advice i appreciate it. Your right about walmart. We try and beat them with customer service and the fact that soemone fromout west orders their tackle and bait and sometimes that doesn't workhere in Pa. We also have a 24 hour live bait. We carry a selection of hooks walmart/kmart has never carried. I'm hoping by making this the largest trout specialty store it brings in people. We are also a large waterfowl store thats are bread and butter... http://www.shootingthex.com
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guys i am writing all this stuff down and when i see you guys at the store you will be taken care off...
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regards Dan
 

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BAMBAMBAM said:
Hunt/Fish thank you for the advice i appreciate it. Your right about walmart. We try and beat them with customer service and the fact that soemone fromout west orders their tackle and bait and sometimes that doesn't workhere in Pa. We also have a 24 hour live bait. We carry a selection of hooks walmart/kmart has never carried. I'm hoping by making this the largest trout specialty store it brings in people. We are also a large waterfowl store thats are bread and butter... http://www.shootingthex.com
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guys i am writing all this stuff down and when i see you guys at the store you will be taken care off...
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regards Dan
Good luck to you. Glad you are banking on more than just trout rods. It's good to be known for any certain specialty. The biggest thing is really knowing you product well enough to sell the customer on the need to spend the higher $$$$. Some people just won't get that. To them it's a 5' ultra lite. Just send them to the nearest box store after you sold them some line, hooks and split shot. To others it's much more.

One thing that has kept me coming back to a local store is the fact that he will help you the best he can. He sells me localized fishing products nobody else carries. Eventhough I can't see spending high $$$ for a trout rod he is OK with that, and never says anything bad about it. He understands I'm not his typical high end rod kind of guy, but because he treats me well when I'm ther I always come back for what I need. Sure he is not buying a new truck with what I spend at his store, but all the people like me make it possible for him to drive a new truck.

Now if he gave garbage about some of the equipment I use or give some indication that he didn't approve of shopping at certain places I would go somewhere else. Plain and simple. All it takes it clicking "ADD TO CART", and I got what I need.

What I'm saying is to sell them on wwhat you can, and not belittle them for not buying from you. I've wseen quite a few places fail because of that practice.

One last thing. Many times it's just the little things. Filling a spool, fixing a broken rod tip, that kind of stuff. Doing that kind of things will have them buy something while they are there. Maybe just a few jigheads, but you get the idea.
 

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There is very little mark up on "high end gear" at the mom+pop level. See my post in the Walmart thread(universal). Where you make money is with cheap stuff that you can mark up and still sell cheap. If you can build a loyal customer base that dosen't mind a little more for that box store rod thats great but most people buy at the box. We had all kinds of deals in the store I worked in buy 5 lures get the 6th one free( if different lures cheapest price for the 6th one),buy a rod+ reel get free line spooled on, hot dog+coke days, buy a baitcaster and we would take you out in the parking lot and teach you the basics. One thing we did good on was packing crawlers for Canada trips(bought all worms in bulk then packed in store to save on cost)
 

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maybe some supplies for building your own lures . spinner blades bodies beads good quality treble hooks . same for crank baits bodies split rings and such . I know it is hard to find that stuff up here to build your own lures
 
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