There Is Nothing Pro About Bass Pro

The rumors have been flying around my little neck of the woods that we are  getting a new Bass Pro Shop, and every fly shop owner in WNC has probably pooped their pants a little. I am not going to say doing your shopping at Bass Pro is un-American or anything like that, because having the choice to shop at Bass Pro is exactly the definition of American.  Unfortunately every dollar you spend at Bass Pro is money that isn’t spent at a local fly shop (if you don’t have a local fly shop you are excused), and I guarantee you that the guy who owns the local fly shop is a whole hell of a lot more passionate about the sport than the counter monkey at Bass Pro who gets eight bucks an hour whether he knows what he is talking about or not. I happen to be a local fly shop counter monkey and have on more than one occasion been asked to spool Bass Pro and Cabela’s outfits at no charge. I do it with a smile on my face because that’s what a local fly shop should do. Offer their expertise to anyone who walks through the door and asks for it. Unfortunately that same guy will probably go to Bass Pro next time he needs something because he is under the false assumption that bigger means cheaper…well not in the fly fishing industry. Cabela’s and Bass Pro aren’t allowed to sell a Sage rod or Simms waders at a discount unless every other retailer is (usually older models about to be replaced)…it’s written into their contracts. This misconception is what has been killing local fly shops since the advent of “big box stores” and unfortunately it continues to do so to this day. What this whole deal is gonna mean for local Asheville fly shops still remains to be seen, but I got a feeling I’m gonna see a lot more White River crap walking through the door in the not too distant future.

– Dave

10 thoughts on “There Is Nothing Pro About Bass Pro

  1. I totally agree but I think most customers will soon see how poor the knowledge and service can be and stick with the local shops. I’m sure it will have some impact but I know I don’t go to the one near where I live for Flyfishing stuff at all, mainly due to the spotty inventory and poor worker knowledge.

  2. Right on. Corporate America sucks. I agree with Jed though, anyone passionate about fly-fishing will be led to your doors.

  3. Here in Sout East lower Michigan we don’t have many Fly shops and I have to drive a few hours to get to them. I do visit the local Bass Pro for some sundry items but I usually make the bulk of my major purchases at the anual Fly Fishing Expo. There are plenty of Fly Shops there to support , and yes they usually are much more knowlagable. Home Depot put 6 local lumber yards out of business here,don’t let this happen to local Fly Shops.

  4. I always try to support the local shops. There aren’t any fly shops around close to me, but whenever I’m near one that’s where I go. Also get my kayaking gear from Canoe KY (locally owned) rather than Dick’s Sporting Goods.

  5. you are mostly right grashopper – we don’t have a local fly shop any more but the added to their demise by selling only “high end” gear that most people starting in the sport would be afraid to buy. On another nore, I know some of the “counter monkeys” at our Bass Pro and they are darn good fly fishers and stalwatrs behind project healing waters in this area so I can knock them much. On another note, Their fly tying materaisl area is very limited (the Sevierville store is much better) so, sometimes you get what you deserve.

  6. I’m not a purist at anything, so I am more about striking the right balance. That said, I am picking up what you’re laying down brother.

    I have not fly fished since moving to So Cal from Eugene, Oregon 11 years ago (Yes, I am a sell-out). Nonetheless, I do shop the various local saltwater tackle shops first. I will admit to the occasional purchase, but these are limited to the items I cannot find within 50 miles of my house.

    By the way, the Caddis Fly Shop in Eugene, Oregon, has a terrific FB page if you’re looking to rally more support.

    Tight lines!

  7. I live in Brevard and I’ve seen some excitement and support for the BPS. However, I think the fly fishing market will stay with the local shops for the most part. I would have to drive by a number of them just to get to Bass Pro if it is actually at Biltmore Square Mall like I’ve heard rumored. I think Bass Pro will mostly serve to first time and beginner fly fisherman for their cheap White River combo outfits that really aren’t that great at all.

  8. I always enjoy reading post like these. I’m new at fly fishing and I was totally turned off by the ridiculous prices at local fly shops as well as the extremely limited stock. Many newbies don’t want to invest in Sage. Fly fishing should be fun and doesn’t have to be expensive to be fun. I suspect some BPS bashers have never tried their equipment because it’s below them. I found the staff at Concord Mills extremely helpful and knowlegable. I’ve tried several small town fly shops and find many of them have staff that makes fly fishing sound like to elite sport. Again, it’s suppose to be fun. It should be something for everyone not just the rich. Personally I think BPS helps local fly shops. They get people interested in the sport at a reasonable price and then the newbies migrate to local stores for specific items, local advice, instruction and guides. They spend money locally when the prices are reasonable and the items they need are in stock. I certainly know it’s tough to run a small local store but as a consumer I can’t fish unless I can afford it.
    Some of you claim to support your local store but then attend a show and pick up most of your flies at half the price of your local store. I mail order many flies but replenish my supplies at local stores as the need arises. I see absolutely no difference in the two except for the prices. I’ll continue to support my local stores when I can afford to go there.
    When I grew up there were little local fishing and bait stores all around. They are all gone now but fishing is still going strong. While I don’t want to see my local store fade away, I wouldn’t stop fishing if it did and I doubt anyone else would either.

  9. bass pro shop sucks when it comes to fly fishing, lucky me i have a great fishing/hunting store in my town that is locally owned that has a fly fishing section as big as a lot fly shops around the country and i can honestly say that if you want to pay a few bucks more than you should for a product go to bps. but supporting your local fly shop will pay off, i tie as well as fish so i’m in my local shop buying shit at least once a week and never pay what the price tag says. trust me, loyalty pays off, and plus a local fly shop will carry flies,lines,rods,reels,and clothing and what not that suits your areas fishing style, i live on the gulf coast where there are no freshwater trout but the bps in my town sure does carry a lot pos white river 5wt outfits,terrestrial flies and vests

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