Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Peripheral: Product News

Aside from the occasional review of light tackle or rehydration techniques, we don't go in for product testing and review, much less endorsement.

Cars drove over my TFO Lefty Kreh rod last year, a replacement for the older model I'd shut in the garage door the year before in my rush to the culvert. This time I came clean, explaining to the company that, in all conscience, I'd been a perfect imbecile for leaving it atop the Lezbaru and driving off; that they shouldn't take pity.

TFO just sent me a new one, which means I have had three of their very serviceable and altogether quite likable rods for a total outlay of $150 (give or take postage). This is three good fishing rods - and realistically, there will be more - all for the princely sum of 90 of my superior British Pounds Sterling (that's 30 quid each, or half a tank of petroleum. And no, not the jelly.) The latest of what is truly a TFO Professional "series" was dispatched in record time, arriving today just as the Forsythia shows the first bloom.

As has been my unpleasant experience, if this were an Orvis product, hand crafted on the silky soft thighs of a Vermont milkmaid (in China, at my price point), I would likely have received a lowly percent value of the old model, such is the speed with which Orvis re-brand what is, to the eye of the average non-idiot, the very same product.

And so dear reader we take momentary pause - rightfully fleeting, altogether insignificant - to recognize TFO, a company for which a "100% lifetime warranty" is, in fact, just that.

Peripheral, but not a given, this day.

Carry on.



  1. A good company with better service shipping products from Asia at great expense to the environment that you love to recreate in.

  2. That sort of reads as just one long sentence when written your way. But with careful spacing, it sort of sounds poetic.

    A good company with better
    service shipping products from Asia
    at great expense to the environment that you love
    to recreate in.

  3. Do American companies get to bask in the glory of this country's exemplary environmental record, then? But I digress; the rod shipped from Texas.

  4. Thanks T.J. Poetic was what I was going for.
    Jonny, some companies do deserve to bask. Hopefully more will strive to. But so I don't digress, when talking about the fly fishing industry only American products still stand for quality and local jobs. And your rod was shipped overseas to Texas. 3 times in your case.

  5. I really should ignore your posts, but I've decided not to. Jonny won't approve, but what the hell. Two days ago, Jonny and I were discussing by email what sort of comes down to, in a sense, "what to do". Now you've gone and acted like a dick towards my friend and I feel compelled to point out that if you could have (or be) a friend with half the integrity that my friend Jonny has, you should count yourself lucky.

    I emailed Jonny:

    "There is something else, though not limited to winter, that gets to me now that didn't as a kid and this is worse in winter for various reasons. And it's this: much of the world is a depressing place. The way humans treat each other (or don't, when they should) is a drag. Last year, it was Sandy Hook (still is).

    Recently, I read in an essay that world-wide 30,000 die each day of causes directly or indirectly due to poverty and that could quite easily be fixed if it were only possible to get the money out there to those causes. The particular essay I read broke it down by looking at what sort of taxes (or charity) from the most wealthy would be required to do this and came to the conclusion that it could very easily be done in ways that would leave these wealthy people still wealthy (in ways you and I couldn't even imagine). In other words, the billionaires would be still left with many billions, just not quite as many billions, the multi-millionaires with still many (manymany) millions, and so on.

    I got to thinking about all of these fly fishing videos about people who give up work so they can just fish all the time, and it occurred to me that while we might be quite envious of that, should we really "admire" these people? Every time one of these movies or stories comes out, folks are quick to congratulate these people for "focusing on what really matters", but isn't this actually quite a selfish way to live your life?

    So, I find myself faced with this: the work I do is often hard, boring or both and usually also thankless…but it is important (the teaching part anyway…my research probably not so much). But what I want to do, which is cast a fly line to willing fish, is easy, fun and gratifying…but not very helpful to anybody but me.

    Where's the balance?

    Don't answer that right now. Let me know once you've figured it out. I want details, down to the minute. Instructions on a life well-lived, from EJ."

  6. And he replied:

    "Goodness, do we ever look at the world similarly. I won’t answer now – and of course don’t have “the” answer. It is a conversation for the pit in June.

    I will say that I’m conscious of needing to do something more “valuable”, but perhaps I’m satisfied to the point that my work seems to be on the right side of the fence. Hell, I could go and make more money for the sake of it; but I choose to be here because it’s stimulating (beyond money) and, when I stop to consider it, the conversations I have every day are about changing something for the better. We have an opportunity right now to bring Yale’s research, education and service together to try to do more to tackle health (and obvious wealth) disparities in New Haven. It’s the kind of high-level shit that English Jonny finds himself involved in, and it’s satisfying to think I’ve been involved in it for some years now. A very small cog, for sure. But I guess that’s as satisfied and as realistic as an administrator can hope to feel at Yale, and if we actually managed to do something that has some (any) success down the line, then that beats lining the pockets of billionaires, or at least gets them to do something positive.

    My point is that I think one should find satisfaction in not being a cunt; to adding something that helps others (like teaching or research); and to managing to do so while keeping your family safe and fed. Throw a little more fishing, kayaking and time with friends into that bargain, and it sounds like a fair enough lot to me. The latter things will surely always be an aspiration, and this probably makes them more desirable.


  7. You are far from anonymous, dear fellow. A pilgrimage to India will take care of the rest.

  8. Yes, India. That is the solution. The Granges will cure me.

  9. Lest my silence be misinterpreted as anything other than total approval (and not a little pride), I'm delighted this discussion is shared. As I reach my mid-60s, honesty seems so much more reliable than unsolicited opinion, particularly from a loony (or worse yet, an expert). It's a pity we don't share more like it to balance the narrow robotic vomit we read every day, this time exemplified by an anonymous person and his (?) expression of deep nationalism, all puffed up about the warranty of a $150 fishing rod and what was The Most Peripheral Post of Mind-numbing Winter.

    Think about that? No, I won't be giving more time to him (?), either.

  10. I am so sorry for where this went!

  11. Not at all. It brought light to something good.


  12. I'm naked reading this, I gave all my Orvis clothes to charity