It is so much better to just click your mouse and get the stuff you like sent to your house..... next day air if you need it fast.
Gas is going up and almost every fly shop I went to didn't have exactly what I was looking for.
I think its a specialty item that will need 99% of your time and attention. This entire industry is not what it used to be. Is there a need for one????? I think absolutely YES!!! Will it take time to see any return or even break even??? YES!!!! You will need the internet to survive IMO, as we do aalot of business online. Many months, we triple our walk in business with our online sales. The only reason we do OK online is because of the specialty items not available in Walmart, Cabela's and such. ( still not a big mark up on the custom stuff, but it sells because you can't get it anywhere else).
If you targeted the rare, hard to find stuff, I think you have a good chance. I also know it will cost alot to get started up, and will take some time to see any positive growth. The one thing you will have going for you is the fact that half of your customers do not need a boat. I would send business your way, as I do with many other shops. I would rather keep a customer happy, than sell him something other than what he wanted to start.
Get online, get the items available to other areas and you will have a fighting chance. I do alot of business in LI, Maine, Conn, VA, CA, TX, MASS, because of the internet. I have many repeat customers for some of the custom jigs, lures, rods, etc... but I feel without the online biz, I would be dead regarding the custom tackle.
Good Luck if you decide to try it and I am offering any help I can be to you. I am being honest too. Its nice to have friends in the biz. If we all worked together to give the fisheman what he wants, it would not be the way it is today in this business.
It seems that online is the way to go unfortunately. Most local stores have online stores too few fish and conditions that are tough to cast in. 70 dollar fly line, $400 dollar rod and $200-600 dollar reels put it past a lot of guys. I have 4 fly rods and reels went through various lines in the surf with rocks, barnacles, mussels wrecking the line. It is a blast but when guys were catching fish 30 yards further out on casting lures and you with fly rod your up against the masses it is hard. A small business is hard as is much less a strictly fly shop. The best shop combo I saw is a place in Seaside Park that has a restaurant and B&T store in one! You guys know the place.
Check out whitewater flies in Sussex, New Jersey. I buy on line from them and also from their booth at Marlboro fly show. Since I am from MA, I don't know if Sussex is considered South Jersey, but it looks like it on the AAA map. Owner Greg Becker is a great guy to talk to and do business with in person or over the phone or internet. Decent inventory of tying materials etc. I am not sure about rods. But speaking of Rods, anyone familiar with Rise Fishing, an on line rod seller? Looks like a nice line up of rods and certainly fairly priced. Rods have spare tips, which you seldom see these days. Amanda Switzer, a notable guide and fly fisher and her husband are the owners.
Sussex way up Northern NJ, fly shops on line with or w /o brick mortar now a must to stay in business. Unless your out west in the heart of a destination ,the easrcoast does not have the anglers ot interest fro the investmant required.
Never heard of the fly shop in Sussex. As a side note I lived there 5th grade through High School. Very remote country living. Don't get back very often but will for sure be looking for this fly shop.
MODERATOR SALT WATER FLY FISHING FORUM
release the fish, keep the memories. Once a Knight is enough. Sparse
Last edited by Capt. Lou; 08-05-2011 at 07:22 PM.