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Author: Frank-Paul King

Rod Repair 101: The Basics of TFO’s Warranty Program

TFO has offered the same no-fault lifetime warranty on all its fishing rods since being founded in 1995. Today, the warranty program is a core part of our business and an area that we’re constantly working to improve, so that it represents another value-based reason to be a TFO angler.

When a TFO rod is broken, we always want to get a TFO angler back on the water with as little hassle as possible. And with this goal in mind, our warranty program is built on two simple principles: First, we run it as a break-even part of our business – no profit. This means we charge the least amount possible to quickly repair or replace rods to get them back in the hands of TFO anglers. Second, we always try to be fair or in the angler’s favor when we make a warranty decision.

Sustaining these principles is getting more difficult for a few interesting reasons. First, all the major fishing rod manufacturers make very good rods. As a result, it is extremely rare that a rod breaks because of manufacturing or material defects. Tom Kirkman’s article Rod Failure does a great job of exploring the subject and provides easy-to-use examples to determine why a rod broke. We never like to be the bearer of bad news to our anglers, and the “why-your-rod-really broke” conversation can sometimes feel unfair.

Second, about 10 percent of the rods sent to us include no information about the owners. Nothing – no phone number, no address, no email. We just get a broken rod. Over the course of few months, this can quickly add up to many “orphaned” rods at TFO. We take great care of each one, but reuniting angler and rod doesn’t always go as smoothly as we’d like.

A related tragedy is when anglers don’t know that shipping companies have invented machines that survive by consuming unsuspecting fishing rods returned for warranty. Trust me, high-speed conveyor belts and fishing rods do not mix well. Last month a warranty rod arrived wrapped in cellophane with a shipping label stuck on it! It was not in good shape!! Always follow the warranty return instructions, and think defensively when shipping your fishing rod!

However, the above problems pale in comparison to a new reality – counterfeit and used rods sold as new. When we warranty a rod that was purchased “used” (and damaged) or replace a fake rod with a real TFO rod, the cost of warranty for every TFO angler goes up. We are deeply committed to the principles of fairness and minimized costs. Both of these principles are in jeopardy when anglers buy rods from folks other than our dealers and expect us to provide warranty service. While we will always go out of our way to help any angler, at the end of the day our loyalty will be to TFO anglers and the dealers that support them.

Lastly, a remark recently on our social media feed said, “if that’s the warranty program, then I’ll never need to buy another rod?” Exactly.

Power to the Angler

With the US fishing industry’s biggest trade show – ICAST – kicking off this week, there will be lots of product brands on display competing for “face time” with the retailers in attendance. And like other great trade shows, ICAST will provide a sensory extravaganza of the latest in fishing gear and outdoor recreational soft goods; much of which, as my grandfather always said, “was designed to catch fisherman, not fish!” It’s great fun walking the isles, catching up with friends and trying out the latest and greatest in new products and gear. However, even more interesting to me is trying to get a sense of what’s behind the marketing messages – rather “what’s the company brand stand for?”

It’s never been easier to get into the fishing products industry. Whether you’re interested in “manufacturing” lures, lines, rods, reels or fishing apparel, it’s relatively simple to find a source, foreign or domestic, to produce your product if setting up a manufacturing operation isn’t initially realistic. Then comes the challenge of distribution and retail placement. However, as many companies have found, the “direct-to-consumer” model offered by web-based companies efficiently leapfrogs those issues as well. So, from my perspective, the much bigger challenge new companies are having is answering the big question “what’s my brand stand for?”

There are several great brands in the fishing industry that have been around for a while. Each one delivers on a brand promise to the consumer by providing more than just a product. At a minimum, they provide a trusted relationship and an expected experience – no surprises. A great brand delivers more. A great brand delivers not just on its brand promise, but is also purpose driven – “what’s the brand stand for and what’s the purpose?”

Temple Fork has been around for 22 years and throughout that time it has been driven by one purpose – creating more anglers. Interestingly, it hasn’t always been a popular purpose. In fact, there are still plenty of folks that believe in making fishing exclusive and unapproachable. TFO flatly rejects the idea for a simple reason – in our experience, no one cares more about aquatic resources than anglers. To protect and conserve all our glorious watery treasures, give me an angler or a group of them every time. And to protect and conserve ever greater acreage of these natural resources, we need ever greater numbers of engaged, passionate, and committed anglers.

TFO has delivered on its mission the same exact way since the day the company was founded – Affordable High-Performance. We are passionately committed to delivering the highest performance rod available to our anglers at a given price point and then backing it up with a relationship that feels like we’re in the boat with you. It begins with a family of fishing rod designers made up of the “who’s who” of fishing. Every one of whom is committed to bringing more anglers to the sport and living out the ideal of putting their life-times of experience into every rod we produce. Rather than just show it, they share their experience and knowledge in each TFO fishing rod. And it’s this wisdom that’s the heart and soul of our Affordable High-Performance model. Second, it’s our factory; every TFO fishing rod is manufactured in our factory and our factory only manufactures our fishing rods – in truth, it’s your factory and home to every TFO rod ever fished by a TFO angler. Thirdly, every TFO fishing rod has a no-fault lifetime warranty so that TFO anglers have complete confidence that if a TFO product is broken for any reason, there’s a solution to get them back on the water quickly and without any hassles. When you add it up it’s called “Power to the Angler”.

We assembled the world’s most accomplished, crafty anglers to design a complete line of fishing rods priced to bring more anglers into the sport. Because we believe that anyone who has the fishing bug as bad as we do deserves the highest performance equipment available to take their game to the next level. And in our experience, when we get people connecting with fish, they connect with nature. And they join us in our mission of keeping our rivers, streams, lakes and oceans in good shape for the next generation. There’s a new breed of angler out there. They’re smart. They’re passionate. They’re socially conscious. And they’re fishing Temple Fork. Power to the Angler.

Power to the Driver! TFO Partners with Juncos Racing for 101st Running of Indy 500

In support of TFO’s mission, our great partners at Juncos Racing will debut the new TFO logo on the No. 11 car driven by Spencer Pigot and the No. 17 car driven by Sebastian Saavedra during the 101st running of the Indianapolis 500 at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway this coming Sunday, May 28th.

www.juncosracing.com

www.twitter.com/juncosracing

www.facebook.com/juncosracing

www.youtube.com/juncosracing

Power to the Angler will premier in its fastest venue yet as Juncos Racing highlights our shared commitment to the highest levels of performance and joint desire to connect TFO Anglers to nature in order to preserve our streams, rivers, lakes, and oceans for future generations.

This weekend, 5,000,000 folks will see TFO. Power to the Angler. for 200 incredible laps on 2 amazing machines at 220MPH!

If you’d like access to the PDF press release, as well as the new brand assets, you can find them here.

Tight Lines,

f-p