Fly Rod Rentals?

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Justin Pickett

Would you ever rent a fly rod?

Have you ever planned an awesome fishing trip, or maybe gotten an invite from a friend, but you didn’t have the rod, or rods, that you needed? Sure, if you booked a guide for a trip, then he/she will likely have you covered, but, for the folks who DIY, you will have to rely on your on equipment to get you there. Buying a rod, or an entire setup, can cost a near fortune. Even on the cheap, you’re looking at a few hundred bucks on top of what you’re spending on travel and licenses. Buy on the high end and you are quickly flirting with dropping a couple grand to get you on the water. Now, if it’s a setup that is going to get frequent use for many years, then it may very well be worth it. But what if it’s for a trip that you may never take again? Spending hundreds, or thousands, on a one-shot-wonder outfit probably isn’t in your budget. It would certainly leave me high and dry.

What if I told you that you could rent the rod you needed for your trip, and have it shipped to your doorstep in time to go for your trip? Would you be interested?

Rent This Rod is a new company that is hitting the scene with the goal of making fly rods accessible for those that may not have the money to purchase a fly rod, but would have the need to rent one for a short period of time. Owned and operated by David Moore, Rent This Rod plans to offer up top shelf rods for ten day periods for a fee of $150 with shipping to anywhere in the Lower 48 included. David is currently working with G. Loomis and Thomas & Thomas, however David plans on expanding into more brands accordingly with the market demand.

Find a stick on Rent This Rod’s website that suits your fancy and place your order. A security deposit is required at the time of the order in order to protect Rent This Rod from any “sticky fingered” opportunists. Your order is scheduled in the queue to be shipped in time to hit your doorstep by the date you need it. The ten day rental period starts on the day you receive the rod, so transit times are not included in the rental. You get ten full days to fish the rod you rented.

You can’t fish it exactly “like you stole it”, though. Any breaks or damage fall on the angler using the rod during the rental period. For example, a broken G. Loomis NRX will set you back an additional $100, which is the same as if you owned the rod. Once you’ve fished your heart out, stuff the rod back in the tube, pack it up, slap the return label on the box, and drop it off at the post office or shipping center. David’s goal is to make renting a rod from Rent This Rod as simple and smooth as possible. Looking for a reel to go along with your rod? There are plans to add loaded reels to the program soon after the rod rentals get off the ground.

Live in the western North Carolina region and need a rod? Rent This Rod will also offer daily rentals to those willing to come pick up and drop off their rentals for forty bucks per day.

Having to spend a ton of money on necessary gear can certainly throw a monkey wrench in your travel plans. I’d much rather spend my money on traveling to a destination than on gear. Gear is nice, but if you can’t afford to use it, then you probably didn’t need it. A lot of us are gear junkies, but the gear won’t do much for you sitting on a shelf. Rent This Rod gives anglers an alternative to spending an exorbitant amount of money on a rod that might only get used during that trip. Sure, you could sell it, but you certainly won’t get your money back. Maybe $150 sounds like a little much just to rent a rod. Fair enough, but if you’re looking into spending $900 to purchase a fly rod, or dropping $6k on a trip abroad, then it might not seem like much at all to have the rod you need in hand.

What do you think? Would you ever rent a fly rod? Tell us in the comments.

Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
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9 thoughts on “Fly Rod Rentals?

  1. When I looked at the website it seems the rods available for rent are some of the most popular weights and lengths. 4 through 6 weights. This could be a popular rental model for those folks from the saltwater areas looking to fish north, but for me I would be looking to rent that 8 through 12 weight for saltwater fishing. I would think most fly fishers own something close to a 4, 5, or 6 weight. Also, there needs to be reels with the rods. The price seems a little on the steep side also. If the rod retails for $1000.00 that means their cost is less 40% (estimate), so around $600.00. Lets say they have $30.00 in shipping cost. If they rent the rod six times it pays for itself. I think $150.00 is a fair price for rod and reel rental, but a little high for just a rod. I can get a TFO rod for a little more than $160.00, use it on the trip, return home, sell for $75.00/$100.00 and only spend $50.00 to $75.00 out of my pocket. I love the idea. I think it will work, but it needs to be a package deal (rod and reel). If I don’t own a 10wt rod I probably don’t own a reel that can handle that line, and I definitely wouldn’t own a 10wt line.

  2. Lots of local fly shops rent complete outfits. I know that not everyone has a local fly shop, but if you do, check with them first.

    • Thanks Matt. We’d love to help outfit your Tarpon trip! If you decide you’d like to go with an option we offer, please send us an email via our website. The more heads up you can give, the better, to ensure we have the rod/reel combo you want.

      Currently we have rod/reel options from 8wt – 12wt.

      Hope to hear from you soon!

  3. I think it’s a great idea especially for the upper weight salt water rods. It’s hard to justify purchasing a 12wt rod for a one time tarpon trip.

  4. Great idea, and a perfect option for me for saltwater fly fishing as the largest rod that I own is a 7 wt Tidal with a Lamson Remix reel. And, it’s nearly impossible for me to get/rent a saltwater 10 wt rod/reel from my local shops. Besides, I live in northern Utah — so I only do about 1, maybe 2, saltwater fishing trips every other year anyways.

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