G&G Product Review Policy, Just So You Know

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Gink and Gasoline is a NO BULLSHIT ZONE

I’ve received some criticism lately over the fact that my product reviews are all positive. The exact quote was this.

“Another glowing review of a free product. Imagine that.”

My first response was, “It’s a lot easier to make snarky comments on the internet than to write a meaningful review.” I do, however, think the subject deserves a complete disclosure. After all, if you spend your money on something I recommend, I’d like for you to know why I recommend it.

True – I only write positive reviews. Here’s why. It’s my feeling that there is enough negativity in the fly fishing world. I got into fly fishing for a positive experience, not to listen to some guy bitch about what or who sux. If I could, I would delete the word sux from the fly fishing lexicon. It doesn’t help anyone.

I write about products I love. That’s it, pure and simple. In my opinion that’s helpful. It informs you about what I believe is worth your hard earned money. That’s a lot more important than knowing what I don’t like.

I don’t write reviews because manufacturers give me product. As a fairly prominent photographer, I was getting plenty of gear before I started writing reviews. In fact, I write reviews about gear I buy too. I do it as a service to my readers. I do it because people enjoy them and because, publishing daily, I need stuff to write about!

I understand a certain level of skepticism on the part of this particular reader. There are a lot of BS reviews out there on the web. I promise you will not read them here. I do decline to review many products. You’d be surprised.

In the interest of full disclosure, here is the exact text I send to manufacturers who submit products for review.

“G&G product review policy

We do not promise reviews. What we do promise is not to post a negative review. We only review products we truly believe in. We test products thoroughly before we do. We do this in the interest of honoring the trust of our readers. We believe this makes our reviews more meaningful. It makes them worth more to our readers and to you. I hope you agree. If not, no hard feelings.”

There is one other thing I should say. Sometimes I provide links which you can use to buy online. These are affiliate links. That means that if you use the link, G&G makes a little bit of cash. A couple of percent. I am very careful about the companies I link to. They are companies I know and trust. My intention is not to take business from local fly shops. Fly shops are important. If however, you do not have a place to buy, and choose to use the links, I thank you. Lord knows G&G needs the cash!

That’s it. No secrets, no under the table deals, no man behind the curtain. I’ll let you decide where you spend your money. I’m just reporting the facts as I see them. I hope it helps.

Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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24 thoughts on “G&G Product Review Policy, Just So You Know

  1. Louis,

    I find your reviews helpful and relevant. Thank you for doing them. Sometimes I have used them in selection of things I need, but I end up choosing other products than those reviewed based on needs or price, but I learn what to look for in a product from the features and the context in the reviews. We all like to stay current, and the reviews help me do that.

  2. Thank you for your blog and for your cleave reply. Continue to share your passion. Signed: a french flyfisher.

  3. Your positive approach is what keeps me coming to G&G for intel. I came to the Fly side of fishing looking for something…bigger than just catching fish. Immediately I found I had no vocabulary for the sport and even less gear. My first experience with a shop was terrible. I was ignored until I finally interrupted two sale people talking poorly about a customer. When they did look at me, they handed me a pamphlet for a school up in Asheville (which no doubt would have been great). I pulled back for a while until I stumbled into Old Florida Outfitters in Watercolor, FL. They were great and when they heard where I lived recommended Cohutta Fishing Company. Andy, Garner, Brandon, and Connor have been amazing ever since. They are hopelessly optimistic when it comes to my success on the water, and I’ve yet to hear a derogatory word from them on anything – except cheap beer! Your positive approach speaks louder than any poo-pooing would. Please keep up the great work, us idiots need our village!

    • Glad you pulled into Old Florida. They’re great people, and they sure steered you in the direction of a great fly shop. Everyone at Cohutta Fishing Co. is first class and willing to help any- and everybody. Wish I could get up there more myself!

  4. I appreciate your candor , as there are other flyfishing blogs that will review a paperclip and present it as new and exciting . As a frequent reader of GinkandGasoline I appreciate your clarity and will continue to be a fan of the blog .

  5. Right on Louis…having been an outdoor writer for 15 years I truly only had a bad experience with product twice. One was a walkie – talkie that took 5 to get two that worked. Back in my mainstream outdoors days..I field tested a competitor of Power Bait side by side. Fish count was 5-0..company said please don’t mention that…haha. For the last 9 years I stick to fly…www.hcamagazine.com and SierraFisherman.com. Also Examiner.com and @writeflyguy. Keep up the good work.

  6. I like your reviews a lot, and it always seems you are passionate about the items. I appreciate the full disclosure here and like your rationale for only posting positive reviews. Keep them, and all the great content coming!

  7. I mostly agree with your position on this. The world in general and the Internet in particular has no shortage of bitter nasty individuals; a positive voice is much appreciated. However, aren’t there circumstances where you’d be doing your readers a service by warning them away from something? Say for example you buy a new super-duper $20 nail knot tying tool, and it turns out to be a nail. Or it falls apart the first time you use it. Or you ordered it and it never showed up. It seems to me that there are valid reasons for a negative comment here and there. That being said, kudos to you guys for your candor and up front explanation.

    • I see your point and agree , but I’m thinking silence speaks for itself……. I’m very happy reading this blog , I feel it puts passion over profits , which you always hopes leads to overall success , again I’m amazed at what some of the other blogs review , I can’t be the only one shaking my head .

  8. Strong work here Louis. We see the same thing at Fly Fish Food with reviews. There will always be the “haters” that think you just rave about free stuff, but what they don’t realize is that there are many products that a polite email gets sent back to the manufacturer stating why you aren’t going to post their review. Most businesses who want to be successful are grateful to hear feedback that will make them improve their products. Some will work to improve the product and send it back to you…

    I think the bottom line is that the nay-sayers don’t realize how much work it is to gather and maintain an audience, and that there is a reason why manufacturers want to work with you… They are jealous – plain and simple. Keep up the good work. Love your stuff.


  9. Good post, and keep up all the good work on G&G! The funny thing is, the jackasses who post stupid comments about your reviews will probably continue to read every single one of your reviews. I read a study the other day that a large majority of people who post pointless negative comments on the internet are sociopaths, so who needs ’em!

  10. Cheers! Well said. There is enough negative noise out there, and why get in the middle of shooting down someone’s product.

  11. I like reviews that cut both ways. I’ve never experienced a product with features that are universally excellent – a what works/what doesn’t sort of review is what I like best.

  12. I believe that you’ve offered this explanation in the past … at least that you only publish reviews of products you like. However, I don’t understand the notion that there is so much negativity in and around fly fishing. Where? When? Who?? Conversely, I greatly appreciate reviews that fairly point out good and bad aspects of a product … especially true comparison reviews. I get a lot out of the reviews that George Andersen at Yellowstone Anglers do. Do you find those to be objectionable because the find things to criticize in various rods, reels, tippet, etc.?

  13. Thank you so much for this. As an Editor of a couple magazines, I recently picked up the Trout Magazine only to find a comment inside from a reader which basically said that they only trusted reviews from Trout Magazine, since they didn’t believe honest reviews could be given by people who got free stuff (hello, did anyone think that big manufacturers give to TU?). I’m with G&G. Not only do we not only review stuff we receive, but stuff we buy and we believe that FLY FISHING IS FUN and should remain so. The negativity does no one any good and our policy is the same. Why would saying something positive about a negative product do ANYONE any good? Our manufacturers also know that if we like the product, we honestly review the positives. If we don’t like a product, it doesn’t pass the Dun Approved standard and we don’t review it. THANK YOU G&G for stating what we already knew, but never so clearly stated. Keep on keeping on. Love what you have to say.

  14. I’ve honestly always wondered how this type of thing works. Thanks for being straight forward regarding your policy.

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  16. There’s also something to be said for keeping negativity out of flyfishing by warning newcomers not to by cheap, crappy gear. Having a publication where people can be informed about not ruining their initial foray into the sport by buying overpriced bad gear would also be an important service to provide. This is a good reason to get your advice from a flyshop owner you trust where you can try the gear for yourself before purchase.

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