Anglers WILL NOT be forced to pay more for their poles next season, the major tackle manufacturers have confirmed this week.
But the size of spares packages IS likely to be affected, with some new poles supplied with fewer extras than their predecessors.
As the tackle trade fights the retail slump hitting the high street, news reaches Angling Times that some companies will attempt to offset price increases of raw materials, exchange rates and rising Far East production costs by reducing the number of top kits supplied with poles. Some poles, even mid-range models, are currently being sold with up to six spare kits plus cupping kits, holdalls, elastication sets and even DVDs.
And while some producers are prepared to take a profit hit against their higher costs, it’s likely that it will be spares packages which will be affected to keep prices competitive and attractive for anglers.
Paradoxically, the news comes as many pole makers report a strong year for pole sales.
“Our pole sales started off well enough, but trading conditions are now becoming particularly challenging,” revealed Maver UK managing director Phil Briscoe. “Price increases would seem to be inevitable and unavoidable next year, as both the exchange rate for the Euro and ever-increasing fuel prices are leaving everybody with little choice.
“However, rises in pole prices may not necessarily be passed on directly, and I can foresee pole packages undergoing reform instead.
“The present economic climate is a huge worry for the whole of the industry, and it is becoming a very tough year indeed.” Angling Times also believes that several manufacturers are planning to launch new sub-£500 ranges next season to compensate for projected lower sales of flagship products costing three times the price.