Supply chain issues hit angling

But the tackle industry is still optimistic for the future

Supply chain issues hit angling

by Angling Times |

While angling has thrived over the last two years, global uncertainties and rising prices are still hitting home, trade insiders are warning. While Covid and Brexit have played their parts, however, the tackle industry is still optimistic for the future.

So what can anglers do to keep up with the changes? Which items are impacted most? And are we likely to see shortages and pay more for items as Christmas approaches?

The tackle industry is still optimistic for the future
The tackle industry is still optimistic for the future ©Shutterstock

Will the UK’s cheap tackle bubble burst?

UK anglers have got used to a level of choice and value that past generations couldn’t dream of, but could that be about to change? Among current issues are soaring fuel prices and reduced production rates in China.

“Shipping containers have risen from £2,000 to £20,000 in some cases, which makes transportation less cost effective,” said an insider, who added: “at some point this will be passed to the consumer.”

Tighter regulations on emissions in China have also hampered production, alongside issues such as a post-Brexit lack of HGV drivers. Reports suggest delays of between two and four times the usual wait for goods to arrive are now common. Besides forcing the trade to plan way ahead, this also poses a threat to new and innovative items that require a quick turnaround.

Heavy items are of particular concern with shipping. “It’s becoming difficult to make any money on items like bedchairs and barrows,” Kevin Nash told us. “I’ve owned Nash Tackle for over 40 years and never experienced so many supply challenges as today. One thing I can clearly predict is a shortage of quality fishing tackle next year, with price increases inevitable.”

“Shipping containers have risen from £2,000 to £20,000 in some cases, which makes transportation less cost effective”
“Shipping containers have risen from £2,000 to £20,000 in some cases, which makes transportation less cost effective”

Tackle industry and shops cautiously optimistic

In spite of the challenges, most producers and retailers are buoyant. Garbolino’s Darren Cox said: “I don’t think Christmas tackle shortages will be a major issue. The industry is balancing out and supply is better than it was. Prices are likely to be up, but dealers will be prepared to meet demand.”

On the retail front, most tackle shops are enjoying steady sales as angling’s Covid era boost continues. “Getting stock can be tricky, but we’ve done our best to get extra,” said Cameron Hughes, from Nathan’s of Derby. “Everything will have to go up a bit, but smaller items that are less costly to ship shouldn’t be as badly affected.”

“Heavier items, especially carp gear, have gone crazy,” he said, with some goods like chairs doubling in price. Elsewhere, most products are going steady. Interestingly, he notes, items like banksticks and ready-tied pole rigs have “taken a hammering” with the influx of new and returning anglers.

“While people saved money on furlough and fishing was one of the few lockdown activities you could do, people were treating themselves” he added, “but things are slowing down” Nevertheless, like other retailers, they’re expecting a healthy end to the year, with stock of most regular items in good shape thanks to forward planning.

Covid and Brexit have played their parts
Covid and Brexit have played their parts ©Shutterstock

Current trends and consumer tips

  • Big, bulky items, like chairs, barrows and seatboxes are among the most problematic, with logistic issues and price rises likely.

  • Bait and smaller items like terminal tackle should be less heavily impacted. There’s no need to panic buy maggots!

  • Prices are set to rise across the board, hence sooner rather than later might be wise with any big-ticket purchases. Check with stockists on availability and wait times – especially if it’s a Christmas gift!

  • A booming second-hand market is another trend to exploit. Items like specialist rods and reels command better prices than ever. If you don’t use it, why not list it?

  • British-made items on the up? Independent companies and the goods made in the UK could be winners, as they offer quality and avoid long distance supply chain issues. “We’ve definitely seen a boost in sales” said Jamie Kemp of Cotswold Aquarius, which sells British-made luggage and bespoke items. “With freight costs up, we can compete a bit better.”

  • Mend and refurbish your favourite kit. Anecdotal evidence suggests that those who repair and refurbish tackle have never been busier.

  • Support independents and local tackle shops! In any time of uncertainty, it’s the big companies and online giants who are safest. Be sure to support those crucial smaller players, from innovative UK companies to your local tackle shop!

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