Posted on September 16 2007
At the opening of the annual FFR show, I’m as feverish as I ever get about looking at new gear. There is plenty of rumor and prejudgment in the air, but I always arrive convinced that I will uncover one or two overlooked ideas that will make our fly fishing lives better, or even find something in a product test that escaped the attention of the hyper-imaginative PR firm. Everyone at the show is pumped on Day One too: the retailers because they know the season of having to do too many things at once is behind them and that a vacation is in the offing, the manufacturers because the questions of whether the product packaging will be done and whether their competitors have delivered on their promises are mostly settled. Of course everyone is there to share a few stories and catch up with folks that they get to see less than they would like to. Tonight the beer will flow at the short film contest. And hey, we’re in Denver, too, which to the trade-show-weary is a welcome respite.
Starting today we’ll be sharing reader feedback with product designers, most of it to the tune of “Why not give us some simple products that work well rather than worry about how cutting-edge the next media campaign sounds?” We got a suprising number of emails requesting that manufacturers consider “retro” technology in their product design plans: fiberglass rods were on a lot of lists, among the overall hope that the big companies would focus their experience on delivering products that did simple stuff better.
Do common sense and utility stand any chance when tied to the railroad tracks of hype? We’ll let you know.