Agreed with all of you. Over the years, I have spent way too much money on hunting and fishing, but I cannot be accused of doing so into my rods. And I have had just as much fun were I to have spent twice as much on each rod. Rather, I put that money into more fishing trips. As such, I bought rods that were adequate, and most of them were $39.95 Berkleys. This $108 AllStar rod was an exception, a "gift" to myself, an extravagance. The call to AllStar was spawned from a broken Lightning Rod, a medium light casting that I use to overpower crappie and get them clear of my brushpiles. I just happened to notice the AllStar sitting there, broken a while back, and decided to take care of it too with Academy while doing the exchange on the Lightning Rod with Berkley.
My experience at Berkley could not have been more enjoyable, servicing a $39 rod, 180 degrees opposite of the welcome extended to me by Allstar on their $108 rod. I still have two of Berkley's cardboard rod tubes in my attic, left over from replacement rods that they had shipped to me in the past, going back into the mid-80s. To replace a rod, they only require an email containing a picture of the rod where it is broken, a picture of the model number on the rod, a copy of the receipt (if you still have it, but not required), and an address to which their replacement should be sent. Somebody STILL understands customer service!
Maybe for this reason I only have one AllStar left, but twenty-three Berkleys: Original Lightning Rods, some with origins back into the the Old Testament, second and third gen LRs from the late-80s and early-90s, Series Ones (my favorite), several of their Hank Parker Series, their Safari Series, Salt Flats sticks. Sadly, I recently broke one of their Original Lightning Rod Flippin' Sticks fishing a frog...I should have never been fishing it...it should have been in the Smithsonian. Such is life. I re-rodded 2-3 years ago, and bought nine LRs of various actions at Gander Mountain when Berkley started using the titanium line guides that do not use inserts. Rod guide INSERTS: I spit in their general direction. I have broken way too many of them out of the line guides over the years.
Thank you, Berkley, for understanding what drives future sales. I do want to give a shout out to Gander Mountain though, and here it is: YOU SUCK! I buy nine Lightning Rods from you, first six, then three more a week later. I call you to see if I can come back to exchange one of them and you too go off on a long spiel, grasping at straws trying to find a way to keep from having to replace a rod which has a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty on it, and in doing so reveal the true quality of your corporate character. I know you didn’t hear a word I said, didn't even listen, about Berkley’s lifetime warranty. How do I know? Because your associate had the gall to talk right past me without taking notice of what I said, he telling me that if I would have bought your two-year extension to the manufacturer’s warranty that you offered me at checkout that you could “work with me” as you put it, to possibly exchange the rod…but you would have to see it first to decide. (Insert clip of Sam Kinison screaming here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Czmb6tEwFE8
) Let’s see, the rod has a manufacturer's lifetime warranty into eternity, but you require me to buy your two-year extension to it if I am to expect you to assist me in the future to honor and service the manufacturer's lifetime warranty?
W.T.F.? That is not a store warranty, that is nothing more than GANDER MOUNTAIN EXTORTION! So when does your warranty begin anyway? AFTER eternity? When would I ever have an opportunity to use it?
And chain conglomerates wonder why their brick and mortar stores are failing miserably, (especially
Gander Mountain), and why the internet is thriving. I do Amazon Prime…and I LOVE IT. Refunds put on your credit card the exact second the UPS guy scans in the return package. HEY! SON OF A B8ITCH!!! LOOKY THERE!!! On a lark I just checked Amazon: I can buy Lightning Rods there that are priced $3 to $6.45 under Gander Mountain's or Academy's price! And with Amazon Prime, I get free 2-day shipping to my door! No driving 60 miles out of this Big Thicket to their store! None of my gas OR TIME wasted!
Click, Click BOOM! DONE! Adios Allstar! Auf Wiedersehen Gander Mountain!