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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Ben Lori (---.103.147.96.tpia.cipherkey.com)
Date: December 18, 2023 05:35PM

Daryl,

I think your way of delivering an advice may have come out like you have something against NFC from past experience.

In all the years of buying materials and equipment in different sectors I can tell you that NFC ain't bad at all. In fact beside Joe Goodspeed, I don't know anyone who's out and about trying to listen to customers. Alesk is actually out here and was willing to listen to your issues. The way the discussion went off the chart is mostly because of how your message came across. I'd get it if you had a bad experience but it's all based out of feedback you read online. It kind of discredit your advice and almost feels like you're trying to sabotage NFC's efforts to innovate with this new blank.

As for what I've written, I have yet to find a company providing doing a better job than what I got from NFC. It is written on their website what the lead time is so yeah I am not surprised it takes time.
I am usually the first one to call out companies for not doing their job and I've walked away from Maxia and a few others because of that. If NFC failed me big time then I would have done the same... Alesk has actually been more help than anything on some questions I had over a year ago.

Alesk,
Thanks for explaining the idea of the EPITOME and (CarbonAir) in fly rods. If it's to get the same as the old school "“GLX” then that's a great news. The original 10ft GLX are hard to find and expensive to get on the used market. Yet still what is considered the best still water blank by many fly fishing competitors. Release an Epitome 1006-2, 1007-2, 1008-2 and I'll drive all the way to Woodland to get my order.

Harry Sandoval,
I guess the more NFC is asked about releasing other Euro blank the better chances we have to see something. I've asked many times but there is only so much demand for it in North America. I'd think they probably would work on it if it was for a larger market driving the demand.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (47.214.193.---)
Date: December 18, 2023 06:32PM

Ben, maybe so. I didn’t realize (as I’ve never seen you here before) you were already a happy NFC customer. If I had, I wouldn’t have replied to your thread. If you’re happy, I’m happy for you. I’m just not into waiting, etc… when I can accomplish what I want elsewhere, without the hassles. I almost hate to bring this up (all of their fanboys will pile on), but I don’t do business with Tackle Warehouse either, and I HAVE done business with them a couple of times. Why? Because they’re slower than molasses in the winter. Their customer service is fine, prices are fine, etc… but why I should order from them when I can get the exact same thing from other vendors a lot faster. So again, I’m not “roasting”, “bashing”, etc… the company. I don’t have an axe to grind with them either. It’s just business, as they say.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: chris c nash (---.atmc.net)
Date: December 18, 2023 07:04PM

Why is it so difficult to wait for something is my question ? The only reason I could see getting upset about waiting is if I was promised something during a specific time period and the wait ended up being much much longer but that's exceptionally rare .

At one point a long long time ago NFC's customer service was a major problem where a customer could rarely get in contact with them or get a response to an inquiry but that hasn't been the case in a very long time .

People understand that NFC might not be the fastest shipper after a customer orders a blank but the blank always gets to the customer in a very reasonable time period and if the blank is not in stock they tell you exactly that and what the time frame is . I don't know how anybody could ask for more than that . NFC makes great products at very reasonable prices .


The one thing that people always say in the end though is the blank they received was well worth the wait .

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (47.214.193.---)
Date: December 18, 2023 08:18PM

Chris, the answer is simple. There are other options that don’t require waiting, or potential customer service issues. In the case of TW, I can get the same lures elsewhere faster with all else being equal. In the case of NFC, it’s as I said earlier, I can accomplish what I want without the hassle of waiting. My latest build is a flipping stick. I was seriously considering NFC until I researched them and found a lot of negative reviews regarding their wait times and poor customer service. Thus, I changed my mind. This may be hard for some of the members of this forum to believe, but NFC is not the only company that makes quality blanks. As such, I chose one that gave me the confidence necessary pull the trigger on their product.

If you don’t mind waiting, by all means, wait. That’s certainly your prerogative.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: December 18, 2023 08:37PM

Daryl:

Thank you for your reply and, in regard to your future posts, I shall clearly and thankfully endeavor to do just that.-- ignore them. And I will be better off for it.

As to my final comments on the subject, I shall indicate the following points based on advanced degrees and 30-years of experience working for a major consumer products company, including ties to customer service, legal, communications, distribution, sales, ethics and marketing.

What you stated in essence was a warning and a personal opinion. Further the opinion was based on hearsay and not on facts based on any personal experience, purchases or dealings with NFC. A reader of your post would infer that NFC is a shabby company not to be dealt with. And a reader could surmise that you were, in effect, advocating that they should buy from another rod supplier. Basically no one reading your post would deny those implications. Your defense as the self-appointed arbiter of NFC customer service is based on Google searches of opinions from other forums.

What you fail to realize, as many do, while opinions are free to express, how they are expressed, where they are expressed, and the words used have consequences.

I have no ties or interests in NFC, I do not know Aleks, and he is a big boy, well educated, and can defend himself and his company. And I am fully aware of past complaints. My personal experience based on a number of purchases is that their service was excellent. Zero issues. My posts regarding that clearly were not part of your calculus and opinion.

Comments like yours have no business or role to play on this Forum, or in that thread. At minimum they are a terrible breach of Forum etiquette, at maximum you drift closely into the area of defamation, slander and libel, of which it seems quite clear you know or care very little about. You may want to ask two people named Rudi and Rupert how stating personal opinions worked out for them lately?

Unless I am mistaken, NFC owns this Forum and is gracious enough for people to discuss rods and components from all manufacturers. That is pretty nice of them, and quite open-minded -- a rising tide lifts all boats viewpoint. Given those facts, you clearly breach a line of decency and respect in your comments. You demean the company and its CEO, yet you desire to participate in the Forum that they own, operate and pay for, but want to participate only on your terms, which you staunchly defend in a self-righteous manner. There is a rather unique and unsavory irony in that -- and it's usually referred to as hypocrisy.

There have been two posts on this Forum in recent months that totally lacked of taste, veracity or decency. One was in reference to NFC, and disparaged Gary Loomis and referenced his health; the other was yours.

Congratulations for forging ahead on the low road.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Aleks Maslov (Moderator)
Date: December 18, 2023 08:45PM

Daryl,

You can pick up the phone or send and email to see if a blank is in stock, or you can browse live inventory of blanks.

You didn’t. You decided that the best approach is to make a post under the guise of personal experience, both on a Facebook Post, and here.

Only when called out that you have never transacted with my company did you clarify that you are not, and have not been a customer (in both instances)

That’s disingenuous at best, and a troll post at worst.

I’m either case, you were responded to, and fairly soon after you “raised concerns” , thus making all of your point moot.

//my last post on the topic.

Thanks to everyone for your kind words.

Aleks

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (47.214.193.---)
Date: December 18, 2023 09:27PM

Aleks, think what you want. I’ve stated why I didn’t do business with your outfit. If you’re butt hurt over it, too bad. But, I didn’t troll anyone. I recommended, warned, advised, label it as you wish, to research before purchasing. That’s it. And, when you inquired about my orders, I was clear to point out that you wouldn’t find any because I haven’t placed any. I didn’t have to do that. Instead of being honest, I could’ve called you a liar and said I placed an order and made up a story.

Now, I’m done.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Daryl Ferguson (47.214.193.---)
Date: December 18, 2023 09:31PM

david taylor Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Daryl:
>
> Thank you for your reply and, in regard to your
> future posts, I shall clearly and thankfully
> endeavor to do just that.-- ignore them. And I
> will be better off for it.

Perfect, glad my advice was of service to you.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Al purvis (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: December 18, 2023 11:36PM

Daryl Ferguson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Aleks, think what you want. I’ve stated why I
> didn’t do business with your outfit. If you’re
> butt hurt over it, too bad. But, I didn’t troll
> anyone. I recommended, warned, advised, label it
> as you wish, to research before purchasing.
> That’s it. And, when you inquired about my
> orders, I was clear to point out that you
> wouldn’t find any because I haven’t placed
> any. I didn’t have to do that. Instead of being
> honest, I could’ve called you a liar and said I
> placed an order and made up a story.
>
> Now, I’m done.

So who are you thinking is going to come across this post and see your comments and be persuaded to NOT buy an NFC blank now? And why say you could have been a liar and made up a story? Is everything okay with you?

I’d like to also pile on to the nfc praise. They make fantastic products and their customer service is wonderful. In fact, I get emails back same day every time I email their support (Melissa and Lia). If I have a question about lead times, status of order, needing a spare label, etc. they are friendly and prompt. I think all we can ask for from a company anywhere is to receive quality products, to receive quality service, and to receive it at reasonable times. NFC covers all those bases in my opinion. Also keep in mind, these guys are making these blanks to order sometimes, so yes, several week lead times makes perfect sense.

I say this as someone who was once frustrated with their lead times (it would have helped if I didn’t miss seeing those lead times when I checked out). These guys will take care of you and they make the best blanks period!

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: December 19, 2023 02:41PM

Meanwhile, if folks have feedback or experience on the performance of the Epitome Fly blanks, I would love to hear it.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Bruce Tewnion (---.177.181.107.wiredns.net)
Date: December 19, 2023 04:42PM

I'll toss in my 2¢ here.

I had never dealt with NFC before but got an email about their Pick 10 deal which stated in big letters that it would be 60 days or so to get the blanks and I was cool with that. I'm just getting back into rod building and had only built 3 or so rods almost 40 years ago so basically a new guy.

When I called I spoke with Steve Pitcock and he spent about an hour with me on the phone helping me pick out my order. Even sent his direct email to me in case I wanted to get hold of him. I consider that pretty damn good customer service.

My 60 days is up this week but I won't likely even get started building before the end of January if then so no rush here.

A question for Aleks.

There's a nice grip, the XO-Skeleton Casting Black that I think would work nicely with the 13', 3-piece bait casting blank on my order. Model CP 1303-2 LMX X-Ray. I'm planning on making cork grips for all my rods and have a cork cutting jig set waiting at a custom rod builders place a couple hours from me. I'll be ordering a lot of corks and other bits and pieces thru him as he can get me much better prices. Northern Alberta here.

I like that only 6" or so of the blank need to be glued in adding a foot or more to the overall length of the rod. Not really sure if I'll like the composite grip but willing to try it. Will mostly be used in fair weather up here for pike fishing but when I can get out to the Fraser Valley in BC will be used for steelhead in the upper Chilliwack River in sometimes very cold weather.

The question is if I email Steve and my order hasn't shipped yet could that grip be put in with the blanks and save me added shipping costs? I guess I should just email him and see what happens.

“The gods do not deduct from man’s allotted span the hours spent in fishing.” - Herbert Hoover

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Aleks Maslov (Moderator)
Date: December 20, 2023 07:11PM

Bruce -

Thanks for your kind words. A company can’t be built without repeat business. There are simply not enough “new” rod builders entering the craft.

We serve thousands, all over the world, vast majority of those who are happy, repeat customers.

Is our business model perfect for everyone? No.

We are a factory, not a reseller or a distributor whose function is to carry inventory. The drawback of a distributor? Speed to market and the finance cost to carry inventory - in order for products to be “affordable” they need to be purchased through a factory - most typically overseas. There’s a level of markup (first to the distributor, then the re-seller/retailer).

The business model I started at NFC/Edge is a direct relationship with the purchaser/customer. (At least for NFC branded blanks) We manufacture a fair bit for brands that a lot of rod builders love and use - but they are branded under their logos.

Stories like yours - thousands go un-mentioned (thank you for sharing). The negative ones get amplified, some deserved, some completely warrantless like Daryl’s troll post.

There’s a reason why our factory and products are often backordered (and yes, we are working diligently to responsibly grow our business, and it’s not lack of demand or happy customers.

Steve is out of the office - but email info@northforkcomposites.com and it will get routed to Kelsey / Charlie / Ashlynn and they can add to their order.

Aleks

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Ernie Blum (---)
Date: December 21, 2023 10:39AM

I only build rods intermittently and either for my own use or for someone in my family that I will use as a gift. The only company I have purchased blanks from over the past two or three years or so from is NFC. Truth be known, because of some things I had read before making my initial purchase, I was on pins and needles for a while and wondered how my own experience would go. Simply put, I have had no negative experience to date, and have been completely satisfied thus far. Thank you NFC.

I live in SW Florida, and this past Summer I had the distinct misfortune to have had my AC system break down in one of our hottest Summers in recent years. As hot as it was, I resisted the urge to make any hasty decision on putting in a new system. Over the years, there has been one particular AC company (there are many) that has always got my attention in a most positive way. Their ads are so appealing that they almost convince you to want to get rid of your perfectly functioning existing system, and replace it with one of theirs! :-) Needless to say, they came immediately to mind when I set out to find a company to replace my system.

To make a long story short, in spite of my fondness for this company based on their ads, I did a little homework and read as many reviews as I could find from what I assume were previous customers. Yes, there were many positive reviews, but there were far more negative reviews than I ever would have anticipated. More disturbing was the fact that all those negative reviews had a common theme. As much as I really wanted to use this company, I opted to pass in the end because of those uniformly negative reviews. So in reality, I may have had the best ever experience with that company, but I will never know for sure because I wasn't about to perhaps willfully make an expensive and long lived mistake.

So those reviews are not necessarily inconsequential, but I would never badmouth that company for a negative experience that I actually never had.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: December 21, 2023 09:38PM

A few thoughts, from my experience, that I think are insightful:

For 10 years of my career I was in the corporate reputation business.

A firm steeped in corporate reputation services and research indicates the following:
• 88 percent of people trust online reviews as much as they trust their best friends’ recommendations.
• 80 percent of people choose to go elsewhere if they read bad reviews of your business online.
• Customers who have a bad experience are twice to three times more likely to write an angry review than customers who had a great experience are to post a happy review.
• One negative review online (when not countered by positive reviews) can cost up to 30 new customers.
• It takes 12 positive reviews to cancel out the nasty side effects of just one negative review.

Such is the impact of social media and negativity in general. Why do you think almost 100% of political ads are negative attack ads?

So if one is going to complain, they should at minimum have personal experiences to relate, and clear, truthful facts to back them up. Further, while it is easy to rant or rave in a Forum or on social media, often the person complaining does not properly reach out to, communicate with, or follow the proper customer service procedures offered by the company they criticize.

My most recent customer service experience with NFC went like this: I required a replacement tip for an LMX fly rod. I went on the website, read about their process, and sent in the requisite information and a photo to verify my rod. A day or two later I received a cordial, polite and quite specific email from a customer service rep who indicated she had processed my information and a new section would be sent and arrive in approximately two weeks. I cordially responded to her and thanked her. Within the stated time frame a replacement tip section arrived, bubble packed in a bomb-proof corrugate tube, and I will soon be wrapping it. Bingo. A+ experience.

I will relate another personal observation iin regard to the DIY marketplace:

I am a DIYer in many other areas. One is golf club building, as one can buy golf club components from a handful of companies that deal in that DIY business and, like rod making, you make your own clubs. None of the famous name club companies play in this space, rather there exist a handful of specific club head component companies. My other DIY hobby is speaker building. Again, a number of companies produce loudspeaker drivers, woofer and tweeters, that you can buy to make a pair of speakers. Some of these companies are recognizable names and produce their own speakers, or produce speaker drivers for OEMs.

I do not know NFC's business model, nor should I. as they are a private company. But they most assuredly produce rods for private labels or other OEM fishing rod companies. Yet they seem quite intent on providing high-quality blanks and components to DIY rod makers, and in all kinds or rods, and also to low volume custom rod builders. I do not know, nor should I, what percent of NFC's business is with DIY rod builders, the very people who frequent this forum. But I can just about guarantee that producing and providing blanks to DIYers or very small volume custom builders is far more time and resource intensive than producing rods for OEMs or small private labels. And it also requires a good degree of production logistics, customer service and places a company at the whim and feedback of thousands of individual or small-scale rod makers.

I have noticed both in the loudspeaker business and in the golf component business, a good number of the manufacturers decided in recent years to pull out of the DIY market. I am sure a good deal of that is based on the effort required, and what a pain in the ass some individuals can be to deal with. It is far easier to sell in medium- and large-sized quantities to distributors or OEMs than it is to sell single or very small numbers of units to individuals. (Why do you think NFC offers pick 10 type deals, or staged discounts for multiple rod orders?)

NFC produces a high-quality product, and I like that it is made in the USA, and their pricing is quite excellent. Factory direct sales and pricing to individuals is not an easy proposition. If people feel intent to disrupt that business proposition via rude or defamatory posts, hearsay, or whatever, at some point a company might conclude that offering products to individuals is just not worth it. I have seen this happen again and again. Even in rod blank sales, TFO has exited the market, Sage seems to be, and Winston remains but blank costs are cost prohibitive.

NFC seems 100% committed to the DIYers and individual buyer. That is most laudable. In the overall scheme of things, they are not a large company. If you have a product or service issue with them, as I suggest with any company, it is best to calmly and factually communicate with them through the process they outline, and not in a cantankerous way on a public forum designed to share information about the fun of rod building.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: keith nehrke (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: December 31, 2023 04:07PM

All of my favorite rods are NFC, and their value is simply outstanding. When you call, you talk to a guy who knows everything about the business and can give you details beyond belief. Oftentimes, they need to get a minimum order quantity to make a production run, but man, they tell you in advance that it's going to be a wait. That's what you get when you get what you want. If you know about it in advance, how can you complain? The wait time is literally the only dig I've ever heard on NFC.

I can't believe I spent the final five minutes of the Bills game reading this thread. NFC blanks take longer to receive than blanks from the other guys. Big deal. Still one of the best values out there.

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: January 02, 2024 11:37PM

*I also have the epitome blanks on order.

I also understand production systematics. I’ll wait for quality. If you want immediate delivery order from China.

Mike
Harmony Flyrods

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Ben Lori (---.103.147.96.tpia.cipherkey.com)
Date: January 04, 2024 01:07AM

Mike Hubbert Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> *I also have the epitome blanks on order.
>
> I also understand production systematics. I’ll
> wait for quality. If you want immediate delivery
> order from China.
>
> Mike
> Harmony Flyrods

Hi Mike,

That's great!
Whenever you get the blank would you mind weighing each sections if you happen to have a scale precise enough?

Thanks!

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: January 04, 2024 05:20PM

Ben

They will be painted, but happy to weigh them with paint

Mike

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Ben Lori (---.103.147.96.tpia.cipherkey.com)
Date: January 25, 2024 03:30PM

Mike Hubbert Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Ben
>
> They will be painted, but happy to weigh them with
> paint
>
> Mike

Hi Mike,

I was just wondering if you received your blank yet?

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Re: NFC Fly blank - EPITOME C6O2 (CarbonAir)
Posted by: Mike Hubbert (---)
Date: January 26, 2024 03:03PM

I have not yet

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