Rent This Rod Online Fly Rod Rental offers customers to rent fly rods on their website and then they ship them straight to your door. The concept was created along the riverbanks, when two friends Brian Guengerich and David Moore realized they didn’t want to spend the money on a saltwater setup for an upcoming trip. Flylords was able to catch up with Dave and Brian to talk about the company and what they have in store for 2019.
Flylords: Where does your passion for fly fishing come from?
Dave (Pictured Above): I grew up fly fishing with my dad, who’s a respected fly-tier and fisherman around western NC. He taught me at an early age how to cast and he’d bring me along on overnight fishing trips with his buddies or on work outings where he’d pull over and fish on the way back home. So I grew up with it being an enjoyable hobby and a way to connect with him. He and I still fish regularly together. His passion for collecting and then reselling fly rods has spilled over to me as well. We’re always calling each other and telling about our latest and greatest find. As for the actual fishing, it’s lately been my go-to method of stress relief and a way to connect personally with the outdoors. Brian and I live in a beautiful part of the country and there’s no better way to experience it than to stand waist-deep in one of our mountain streams or rivers and cast a line.
Brian (Pictured Above): I have been fishing all my life and had a passion for it as a kid. My family never had much money growing up so our vacations were always camping somewhere. There is actually a picture of me where I tied myself to a tree because I didn’t want to leave the campground. I only fished conventionally a child. I never even held a fly rod until 2003 when my brother in law taught me how to fly fish in their neighborhood pond. I remember catching my first bass on an Orvis Clearwater 2 piece 5 weight. From that point on, fly fishing was all I could think about. It has always been my stress relief. I travel a lot for work and go from hotel to hotel. There is no greater peace to me than having my feet in a river and a fly rod in my hand. I also love the fly fishing community and how this industry has introduced us to so many great people across the country.
Flylords: What inspired you to start this company?
Dave: It was born out of an idea that Brian and I had one day while fishing. Brian and I fish often enough together that we bounce ideas about life and business off each other constantly and this one just stuck! We ended up buying a high-end rod off ebay to add to our rental arsenal early on, to see if it would attract any clientele. It soon became apparent that we’d need to purchase a larger, more diverse inventory of rods. I had a very loose connection with Neville Orsmond, the CEO of Thomas & Thomas (actually through Facebook) so we reached out to him one day, on a whim, and pitched the idea. That led to a conference call to discuss further, and at the end of that call, we had a commitment for our first round of new inventory via T&T! Crazy. We’re forever indebted to the good people at T&T for their belief and support of this idea and our vision going forward.
Brian: Once upon a time, Dave and I were fishing together and we started talking about trying saltwater fly fishing. I was leaving for a trip to Florida the next week to fish with my uncles in Sarasota. I told Dave I had always wanted to try salt fly fishing but didn’t want to spend the money on a set up when I was only going for a week. We weren’t getting a guide and my uncles only fish with conventional gear. I remember telling Dave it would be cool if I could just rent a rod for a week. We talked about a rental concept for about an hour on the water that day while we fished. That night, Dave called me and told me he built a website. We then started renting our own gear to see if maybe there was something there. When that worked, we started talking to rod companies about the concept and had very positive responses. Dave and I love to fish and fish together. Rain, snow, wind and sun we love to fish. We also love the fly fishing industry and only want to see it grow. Create more access for people, help other companies grow their brands and develop opportunities for people to try new things on the water. Our inspiration comes from the pure joy we get out of fly fishing. The stories, the laughter, the stress relief, and taking care if this incredible creation we have been gifted to enjoy.
Flylords: Does anything like this exist in the industry?
Dave: Not that we’ve seen presently. There have been others who’ve tried what we’re doing with somewhat similar models but they’re no longer around. There’s no other entity that will ship a rented rod and reel to your door or your destination that we’re aware of. Many fly shops will be happy to rent you a fly rod and reel (and waders, etc) if you’re in their vicinity but it’s fair to say that the quality of this gear, while still good, is far less than premium.
Brian: Other shops rent gear here and there but none do what we do. We want to be as mobile as possible as well. We are not a brick and mortar store and we like it that way. With technology growing the way it is, we want to be at the forefront of that in this industry. We are always thinking outside the box and willing to try new and innovative things to get people on the water. We would love to work with more guides, resorts, and shops and have plenty of fun options that are on the horizon. We have talked about memberships and are considering other partners in the industry as well. We also think this could be a great platform for rod companies that are trying to make a name for themselves and get their product in someone’s hand.
Flylords: What is the benefit of renting a rod vs. buying one?
Dave: Many of our customers can attest that renting a rod and reel combo from us is the better option vs buying the same setup that they’ll only use once or twice per year, if that. We’re a perfect option for someone who lives in the Midwest, for example, but who’s going on a tarpon or permit trip in Mexico, and who doesn’t want to drop a small fortune on a setup that they’ll not use regularly. The same can be said for coastal anglers who might want a trout setup for when they travel inland.
Brian: I would also add that we want people to have a quality product in their hand. We are not renting a 50 dollar set up from Wal-Mart (not that there’s anything wrong with that ☺). Our goal is to create opportunities for people to try new high-end gear. We have also been hearing from guides that it’s nice when people show up with their own quality gear because it saves on the wear and tear on the guide’s gear.
Sometimes it’s also nice to get on the river and actually feel a rod and reel in your hand before you buy it. Shop-casting or lawn-casting is by no means the same as time with a rod and reel on the water. We feel we can help customers get that valuable experience and then work with companies and local fly shops for the actual purchasing.
Flylords: How does the program work?
Dave: If someone wants to rent a rod or rod/reel combo, they can visit us at www.rentthisrod.com to start the process. Customers will submit an inquiry via our website or straight to firstname.lastname@example.org if they prefer. We will respond personally and make sure we know exactly what they want and when they need it by. If we can accommodate the request, we send them an electronic invoice which secures the rental gear for the dates they need it. Prior to shipping we also collect a security deposit on all the gear but it’s fully refunded once the equipment arrives back to us at the end of their trip and we can verify the condition. Currently our rental prices are $180 for a rod/reel combo for 10 days of use with shipping charges included on the front end. Return shipping is at the buyer’s expense. Rod-only rentals are common as well and they are $150 for 10 days of use. The 10-day rental windows exclude shipping transit times, so our clients can fully enjoy the gear for a solid 10 days before needing to ship back to us.
Flylords: What type of rods and reels do you carry?
Dave: We carry a full arsenal of fly rods, both fresh and saltwater-ready, from 3wt- 12wt. We’re proud to offer our clients premium fly rods by Thomas & Thomas Makers (MA) and Clutch Fly Rods (SC). We have also recently partnered with Tom Morgan Rodsmiths – and new owners, Matt and Joel. We’ll soon have a couple of TMR rods in the rental quiver to appeal to ‘glass throwers out there in the world, and to be able to offer a great option to “try before you buy” for anyone considering putting down the money on a custom-built Morgan fly rod.
In the fall of 2018, we also created an exclusive partnership with Ross Reels (CO) to handle our reel needs. High-end, high-quality fly rods deserve to, and should, be paired with high-quality reels. Ross fits the bill perfectly and has been an incredible company to work with.
Our reels come pre-spooled with Scientific Anglers fly line, appropriate for the intended fishing environments
We’re excited about the brands we carry and we’re honored to be associated with these companies.
Flylords: What happens if someone breaks a rod?
Dave: They will ship it back to us and be assessed a fee of $100. If it happens on day one of the rental, we will be happy to ship the customer another rod but they will still be assessed that fee.
Flylords: If people want to rent a rod where should they go?
Dave: Folks can visit us on the web at www.rentthisrod.com and start there. We’re also on Instagram and Facebook. We ship virtually anywhere in the world but our pricing is based on shipments made within the continental US. We can be flexible though if someone needs a rod shipped elsewhere.