Ebay Rods & Reels

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The use of ebay to purchase fishing tackle is now becoming the norm. There are many great deals to be had and even good advice that your local retailer will tell you is not available here. The key to ebay tackle purchases is to have a fair idea of what you are looking for and also be sure of what you are actually buying. Over the years many tackle stores have popped up on ebay, all with very similar product imported from china and some of them even in similar industrial areas near Australia's major cities. There is nothing wrong with the way most of this product is listed and marketed on ebay, and its quite evident that they use freight charges to cover the cost of both the freight and the product in the event of a poor return at auction. These stores don't make any misleading effort to hide the origin of their product and with a little time on a search engine you will find out where the product is sourced from. Unlike some major brands of Japanese origin that actually have there flagship reels made in Jakarta and other places.

This brings me to a touchy subject that all ebayers should keep at the forefront of their minds, Japanese sounding names does not always mean Japanese product. The use of JDM style names on rods and reels manufactured in China is designed to deliberately mislead the consumer and can mean paying triple what something should retail for let alone is worth. The last thing any angler wants is to lose a great fish through tackle failure especially when you thought you had a bargain not just "cheaped" out. These products are not counterfeit and therefore not illegal, but they are equally as misleading. That said, just because someone has taken this approach to marketing does not mean their product won't work. I have personally fished with similar rods with great success, just pay what you would for a Chinese rod sold on ebay its that simple. 
With reels I have found that the trend is to give them a Japanese name and mock them up with fancy jig style machined handles and knobs.
Large machined and drilled spools with tiny drag washers and plastic drag knobs. 
Extraordinary amounts of bearings claimed ( balls in single row deep groove ball bearings counted as whole bearing assemblies etc.) and poor materials used for bearings, gears, rotors and reel bodies.
This product has a place and will serve you well if suited to your fishing requirements, but only when advertised and sold honestly as they are by most.

Now for famous brands that are sold on ebay, tackle that is made in China for the big brands and sold in your local tackle stores. This product can be sourced from retailers overseas at greatly reduced cost due to the greed of the Australian market place. These products however not counterfeit will not be supported or warrantied by their respective brand in this country due to well, a lot of reasons. This is a poor situation but it is the reality and must be kept in mind when purchasing. I would suggest a saving of at least 33% + before this becomes a viable option. 
Another thing to be wary of is counterfeit product, these auctions generally are listed by a seller with low or no feedback and are based in a country where this product generally isn't manufactured.
When looking for a bargain on that high-end piece of tackle secondhand bargains are all over ebay and are my favourite way to source this high-end branded product.

I would like to finish with a quick guide on product selection. First with rods sold through the large tackle stores here on ebay that buy mass produced product and brand them with their own names. Look for blank materials such as
E Glass it's very strong and a cheaper material in rods so less likely to be skimped on. E glass is also less prone to breaking through poor lift angles that have been known to claim cheap Graphite rods. Fittings like reel seats and gimbals go for aluminium where possible as cheap aluminium will last longer than most graphite and nylon fittings. Guides should be chosen based on the line type you intend to use, a strong looking frame doesn't mean the eyelets wont crack or fall out. Flashy anodizing looks awesome but it is cheap, so don't let that be the sole contributor to your rod selection on ebay.
Secondly with reels the same thing occurs, they are brought in branded with names chosen by the retailer from China. Bearings in these reels are generally poor so ignore how many there are as this is irrelevant. Look for good body and gear materials as this will ensure they are usable. Although they have been around for some time spinning reels are still sophisticated technology and therefore are the product to take the most time and care with. Its hard to make a good cheap spinning reel so ask lots of questions of the buyer and ensure that reel is capable of meeting your expectations. The traps are that most are usually copied from more expensive and capable reels and a lot more can be hidden on reel than on a rod due to the importance and significance of a reels internal componentry.


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