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23 October 2014, 12:18 PM
Hey Chark
Have any clue what is going on with chrome jigs?
Seems everytime I order a Kroc or Tady, you can't fill the order without backordering them or they are discontinued.
I like Tady AA Tady 9 and Tady A2....but you come up short and can't fill my order.
I thought for sure the very popular and effective Kroc chrome/prism tape 1.5oz.would have masses in stock ready to roll.

Sure I totally understand stocking problems and it may well not be your fault....but lately it seems this is happening more and more to me.

And a friendly suggestion, those items which are discontinued should be taken down off the webpage don't you think?

Several times I have ordered an item off your website only to be told later......discontinued.

And recently, a notice of shipping does not jive with the CC billing.....or I am billed, yet no shipping notice has been sent.

As always, Charkbait has the best selection of any online seller but your stock seems to be taking a nose dive.

Looking around the net to your competitors, your not alone.
Is this an industry anomoly right now?
23 October 2014, 08:00 PM
You provided a very good question, fair to ask. And, as a client of ours over the years you deserve an honest answer. So I'll provide a response in as much depth as possible, probably more than needed.

Couple of points in reply, first 2014 has been an amazing year in terms of fishing. Demand outstripped supply for all manufacturers. The smaller producers of gear were especially hard hit, no way for them to keep pace. Chrome tady and sumo jigs very difficult. Tady gets most of their jigs overseas, then paints most here. That's my belief. So, if supply gets drawn down resupply will be at least 90 days out. Add to this specific issues making chrome jigs in the wonderful state of California with the EPA... It's becoming a big problem. There's a reason why Salas does not make chrome jigs... If you think jigs were tough this year, boy don't get me talking about rods from our prime USA suppliers. That has been a huge problem this summer. With respect to the Krocs, that one is entirely my fault. I cleaned out the old inventory from the previous owner before they sold the firm to Normark (Rapala and some other firms owned by them). Tied up almost 20k, I honestly liked the old product more than their newer jigs. We have long since sold through almost all of the older jigs, but I elected not to stock their new ones here (did so more at our SD shop) as long as we still had a few sizes to clear out. You might say I was forcing the HB shop to balance the inventory prior to investing in the newer Chinese jigs. So blame me alone on the Krocs.

Manufacturers depend upon lines of credit, banks, to fund inventory. Without lending, producers can not carry as much inventory. This has changed things for producers and retailers alike since 2008. Manufacture shortages during peak demand times of year are significant. I've never depended upon outside lending alone, retained earnings and savings, leveraging my home, working two jobs...were the sources of CharkBait's capital. But there is a limit to my own resources. In truth, by adding our San Diego shop I pulled 400k of inventory away from our HB location in support of the new shop. Of course over the past four years we've built up stock at our main location but total inventory has not grown by 400k. So in some respects we are leaner at our main shop, and if we need to draw from our SD stock to fill an order a client will still be notified of a shipping delay. And back to lines of credit, I used to leverage my home and also make use of a business line of credit. I did not have daddy's money to use like some competitors... Those lines of credit I did have were not huge, but they were significant and allowed me to swell inventory during and prior to the high demand times of the year. B of A pulled the line I had two years ago, paid that back a year ago and I cleared the line I had against my home. I sold off my old condo to help pay off those lines and provide more working capital. Wasn't too fair to my family to keep that line in the event something would happen to me. Married life changed my thinking about that exposure, as did my desire to not see the bank profit from me on one side while they were not being helpful on the other. So, we are not leveraged financially, that's good, but flexibility to adjust to seasonal shifts is reduced. Many other tackle shops closed or sold in the past six years (thank you Mr. Obama and the Democrats who have made things harder on small businesses - especially in CA - sorry if I offend those who are ignorant of what the policies of the Dem's have created. CharkBait is a sole proprietorship, taxed as an individual, so "income" redistribution comes directly out of pockets like mine, and those pockets keep people employed...). Taxes have gone up considerably, workman's comp has increased significantly, but we never cut back staff, actually I added support staff over the past few years in order to improve our customer service. Business climate not so easy as to allow a retailer like me to ALWAYS HAVE EVERYTHING in stock all the time. Manufacturers have their inventory limits as do I.

We maintain over 1.5 mill in inventory, few other retailers match that in Saltwater gear. But it is indeed spread more thinly than in years past. Manufacturers have also grown their lines. A few years ago Avet had about half the number of reels they now produce. Okuma did not exist as a major player. Look at all the new gear from Penn! Release reels didn't exist. So, if I've got a base of 1 1/2 mill in resources to use for inventory and I have to weigh stocking new reels or loading up on jigs, it's a tough call. Lots of competition for scarce resources. Stocking one new reel model ties up a lot of $ which could be used for slower turning jigs. Demand for both can be high, but it's a tough call. Also note, I maintain inventory throughout the year. Easier to fill orders during winter months than prime time in the summer. My available inventory does not expand suddenly and then shrink suddenly to meet demand, we have the same level of funds locked up in stock throughout the year. So, if we normally stock a half dozen of an item and demand spikes, we are scrambling to reload. And, we communicate that fact, don't keep a client in the dark.

It wasn't too long ago that immediate customer feedback from us regarding a short term supply issue wouldn't be communicated. We'd simply process an order and then bust a hump filling the order within a couple days. That's typical of our competitors today. They won't communicate or ship an order for at least 3-4 days time, and you would never hear about that delay. When we receive an order from a client, we get back to folks within 24 hours with a conservative estimate of delivery time and will often call a fellow back to help provide the info or suggest an alternate product. This change in the way we do things was a direct result of client feedback. We pull stock on an order first, communicate any shortcomings and then bill. Others don't do that. Tom, who has been a key guy here for over ten years moved from shipping to customer service to assist with this, and Danielle was also hired over a year ago to help in this regard. I put a lot of payroll resources towards this communication - that was a gap in past years. And perhaps they sometimes go overboard in being conservative with delivery times. But at least the great folks working here do respect our clients enough to communicate honestly any supply issues - and they do so conservatively and almost immediately. I will never trust a computers stock count, nor run the website with "real time" inventory numbers. Our site is not database driven, that's why there's more info posted, we're text driven rather than database driven. And numbers can lie, a human can verify available inventory and, at an operational expense, communicate directly with our client. That's our way of doing thing, it is not impersonal, thats something which differentiates CharkBait from our competitors.

So, in summary, supply can indeed be limited both because of external and internal reasons. Those factors exist, compete for what we would like to see. I'd like to say we will never have a stock issue, but that ain't reality. I will also say that it's always best to plan ahead. Don't wait to buy your chrome and blue single tuna hook jigs when the tuna have gone suicidal in July, plan ahead and stock your tackle box in February. (Whoops, I should have picked another month. Tady closes down for a month about that time of the year! Yep, found that out the hard way a couple years back).

Great Stuff!
23 October 2014, 09:01 PM

Thank you for such a honest and insightful look into how Charkbait operates. IMO not to many owners, if any, of a business like yours would be so forth coming. I think it is truly amazing that in the past you placed so much on the line to become the gold standard of what all internet fishing tackle suppliers try to be.

Sorry I forgot you have two stores also. I may see you soon as I need more gear.

Let me say this year has been more than stellar for our Southern California fishing, maybe the best I have seen in over 35 years I have been fishing here and I can see why certain items if not all are in high demand. WFO fishing means WFO tackle sales and to include the other obstacles which you find yourself in as far lending goes, your right don't leverage your business against your family. Family first and business second.

Again thank you for such a up front look into Charkbait and how you do business. Truthful, honest and to the point.

24 October 2014, 05:00 AM
Thanks Chark.....your a standup guy.

I have spent untold thousands ($$) over the years with your outfit on more chit than I can count.
I know that, and a buck fifty will buy me a cup of coffee!!

Far and away, Charkbait is the best web site to get my tackle.
Your competitors (stop jig) has not gotten back to me in 4 days now.....if they have the chit or not, or shipped or not.

I will continue to get my gear from your shop, but the "in stock" situation leaves me frustrated sometimes.

Where I am (BajaMX) a chrome jig and Krocs are the top producers day in and day out and it scares the hell out of me to run low.
I feed the bottom rocks with jigs everytime I go out it seems.

Vote conservative every chance you get.
24 October 2014, 05:08 AM
I meant to ask you....
Luhr Jensen no longer makes the Krocs in Hood River OR?
They sold out to Normark (Rapala)?

Horrible news.....the 1.5oz chrome/prism tape Kroc is THE BEST lure..... bar none.
And those with a swivel, versus a welded ring just ain't the same.

How can I get you to send me as many as you can get your hands on?
I will buy the whole damn lot.
24 October 2014, 05:27 AM
Yep, Luhr Jensen sold a few years back. Even back then some products were made overseas but the majority of them were USA made. I have not been a big fan of the new production, thus my reluctance to buy into the new well as the investment I made in their old product and particular sizes like the double thick and 7 ouncers which went away long ago. Our inventory of the old models is now minimal, no 1 or 1 1/2 sized jigs. But, I'll dig around in the shop and warehouse.

Those old Krocs have indeed been a great go-to lure over the years. I've checked with some of our overseas producers, considered producing our own version, perhaps go back to brass rather than steel for production. But, thus far costs and capital have prevented that move. WHo knows, I might go back to that project at some point. And, no doubt I should probably go ahead and give the guys the green light to bring 'em in under the new production from Normark, but it ain't quite the same. They may work the same, but I really liked the old Hood River stuff, too.

Great Stuff!