Is There a Market for Women’s Fly-Fishing Gear?

“A few months back I was looking at fly-fishing gear with thoughts of purchasing some new equipment for my wife, such that she would no longer have to use my hand-me-downs. While there was some selection I was rather disappointed with the options, most of which appeared to be “shrink it and pink it” versions of the men’s version. Feeling adventurous I decided to investigate if a company could be formed to focus exclusively on womens fly fishing gear.”

An interesting article on a study–conducted by Dan Corbett using social-media sites–regarding women’s-fly fishing gear found its way to my inbox this week. It is now believed that women make up between 20-25% of fly anglers, and a number of companies are trying to figure out how to tap into (or expand) that side of their business. Corbett created an online survey which asked various questions about female-specific fly fishing equipment and dispersed it to various women’s fly-fishing clubs, Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and anyone else he stumbled across who might be a female angler. In an attempt to feel out the women’s fly-fishing business and determine if there is room for a new women’s gear company, Dan also directly contacted five independent fly shops to get their takes on the women’s business.

Dan saw some positive trends in his survey results, and the majority of the women echoed the same sentiments:

“Largely disappointed with the current options available to them, women are extremely eager to have better fitting equipment, particularly waders; even better, they are willing to spend an ample amount of money to purchase new gear.”

However, expanding the wader size offering for women is both a daunting and expensive task. Here’s a snippet on the results of his interviews with the fly shops:

“. . .the shops feel that only 10-15% of their customers are women. More importantly, the shops sell 5-8 sets of womens-specific waders a year, and none of them felt the need to add another product line. Without the support of the independent fly shops, who sell well over 50% of fly fishing goods, the success of a new company would be extremely unlikely.”

To see the rest of Dan’s conclusions and some interesting results from his survey, check out the article “Women’s Fly Fishing Gear; Not Quite an Adventure in Entrepreneurship” on his blog Climbtrees.

We’d love to hear your feedback, so please share your thoughts on women’s fly fishing gear and this study below. What are you looking for in a women’s product (whether it be for you, your spouse, your daughter, mother, etc.)? Where do you think the biggest improvements could be made for the women’s offering out there?

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