The Foul Hooked Whitey is a retailer, and when you are a retailer in the fly fishing industry, Simms is King! This opinion, is neither “a puff piece” or advertisement for Simms. What this is, is a case in point from a retail and consumers point of view.
Ouch! I can actually hear the eye brows of the “Simms Grinch” rise. The critical chuckles “Simms Haters” love to spew, due to their perception that Simms is the face of our sports “elitism”, “industry arrogance” based on price point, or whatever other nonsense. Oh and let’s not forget, that human tendency to turn on a “King” after such prolonged dominance. Cast all the skepticism and envy aside, and what remains is a company that has done nothing but deliver on its promise to provide fly anglers with quality, innovative product design, and focus that is EXCLUSIVELY marketed to the fly angler. That’s all Simms does, is make super cool shit that folks like us love. Sounds like a success story to me.
There goes another “Simms Haters” sigh, “You don’t need $500 waders to enjoy the experience”. First of all, Simms waders start at $250, and NO you don’t have to have Simms waders to enjoy the experience, but Simms wader’s sure feel, last and perform better.
I can hear the “Simms Critic” a mile away say, “All my waders need to do is keep me dry”. Damn! That’s like saying, “I’ll take my steak cooked, so so.”, or “How much do you charge for a so so boob job? Nobody ever complains about buying the best, and in a lot of categories in this sport, Simms is the best.
It hasn’t always been “rosy” with “The King”. When Simms announced several years ago that they were going to start selling direct to the consumer in addition to their dealer business, the Simms Kingdom was rocked. Even the Foul Hooked Whitey lost his cool with Simms on that business decision. Dealers complained. Simms took a lot of heat, and in the end, all the angst didn’t mean a damn thing. My experience has been that our business with Simms has continued to grow, regardless of the fact that Simms sells direct to the public. If you are a retailer that doesn’t stock enough Simms goods, then your customer goes direct to Simms. If you are a retailer that actually stocks the Simms product you need to both, make money and fulfill your customer base expectations, then they come to you. It’s that simple.
Without further ado, here are The Foul Hooked Whitey’s 10 Reasons Why Simms is King!
- Made in America! Unlike any other quality wader manufacturer in our sport, Simms maintains a credible Made in America (waders) business model. Though these products primarily include Simms high end wader selection, an angler can still buy and wear a pair of waders made by an American. In a day and age where all other waders are made in Asia, this is a deal breaker if you believe that American craftsmanship is still the best. The “Simms Troll” rolls his eyes while muttering, “Yeah but they still make most of their stuff in China”. Some folks are just “half glass full” types I guess.
- Simms Waders! Simply put, are some of the best waders on the planet. Simms waders are not the only premium wader in the marketplace that’s for sure. The fact that Simms makes all of their premium waders in America should be enough proof of their greatness. Simms also uses Gore-Tex brand fabric in most of their waders. There’s only one other company out there that’s even close in wader quality, and out of respect to the Simms Kingdom, I will refrain from mentioning any of their competitors. The “Simms Hater” laughs and bellows “My Cabela’s waders do me just fine”. This is the same guy that when you ask, “what would you like to drink?” he replies, “Do you have any Mad Dog 20/20??
- Accountability! There are few vendors on the fly fishing scene that can match the ACCOUNTABILITY that Simms demonstrates with its product line. When the sleaziest retailer of all time Costco, made some backdoor deal with a “shady ass” buying group that somehow got Simms Guide Series waders in Costco stores here in Montana, Simms “manned up”, drove to every Costco store in the state and bought up every pair of those waders solely so their dealers weren’t hurt. Though that has happened to several premium vendors with Costco over the last several years, Simms was the only vendor that HAD DEALERS BACKS UNTIL THE END. Stay tuned for The Foul Hooked Whitey’s next installment titled, “How Costco Screws Over Fly Shop’s through “Shady Ass” Buying Practices!
- Simms Wading Boots! Much like their Simms wader counterpart, Simms boots are the finest in all the land. Though there are definitely other premium wading boot manufacturers, Simms boots cover ALL the bases regarding price point, comfort, support, durability, and style diversity. Simms is also the ONLY vendor that makes a PREMIUM lady angler boot. The “Simms Cynic” puts in a “fresh dip” and mutters, “as much as I fish, there ain’t no boot out there that will last more than one season anyway, so why pay “Bozangeles” prices for their boots? You pay “Bozangeles” prices because Simms boots will provide your footsies with what they need to get you where you need to be in order to catch what makes your life happy and tolerable. Trust me, try wade fishing the Stillwater River with a pair of “Bass Pro” entry level boots and you will be sliding around like you are walking on “whale shit on ice flow”.
- Location! Location! Location! Simms corporate is and has always been located in the “Garden of Eden of Fly Fishing” known as the Gallatin Valley. In case you didn’t know, the Bozeman Montana area is where Jesus Christ himself spends his summers throwing nothing but Wulff’s, Humpey’s and Hoppers. If there is a true pulse on the sport in the lower 48, it is in Bozeman. Don’t take the Foul Hooked Whitey’s word for it, just look and you will see there is a fishing guide camped out under every overpass in Bozeman. Getting in the active rotation with a big time Fly Fishing Outfitter in the Bozeman area can be as difficult as landing an acting role on Broadway. In other words, Simms has become partly who they are because they are from Bozeman, and Bozeman is partly who it is because of a company like Simms. The “Simms Critic” nods off on his beer stained, dog hair matted couch while mumbling to himself, “Bozangeles, Bozangeles, Bozangeles.
- Simms product Warranty! Simply put, Simms has as good as any warranty in the sport. Not only is Simms fair, but they are fast. Simms has never denied a warranty submitted through our shop. They might tag on a service fee for fixing an angler’s 10 year old pair of waders that look like Donkey Kong used them for a thong, but without complaint or absurd delay, Simms will return them ready to fish. The “Simms Troll” scoffs, “when you pay $500 for a pair of waders, they shouldn’t need to be repaired”. Maybe, but It’s still nice to know that when you do spend that kind of money, Simms has both Dealers and the consumer’s “back” regarding warranty and repair
- Simms Outerwear! Whether it’s The Guide jacket or the Hall of Fame G3 Series, these are the jackets that simply put, WON’T FAIL YOU! There are some excellent “A Grade” wading jackets out there made by other quality soft good’s manufacturer’s that’s for sure, but much like their boot series, Simms has covered a lot of different bases with varied styles. Unlike most other wading coat manufacturer’s, Simms incorporates Gore-Tex brand fabric in their upper tier models. The “Simms Grinch” grows angry at even the suggestion that an angler needs an expensive wading jacket. He bellows, “That’s what’s wrong with the God damn sport these days. It’s more about looking good and how much you spend than what really matters”. I’ll tell you what matters when it comes to outerwear, and that’s staying dry in a tough situation.
- Simms Sportswear! When it comes to quality fly fishing shirts and pants, Simms has a long history of producing both highly functional and comfortable garments. In a sea of fly fishing apparel vendors, Simms has only one true competitor. All the rest are teams in the “Canadian Football League” if you know what I mean. Simms has legit UPF rated apparel as well as shirts, pants and shorts that actually fit “healthy” Americans. Let me be the first to admit that The Foul Hooked Whitey has had many a head on collisions with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, so nobody is dissing on bigger folks. What I am saying is that Simms garments fit big and tall better than anybody. The “Simms Goblin” laughs hysterically while saying, “You can have your sissy ass, fruity colored hoity toity shirts. This here Under Armor shirt does just fine. I buy the camo print so I can wear it up to a week without having to change it once”
- The Simms Customer! The Simms retail customer is a consumer that recognizes reputation, quality and style. If the Simms customer didn’t believe in the brand, they wouldn’t buy it. The Simms customer is no dope. Whether it’s a he angler, or a she angler, they are loyal to Simms. They are loyal to the image, the substance, and everything in between. Simms has earned that reputation with their “Believers” and at this point, it’s for Simms to screw that relationship up. If Simms keeps making the “super cool shit” that “Simms Nation” loves to support, then “Simms Nation” will respond by taking Simms gear with them on their most cherished moments. The “Simms Grinch’s” lower lip starts to tremble. A tear wells up and drops on his unkempt bearded cheek. He takes a deep swig of Mad Dog 20/20 and admits while sobbing uncontrollably, “I’ve only ever wanted Simms to love me”
- Simms Staff! Whether it’s the folks in Customer Service, Accounting, Warranty and Repair or my territory sales representatives in the field, Simms surround themselves with some really positive, upbeat, fishy folks. A company is only as good as its people, and Simms has projected with its people, what it preaches in the fly fishing industry.
Long Live the King!
-The Foul Hooked Whitey