Category Archives: Rants

Quantify and Scrutinize

Call me #triggered or whatever you like. Sometimes, things become an automatic switch flipper. Things that I feel as though I need to lash out irrationally upon. As of yet, I have not wanted to soak my computer in lantern fuel and set it ablaze, until yesterday. I mean, turning it off is a great option too… No, this is not about politics.

Yesterday, on a post in a place, there were talks of a “bobbin shootout”. For those who do not know, a bobbin is the thingy that thread is spooled onto. Getting super technical here, we in the fly tying industry have called the thing that holds the bobbin a “bobbin” for like eternity, when the reality is that it is actually a “bobbin holder” due to the lack of a technical term. All technicalities aside, bobbin holders are pretty much based on price. A $10 bobbin holder is not remotely built as well as a $30 one and the $100 type blow everything out of the water. My opinion stands that after $30, you are just paying for art. There is a certain cool factor of unique bobbin holders. Whether that means vintage or really neat and futuristic. That hand carved chunk of wood grip may not feel great, but it took a lot of work and it is a beautiful addition and show of care a company took to give you something cool. The mechanics are really simple, so long as the tip is ultra polished and it keeps a moderate amount of tension, you are in the clear. The rest is just fun.

One does not just rank the work of artisans in terms of function. I get it if you go on ranking utilitarian style bobbin holders or ones within the same price point. Comparing a $4 chunk of bent wire and tube to a $150 piece of similar idea, you lost me. We all know the answer. Heck, even at a $30 price point, none is “better” than any other. It becomes a matter of preference at this point. We want something that fits our hand and has a cool aesthetic with the features we need for our individual style. Who the heck is going to compare watches this way? Let alone, toss an Apple Watch into the mix… Announcer Voice: “And the best time-telling piece is…” (frankly, I think it is the one attached to the satellites)

This is not totally what triggered me. The fact that someone is trying to persuade others to believe there is a hierarchy in bobbin holders aside from end user opinion is absolutely ludicrous. The “best in the world” in comparison to other bobbin holders highlights the idea that one bobbin holder and the one that yields it is part of an elite few. Reality check! It is art. Plain and simple. How many times have you heard “cool bobbin (holder)” as opposed to “that looks like a well functioning bobbin (holder)”? The more we try to quantify products in this industry, the more the industry has a need to react by puking out companies like YETI. Let companies explore these little things. Let them make $100+ bobbin holders and leave them be, admire them rather than scrutinize and quantify them. Not one of those companies will ever put a $4 tip on it. Personally, I love seeing the art and designs, the craftsmanship. It shows individuality and it should reflect yours as well. Sheesh!

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