Bin Appeal?

When a fly has bin appeal, you know it’s going to sell. Flies that look good, that have the newest bells and whistles are often the ones that go first at the fly shops, while the old standards are left in the bin waiting for those who actually want to catch fish. Not that all the newfangled flies don’t catch fish, but a classic doesn’t become a classic without years of being a reliable fish magnet. While designing my own flies in the off season, I often find myself “dumbing down” a lot of patterns to what I think matters most in it. The trigger points, the silhouette, etc. But whenever the fly really catches my fancy I can’t help but grab one and spin out a dozen just for the fun of it. But when it comes to out-fishing the classics, sometimes they just don’t and never will. Does that mean people shouldn’t be designing new flies, and companies and fly shops should be offering only what is proven and time-tested? In my opinion, no to all three. Even though I tie a ton of flies and go through lots every season with my clients, friends and family, I still love to peer into the bins at fly shops and find myself gravitating to the bins even if I’ve got no business being there. I’m not buying, just looking. But I love to look. And new patterns are a thrill to nerd out on, and sometimes even fish. But bin appeal and fish that catch more fisherman than fish are certainly at an all-time high with so many fly companies trying to differentiate their product from the competitors, and  John Juracek wrote on this very topic for Hatch Magazine. The article has sparked some interesting comments as well. Give it a read and keep it in mind when you’re cruising the bins…

John Juracek writes about bin appeal for Hatch Magazine, and you should probably read it. Photo from the article.

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