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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    Default Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    Is it possible to remain objective about a bait or item of tackle that you are given for free or even paid to use?

    I tend to doubt it. It doesn't mean that the person reviewing the product is necessarily dishonest, but if the product isn't that good then the reviewer is more likely to not mention the product rather than slate it. I think the crux of the matter is; would you dip your hand in your pocket and buy it in preference to something else, or when your sponsor stops paying you or giving the stuff to you for free, would you carry on using it in preference to the next product someone wants to pay you to endorse?

    Another reason that you don't see too many negative reviews, is that even if the person buys a piece of kit then a poor review reflects the reviewers poor choice and most people don't want to be regarded as mug punters. An example of this is that; I recently bought a Drennan Floatmaster rod, and it's a great bit of kit to be honest. Maybe I wouldn't be so eager to share my thoughts if I had parted with a substantial amount of cash for a rod that fished like a stick of liquorice, as admitting to a lack of discernment reflects badly on the judgement of the guy who bought the pup.
    Civilized men are more discourteous than savages because they know they can be impolite without having their skulls split, as a general thing.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    I'll treat 'sponsored' reviews and advertorials on the basis that they are biased Ray, however, some will be of use to me so I wouldn't just dismiss them all out of hand.

    Bob Roberts submitted an article many years ago about blokes who jump ship from one bait/tackle company to another. Sadly I think it was removed but it was a brilliant piece.

    I think you're spot on about whenever we buy things ourselves, especially expensive bits and pieces. They are often going to be 'good' because as you say, few of us are going to spend big money on a rod/reel/pole and then then say it's rubbish for fear of the ridicule.

    The user reviews section of this site used to be excellent but I think the new platform after the changeover from magicalia did not support the same format. It would be nice to have the user reviews section back though.

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    Good points Ray and well put

    I'm always a bit doubtfull when an angler moves from one company to another and suddenly the new company's products are the must haves
    PaSC British by birth, English by the grace of God
    I got the devil in my blood,Telling' me what to do
    (And I'm all ears), Britain's premier bread angler

  4. #4
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    Apr 2012
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    Charente, France
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    5,063

    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    Sadly many reviews and product placements in the comics are also slanted by advertising revenue. But the way that some sponsored anglers go on about the imortance of a particular brand of an insignificant item of tackle, like a method feeder, is annoying.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    599

    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    Think of it like this, the sponsored angler is trying to make a living - he's generally self employed (if professional) and moves from one contract to another, as I do.

    Fishing tackle at certain price points is pretty much of a muchness (is that a word?) and is largely down to personal tastes. Each manufacturer covering the competitions latest releases with their own product proclaiming to provide an 'edge' or whatever.

    If an angler says Shimano is the best one week changes contract and says Drennan is the best the next week so what? As long has he states / declares his interest in the product I have no problem with that - its how the world works.

    'I think you're spot on about whenever we buy things ourselves, especially expensive bits and pieces. They are often going to be 'good' because as you say, few of us are going to spend big money on a rod/reel/pole and then then say it's rubbish for fear of the ridicule.' I think that the other issue here is the desire to sell the gear on if it truly sucks.

    The reason that you don't see negative reviews in the angling press is that the reviewed product is invariably this issues competition prize - I can't imagine IYCF saying that the latest flagship Preston Innovations Pole is 'cwap' - avoid it. IYCF has bills to pay some of which will be funded by Preston Innovations advertising budget.
    Last edited by bottle rocket; 15-08-2012 at 11:24. Reason: O/p could have started a war...!

  6. #6
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    300 yards from the Wensum!
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    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    For other products, like Hi Fi, Cameras etc you get magazines like WHat Hi Fi or Hi Fi Choice etc that give detailed, apparently objective reviews - and some products will get only 2 stars and only some will get the 5 stars. Real pity that a leading fishing magazine hasnt got the balls to attempt something similar - truly independent and objective. Even if everything is generally middling and difficult to separate on quality (3-4 stars), it should be working on its readers behalf to identify those items which offer best value or are simply the best at whatever price.

    Whenever i read anything in the angling press - or even the features on here - which mentions brands i switch off and regard it as a comedy item - particularly if it is bait.

    The logical way to do the reviews would be not to use "names" who are sponsored anglers. Im pretty sure they arent the only people capable of producing a review with valid opinions.
    Last edited by chub_on_the_block; 15-08-2012 at 11:35.
    Real Ale Alliance

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    There is a danger if you are not a 'sponsored' angler, but merely an editor or other writer and you submit a negative review of a product, that you will damn the magazine or site with that company and they will never ever get another item for review.

    A pity they can't take the constructive elements and improve the product if it is bad, but they don't. I think one of my reviews had this effect , as we never got a single thing afterwards even though I'd highly praised their landing nets and other gear. Kevin Perkins also reviewed it and came to similar conclusions...

    It's a delicate path you tread when reviewing products when later you wish ..
    "I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do! That is character!" - Theodore Roosevelt

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    The "ordinary" angler on here that praises a product is worth noting

    I'm a big fan of Korum products, Shimano reels, Preston line, but I buy all more stuff so if I saw something is good or bad then that's my honest opinion, which might be right or wrong, but totally truthful
    PaSC British by birth, English by the grace of God
    I got the devil in my blood,Telling' me what to do
    (And I'm all ears), Britain's premier bread angler

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    Yes, no, maybe.
    I don't particularly care who does a review as long as I know their status with regards the product that they are reviewing. There are anglers out there, sponsored or not, that I take note of when they review something. I have a good idea that they have similar taste in tackle to me. The same has applied to music and hi-fi over the years.

    I tend not to listen too much to anyone with a vested interest. That might be as little as free samples of bait or as much as a full blown tackle sponsorship deal. While the stuff that is being positively written up may well be very good, it's too easy to extol the virtues of something if you aren't having to pay for it yourself. Would the reviewer really choose that particular product over an alternative if they were paying?

    When it comes to media reviews it gets even more difficult. The magazines (and this applies to other specialist publications too) are between a rock and a hard place, they really can't win. Too negative and they don't get advertising revenue or future review items. A really good reviewer can slate a product without it being remotely obvious, usually by what's not said. The reader will often have to do a fair bit of reading between the lines too.

    The point made earlier about individuals rarely giving bad reviews of gear they've bought is quite valid. It definitely happens and particularly at the more expensive end of the scale. You also find buyers talking stuff up before they've really spent enough time with it, only to change their mind in the longer term. That's before you get into the whole prospect of folks buying pups and then talking them up to sell them. It's staggering how a good bit of chatter on the forums about a specific rod can influence the prices of said rod on ebay. There are plenty of forum traders that know this only too well.

    I wouldn't dream of going as far as to suggest that people are lying in reviews. However, readers need exercise some judgement over what they are reading. When it comes to reviews, it pays to retain a large dollop of scepticism.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Can you trust a review from a sponsored angler?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Paul of Sheffield View Post
    The "ordinary" angler on here that praises a product is worth noting

    I'm a big fan of Korum products, Shimano reels, Preston line, but I buy all more stuff so if I saw something is good or bad then that's my honest opinion, which might be right or wrong, but totally truthful
    I agree with you. But tackle manufacturers like a 'name' ex-World Champions, TV show presenters and Errrm former Decathletes to add gravitas to their product range.

    One has to be careful though with well intentioned 'honest' reviews - the single worst item of tackle that I've ever owned had was a Okuma Epic Pro reel; I had three of them, they all went back and I bought Shimano second hand, if asked to review them I'd give them a proper slagging off. But there are too many satisfied owners around to give any credence to my experience(s)

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