Fly Fishing Retailer '07: Simms Slims Down on Price

Certainly it is only a small part of the story behind Simms’s 2008 product offering — each year I am amazed by the number of interesting new products and tweaks they seem to be able to come up with — but no doubt there will be many fly fishers happy to hear that retail prices on most of Simms’s top waders are $50 or more lower than last year’s high end models. Some of the price reductions come in redesigns — the new G4 model discards the $79 waterproof zipper, for example — but my general impression after yesterday’s product tour is that Simms knows that simplifying design and putting their energies into the technology to make gear lighter, more comfortable and more durable is where the secret to growth lies. Case in point: Simms is the only company to be using the next generation of Gore Tex fabric in their breathable waders and jackets this year. The fabric has enabled them to upgrade their bullet-proof high-end rain jacket (still pricey) as their budget waders with a serious reduction in weight. We will share more specific product details when our head stops swimming from all of the numbers and respun product names, but in short Simms fans will find some logical consolidation in product offerings — one redesigned women’s wader replaces both of last year’s models, for example — along with the leading-edge technology that seems to keep the company leap-frogging to the front each year.

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