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April 5, 2011 / flogginwater

PDX Westside Finally has a REAL tackle shop again

Today was the first official day of business for Fisherman’s Marine & Outdoor’s new Tigard store – and I’m giddy as a school girl. For those of you not from the Portland area – Fisherman’s is THE largest fishing focused store in the area, and the state. They just opened their third location today – in the city of Tigard, just west of Portland. Until today, we’ve been left wanting for a really GOOD tackle shop close to home for a few years, since the loss of the chain of stores once known as GI Joes.

Dick’s Sporting Goods moved in and filled many of the defunct Joes locations – but Dicks sucks in a lot of ways, when it comes to fishing. Yes, they do have some good deals occasionally – but the help at the fishing/hunting areas can be nonexistent at times, and they don’t really require employees know beans about what they’re selling. Lot of young college age folks working there – which is good for them – but not always good for the customers. Dicks is a place you go when YOU know what you want specifically, at least for fishing gear. They’re also very much more focused on team sports and exercise gear, than outdoor gear.

Otherwise, we’ve had general stores like Bi Mart (another Northwest chain) that has small but decent fishing selection. They sell mostly cheap rods, and a handful of entry level rods from Lamiglas, along with good rods from Okuma and Berkley.

But since Joes decline in quality, and then the failure of the chain entirely – we’ve been left with a void on the Westside – the closet real outdoor stores were either in Oregon City (20+ mile drive), Clackamas (another 20 mile drive), or North Portland (again, about 20 miles from the ‘burbs). Crossing Portland takes a lot of time, most days. And gas isn’t getting any cheaper.

This new Fisherman’s store is a LOT closer to home – which is great for me, maybe not so great for my wallet! I stopped in today to see the new store in person. The official Grand Opening isn’t until May 1st, but the store IS officially open as of today. They’re still stocking stuff – they pulled inventory from the other two stores, along with their new orders. Couple of the guys I talked to are saying they’re getting at least one truck a day full of new merchandise. Most of the store is stocked – but there’s a few more rod lines they have yet to put up (like their fly fishing areas) – but they’ve got almost their full line of Loomis, Lamiglas, Okuma, and Shimano rods up, along with most of the Berkley stuff. They had hundreds of reels on the wall to try out. Most of the lures are in place. Good selection of gear for every type of fishing you can think of that’s done here in the PNW.

Most of their fly tying section was in place – they had a few empty pegs, but not many. I picked up some lead dumbell eyes, some more 6/0 black thread (was almost out!) some zonker strips, a package of finesse tubes (smoke colored, with blue metal flake. Thin bodied tubes about 3.5″ long meant for drop shotting) and another of the big black plastic fly boxes like I bought last weekend to house the rest of the flies that Heather gave me.

I also have found THE rod I plan to get to use for my heavier bassin’ needs – the Okuma Reflections 6’6″ fast action 6-17lb rated rod. I also fell in love with their Reflections light action spin rods… JUST when I thought I had ENOUGH fishing rods – I have added at LEAST two more to the wish list. This is going to kill my poor wallet!

Their gun counter was also pretty well stocked – though they had more guns coming in a little later on too. Same with just about every department. Some nice canoes and kayaks up on the wall – I’m in lust with an Old Town canoe that I can’t afford. It’s got these really nifty folding back, padded seats on each end, and a fold down seat in the middle that folds flush with the bench, should you not have someone riding in the middle… lots of dry storage… *drool*

The fellow who was running the fishing department told me that the plan for this new store, was to have THE largest on-floor rod selection in the region, if not the country. A tall order, given Cabela’s penchant for doing things in a big way – but the new Fisherman’s store already has more fishing rods on the floor than the Lacey, Washington Cabela’s. Not sure they’ve got more than the Sydney, Nebraska store yet, but they probably will once all the racks are filled.

The best part of it is – Fisherman’s Tigard store is located only about a mile and a half away from the best fly shop in the Portland area – River City – so a guy can make a good afternoon of shopping (oh my god I sound like a chick…) and get both his gear fishing and fly fishing tackle fixes.

I’m also really happy to see locally owned and operated businesses succeeding in the economic climate we’re in, so much so that they can expand their operations by 50%. With Fisherman’s having a location so close – I really don’t think I’ll be patronizing the big box stores from back east much anymore, not when I can support my local “little” guys.

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