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WATCH! Omnia takes the strain out of choosing a rod online


US company Omnia has unveiled a ‘game-changing’ solution to a long-running dilemma.

How many anglers won’t buy a rod online because they like to ‘feel’ the product first? Though no one can actually put a number on it, the figure would be huge.

So if someone could find a solution to that ongoing dilemma, it could be a real game changer for the industry. And Omnia Fishing, the first e-commerce store to enable anglers to buy tackle based on the waters they fish, could just have found the answer.

“I constantly get asked if customers are hesitant to buy fishing rods online because it’s an item they like to feel,” says Matthew Johnson, co-founder of the Minneapolis company. “Of course the answer is yes.

“What they actually want to know is how they’ll perform and what they can expect from the rod. Much of that relates to how and where it will bend.

“So to help customers with this we recently launched our new Rod Bend Series of videos to show each rod’s action, along with a full explanation on what that action means.

“We’re not sure if this is a first. The idea of bending rods has been around forever and some small manufacturers may have done something like this. But Omnia has come up with a way to create consistency in comparing one rod to another. A standardised approach across a series of rods or multiple brands is pretty unique.

“And now that manufacturers are labelling rods for a specific technique, we’re starting to expand into comparing those rods across many brands. We started with bending all the rods in a single series from a single brand. Now we’ve moved onto ‘best jerk bait bending rod’ for example.

“This is an incredible resource for helping anglers make confident decisions about the right rod when purchasing online. We really hope it also helps educate anglers of all skill levels about how actions and weights perform and how that impacts in the field. And it’s a great resource for learning how to use the rods they already have.

“There has been some reporting about the number of rod purchases online and it’s always been pretty low. That’s the reason we started Omnia. We’ve always wanted to create an alternative for the in-store experience that relates to local knowledge and information. We sell a ton of rods and we hope this provides a helpful alternative to bending one in the store.”

Leading the Rod Bend project is Pete Przepiora (pictured), who joined Omnia in the early days and has been influential in the company’s product expansion strategy. Having come from Daiwa, rods and reels are his particular area of expertise.

In Omnia’s latest video, he talks about the Brett Hite Combat Stick spinning rods just received from Evergreen International, while bending them to demonstrate their power and actions.

“As Omnia continues to define ‘better tackle shopping,’ we want consumers to let us know what they think and what rod brand and line we should shoot next,” says Johnson.

“We offer a very unique set of tools for our manufacturers and they’re always onboard with new ways to get information to consumers.”

So will it attract more rod brands to Omnia? “Maybe, but that has never been an issue. We get requests from manufacturers all the time to carry different rod brands. It just becomes part of the attraction of working with Omnia. That’s great for us, but at this point we’re laser-focused on making the information useful for our customers.”

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