Anyone in the Outdoors trade knows that resilience and a willingness to adapt to the marketplace are key factors for survival. You may not be able to control the weather and its impact on fish or bird migrations, but you can meet customer needs.
Trent De With, Manager of Katherine Rod and Rifle Tackleworld, said the business was doing this, and one of the major new product introductions was the Jabbers range of travel rods. Trent’s father, well-known NT fishing identity Warren De With, recently tested the Jabbers rods on tarpon in Costa Rica, hooking and landing a fish estimated to weigh about 100kg. Trent said the rods would be game changers for barramundi, particularly for travellers with limited space for luggage.
Business has improved since the large-scale shutdowns that existed through the Covid years. Trent said Katherine experienced a bumper tourism season and it was amazing to see the number of people out enjoying themselves, and this despite the region experiencing a dry summer and subsequent low river levels. With Katherine’s perfect location, people can travel only an hour or so out of town and be camping beside a river or billabong enjoying all the Territory has to offer.
“For 2023 we are looking forward and hoping for a serious wet season,” he said. The Wet hasn’t treated the Top End kindly in recent years, and a good Wet is overdue.
Trent took over the running of the shop from his father Warren about five years ago. In an interview with NAFA magazine earlier this year, Trent said that 2022 started out a bit “rocky” with Covid in the country and a dry February-March period.
“We had plenty of rain in January, but February and March were the driest on record,” he said. “And water levels in the Roper, Daly and Victoria Rivers reflected the lack of rainfall. We are at the headwaters of those rivers, and without rain the Daly River was back to Dry Season levels in early April.”
Rod and Rifle Tackleworld, has been trading for more than 40 years and Trent said there was a need to be prepared to adapt to ongoing changes, even changes you couldn’t plan for like Covid.
Rod and Rifle Tackleworld, has been trading for more than 40 years and Trent said there was a need to be prepared to adapt to ongoing changes, even changes you couldn’t plan for like Covid. One of the changes made to help overcome the isolation of reduced southern visitor traffic was to boost the shop’s online presence.
Some changes were dictated by trends, and the latest popular trend is smokers. Trent said the store had an ever-expanding range of smokers: “American style rubs and sauces are becoming huge whether you smoke fish or meat, and we are on the leading edge of this,” he said.
Yeti products remain much sought after and this year the Yeti cooler and mug ranges underwent some major cosmetic upgrades.
There are six staff who can give hands-on experienced advice on everything from fishing and camping to shooting. And if you happen to be short of something, the store is stocked with everything you need to go bush whether you are fishing, shooting, hiking or simply camping, and that includes filling gas bottles.
Rod and Rifle Tackleworld is situated in Giles Street Katherine, a city at the cross-roads for fishing in the Northern Territory with the Daly, Roper and Victoria Rivers all under three hours away.