Local community support helped sustain Rod & Rifle Tackle World in Katherine during last year’s Covid pandemic, according to Business Manager Trent de With. Now five years into the job, Trent continues to introduce innovative ideas to ensure the business maintains consistent viability.
“Through the pandemic we had our ups and downs; we even had to close for a couple of weeks, and we just never knew what was going to happen,” Trent said. “But we managed to get through the pandemic okay, and a major reason was the support of the Katherine community, so we put a lot back into the community to show our appreciation.”
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. Rod & Rifle Tackle World 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.
Trent took over the running of Rod & Rifle Tackleworld from his father Warren about five years ago. Previously, he had worked as an automation electrician, something he assured me had nothing to do with cars.
Trent said 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.
“Water levels in the Roper, Daly and Victoria Rivers reflect 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.”
Trent said there was so much going on that there was a nervous tension: lack of rain, fuel price increases and Covid were all factors feeding that tension.
“Even though it was a small runoff, the Roper and Victoria Rivers fished well and there were good numbers of healthy, 60cm plus barra caught.”
Rod & Rifle Tackle World, which has been trading for more than 42 years, employs eight staff and Trent said there was a need to be prepared to adapt to ongoing changes. One of the changes made to help overcome the isolation of reduced southern visitor traffic was to boost the shop’s online presence.
When he arrived to take up the manager’s role five years ago, Trent oversaw much expansion by adding new fishing and camping products to what was an already huge product range. The shop offers a wide range of products, including fishing tackle, firearms, smokers and camping accessories like tents and car fridges. “We are a bit of everything store; we look at people’s needs and then fill the void,” he said.
“There are new ranges and colours of soft plastic lures from manufacturers, and Yeti has released its range with new seasonal colours,” Trent explained.
The downside for Trent is that, with prices on the rise across the board, customers are going to experience price increases on many new products; however, for Trent and his staff, this won’t affect the cost of expert advice for customers.