I always wanted a vintage Hardy reel for the salmon and grilse fishing I do in the Atlantic. Finally found a reel that sounded and looked fine upon first inspection. However when I attempted to use, it became clear there was an issue. I brought it to my local fly shop in Halifax who recommended Hook Line Sinker and The First Cast Flyshop as a possible repair solution. After some quick and friendly email exchanges I sent the reel to Guelph. Within a week a missing integral retainer ring was machined and installed. Fantastic service and will look for future opportunities to support this great shop! October 20th, 2017.
Hi Ray. I was very impressed by your service and knowledge. I will definitely pass along my experience to others ... I should of picked up some gloves and one of your cool hats ... Thx again and good luck on the river . September 28th, 2017.
Hey Ray it's Gord , just unwrapped the GLX , beautiful, love it !! PS you run a great little shop there , wish I had one like this close. Mucho gracias!
Ray was a huge help and very knowledgable. Big thanks for moving things around to accommodate us for our guide... I love my new 4wt echo ! This guy will be able to answer all your questions . I will without a doubt be returning to the store to see ya next year! September 14th, 2017.
Hi Ray, I was in your shop on the weekend to buy some simms waders. While I was impressed with all the products you have in stock I was more impressed with your customer service! You mentioned I could join a mailing list for your shop for events and guest speakers? Thanks for the wafer fitting. Glad I went with the simms, they felt great on the water September6th, 2017.
It is worth the drive to benefit from your knowledge and professionalism. Thanks for your help. September 2nd, 2017.
We had an exceptional experience here! You have to try the Fly Fishing lesson. They are so professional and made it so much fun!! Would highly recommend the store for any of your fishing needs. August 30th, 2017.
Hello Ray. My name is Zack I was in to purchase a rod and reel baitcaster from you yesterday . I stopped in at the small lake beside Pushlinch lake today and very successful! Thank you very much for the help and techniques to allow me to start using a bait caster properly again. You are the only person that took the time out their busy day to go over everything about the new rod and reel! For that I thank you! I would recommend you and your shop to any one of my friends who want the best service and experience. That baby was caught on a number four hook and those rage tail worms I purchased also. First fish on the new rod and reel . Casts great ! August 21st, 2017.
Hi Ray! Thanks so much for sharing the info below and the photos from last weekend. We all had a fantastic time and appreciated Arron's wise advice and tough love! 🙂 We will definitely recommend the experience to others and look forward to getting out again soon! Have a fantastic weekend and hope to see you soon! August 21st, 2017.
That’s awesome Ray - Beyond what I expected - You guys do incredible work - I'm so glad I found out about your abilities and the skills of your machinist. August 15th, 2017.
Hardy Marquis Fly Reel Repair: Hi Ray Received the Repaired Hardy Fly Reel today and I was impressed with your work on my reel. I will recommend your craftsmanship to my fishing friends and let them know about you and your company. It has been a pleasure dealing with you. Best regards,
Great selection and the owner was very very very knowledgeable and helpful. Hat tip for finding everything a couple foreigners needed and more!
Hook Line and Sinker & The First Cast is worth the 4 hour drive!! Thanks Ray for all your advise and sharing your knowledge with me! Enjoy the summer! June 9th, 2017.
Hi Ray, I received my package today, and the item exceeded my expectations. I know it will work well for the type of fishing I do. I know that I was not the easiest first-time customer, but I will certainly be a returning one. And I will refer your shop to friends and colleagues for hard-to-find, and critical fishing gear. April 27th, 2017. I knew it would Kenny! No worries at all - when spending any $$ its always best to ask any and all questions. On-line sales represent a small portion of my business and during the day I find it hard to leave the in-store customers for the phone - finding that "balance" is always difficult but certainly manageable with your continued help. Have a great summer fishing and thank you for the support!
Hey Ray, Thanks for the extremely comprehensive email. It'll really help me hone my casting techniques and practice the different types of presentations. Also thanks again to Aaron and Peter. Their instruction was very clear, helpful and fun and I left with a lot to keep in mind when I get back out on the river this weekend. Hope to stop by again soon. April 24th, 2017.
Hey Ray - just wanted to say thanks first of all for all the amazing service you have helped me with over the last year or so. Here is one of many salmon we got last weekend. Caught released! Black Atlantic salmon. Miramichi NB. THANKS AGAIN! April 24th, 2017. Awesome fish Andrew! I sincerely appreciate the continued support, as I know that there are several other shops across the country you could call. I’ll get the pic up on the site later today and please keep the great pictures coming!
Hi Ray, Today was my third or fourth visit to your store, and as always it’s been a pleasant and positive experience. I suspect I’ll be a fairly regular customer in the future; your service is friendly, knowledgeable, and top notch. Best regards, March 22nd, 2017.
Frigging stunning! Can't wait to actually see them. Thanks a lot, it's been a great experience! March 19th, 2017.
Thanks for the fly line Ray! Just arrived, can't wait to chuck it out there! Will refer your company to friends and family! Great customer service! March 11th, 2017.
Thanks for the tips and advice yesterday when I bought the fly rod/reel package from you. Great store fantastic service & perfect attitude. Hope to come back soon. Regards. March 1st, 2017.
Hi Ray: Got my order of scarfs and magic eggs plus the glow beads you generously send for the NSSA dinner auction. Thanks again for the excellent customer service and helping out the Thunder Bay Steelheaders. Hope you can get some time to steelhead fish this spring. All the best. February 21st, 2017.
HLS Rod building Class: Building a Fishing Rod is something I have always been interested in. Looking at websites did not give me confidence to try this on my own. This class allowed me to learn some of the fundamentals of rod building and gave me some ideas for rods I would like to build for myself. Our instructor Mike Rumig was able to work with us and show some of the basic techniques to rod building. Mike is a very knowledgeable instructor and has alot of patience to teach newcomers to the art of rod building. The hands on environment worked out really well for me as I was able to learn some of the techniques with my own hands. While we were building Mike was able to watch and teach us the correct techniques. Mike was always inspecting while we were building, giving us instruction along the way. Mike was concerned to make sure we were successful, we were able to build something that was going to look professional and perform once it would be put to the test. There is alot to know and learn here and this course certainly only scratches the surface but its enough to make you feel you can build rods that you will be proud to take out on your next fishing adventure. Taking this course ( with the support from Ray at HLS and Mike ) I know I will be able to continue and grow my skills making my fishing rods. February 18th, 2017.
I really like your store and always send friends to you with confidence that they will be treated fairly with expert knowledge and super friendly service ...Kennith and I were discussing just that yesterday when we were in Lake Simcoe fishing for whitefish . Thanks you again for your help in my fly fishing pursuits! February 11th, 2017.
Thank you. It has been a pleasure dealing with you. I would not hesitate with a referral! Regards, February 9th, 2017.
Ray, I will travel to your shop again before i go anywhere else! I hope you have a great christmas and i will hopefully put the new reel to work this week. You will be the first to see the pics! December 25th, 2016.
Thank you for your out-of-the-ballpark customer service. Your shop was a delight to attend and your instructor was a perfect professional - courteous, and unmistakable expertise of this pretty complex content delivered in a reassuring manner. It was altogether a lovely, memorable experience. I have recommended your service to a couple of other people who have expressed interest in learning about fly fishing ... November 17th, 2016.
Hi Ray: Thanks for taking the time to chat about the Pridex reel last evening. I am impressed by the quality of the used equipment that moves through your shop. However, for someone like me who enjoys fishing a variety of species across a broad diversity of habitats/ situations (e.g. lakes, freshwater rivers, brooks, marine coastal, tidal rivers), it is a bit of a curse to know of your shop - Keep smiling, my friend, December 2nd, 2016.
Ray, Just a quick note to thank you for helping me with my purchase of Simms Wading Boots. Your product knowledge and time spent to ensure a proper fit is much appreciated. Thanks for the great service! Cheers, November 26th, 2016. Thank you for taking the time to email me Mark - It really means a lot. It’s customers like you that make going to the shop everyday a pleasure. I know in your travels you have an opportunity to visit many shops and yet choose to constantly support mine, and it does not go unnoticed. The shop's maintained success is truly a testament to customers such as yourself that help us constantly be on the "cutting edge” of innovation and hopefully always trying to be a leader within the industry. Have a great weekend Mark!
Ray, I am really happy chase told me to check you guys out - don't worry I'll be spreading the word of your shop to all my other friends friends on the water! October 18th, 2016.
It was a pleasure! Although a bit of a drive well worth it! Definitely a shop I will recommend! Cheers! October 6th, 2016.
Ray, I love coming to the shop and you’ve always taken care of me! Thank you for all that. October 4th, 2016.
Ray, Thank you for the great customer service! It was clear that you make sure customers get what they are looking for without forcing them to spend more than they want/need to. You don't see that often and you can count on me coming back. Thanks again, August 10th, 2016.
Ray, the rod arrived today in good shape and exactly as described. Perfect transaction; great doing business with you. Best regards, April 23rd, 2016.
Hi Ray, I just wanted to drop you a line to say thank you for the great learning experience yesterday. I really enjoyed the day and learned quite a bit. I would love to receive any newsletters or info about upcoming events offered. I look forward to seeing you again! Cheers, April 17th, 2016.
Good morning, My name is Amy B. and my father, Rudy E. is a loyal customer of The First Cast, and speaks very highly of the store, the customer service, and of Ray. Last year my Dad had his brand new car broken into and almost every piece of his fishing gear (a lifetime collection of pieces) stolen... This was the second time in 30 years that this had happened to my Dad. I'd like to send a long overdue, "thank you" to Ray, I know that you personally helped Dad inventory and restock his fishing gear, and try to piece back all the items he's acquired over the years. It's so heartwarming to know that there are businesses and people still going above and beyond, and it certainly helped my Dad cope with the theft and loss. This month, my Dad is turning 60, and my sisters and I would like to get him a $100 dollar gift card from your shop. Is there anyway we could arrange a credit card payment and possibly to have the card mailed to one of us? Thank you kindly, April 14th, 2016.
Great Service: Good Morning, I was in on Saturday March 26th with my son Max. I purchased a Walleye specific rod, reel, lures and gripper. I found the service excellent and Ray to be very knowledgeable which made my purchases quick and painless. I will definitely be a returning customer. Please add me to your promotional email list. Thank you, March 28th, 2016.
Hi Ray: It's Chris - I was the guy in your store on Saturday with his Dad looking at fly tying vises. Just following up on our visit. I really appreciate all your help and knowledge. I look forward to my next visit to your store. Both my father and I were extremely happy and satisfied with your customer service . Not to mention the huge selection of stock. Best Regards March 26th, 2016.
Hey Ray Just sitting here on the bank of the Saugeen River and I was remembering the 20 or 25 years ago you first brought me here and all of the tutelage and advice you have given me over the years....and I really want to thank you for what has been a long time of enjoyment and success at this crazy adventure! Thanks man! March 18th, 2016.
Ray, I just wanted to say that hands down yours is the finest fly shop I have ever shopped in. Not only is it clean, well laid out and extremely well stocked but what sets you high above the rest is your dedication to customer service and support. I feel that it is second to none and appreciate it every time I visit. The ability to get almost anything I want whether it be rods, reels, lines or fly tying materials that you don't happen to have in stock or carry and get it as quickly as you are able has made The First Cast my go to shop for everything fly and fly fishing related. Best of luck in the future and keep up the outstanding work!! March 14th, 2016.
Hi Ray, I received the Wedding Boutonnieres today and they really are stunning! Thanks again! March 4th, 2016.
Hook, Line & Sinker & The First cast carries the best selection of fly fishing and tying items anywhere in Ontario. They offer great and friendly customer service, and will quickly bring in any item that is not in stock at the store. I would happily continue shopping here versus other stores. January 28th, 2016.
It was my pleasure. It's a great shop that caters to the diehard steelheader. It was great meeting you and I plan to be a repeat customer! January 26th, 2016.
As a professional fishing guide for many years, I feel I have the knowledge and experience to know a great tackle shop when I see one. Hook, Line and Sinker is without a doubt one of the best around. Great selection, knowledgeable and friendly staff make each visit a great experience. Particularly, the fly shop department with unquestionably the best fly tying selection in all of Ontario. January 24th, 2016.
Ray, As always top notch place you run! I am glad not to be your competition anymore. Thanks again Ken "Ontario's answer to Fly-fishing Education and Tight-line guiding" Grand River Troutfitters Ltd January 23rd, 2016. Thank you for the kind words Ken, but its customers and friends to the shop such as yourself that help daily with our efforts. I sincerely appreciate your support and look forward to a long term friendship! All the best until we next chat.
Ray the SIMMS Pro Dry Suit has arrived! My god that's a beautiful suit, Light as a feather and that orange is sexy man the fish will just be jumping in the boat 🙂 I really appreciated your service and thanks for the awesome hat if only the girls thought it was sexy I might even get lucky. I certainly know who to reach out to for this stuff. Have a great weekend Cheers January 15th, 2016.
Hey Ray! It was nice talking with yesterday. You're by far the most knowledgeable person I've spoken to about spey lines. Spoke to my wife last night and we're going to make the drive up to Guelph next weekend. See you Saturday! January 10th, 2015. Hello Bill, each and every day I learn from my customers... Thank you for the kind words, but I'm far from the most knowledgeable as the whole Spey "game" is still also relatively new to me as well - This has helped me to try and simplify the verbiage in terms that us as "newbies" can easily understand. If you surround yourself with great teachers and practitioners, your learning curve only enhances exponentially and I have been blessed to employ some of the best resources locally on a daily basis !!
Ray, I wanted to say you have been exemplary! Thank you for the fantastic service - Its getting harder to find, so well done! Cheers. December 29th, 2015.
Thanks for all your help throughout the year! Every time I leave your place I feel like I am a little bit better off than I was going in... Much appreciated buddy! Talk soon and Merry Christmas 😉 December 25th, 2015.
Message: Hey Guys, Just came across your website for the first time last night and I'm pretty impressed and the broad range of the market you are covering. I'm in Montreal, and our best shop just closed down, leaving only the orvis retailer and the big-box store left in the metropolis, and they're both not open to new ideas. Seriously glad to see this kind of shop operating in full swing relatively close to home! November 6th, 2015.
Hi Ray, Received my Hardy Demon 7000 this morning thank you very much! I surely will spread the word to fellow fly guys and girls after all Chris Day turned me on to your store. I also Know that word of mouth is the best referral for any business - it has gotten me many new customers in the past, so I will do my part after all you do have a great store with excellent service and top notch products. Thanks again, best regards. October 28th, 2015.
The line arrived here safe and sound at just a bit past 12:30 this afternoon. I certainly appreciate the good service that a single phone call can bring. See you soon.
I am back in the office, but my mind is still lingering around the beautiful Grand River and my splendid day fishing with you . It was a great inspiration to me to learn the nymphing techniques from you, and I will definitely take it up on my next trip for graylings in Norway at the end of July. I went and bought the necessary indicators, lead and a few other things in Ray's shop, so I'm ready for the season. Take care Brian and good luck fishing. with kind regards, Martin D (Denmark)
Just openend up the package you sent. OMG, it is truly beautiful!! T-shirts are a very cool bonus. I look forward to many years of fishing with my son and in turn giving you more business. Have a great weekend.
Thanks for the tips and the photos! I will forward to Bill. I especially love the one of Bill fishing in the snow! As I said before, we had a great time, thoroughly enjoyed fishing with Brian and Pancho, and our appetites are whetted! Best regards,
Thanks for the great night with April Vokey. My compliments on the great job you do marketing the sport and shop. Cheers
Just a short note to let you know I received the rod, reel etc. safely and probably in record time since it was shipped Friday morning and I received it later in the afternoon! Many thanks for your assistance and it has been a pleasure doing business with you! I will be in touch regarding waders, boots etc. shortly. Thanks again!
I really don’t have any complaints or suggestions on how your guides could of made the trip better. I had an awesome time and felt like I learned a lot. I have been out with other guides before but what makes your guides different is that I felt like there was special attention to improving what skills I already have to make me better. Thank you again for helping us get on the water in our short timeframe. Derrick. (Note - Derrick and his Groomsmen were on the water at 10Am the morning after Derrick's wedding. I think Derrick and his bride have a great future ahead!)
Well I can say that fly fishing for me is a big learning experience that takes patience and time. I had lots of fun learning to fly with Francisco! I've been practicing but still need to work on my false cast, mending and knots but I'll get there!! Next time will catch a big one! Thank you!
It was great coming to your shop today, I was impressed with your knowledge and your help in selecting what I needed to get me started spey fishing was much appreciated. Anyone can sell a product, but the time you spent with me to explain what I needed and the reasoning behind it makes doing business with you that much more appreciated. I know now that I have a place to shop for my fishing needs where I can get knowledge along with the correct product. I like doing business with a class guy, and a store dedicated to the customer. Add me to your contacts and to any events that you have going on in your store so I can be a part of learning new things around our sport. Rick Whorwood said you would look after me...and he was right. Thanks,
I caught three fish, two rainbows and one brown. They were little so they didn't put up much fight. I attached some pics. It was really fun. The waders worked well. Thanks for all your advice and sharing your passion with me.