Having not been in the component business as long as some folks at Anglers Resource, it came as quite a surprise when my cohorts were amazed at the speed with which the KR CONCEPT was catching on. KR CONCEPT enjoyed a limited introduction at last year’s ICAST (2011) but it was early 2012 before we saw sufficient inventories from Japan to widely promote any in-depth information about this new idea and the products that supported it.

The New Guide Concept, in contrast, was first outlined in 1995. Products to support the ”lighter, smaller, more” concept followed in subsequent years, but it was a full 5 years before the New Guide Concept could be considered ”accepted” as a new rod building philosophy. As MN, LN, LC and AT ”concept” guides came to market, the use of NGC became more widespread. Ultimately it became the best known, most widely accepted rod building idea worldwide. Its basic parameters are still the heart and soul of high performance rods in virtually every country in the world over 17 years after its introduction.

Primarily through printed information, word of mouth, trade show demonstrations and face-to-face sales calls by dedicated reps, news of the New Guide Concept slowly crept out to custom builders and factories alike. The promises rang true and over a decade or more, NGC became the accepted standard.

Things have changed.

It’s not hard to find an article detailing the way technology has compressed the time frame needed to introduce new products. It can be difficult, however, to actually live through the lightening fast pace that the internet, social media and various Google technologies can demand from the average small business. In just over 6 months of availability, the KR CONCEPT has raced through forums, been scrutinized by the most savvy rod builders, withstood the resistance of NGC diehards, been commented on editorially in places that would have never said a word about rod building a decade ago (i.e.Bassmaster Magazine) and in record time been reviewed, approved and applied to literally thousand of rods all over the world. No doubt that’s a small percentage, but at the current pace, KR CONCEPT will soon rank as the most sweeping change in rod building philosophy in the history of the craft. What took 17 years to achieve with the New Guide Concept could be eclipsed in mere months by KR CONCEPT!

At the recent ICAST Show, St Croix won Best of Show, Casting Rod with a Legend Extreme brandishing a KR CONCEPT layout, a stroll through the show revealed rods from Okuma, Black Hole, Kistler and Dragon (Japan) with KR Layouts. Shimano and Diawa have models on deck or already released. Orders for thousands of KR Guides were in house 3 months before there arrival. The list goes on and on.

Saying technology has compressed the time frame for new product introductions is not only true, it is also mind boggling for anyone over 40 actually living through it. Still, most would agree that the information available helps consumers make better, more informed buying decisions. That’s a good thing.

Welcome to the future.