WSS Main: Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Since we announced the closure of our location at 902 Third Street in San Rafael, we've received a number of questions regarding the operation and status of the Western Sport Shop, Inc. Please take a moment to see if your question has been answered here.

If not, please feel free to call 415-226-9770 and leave a message. These messages are reviewed once every business day, and we will respond to specific questions as soon as we are able.

Why did you close the location at 902 Third Street?

We have been trying to find a new owner for the business for the past two years. The building recently sold and we did not want to commit to a long term lease with the new landlord.

Is the store still for sale?

We are actively selling new and used hunting, fishing and fly fishing books. We have also own all trademarks associated with Western Sport Shop, Inc. We would be open to purchase of assets and experience associated with Western Sport Shop. Please call 415-226-9770 to discuss this.

Are there any fixtures available?

Yes. We currently have 6 freestanding fly display bins which were used in our San Rafael store.
More info here.

What happened to the mounts?

The historic and diverse game mounts have either been returned to the families which had brought them to the shop, or are on display at the Druids' Hall in Novato.

I have a firearm coming to me from another state. How do I handle this?

We are no longer able to handle any firearm transactions. According to Federal law, all firearms must be shipped between licensed dealers. According to California law, you are liable for California State Sales Tax on all out of state firearm purchases. Two local shops which handle firearm transfers are Marin Firearms in Ignacio and Bullseye in San Rafael.

I have a firearm which needs work. Are there any gunsmiths in the area?

For the past number of years we have used Dean Bracket of Indian Valley Gunsmithing. We can personally attest to the quality of his work and the high quality of his communication on specific projects. He can be reached at 530-284-7589. It is our understanding that he will be offering his services through local shops such as Marin Firearms.

There is also a new gunsmith which recently opened in Novato - Nathan Rynders at 415-382-1762. We have known Nathan as a customer for a number of years.

I have a fishing reel which needs work. How do I get it fixed?

For non-warranty reel repairs on conventional and some spinning reels, we recommend Jim Nomura / HJ's Reel Service 408-250-5820

For reels under warranty, contact the manufacturer directly.

Do you still have those give away maps of the Watershed?

Yes - still one of the most popular parts of our website:

Bon Tempe - Marin Watershed map (we also recommend you buy the Marin Bicycle Map for the best detail for trails and access to the watershed - available at most bike shops in Marin or via the Marin County Bicycle Coalition)

and we have the guide to knots for PowerPro / Spectra lines:

Power Pro Knots

As well as a general guide to knots and steelhead rigging techniques:

General Knots

Steelhead rigging techniques


My fishing rod / fly rod is broken. What do I do?

Most Shimano rods which we sold are covered either by a Lifetime Limited Warranty or by a One Year Limited Warranty. Shimano allowed us to do a "Rod Swap" on any broken rods. We would then gather those broken rods and ship them down to Shimano once a month for replacement. You should see if any local tackle or sporting goods store will honor the warranty "over the counter". "Over the Counter" replacement is Shimano's preferred method for dealing with warranty rods. It is at the discretion of the shop to participate in this program, so you should contact them first, to see what their policy is.

If the shop you contact will not handle this, then you will need to contact Shimano USA in Irvine CA.

For all other manufacturer's rods, you should contact them directly. They may prefer you take the rod to a local dealer for replacement. Make sure you ask them that first.

For fly rods, please refer to the manufacturers' websites. Generally speaking, Sage and most other manufacturers offer a "no fault" replacement for a fee. They usually require you to fill out a form on the site and include that with your rod.

My Simms waders/jacket leaks. What do I do?

Simms has specific steps for you to return worn or warranty items. They must be clean before you send them.

Where can I purchase a California Fishing License?

The nearest California Department of Fish and Game License Agent to our store is Big 5 Sporting Goods in Northgate Mall in Terra Linda (San Rafael). If you have last year's license (the new computerized version with the bar code at the top of the license) take that with you for the quickest service. They should be able to scan your old license and bring you right up. Otherwise you will need a photo ID to purchase a license.

Many licenses are available via the DFG website - - if you purchased a license during 2010 under the new computerized system, your information should already be entered. You will be able to print out a voucher that you can use to fish with that day, and the DFG will mail your license to you.

Where can I purchase a California Hunting License?

Please refer to the answer for fishing licenses above.

ADDITIONALLY - if you have not purchased a license under the new system, you MUST bring in a previous year's license (ANY previous year's is acceptable) OR bring in a validated Hunter Safety card to a authorized license sales agent (such as Big 5 mentioned above). You cannot purchase a new hunting license via the website until you have done so.

If you do not have either a previous year's license or Hunter Safety card, you will have to take the Hunter's Safety Course. Current schedules and instructors can be found at the DFG website - .

Once you have supplied evidence of Hunter Safety, either with a previous year's license or Hunter's Safety card, you may purchase many of the tags and licenses online as well.

I had a firearm on consignment with you. What is the status of that?

We had notified all consignees regarding the closure of the store in December. If you had not received payment for your consignment, please call 415-226-9770 and leave a clear, detailed message.
We will need to know:
Your first and last name
The approximate date the firearm was brought to us (it will be on the receipt we provided to you)
The model of the firearm
The best phone number at which to reach you

I have an unused Gift Certificate. What happens with that?

Please call 415-226-9770 and leave a clear, detailed message.
We will need to know:
Your first and last name
The date the Gift Certificate was issued
The amount of the Gift Certificate, or the credit balance remaining
If the Gift Certificate was issued in our Santa Rosa store, please mention that
The best phone number at which to reach you
Upon verification of the balance, we will issue a check to you. The balance can also be applied towards book or fixture purchases

I left a message but didn't hear back from you. What's up with that?

We check our messages at least once every business day (Monday through Friday, excluding holidays). We respond to every specific message that is not covered by this FAQ the next business day. If you do not hear back from us within 48 hours, please feel free to leave another message - it is possible that the message was garbled or unclear.

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Western Sport Shop Inc.and
Western Sport Shop Fish logo is a Registered Trademark


Western Sport Shop, Inc.
PO Box 162
Kentfield, CA 94914

Phone: 415-226-9770