Is Cabelas fly rods any good?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Akuriko, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. Danielocean Steelhead Virgin

    Posts: 1,405
    Monroe
    Ratings: +583 / 0
    Keep in mind I have not caught shit yet so I could probably get by with a 2wt fly reel bought from the bargain cave to fish for steelhead.
  2. Steve Unwin Active Member

    Posts: 320
    Edmonds, WA
    Ratings: +84 / 0
    I bought a cabelas reel brand new that fell apart in a couple months (they gave my money back) and have another that has been fine. The more expensive ones are nice but there is better value out there in reels in my opinion.
  3. Codioos Active Member

    Posts: 461
    Spokane
    Ratings: +100 / 0
    As other have noted, Cabelas rods will work just fine. But if I were to buy a new rod from Cabelas with a low price point, it would be a Redington Classic Trout 5wt 4 piece in either 8'6" or 9'. I own a 5wt and 3wt Redington CT and love the crap out of them. In the summer, I typically only fish with the 3wt CT for trout and am very pleased with it. The Redington Rise reel is also a sturdy design.

    Cabelas reels are hit-and-miss. I've seen them do great or fall apart with ease. A Lamson Konic would be a great reel with a low price. They are designed and built well and look rugged. On the same note, a lot of Cabelas rods & reels are outsourced to other manufactures such as Lamson, St. Croix, TFO, etc. IMO you won't go wrong buying gear from Cabelas, and they have an accepting return policy if something happens to the gear. But, maybe you could check out your local fly shops for used or consignment gear to keep your options open.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  4. KevinLS Member

    Posts: 113
    Spokane, WA
    Ratings: +22 / 0
    My experience: Rods are great. I've had several $50 Three Forks 3wts and love them (1-2 year warranty). I have a Traditional 2 8wt. Dig it. Twice I've lost the three forks due to split rods though. For $120 ish I bought TFO - Lifetime warranty is great. I'm all for inexpensive rods and agree reels and line are where to spend a little money.

    Reels: Any cheap reel I don't care for. But getting to the $40-$50 dollar range it gets okay as stated earlier. I have some cables reels from Lamson that are half the price of their brand name counterparts and excellent quality and warranty.

    Good Luck!
  5. Paul Voelker Member

    Posts: 125
    Yakima, Washington
    Ratings: +2 / 2
    When I first started fly fishing I bought the Cabelas stuff since I had been looking through their catalogs for years. I had the Three Forks and another one of their rods that I don't remember the name of. I was originally impressed with the action of the rods but after some light use they both fell apart. The reel seats would just come apart while casting and the reel would fall in the river. I never took advantage of their warranty, I just gorilla glued them back together which worked but have since given them away to other beginners. Keep in mind this was years ago and these were the lower end rods. I thought I heard once that they contract out to other manufacturers to make their gear and put the Cabelas logo on it but I may be wrong.
  6. Patrick Gould Active Member

    Posts: 2,356
    Ellensburg, WA
    Ratings: +688 / 1
    If you're truly on a tight budget they are a great option, but do the local shop a favor and buy all your misc supplies from them.

    I own two that I got second hand for some ridiculously cheap price. One is a wind river and one is a three forks. Both cast well and seem like they're made well. No rod tubes, but they were so cheap that it doesn't matter.

    While chatting with super guide Tim Irish one day I found out that the L-Tech was one of his favorite rods. He had run a lodge in Stehekin and could only shop by mail order so he went with Cabela's. He thought it was one of the best fast action rods out there. That's quite an endorsement from an expert caster and fly fisherman who had access to pro deals on just about any rods he wanted.
  7. Jim Paget Member

    Posts: 97
    Ratings: +37 / 0
    I am pretty new at all of this and I learned a lesson last month. luckily the lesson wasn't too expensive. I saw an ad for a Sage rod for $125. It was exactly as described in the ad - older but unused. Turned out the action was completely wrong for me. One instructor described it as feeling like a bamboo rod, even though it was graphite.

    Moral of the story - the brand doesn't mean anything. Whether or not it works for you is all that matters.
  8. Jim Darden Active Member

    Posts: 890
    Bellingham, Wa.
    Ratings: +215 / 0
    I also like the L-tech, but if you don't know exactly what you want you are better going to the local fly shop, you will be happier with the result. When you have a lot of fly rods and can afford to make a mistake, that's different. I bought some of their big game reels that were made by Fin-nor that were a copy of the Fin-nor light weight and they are bullet proof. But they came in a Fin-nor box and all the parts are interchangeable with The Finn-nors. That is the kind of bargain you have to look for.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  9. Cole L Fish Fiend

    Posts: 126
    Bellingham
    Ratings: +48 / 0
    I have a lsi 9ft 8wt that's nice, good components and very sturdy. I feel like I read somewhere that the rods are produced by G loomis but correct me if I'm wrong.
  10. Danielocean Steelhead Virgin

    Posts: 1,405
    Monroe
    Ratings: +583 / 0
    Actually I heard that cabelas got the three companies of sage, winston, and gloomis to collaborate all there knowledge together to design there rods!:rolleyes:
  11. Akuriko Member

    Posts: 117
    Ratings: +11 / 0

    Thanks for that i was acually curious who made cabelas gear, I am glad its known name brands, i was thinking they made it themselves like l.l. bean did and you didn't know what your getting, no offense to any of you if you own a l.l. bean rod, i personally thought there ultimate fly fishing book by l.l. bean was so so compared to the orvis one.
  12. Akuriko Member

    Posts: 117
    Ratings: +11 / 0

    When it came to my rods i bought i based it on the warrenty, I wont buy something that has 1 or 5 or 10 year warrenty. :) i'm picky i guess in that way. :D
  13. Akuriko Member

    Posts: 117
    Ratings: +11 / 0

    Well she is looking i think for a 5wt or 6w, I was thinking if i can get her on board like she likes to do as its her dream to fly fish to get her a classic trout, dont know still waiting for her imput, I just send her some more info on fly rods and combos in a priority envelope on thursday, Shes outta state so i just wait for her reply back to me, I have done the best i can to help her. :D
  14. snarlac Member

    Posts: 266
    Sacramento, CA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Yes - they are worth the money paid (which is not very much); but not much more, they are not worth the same as a $700-800 rod. Cost and warranty to me is at best secondary to me if not meaningless. Peformance and workmanship/durability are more important.

    In other words, I'd rather have a rod that is going to perform AND not fail (as in break/fall apart from normal use) than one which performs like shit and doesn't break, or one that peforms great and breaks every 6-12 months. All that said, Cabelas are OK.
  15. later_Peter Active Member

    Posts: 106
    Ratings: +26 / 0
    I bought a used 3 Forks 3 weight rod & reel to keep in my vehicle... the rod casts off to one side. I learned to compensate. I was told that the Q.C. was off that day because the blank's splines were not matched up... the top half of the rod is off. I also dropped the reel on a hard floor & it broke. It is cast aluminum (very brittle)... still good enough to keep in the vehicle... (& for the price)
  16. Akuriko Member

    Posts: 117
    Ratings: +11 / 0

    Like i said in a previous post, my thoughts are warranty first, cost second, lol :D
  17. jwg Active Member

    Posts: 538
    West Richland, WA
    Ratings: +106 / 0

    I too have a 3 wt.
    Given your remark, curious to know what do you use the 5 wt for?
    jay
  18. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,012
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +723 / 1
    One of my first rods was a Fish Eagle II, 906.2 and it can launch line as well as all the high end rods I have since acquired and built over the years. No where near as "purty", but functional nevertheless. At that time (mid 80's), I believe their blanks were made by both Loomis and American...but that has since changed. For the price point and certainly their rod/reel/line combo's are pretty tough to beat. They are also pretty good about warranty. There are many who will poo-poo Cabela's; mostly from the evil big store (W-Mart) slant...but that has nothing to do with whether their rods and pricing competitive...they are.
  19. Akuriko Member

    Posts: 117
    Ratings: +11 / 0

    Agreed there, the most important thing besides warranty is funtionality and if it preforms good for the price and preforms good or equil to the more exspensive ones.
  20. Danielocean Steelhead Virgin

    Posts: 1,405
    Monroe
    Ratings: +583 / 0
    I second that. I have one high end rod, and have decided that one high end rod is enough for me. The rest of my rods will be budget minded ones like Cabelas, Redington, TFO, and ECHO. I am looking for a nymph stick right now and have no qualms of giving Cabelas rods a spin.