High vs low end rods these days... Is the gap narrowing?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Codioos, Jul 8, 2014.

  1. Steve Kokita

    Steve Kokita FISHON206

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    Fish with what makes you happy...(not just the beer) I've been fly fishing for 48 years and have accumulated a full quiver of fly rods. From Sage to my first Phillipson, but now they sit idle and I fish my re-worked blue collar bamboo rods exclusively. I have so many bamboo rods it's now difficult to choose which ones get to go play that day! Good problem to have...my .02
     
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  2. William Wallace

    William Wallace Active Member

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    Salmo hit it on the nose. Buy what you can afford, get what you can cast and enjoy.

    If you want to spend 1200 bucks on a rod, then do so, don't feel bad. It is always nice to have that one rod that you worked hard for to get. Pinched pennies, sold other stuff (that you will regret) bought a 12 pack instead of a case of your favorite beer. It is your prize, don't let anyone talk you out of it, it is what you want. Fisherman have needs and wants, sometimes wants are a higher priority.

    One of the best rods I had cast was a WW Grigg. Had a few of them and best casting rod I had. Yes, I do own other high end rods but they did the same as the WWG.

    Some people think cause you have a 1200 fly rod, 2500 reel you are a conceded stuck up yuppy, not true. Shoot I remember growing up, around 14 years of age, I owned an Orvis all arounder and a Hardy princess. Most of my steelhead were caught on that combo. The looks I got from other fisherman; stuck up little kid, father must spoil him, get what he wants. Not in no way did my father spoil my brother and I. He worked hard for his money and gave us the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors. Hell when I walked out of the water in my raggedy jeans cause we could not afford waders at the time, my taped up rain jacket torn from sticker bushes. I didn't care what they thought. But my dad pinched pennies to get me that reel. The rod was given to me from my fly fishing mentor Merlin Stedem. Then the next weekend I would be out with my Berkley cherry wood fiberglass and some god awful looking medalist take off reel enjoying the outdoors again!

    Only thing with me is I like simplicity in the rods overall looks. I hate when rod manufactures put the biggest logo and full of wraps to show off their rods. You know who they are from walking a mile up river from a fisherman. That is what I love about a lot of the fiberglass rod makers. Keep the wraps simple, beautiful reels seats, something different than a reverse wells grip and minimal writing on the blank. That is also why I like a Burkie.

    It is also the pleasure to make your own, find a new blank or an older rod, strip it down and make it how you want. Cant wait to get my household goods from this move, so I can start doing what I preach!

    William
     
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  3. mgamby

    mgamby Active Member

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    Echo is the rod of the future. Mark my words....

    Fishing it actually makes you better looking.
     
  4. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    make sure that whatever rod you buy is going to do the job you want it to do.

    An example: I have the reddington predator as my backup surf rod, because a 40" shovelnose guitarfish snapped the tip of my Xi3 and I was NOT going to miss 2+ weeks of sight fishing the flats here.
    Both rods are good for long bomb casts ( the whole line) BUT the predator cannot roll cast for shit. It may be the worst roll casting rod in my quiver. Now, 25% of my surf fishing casts are long roll casts with a sinking line sight fishing to corbina and spot fin croaker... how pissed off do you think I am that the rod in my hand cant roll cast? Pretty damn pissed. Also, the predator is NOT good for delicate casting with a sinking line, which makes up 40% of my surf fishing casts. SO... right there, this rod ($250 new) cannot meet my requirements for 65% of my fishing on the beach, which to me makes it a shitty choice. The Xi3 ($700) can do all these things with amazing delicacy and precision. For my needs, the extra money was well spent, because the rod simply does things that the cheaper rod cannot.

    I think you should cast every rod in the store, and walk out with the rod that you can cast the best with the lines youre going to use. Dont even think about price until you have already cast rods from at least 3 different manufacturers. (Sage, Reddington, TFO, Echo, orvis etc etc ) Go to a few different fly shops if you have to. Dont think about price, bring your own lines/reels if possible, cast the shit out of some rods, take good notes, and buy what works best for you.
     
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  5. Codioos

    Codioos Active Member

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    I cannot deny that when purchasing a Winston/Sage/Loomis I feel a bit cooler than when I buy a rod assembled in China or Korea. I've been to Twin Bridges, MANY times. I have family there and I can remember touring the factory when I was a kid. So yeah there is an emotional bond with the company. However, dflett68 hits a great point, a lot of the quality differences between these rods don't mean anything when I hook a 8-16" trout. The only time I notice myself thinking about how cool I feel when using a top shelf piece is when I stop and look at the damn thing or eyeball it in my mancave. And how often do I look at my gear when I'm doing work with it?...not often enough. Honestly I can't shake the feeling that I'm just measuring myslef and skill level in a way. As if the cost of the rod will make any diffence in my skill level.

    I'm not trying to bash on any rod manufactures here. WInston, Sage, Thomas, Loomis, Echo, etc... all make wonderful rods. I was just kicking over a thought I've had on the river when I enjoy the same fun with a rod that costs a fraction of another and why I feel the need to buy the "best". I undertand the feeling of using what you earn and using what you like. I work hard for my $ and river mojo, and maybe I feel some pressure to buy Sage or Winston because of family and friends. Who am I trying to impress here?

    The sad thing is I DO feel like I'm pressured to catch a fish more-so with an expensive rod. It's like everytime I use it I'm trying to sell it to myself. WTF is that about??! And in the same sentence I also feel like I'm one of the cool kids packing around a $1300 outfit. Bullshit. I don't consider myself a yuppy. But neither am I considered a poor man. A fool, maybe.

    And for the record, I would rather support domestic than an import. But this bullshit is, well, bullshit! Sometimes I feel like I would should walk around yard sales to try and pick up a used domestic rod and help one of my own people. I'm ranting here. Thanks for listening.
     
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  6. Codioos

    Codioos Active Member

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    There is NO SILVER BULLET rod. I get this.
     
  7. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    a LOT of pricey rods and reels can be had "lightly used" for a fraction of the price on ebay. And the best part, is that nobody has to know you bought it used off ebay
     
  8. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I always bought what my wallet could afford. I don't have any high priced rods. The most I ever paid for a rod was 210 bucks. It now sits in my closet and I fish with a free rod and a 179 buck rod. I don't need a high end rod. If I had one I probably wouldn't fish with it because the way I handle my rods it would of been broken by now. You could say I'm a little rough on them.
     
  9. Codioos

    Codioos Active Member

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    I could use the same words for some sunglasses I own.
     
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  10. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

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    The TFO BVK performs almost as well as rods 4x the price.
     
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  11. Tacoma Red

    Tacoma Red Active Member

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    ...but I do own a few 4x-$ rods.
     
  12. Codioos

    Codioos Active Member

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    I was on a soap box yesterday. I'm not ready to sell my green stick but I'm also not ruling it out. It was nice to think out loud and get some honest opinions about the gear we use. Thanks for the .02
     
  13. Derek Young

    Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

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    Spend your money on casting lessons and learning how to read the water, the rod itself is still controlled by the angler. You wouldn't give a 16-year old kid the keys to a Ferrari for his driving license test, would you?
     
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  14. rory

    rory Go Outside

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    Spend 50% of your budget on casting lessons.
     
  15. dflett68

    dflett68 Active Member

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    even though i'm generally a skeptic on the roi you get from spending big, derek makes a point that i saw illustrated recently. my son served as a gillie at the youth fly fishing academy in june and i was lucky to spend the last two nights of the camp in lacey with everyone. during that time their casting instructor Robert Gerlach held a casting competition for all of the campers. if memory serves, the longest cast from a camper was 76 feet using a 9 foot six weight. after they were done, i stayed behind with my son and a couple other gillies trying our hand on the course. i could do 70 feet with my deeply ingrained bad habits before fatigue and frustration lowered my distance even more. the gillies each did about 80 (both graduates of robert's instruction in prior years at the camp). we stayed out long enough that robert eventually wandered back over to join us. with very few false casts and what appeared to be minimal effort, he fired out almost 90 feet on his first effort, gave the gillies a couple pointers, and moved on. my son took note, picked up the rod, and added 10 feet to his cast immediately. after watching all that transpire over the course of about 2.5 hours, it's easy to imagine how, in highly skilled hands, a 10% advance in technology could translate to a 3x-4x upper in value - if you really had the powers to summon the rod's full potential and it meant that much to you in practical angling scenarios.
     
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