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BflatApril 16th, 2008, 8:09 pm
central wisconsin

Posts: 7
Modern rods are so good that I'd venture to guess that even the cheapest discount store rod is better than the best rod of yesteryear. I like fine tackle, but never fool myself into thinking it's really necessary. I remember expressing my interest in bamboo to an old and accomplished fisherman. His response, "When glass rods came out we were so relieved to give up our bamboo rods and their upkeep, then came graphite, what a pleasure."
I'm still fascinated with bamboo, but think they're somewhat (not totally) an affectation.

High end rods quickly reach a level of "diminishing returns." They are pretty cool, though.

A nice thing about trout fishing is that even the most expensive stuff is cheap relative to other pursuits, such as sport flying, horses, car collecting, etc.. Heck, just compare high end waders to a bass boat! Or flies to plugs.

TheMidgeApril 30th, 2008, 2:50 pm

Posts: 16
I have to way in here. I began fly fishing with an inexpensive rod from LL Beans (the quest) as I became a better caster, I purchased a TFO 3 weight, and saw a difference...... I really liked it. Next I bought an Elkhorn, and emmediately saw an improvment. The rod just casted better and felt more "quality" for the same price. I was a firm believer in never paying big money for a rod. Over the winter, I bought a discontinued Sage XP at LL Beans factory outlet for under $200 because I figured worse case scenario, I could turn a small profit on it. This rod allows me to do things I could never do with my other rods. It is more responsive when nymphing, it is a 5 wt that lays down line softer than my 3 wt, I can cast much farther with accuracy, and it can handle streamers and double nymph rigs that my other 5 wt's had trouble with. Will I spend $600 on a rod? No way. Will I bargain hunt for my next rod? absolutely.
GeorgesJune 20th, 2008, 10:11 am
Central MA

Posts: 5
Interesting thread and I've got to say that if I were buying rods today I would be buying in the, "cheap" range because at 73 and retired, I still have a 17 and 12 year old to get through college. Besides, I do have a number of high end rods that I continue to use and I can attest to a better casting experience with them than with some of my cheaper rods. However, all of my rods (and reels)were purchased on sale or closeouts prior to the "boom" in flyfishing. When I started in 1948 and pretty much through the 70's, tackle and materials were relativey inexpensive. For example, in 1970 I purchased an Orvis, "Midge" rod (bamboo 7 1/2' 5wt) and an Orvis Batenkill, 8' 6wt, at $90.00 (for both rods) during a closeout at a well know firearms store near Rochester NY. During the same time frame I picked up 2 Leonards (Tournament and Duracane)for cheap money at another store failure and a third Leonard at a TU banquet auction.So, in the main, I suppose the purchases would be eBay "like" in cost.

Although I have and enjoy the bamboo, the rods I use most today are 5 Loomis graphite rods that I built in 1981. I was contemplating buying a shop on the East Branch and Loomis had a package of 5 blanks for $17 each as a promotional package. I chose a 3,4,5,6,7, all 9' except the 3 which is 8 1/2' (it is really a lovely rod). Each rod built out cost less than $30. If I were in the market for a new rod today there is no question that a blank is the route I would take. Many people who have rods with the latest graphite technology cast these rods and without exception they are amazed the feel of these older rods.

So my advise is to look at discontinued blanks from manufacturers or dealers and I know that you can build a top end rod for less than Cabela's, Bass Pro, whomever. Besides, like catching a trout/fish on your own tie, the same feeling carries over to a rod that you built.

I'm sorry for the length and stuff on the bamboos. I intended for this note to focus on getting a top quality rod for little money and since most here take pride in their tying, it seems logical to take the next step and build your rod. It's easy and there is a huge amount of info available today to help you through the process.
TeddypJune 20th, 2008, 11:01 am
North Carolina

Posts: 18
I am so glad to read these posts about rods. I bought a new TFO 8'0 4wt when my old Fenwick needed to be retired and love it. The shop I bought it from had a pond to cast them in and I threw a Winston and an Orvis and couldn't really feel the difference. I'm glad to see others feel the same way!

btw - new to the site but love the forums and info!

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