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Thread: Rod question

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
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    Alturas, California, U.S.A.
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    Default Rod question

    Pretty much a beginner to fly fishing. I really enjoy it, and I've even caught some fish, which if you knew me you'd understand what an accomplishment in itself that is. Anyways the new Cabelas opened in Reno, and I went in to poke around. I have never fiddled arouond with higher end rods before. Well the ceilings in the fly fishing area are very high, and they give ample room to play with rods. So I did. Now I feel that it feels like I'm casting with a 2 X 4 and some string. So i've been looking into Sage Launch, and FLi, St. Croix Avid, TFO, and on and on and on. Now for the tough part, in your opinion what is the best rod for the money? I'm thinking a 4 or 5 weight in the 8 foot range, as my favorite water to date is a small, brushy lined creek. Lets say keep it under 300 dollars (much closer to 200) as I am a humble public servant. Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

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    For the money, I've found Temple Fork hard to beat. I own several rods that cost much more, some as much as $600. The ONLY rod I have that hangs with, or SLIGHTLY surpasses the TFO is a St. Croix Ultra.

    I like the Avid rods as well, but you're talking a VERY soft action. TFO for the money is simply hard to beat.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Spanaway, WA
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2wt View Post
    TFO for the money is simply hard to beat.
    What 2wt said. TFO is a great rod that can compete with alot of the higher priced rods; they're just not as pretty. If you are just getting started a TFO Professional or Finesse will do you well and leave you money for reel, line, etc.

  4. #4
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    If you have the opportunity to do so, FISH with the rods you are considering (mooch off of friends, etc). If you cannot, CAST all of the rods you are considering. I suspect that one of them will just feel right in your hands and THAT is the rod you should get. If you have to buy one without having cast it, you run a certain risk of getting one you will not really like. There are not many rods out there that are bad any more, and frankly, any of the rods you listed, and a large number from other manufacturers, would serve you well, but the only way to make sure you get the best rod for you is to try them out.

    For the record, the rod I have that gets the most use (and I own quite a few) is a Cabelas Stowaway 5pc 3wt, retail under a hundred bucks.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Over The Rainbow
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    Heelerdog,
    Pretty much what DG mentions would be a good idea. Another one would be to find a flyshop with a good selection of rods in your price area and have a salesman rig up 3 or 4 using the same flyline/wt and take it out and cast it on a windless day. I would strongly suggest NOT looking at the brand to avoid any biases and just cast it. Don't try to go farther than your ability but just cast it. Parking lot casting is very different from on water casting so if a shop has a pond then all the better. Today you can pretty much find a great selection or rods for a very reasonable price-even under $200. You've got some good models already selected so start there. I'd also try to go with WF lines for all rods so the evaluations are equal. Ask about rod action and try to keep actions evaluated in the same category( medium, med-fast, fast). Good luck and have fun. Also consider the Winston Ascent-Vapor, TFO Finesse as added options.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    The Island Nation of Ohio
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    Default

    Ok, "humble public servant," I have a solution for you. If you can walk and chew bubble gum, have an old cardboard box laying around, a coffee cup, a book and a couple of evenings of time, you can build a 7'-9" 4-piece 3wt for $64.95 + shipping and have a rod that will fish wonderfully, is light in your hand, and that you can be proud to say that you built all by yourself. It actually fishes best with a 4 wt line, can cast 50' of line with no problem, yet allows for delicate presentations under 20' as well. The way this rod handles it would easily cost $200 if it had one of those fancy names on it. Build this rod and you'll have enough money left over for a new reel, backing and fly line to go with it.

    http://www.mailordercentral.com/hook...cts.asp?dept=8

    If you order the chestnut thread with the kit, it will look like this when you are done:




    Joe
    Last edited by Joe Valencic; 12-31-2007 at 05:50 PM.
    Joe Valencic
    Life Member FFF
    Rod Builder in Chains

  7. #7

    Default

    great responses here. you can also do a search on this board and others for more info...

    i agree - cast as many rods as you can get your hands on.

    i do think st. croix is a good place to start for a quality rod- w/ the legend ultra and avid around your price point- both great rods and fun to compare- i don't think the avid is too soft esp. at 8'6" or under in the 4/5 wt range - and i really like the legend ultra in 4wt - to me the butt section on the 5wt legend ultra is just to stiff.

    another rod to consider is the scott A2.

    have fun searching for the new rod!

  8. #8
    hutjensmpg Guest

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Joe Valencic View Post
    Ok, "humble public servant," I have a solution for you. If you can walk and chew bubble gum, have an old cardboard box laying around, a coffee cup, a book and a couple of evenings of time,

    Joe
    I'll confirm Joe's assertion above. If you're at all handy, you can make a great rod for what usually seems to be about $100 to $150 less than factory. Plus it feels pretty cool to catch fish on a rod you built! I put a St. Croix Ultra 8'6" #5 together last year following a combination of the instructions on this site, FlyFisherman, and the LA Garcia book. It's turned out great and it's been my workhorse rod all year. Another reason to do it is that you can also customize it a little with things that don't cost any extra. For example, it seems that small, slim handles are all the rage on factory rods for some reason. But I have big hands and prefer a fatter handle, so that's what I put on it. You can choose guide type and color, guide size, etc. Or you can put prettier hardware like the handle on a less expensive, but good, rod like a TFO. I can be a bit of a perfectionist, so it actually took me more like 9 or 10 nights of work on it, because I cut off quite a few wraps that I didn't think turned out well until I finally did two colors only on the ferrules and the decorative ones where it's signed.

    I also second the casting and fishing. Especially if you're going to fish small streams, as it sounds you may, don't get seduced by the extra stiff and powerful rods in the parking lot. It feels great to be zinging 60 or 70 foot casts there, but when you're fishing 30 feet and in you'll want a different rod.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Oregon Coast(Outside of Seaside/Astoria)
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    Default

    I truly HATE IT, when I readily agree with Joe V. because he gets all "giddy & giggly" and claps his hands together at the finger tips.....it's just disgusting to witness!
    BUT!! His suggestion of "building your own", is the best on this post, so far, I have to admit! (stop giggling, Joe!).
    It's ONE thing, to catch a fish on " a fly you've tied yourself", it's a double whammy, when that fish is played on THE ROD you've built yourself, as well.
    Rod building scares a lot of people, but I don't know why!?! TRY IT, you'll LIKE IT! NO, wait, that's another ad campaign, sorry............

    Seriously, try building your own rod. There's a long winter, ahead for most of us, it's a really fun and rewarding, winter time project. Use the suggestions, also, on the boards, here and go try out and cast as many rods as you can get your hands on. When you find one that "fits just right", then see about ordering that brand's rod blank and the remains to go with it.
    (God, here we go again, with Joe's giggling)................ but, Joe's link he gave you, is also a very good source, for a rod building project.

    If you ABSOLUTELY can't stand the thought of building your own, they as also suggested, I'd really look hard at the TFO series of rods. I own somewhere, around 30 rods, I think, but I've ALWAYS got at least two TFOs packed along with me when I take off fishing! For the price and quality for the price, and their fishability, they're pretty darn hard to beat.

    (The above, is brought to you, for only my own .02)
    Saint Paul-"The Highly Confused"
    You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.
    -- Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    Western New York (Steelhead Country)
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DG View Post
    If you have the opportunity to do so, FISH with the rods you are considering (mooch off of friends, etc). If you cannot, CAST all of the rods you are considering. I suspect that one of them will just feel right in your hands and THAT is the rod you should get. If you have to buy one without having cast it, you run a certain risk of getting one you will not really like. There are not many rods out there that are bad any more, and frankly, any of the rods you listed, and a large number from other manufacturers, would serve you well, but the only way to make sure you get the best rod for you is to try them out.

    For the record, the rod I have that gets the most use (and I own quite a few) is a Cabelas Stowaway 5pc 3wt, retail under a hundred bucks.
    DG you are 100% on the money
    i tell all customers that come in to cast the rods and find the one the feels the best for them and thats the one you buy.
    Catch and Release So Others Can Enjoy Them

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