: The price performance balancing point
We often talk about the "best deal" in reels and rods. I feel this is at the point where you get something worth keeping for many years, yet you don't need to mortgage the house to get it. For rods and reels, I feel this is at the $200-$300 range for each item on average. For instance, the Redington reels, Orvis Battenkill L/A, Teton, Lamson, Old Florida, etc. Rods: Sage DS2, the new Scott, St.Croix, Redington, Diamondback Backwater, Loomis GL3, etc.
This is a tough recommendation to make, although I always tend to make it to save people from buying 6 or more setups that are quickly obsoleted by the owner. I feel a wise investment level price is $400-600 dollars, where less will require upgrade and more is prestige.
Any opinions on my opinions?
02-23-2000, 08:10 AM
I definitely agree on the reel side; rods are a funny thing though. I have three rods, none of which retailed for over $300 and none of which I paid over $140 for (yes I am a bargain hunter). If I didn't know that there were better rods out there I could probably be satisfied with these rods for ever. But, then I fished a couple of "sweeter" rods with friends or guides and realized that i can get greater performance out of some these rods, that happen to cost closer to $500. With a lifetime guarantee, buying an expensive rod is not a bad deal if you amortize the cost over the life of the rod--the trick is finding one that you really love AFTER you have settled into a certain casting style that won't dramatically alter too much.
If I had the chance to cast 20 different rods in a day, and found one that I really loved and that fit my personally style and clearly stood out compared to the rest, I'd have no problem paying top dollar for it. I think the reality is that most people don't get to do this though, and will just naturally adjust their casting style to what ever rod they end up with.
In the end, i think the best deal is what ever rod makes you happy, performs well in most conditions, has a good guarantee, and doesn't constatnly make you wish you had a nicer one--be it $140 or $540... For instance, I have a medium fast, mid flex 10 wt. that is simply the most verstile rod I have ever fished--it throws any sized fly in almost any condition, and still bends enough on a 4 lb schoolie to make catching them fun, but can handle 20lbers. I paid $140 for it and I'll never get rid of it.
Unfortunately for me, I have "outgrown" two of the other rods I have...but they have paid for themselves ten times over already and next time I'll know exactly what I want--and I have a bad feeling it's going to cost me. Now the trick is just trying everything that's out there!
02-23-2000, 10:34 AM
Juro and Gang,
My feeling is that there is a revolution coming in the Flyfishing Industry. People cannot continue to pay 500 to 600 dollars for a rod and 450+ for reels. There is just not an endless supply of folks that can afford that. This is where there is the shift in the industry as some manufacturers recognizrd people will not pay these charges anymore. I know that St. Croix, Redington and others have come out with very good rods, etc...at a better price point for most folks.
Now, here is my personal spin........there is in most cases a difference between rods. I like TandT's and feel for me, the feel the most comfortable for my casting style. The warranty is important, also.
As far as reels go, I think there is a much grayer area.
Is the Redington reels as good as Abels and Tibors ?? If you want to go thru and rip apart the reels you probably see the differences. In the big picture, most likely a $175 reel will perform comparibly with a $550 reel.
End result is to buy the best equipment you can afford and know that it "may" have some limitations. Remember that the equipment is only part of the experience !
Great perspectives John, I really hope the price points come down soon. I suppose I will always lust after the high end no matter what happens.
One plug: if you haven't already cast the Sage DS2 10wt, try it at the show. It's one of the few 10wt's you could cast for 8-12 hours without requiring rehab afterwards. People notice right away that the 9wt DS2 feels much lighter than some of the stiffer and heavier 9wt's out there, but no one disagrees that it is perfectly matched with the 9wt line. For additional lifting power on boats or for heavier setups, the 10wt DS2 is a great deal for the money at just over $200.