11-20-2005, 08:06 PM
This summer, I returned to fly fishing, after a brief 35-year layoff. Things had changed. Got a used Clearwater 865 and a SA System 2 56L reel. Had fun.
Now, looking for a travel rod (5 or 6 wt) that I can haul around in the truck. I realize that the accepted wisdom is to "try them on for size" before buying. While I hope to do that, I am 2 hours from the closest credible fly shop. I am hoping for some input on "economy" travel rods.
I have a smorgasboard in front of me and would like to narrow the options down before I depart for my "demo tour". I am considering (based of general reputation): Redington Wayfarer; St. Croix Imperial or Avid; Orvis Clearwater; TFO Signature Pro, and a Winston Ibis.
Any help winnowing this list down would be appreciated. And, I shudder to mention, if I am missing a good bet, please let me know.
11-21-2005, 12:18 AM
First of all, welcome to the board, and welcome back to fly fishing! In your "brief layoff" things have changed a lot. ;) I've only been fly fishing for 17 years or so, but even in that brief time, I've seen things change immensely.
The Wayfarer has an excellent reputation and I don't think you can go wrong with choosing it. Similarly, St Croix rods are great so you can't go wrong with one of those either. St Croix has just discontinued the Imperial and replaced it with the Reign so you may be able to get a great deal on one of the Imperials. Since you don't have a fly shop near you, I'd take a look at eBay for the rod since it's probably the best place to get the most rod for your money.
There's been a lot of hype around TFO rods lately but I'm not really sure if they're any better than St Croix or Redington. They spend a lot on advertising so I have to wonder if that takes away from the rods. But like I said, they've gotten a lot of hype lately and a lot of people swear by them.
In the end, if I couldn't cast the rod before buying it, I'd get a St Croix. That'll be my next rod.
11-23-2005, 05:23 PM
I would second Teflon's recommendation for the St. Croix rods. The Premier, Imperial and Avid 4-piece rods are so pleasant to cast, they're an easy recommendation. I bought a Premier 4 piece as a gift for a friend, and decided to cast it myself - I was very pleasantly surprised, especially given I paid only $100 for it. I was very impressed with how easily it casted, even though I'd never had one in my hand before. I feel all the St. Croix rods are great casters, the difference is a little better finish for each step up in price. One more plug, the St. Croix Legend Ultra is a fantastic rod for the price of around $300. But you can get one on ebay for around $200-$250. The finish and casting performance is top rate. Be sure to get one with a warranty though! BTW, any of the rods you mentioned as possibilities are fine choices. The Ibis, though discontinued, can be had on ebay for about $200. The finish on that rod, though not flashy, is amazing for the price and they cast with authority. They are rated as a "fast" rod but are more like a medium fast action to me. One more thing - WARRANTY- St Croix's and Orvis have extremely good warranty service. If you break a rod you will be needing a good warranty. Good luck in your quest!
Zugbugz - Arizona