: Merry Xmas to me...which rod?
12-15-2005, 03:03 PM
I am in the extremely lucky position in which my wife wants to buy me a top-end rod as a gift for xmas. I have a couple of medium grade rods (Orvis TLS 5wt mid-flex, Sage VPS Light 8 wt) that I love dearly, and I would like to add to my small collection. I have read a great many posts from this site (and a couple others), and it would seem to me that a lot of people dont really believe that a $600 price tag is worth it. There are plenty of rods that are truly wonderful for $300 or less, especially St Croix and Temple Fork. I can pick up a $600 rod and feel a difference to a point, but that is just casting in a grass field and not actually fishing with it. None of my friends have these nicer rods, either, or I would have borrowed one. Besides finish (shiny pretty colors) can someone tell me what the difference would be? I dont mean to sound naive, I have only been flyfishing for 8 years. I am lucky enough to have this opprotunity (probably because I dont have children...yet) and I would like to take it. On the other hand I could use that money to go fishing somewhere I dont usually go. Any ideas or thoughts? Thanks for reading...
Only my opinion:
There are as many different actions among high end rods as there are between high end and med or low end rods. They all have their own personalities. As a general rule, the lesser priced rods are manufacturered from lower modulus graphite and as a result are heavier and generate less line speed, for a given amount of effort, than their more pricier cousins (some imports excepted). I think the price is worth it if you choose the "correct" action for you. You will hear that a good caster can adjust to any rod. That is true, but they still have their favorites and their other rods do not see the light of day as often. I have five 9wt rods and my least favorite is the Scott STS - my favorite is the Winston BIIX. Two hi end rods that are worlds apart - in my opinion. I am sure others would opine the reverse.
If you are interested in a salt water rod, try the 9wt BIIX - not the 8 or 10. Not everyone likes the smallish cork grip, and I would like a longer fighting butt. And, the corks ability to stay glued together is not the best. But the blank is wonderful.
Find a dealer that sells Winston, Sage and T&T and try the 9wts, BIIX, TCR, Xi2 and Horizon.
12-16-2005, 08:08 AM
There are alot of good rods out there that will match ANY budget. And there are quite a few top dollar rods that are truly vile. Now, one man's pig is another man's wife, so when it comes to top dollar rods, the only thing you can be certain of is that the maker put in their best effort.
You will have to cast as many as you can, and see if you like the way they cast. If you don't live near a good flyshop, call one of our sponsors and see if they would send you demos or buy a few cast them, and return the ones that you didn't like.
There is a difference between every rod. Only your budget and priorities will dictate if a more expensive rod is worth the difference.
12-16-2005, 09:28 AM
I am looking at another 5 wt, and the Winston BIIx was one of the three. I am looking for a faster action compared to my Orvis TLS...the Sage x2 and a Scott are the other contenders. A large Orvis store just opened in my area, and the other fly shops in the area have not done well. One closed (he was an Orvis affiliate) and the other just seemed to let their stock run out. I am looking for a place where I can play with all three of these, but that seems to be rather difficult in central VA. I love well made things (cc filson is some of my favorite clothing) but I have to be able to use it to its full potential, not just appreciate asthetics. BTW, I have never heard the the thing about pigs and wives...I know a different version...my wife didnt laugh though...
12-16-2005, 04:11 PM
How far are you from Alexandria? or is it Arlington? The Angler's Lie carries all the rods you are looking for (Scott, Sage, Loomis and Winston). They are good folks and it might be worth the drive...
I would look at the Sage XP and the Loomis GLX (black blank) if you are looking at that particular Winston. Cast as many as you can. You won't be sorry you did.
You are keeping us in the dark re fishery you are interested in. If you can move to a 6wt - the Sage TCR is great for small stripers, red fish, etc. Too stiff for trout.
12-18-2005, 11:03 AM
I am looking for that #1 go-to rod...throwing dries at Mossy Creek or even some James River Shad when the time is right. I have that Sage 8 wt for the big stuff, so this would be filling as many gaps in the lower end as possible. This would also be my travel rod for Pennsylvania and Maine for whatever I could fish...I saw the ad for the Anglers Lie on the Winston website. I try to avoid going to Northern Virginia whenever possible (even tho my parents live there) just because the traffic is so awful. Ihave found Murrays Fly Shop in Edinburg, VA that is not far from some pretty good winter water. I may just have to make a day of it..
12-18-2005, 12:50 PM
murray's just may be your best bet. i have only been there once a few years ago, but it was memorable. murray is a renowned author and extremely knowledgble fly fisherman particularly on the shenandoah. more importantly, the shop is well stocked and murray will spend a good deal of time with you in helping you select what is best for you. and the area is a great place for fishing.
12-18-2005, 02:09 PM
Just talking on the phone with fly shops (Harry Murray included) it would seem as though everyone absolutely loves the Winston BIIx, and Scott G2 is worth a cast or two. It has a good range.
12-18-2005, 07:57 PM
if you get the chance, feel the Thomas&Thomas Helix too, its a fast rod without being stiff, the best rod i felt in years, its my #5 to go where ever i go
12-19-2005, 05:19 PM
I cant find anyone in Central VA that carries the T and T. I did make it to Anglers Lie today (great shop...very helpful people) and discovered that the Winston action is just a tad slow for my ideaof an all around rod. I tried the Sage XP, which was way too stiff. The Sage SLT was just about right, and I almost got it except I would really like to throw a Scott around. Some people are saying Scott rods are having financial problems and I should stay away...but that may just be a ploy to buy a Sage. I think the Scott X3 is last on my list to try.