"Bang for My Buck" Fly Rod ....Advice Needed [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: "Bang for My Buck" Fly Rod ....Advice Needed


Maineguy
04-04-2006, 10:50 AM
I currently have a Loomis IMX that was custom built for me about 8 years ago and I want to add another rod to my arsenal. I realize that fly rods have changed a lot in 8 years and that there are many excellent rods under $200.00 today and I don't see the need to go beyond $200.00.
I would appreciate advice from experienced fly fishers who know the current rod market and technology as to which manufacturers make high quality fly rods at Toyota Camry prices and quality. I live and fish in Maine for trout and landlocked salmon in small/medium rivers and mostly fish nymphs.

BigDave
04-04-2006, 11:29 AM
The term "high quality" is relative...

If quality components/cork/etc are important to you, you probably won't find them for under $200.

If a functioning tool for nymph fishing is what you're after take a look at the TFO pro Series, Powell TiMax or St. Croix lineup.

baldmountain
04-04-2006, 11:34 AM
For new rods I don't think you can beat a TFO, (Temple Forks Outfitters), rod for the money. All of their rods are < $200 with the exception of their 2 handed rods which are $249. (I have one of their 2 handed rods and think it is a great value.)

I'd like to try a rod from Echo but none of the dealers around here carry them.

One other possibility is to look on the closeout rack. My current 4 wt rod is a Scott A2 that I got on closeout for just a bit over a $100. Fishes great and has become my favorite rod.

Adrian
04-04-2006, 01:00 PM
I second the TFO recommendation, they are great rods and since Left got involved the quality of the fittings has improved.

The IMX was a great blank though and probably a bit livelier in the action that the IM6 based TFOs.

As always, test cast a few before you part with hard earned $.

FishHawk
04-04-2006, 01:55 PM
Another vote for the TFO even though I don't own one. Are you on the Winston board? FishHawk:smokin:

jfbasser
04-04-2006, 01:56 PM
The New Jim Teeny TFOs are at your price point..

Maineguy
04-04-2006, 09:03 PM
Thanks for all of your responses and suggestions! There are 3 stores here in Maine that carry the TFO's and I will check them out. Also, what do you folks think of Cortland, St Croix, Reddington, and Diamondback rods in the $200.00 price range? Also, I've noticed that a fair number of manufacturers are selling 3 and 4 piece rods. What's the scoop? I'm still from the old school that says a 2 piece rod is still a better casting rod.

Dble Haul
04-04-2006, 09:09 PM
I have a few St. Croix rods in that price range in the 8 weight size and am quite pleased with them. They are two piece rods (which I prefer).

Most of the rods I own are two piece, but to be truthful the three and four piece rods made with today's technologies really don't cast too differently. The multiple piece rods are handy for travel, and that's their real advantage to me.

nmbrowncom
04-05-2006, 06:27 AM
i'm one of the few that are thoroughly unipressed with the tfo, except for their marketting ability. but like i said, i'm in the minority. that said, you may want to look at a st croix. they're moderately priced, have a great reputation, come in many configurations,lengths,and actions and made in america. you also may want to look at loon outdoor's new rod offerings. look on their web site loonoutdoor.com. they have only a few sizes but they're all for trout 3-6 weight i believe and numerous lengths.-either medium or medium fast action, and priced around $250.. i purchased their 3 weight 10' nymphing rod ($220)but have not recieced it yet. i will fish it next week on the farmington and i'll write a review.

seuss
04-07-2006, 06:19 PM
Echo is another option.

Spock
04-08-2006, 08:47 AM
Get the SAGE Launch it has one of the highest ratings of any rod under 200.00

juro
04-08-2006, 09:03 AM
Get the SAGE Launch it has one of the highest ratings of any rod under 200.00

I cast them recently (winter shows) and found them to have a very nice action, as would be expected from something Jerry Siem oversees. Manufacturing is overseas like the other brands to get the cost down but the mandrels probably came from Bainbridge Island (not confirmed).

Best bang for buck?

For me it's a used RPL.

.02

Smolt
04-08-2006, 12:26 PM
I agree with Juro that a used RPL, especially the 9-ft 5-wt, is a great rod. However, you will have to be lucky to pick one up for under $200. My recommendation, in addition to already mentioned Powell TiMax, is to try the Albright A-5 rods. I have a 6-wt and love it matched with the Cortland Peach WF6F line.

gimmefish
04-08-2006, 12:34 PM
TFO rods are good rods, and you wouldn't go wrong, but some other options:

sage FLi series: i love em. a little bit pricier, but worth it over the launch series.
cabela's LST series: i like em better than TFO rods. one of the best budget rods out there IMO.

juro
04-08-2006, 12:46 PM
I would recommend against buying from Cabelas and other warehouse stores because they don't keep a model in production for more than one catalog printing it seems. You don't want to be stuck with a rod that their own help desk never heard of even if they pretend to know a thing or two about FF (and they don't).

Toyota Camry is a well established value and reliable and proven. There's a used RPL with a "buy it now" price of $150 on ebay right now...

baldmountain
04-08-2006, 04:39 PM
Toyota Camry is a well established value and reliable and proven. There's a used RPL with a "buy it now" price of $150 on ebay right now...

Man, you love those RPL rods don't you?

I already have a servicable 4 wt. Now if it was a 6 wt I might consider making a bid... :eek:

fullflex6425
04-08-2006, 09:43 PM
not to start a peeing match in here but he asked current models not old ones

bonefishmon
04-09-2006, 06:07 AM
Call Bean's factory outlet in Freeport since you live in Maine. The Double L has and will be around for a long time and they often end up on the used rack at the outlet. I bought a 4 weight there for $140 and love it to death. Loomis rods also appear from time to time as well as Sage. And they honor their return and warranty policies.

Phil

juro
04-09-2006, 08:18 AM
Phil's recommendation is a damn good one with one caveat - the Double L has been like the rock band "Duke and the Drivers" which as kids we discovered was playing in several clubs on the same night - you never know who's behind the name.

What I mean is, I had a Double L that was a Sage RPL (other than dressing) and it was one of the best bang for buck rod I'd owned. I lent it to a regional sales exec after a strategy meeting in the keys and he shipped it without insurance, and of course the shipper lost it en route. I got what I paid for it but I could not replace it with the same model - the Double L had become a different rod in the meantime. I've heard of 2-3 other commissioned manufacturers since I bought that rod (including Loomis) and that's just from "loose lips" in the know back when I was working in Maine at BIW.

So although I wholeheartedly agree that the Double L (is/was/will be) a great choice especially in a factory outlet price (read: discontinued or returned) the caveat is you don't really know what you're getting.

However if you love the rod, as I loved my Double LL, and with the exceptional service Bean offers that's all that matters I guess!

Aside from all that, when you can find a rod at the Bean outlet it's a good bang for buck as Phil points out, give that a try for sure.

zugbugz
04-14-2006, 09:01 PM
First of all, let me say that I support local fly shops, although if a good deal comes along, I will definitely buy online if need be! That said, Cabelas currently has BRAND new Sage VPS rods from around $160 to $200 (down from $340-400) in two piece and 4 piece models. These are proven rods and cast beautifully under most any conditions, and heaven only knows why Sage discontinued them. I know you can't cast them at Cabelas...unless of course you have one nearby and by some stroke of luck they have a place to practice cast (not likely)...so I can only give you my honest recommendation. The VPS was a more economical 'evolution' of the older RPL. I can also give you a high recommendation for the Fli, which is simply a superior rod at a bargain price. It has a slightly faster action than the VPS. When you buy Sage, you are buying American, IF that matters to you. It does to me. The same cannot be said for TFO or Cabelas, although they are probably fine rods. I own two VPS rods and one Fli and love them all.

Good luck in your quest!:wink:

Don

Zugbugz - Arizona

juro
04-14-2006, 09:11 PM
The Sage Fli is made overseas BTW.

zugbugz
04-18-2006, 03:19 PM
Thinking that things MIGHT have changed and that I might be "behind the power curve" since I purchased my FLi rod, I contacted Sage to get the answer straight from the "horse's mouth" as to whether their Launch and FLi rods were made overseas...here is the answer I received from Sage:

"Don,

Thanks for the inquiry. We are proud of the fact that 100% of Sage rods are produced on Bainbridge Island, WA. We are always amazed by the rumors that claim otherwise, please spread the word that we are 100% Bainbridge.

Regards,

Team Sage"

Zugbugz - Arizona

juro
04-18-2006, 03:34 PM
Serves me right for listening to the rumor mill.

"Team Sage" will also tell you by my warranty card collection that I have been a dedicated Sage owner for decades, and that I own more than I care to reveal in public.

However I do not share the opinion that buying domestic flyfishing gear will in any way influence global trade. I like and continue to purchase English, Scottish, Swedish, Norwegian, Canadian, Asian, French and even Australian products for flyfishing.

Go to the General Motors webpage and the first thing they brag about is that GM cars are built in 26 countries worldwide. Fly gear is not even on the radar.

IMHO what hurts the trade is buying on-line and bypassing the local flyshop. There are less products I buy on line that I can count on one hand, and I have to say I burn my way thru a lot of SKUs.

Thanks for clarifying.

baldmountain
04-18-2006, 03:42 PM
Fly gear is not even on the radar.

But if you are willing to buy overseas produced fly gear what else will you buy? Where is the line?

On the other hand who cares? Who's kids are dreaming of growing up to work on an assembly line? I've worked on assembly lines and it motivated me to work damn hard in school so I wouldn't have to ever again. As far as I'm concerned send all the nasty manufacturing jobs overseas. Especially the ones that require using toxic chemicals. Let them die of lung cancer at an early age.

juro
04-18-2006, 03:48 PM
Where is the line?

I only know where it ain't. Flyfishing.

Or food. Don't tell me - you buy only domestic food, right?

Clothing, which every human wears - but what percentage flyfish?

Electronics - where is your TV, phone, radio, computer made? Components you are using to type this were not made in the US sorry to say.

How about fossil fuel? Now that's HUGE.

I am buying hybrid next. Anyone else?

zugbugz
04-18-2006, 03:55 PM
Juro, that's OK...anyway, buying from local fly shops is always good advice, but if there is a deal to be had online and its not going to happen with the local shop, you can bet I will buy it online. That's just me...you're entitled to your opinion and its a free country...do as you like! The fellow wanted advice, and I gave him mine, you gave him (and me) yours. Everyone else will chime in and add to the mix...its great isn't it?:)

Don

Zugbugz - Arizona

baldmountain
04-18-2006, 04:03 PM
I am buying hybrid next. Anyone else?

probably not. If I was serious about saving fuel I'd ride my bicycle.

The point I was trying to make is that people get caught up in a small aspect of this debate and don't see the usually MUCH larger picture. Whether we like to believe it or not the world is very interconnected. Problems in other parts of the world affect us in ways we don't expect. A fire in taiwan can cause the price of computer memory in the US to triple. If you really want to see how connected the world is try playing the stock market. Bizzare things happen and later you realize the market plummeted because of some random event in a foriegn country. It will drive you crazy.

Worrying about whether your fly rod is made in the US is just silly.

If you want to worry about something worry that our kids are more interested in looking phat than being able to do calculus.

zugbugz
04-18-2006, 04:20 PM
No worries! Hey I fully believe in buying what you want, no matter where it comes from. The debate over where to buy from could go on for years. No crusades here, just advice based on my preferences. Freedom is great, I'm free to give advice (within reason) and everyone is free to take or not take it. Didn't mean to cause a drift away from the topic of the thread, which is advice on buying a "bang for the buck" fly rod. IMHO, the Sage VPS and FLi fit that bill perfectly and that was what I recommended...I also like the fact these rods were built in the US, because I believe the US makes the best rods for the money...but that was not meant to turn into an economic debate. :eek:

Don

Zugbugz - Arizona

juro
04-18-2006, 06:10 PM
You said the key word... freedom. And I believe we should do what is right and meaningful to preserve freedom while at the same time enjoying it. I might have come across wrong as well, I am not trying to sound argumentative but I wanted to stand up for my perspective on it and I do respect yours and others perspectives even if I rebut.

Here is an interesting site - only quantifies US markets and FF is buried with music, books and all sporting goods but interesting just the same (in billions) Estimated US market sizes (http://www.bizstats.com/marketsizes.htm)

burk
05-18-2006, 12:12 AM
I disagree strongly with the assertion that it "dosen't matter where your rod is made". I work in the industry (Cortland Rep) and I market American, British, and Overseas rods. While you can purchase a fine rod made overseas in the under two hundred dollar price point and some of them are far better fishing tools then they were even five years ago. The research (field testing) and development that goes into domestic rods, along with the huge differences in quality control make me scratch my head every time I see someone drop 250 plus on an Asian Rod. Plus I prefer to support craftsmen at companies like Winston, Sage Diamondback,T and T, Scott,Loomis and Hardy. The people checking these rods are fisherman, many of the people building these rods are fisherman. I am willing to pay more for their experiences in the art of rod making. A good Fly rod is truly a work of art.

I came from the conventional tackle business. It is a business run by accountants and golfers. People who have very little passion for the sport and no understanding of what their customers need or want. If you watch the business you see a business that is becomming less and less profitable and more and more cookie cutter. Their are 6 factories in asia that produce just about every rod available by the name brands and private labels. You can walk into ten stores shake a hundred rods and not see any uniqueness or attention to detail. I pray that fly tackle never goes that route. Thats why I shudder when I see Orvis move production of 650$ fly reels to Indonesia. At Cortland we still have to check most of the Asian products and our rejection rate of that product is quite high. I see no evidence that the QC guys in China care about Fly Fishing. I'd rather buy a rod built by someone who cares.

juro
05-18-2006, 12:50 AM
But you're missing my point... the decisions by Orvis et al to move production overseas was not our decision, it was theirs and they made it because it's a global economy in which they compete.

Even the coveted US automotive industry brags about production in 33 countries (GM, homepage).

Toyota employs over 386,000 Americans and has invested over 13 billion dollars in US plants with an 11th plant being built as we speak. Do these domestic builders of cars care about what they build? I know guys who work at Toyota USA and I can tell you the answer is a resounding "YES". They love their jobs. One would have to conclude that Toyota is good for domestic welfare because this figure of 386k employees in the US division alone is 50,000 more Americans than the previously mentioned US automaker employs worldwide.

My point is that it's a global economy and something as insignificant as this, albeit a topic of great passion and emotion to some, is meaningless in the scope of it's own claims. If all 26,000 people who have touched this website bought only domestic flyrods, the world trade situation would not move a micron.

Furthermore if you are a rep then you would have to stop selling anything but domestic goods to be true to your convictions. I don't think that would work very well for you either.

I agree with the passion and devotion, I just don't think it's realistic or meaningful. If it is so meaningful to have American builders make the goods we buy because they care then I guess it gives me one more reason to love my Toyota truck.

.02

burk
05-18-2006, 08:50 AM
But you're missing my point... the decisions by Orvis et al to move production overseas was not our decision, it was theirs and they made it because it's a global economy in which they compete.

Even the coveted US automotive industry brags about production in 33 countries (GM, homepage).

Toyota employs over 386,000 Americans and has invested over 13 billion dollars in US plants with an 11th plant being built as we speak. Do these domestic builders of cars care about what they build? I know guys who work at Toyota USA and I can tell you the answer is a resounding "YES". They love their jobs. One would have to conclude that Toyota is good for domestic welfare because this figure of 386k employees in the US division alone is 50,000 more Americans than the previously mentioned US automaker employs worldwide.

My point is that it's a global economy and something as insignificant as this, albeit a topic of great passion and emotion to some, is meaningless in the scope of it's own claims. If all 26,000 people who have touched this website bought only domestic flyrods, the world trade situation would not move a micron.

Furthermore if you are a rep then you would have to stop selling anything but domestic goods to be true to your convictions. I don't think that would work very well for you either.

I agree with the passion and devotion, I just don't think it's realistic or meaningful. If it is so meaningful to have American builders make the goods we buy because they care then I guess it gives me one more reason to love my Toyota truck.

.02

Juro, I think your missing my point. I understand basic eccononmics. And I realize that even with pathetic quality control, the cost difference makes it almost impossible to build an under 200$ fly rod in the states profitably. But when you get up in the 300 plus range their are just too many fine craftsman who feel pasionantly about the sport to be supporting and asian product at that range. My Orvis comment is a classic example, 650$ fly reels made in Indonesia! Their is no way in the world you can convince me that their attention to detail, their QC is at the same level as Tibor, Abel, and Hardy. Their is only one reason a company goes overseas at those price points and it has nothing to do with passion for the sport. It's margin, and the differences when you look at quality don't justify the "savings" to the end user. It's not even close. At that level, individual craftsmenship, and passion for the sport produces innovation. And if all of the production moves overseas and all the new models are designed by accountants you'll be left with an industry that makes a bunch of pretty stuff, but it works like S***.

In the conventional tackle industry reels that have durability cost FIVE TIMES as much as they did ten years ago. Sure you can get a spinning reel with 8 BB but after you use it in the field for a year in all kinds of conditions, it feels like a coffe grinder. I drive a Nissan myself. But if I was looking for a car to feel passionate about it would be a Porsche not a toyota. And what I'm saying is that we are blessed with some great reel, rod designers, builders, WHO FLY FISH. When you go to the Chinese factories you see people building rods who don't even know what a reel seat is! If I can afford it,I'd rather by from the craftsmen every time.

As far as price point rods, I'm not a snob. I fish Cortland, D'back, Hardy and even an occasional Sage or Wiinston. They can all "do the job". And like I said before their are many fine fly rods for beginners or for occasional use situations under 200. And their are many fine fisherman who never move up. But every time I take a friend fishing whose been using one of those fine fly rods and I hand them one of my Hardy's or a D'back Classic trout for instance, the reaction I get it always the same, WOW. You can feel the difference, subjectively and objectivly. Their is nothing inherently wrong with an overseas 1-200$ fly rod, I think they are a great thing for getting people in the sport and for keeping some in the sport who don't have high disposable income. But when your ready to move up please buy a quality Rod built by someone who cares.

juro
05-18-2006, 09:07 AM
Thanks for the reply.

Just want to point out that just because I can't visualize the supposed huge impact of a non-domestic rod boycott doesn't mean I am not a gear snob. In fact I own and fish Sage, Thomas and Thomas, G. Loomis, etc. Just in Sage alone I have 7 rods from 5wt to Spey.

In fact the only Asian rods I own are CND Spey rods which are of highest quality and designed by master rod designer Nobuo Nodera who has almost four decades of rod design experience in several countries. He raised his kids in Scotland as a fulltime rod designer. His rods are technically superior than many for their purpose and intent and meticulously designed. In fact I designed the Atlantis with CND before I had to resign and get back to my day job for family reasons. I think they set a standard for their application and one reason is quality - check one out and see for yourself.

But here's a rub - let's talk about reels. If you put a Hardy on that rod, are you honoring your point? I am a Danielsson reel fan, for practical and aesthetic reasons... those Swedish machinists are something else. For the price they ask it's incredible what you get and you can't tell me those reels aren't made with the utmost care and design advantage as they are.

I guess what I am saying is despite my own preference for high end gear, and depsite the fact that all of my single hand rods are domestically made I don't embargo my gear choices but rather buy what suits me best or excites me most and that may be from the UK, Scandinavia, Canada, or Asia.

Invariably those choices are quality products, or I won't choose them. And I don't limit my access to quality because of country of origin in this global economy any more than I stay away from olive oil from Italy or wine from France which unlike flyrods, would actually influence world economy.

burk
05-18-2006, 09:20 AM
Also, I'm not sure the Japanese car analogy holds up. The Japenese started building cars with people who were passionate about automobiles, People like Ichoro Honda. And they built better cars then us for a long time. But the people on the line drove cars, the people who designed them were passionate. In many cases the builders used the end product and CARED about its quality.

But the Chinese rod building industry (at this point) is a totally different animal. Half of the time when the fly rods come off the line the Uncle Bucks crappie poles or the fly swatters get on the line. These are companies that are building graphite rods per the speck of someone else. In many cases they only communicate by email, and shipping the product back and forth for "in stage QC and product testing. And every out sourcing manager in the business can you about a load of reels that came in with the spools out of round or rods where the entire shipment was shipped with the handles on upside down.

I realize that their are some very fine fly rods (for the money) coming out of Asia, and its a great thing for the sport. I realize that many fly fisherman will buy one of those rods and be satisfied with it for their lifetime, cool. But when a company tries to tell me that their 150 asian wonder is superior or as good as a 800 Hardy or 600 winston I can only assume they haven't fished them for any period of time.

rogerstg
05-18-2006, 09:34 AM
I disagree strongly with the assertion that it "dosen't matter where your rod is made". I work in the industry (Cortland Rep) and I market American, British, and Overseas rods.

Um, you may need a geography lesson, Great Brittan is overseas too.

The research (field testing) and development that goes into domestic rods, along with the huge differences in quality control make me scratch my head every time I see someone drop 250 plus on an Asian Rod.

Painting all Asian quality with the same brush is akin to assuming the quality of every factory in North America, Central America, South America and Australia is the same. Asia is a very big place. Also, quality is a function of management. The shape of someone's eyes has nothing to do with it.

For example, Lefty Kreh and a bunch of other Americans are responsible for TFO's field testing and product development - your argument does not hold any water.

A good Fly rod is truly a work of art.

You can't be serious. The style of "off the shelf" fly rods for the last generation has been exactly the opposite. Monochrome thread wraps, cookie cutter grips, heck, you're lucky to find a rod with a couple trim wraps on the stripping guide. Forget chevrons or diamond wraps.

At Cortland we still have to check most of the Asian products and our rejection rate of that product is quite high. I see no evidence that the QC guys in China care about Fly Fishing.

Your QC issues are a function of Cortland management in the good ole USA. Your statement reflects a lack of management understanding. It's no wonder that Cortland fly rods have never been on the radar screen as a rod to consider.

I'd rather buy a rod built by someone who cares.

Unless you get to know someone building a rod you cannot know if people building rods care or not - you can just assume based on your personal preferences and biases. The only way to have a chance of getting a rod from someone that "cares" or is "art" is to use a custom builder that you've come to know. You can't get that in any production rod, no matter where it's made.

juro
05-18-2006, 10:18 AM
Also, I'm not sure the Japanese car analogy holds up. The Japenese started building cars with people who were passionate about automobiles, People like Ichoro Honda. And they built better cars then us for a long time. But the people on the line drove cars, the people who designed them were passionate. In many cases the builders used the end product and CARED about its quality.

Huh? Are you talking about passion or impact on the economy? 386000 people with or without passion verses how many individuals in the design room? Besides I am not sure whether it's passion or just short people with their eyes closer to the drawing board (joke from that movie, I can get away with that slur ;)) but the Japanese auto is a symbol of quality, reliability and they appear to have been designed with passion beyond their means although I have no knowledge of that directly. Only as a guy who can't believe that 166,000 miles later I haven't done anything of note to my Tundra. I can tell about other cars I've owned but we won't go there.


I realize that their are some very fine fly rods (for the money) coming out of Asia, and its a great thing for the sport. I realize that many fly fisherman will buy one of those rods and be satisfied with it for their lifetime, cool. But when a company tries to tell me that their 150 asian wonder is superior or as good as a 800 Hardy or 600 winston I can only assume they haven't fished them for any period of time.

Of course not! So why are American companies contracting them to provide rods? Who is to blame here, the consumer who chooses the rod or the corporation who chooses the supplier? We as a fishing community never demanded cheap foreign rods, that I can ever recall. We just choose from what is available as it fits our budget and tastes.

Adrian
05-18-2006, 12:08 PM
I was lucky enough to lunch at the House of Commons a couple of times in the past and an MP once said something quite astounding (at least for an MP:lildevl: ).

His comment was simply this;

"You get the Government you deserve".

This is actually true, although many people vehemently disagree when they first hear it, the implication of course being, "it can't possibly be my fault".

This could be amended slightly to "a consumer society gets the products it deserves".

The point being that all of the passion in the world won't make an iota of difference unless a large enough group of individuals mobilize and decide to take matters into their own hands. The consequences of such types of social discontinuity are well documented in the history books and not always pleasant for the "silent majority".

Collectively, we as consumers have the power to alter the fishing tackle industry in any direction we chose but it won't come about by debate.

An exaple of how things can change is well illustrated by an organization called CAMERA (Campaign for Real Ale). This relatively small group of wealthy individuals got together back in the 70s and managed to re-educate the beer drinking Britrish public into what the stuff is supposed to taste like. It took a bit of time but eventually the major breweries who had commoditized the industry into varieties of tasteless "chemical soup" were forced to get an board. The economic weapon can be powerful indeed for those smart enough and comitted enough to wield it.

So, for my $0.02 it really is up to us. (I think that's what Juro just said too)

Great debate:smokin:

baldmountain
05-18-2006, 12:14 PM
Actually I like to look at it from a different perspective. We Americans consider ourselves as a group the smartest and best in the world. But we can't figure out how to make a decent inexpensive reel. In fact we are so bad that it is cheaper to make a reel and ship it half way around the world than it is to make it next door. Rather than getting upset about people buying forgien products we should be ashamed that there is a market for these products at all.

The argument that they pay people in China $1 a day doesn't hold water. We are just too lazy to figure out how to make something that competes on price. I'm not willing to subsidize laziness just because the product says "Made in America". The only place we can compete is building reels that are more suitable for the aerospace industry than as fishing tackle.

Until the US is shamed into making something that compete in value I'll continue to buy TFO rods and Orvis reels. In my mind they are as good as anything else on the market and a much better value for the dollar...

burk
05-18-2006, 11:34 PM
Um, you may need a geography lesson, Great Brittan is overseas too.


Painting all Asian quality with the same brush is akin to assuming the quality of every factory in North America, Central America, South America and Australia is the same. Asia is a very big place. Also, quality is a function of management. The shape of someone's eyes has nothing to do with it.

For example, Lefty Kreh and a bunch of other Americans are responsible for TFO's field testing and product development - your argument does not hold any water.


You can't be serious. The style of "off the shelf" fly rods for the last generation has been exactly the opposite. Monochrome thread wraps, cookie cutter grips, heck, you're lucky to find a rod with a couple trim wraps on the stripping guide. Forget chevrons or diamond wraps.

Your QC issues are a function of Cortland management in the good ole USA. Your statement reflects a lack of management understanding. It's no wonder that Cortland fly rods have never been on the radar screen as a rod to consider.

Unless you get to know someone building a rod you cannot know if people building rods care or not - you can just assume based on your personal preferences and biases. The only way to have a chance of getting a rod from someone that "cares" or is "art" is to use a custom builder that you've come to know. You can't get that in any production rod, no matter where it's made.

#1 What is it about the internet that makes everybody think, they can insult people personally who they don't know from Adam? This obviously is not worth my time or energy. I trust that you would never conduct your self in person the way you have here.

#2 Their is a HUGE Difference between the level of workmanship fit and finish in products coming from Winston, Hardy, Sage, T and T and the other fine fly tackle makers who have craftsmen not 1.00 an hour day labour build their rods. If you can't see those differences or don't appreciate them thats OK. Thats why the market is loaded with some very good imported rods for under 200$

#3 I have never said TFO dosen't build a good rod, I have never said they don't offer excellent value. I caught a pile of Steelhead this spring on a Cortland rod, and a pile on a Hardy. They were both more then adaquit, but the differences in weight, balence and feel were huge.

#4 I know plenty of people within this industry and can assure that ALL of the companies that out scource rods from China have serious QC issues that they deal with. The better companies do a good job of catching it before it winds up in a consummers hand. The labor cost are so substantial that even a 50% rejction rate would still be more profittable then a domestic or European Union/Japanese rod.

#5 The title of this thread is "bang for the buck" and the low cost imports do indeed offer great bang for the buck.

#6 I never said that Orvis reels were junk. The Batinkill Bar stock in particular is an excellent value. What I said was I will never spend 650$ on one of their high end reels from Indonesia when companies like Tibor, Hardy, Abel just to name a few are building superior products in the same price range. IMHO

#7 As far as Cortlands place in the market, in the under 200 price point rods Cortland/D'back are number three or four in the entire Fly rod market depending on how you tabulate the numbers. In the under 200$ price point Cortland is VERY MUCH on the radar screen. If you overlooked them your overlooking some excellent values.

#8 I had a ball today catching Brookies on Sulphers in 43 degree weather with rain on the N. Branch of the Ausable. And I discovered my new favorite small stream fly rod. A Diamondback Bamboo (blank is made in China/ Rod is built and finished here), matched with a Hardy featherweight and Cortland Silk Line. The Best "bang for the buck" is being alone on a stream, and having nice fish rising around you. If you enjoy doing that with a Wal Mart special or a Winston Bamboo it's all cool!:D

juro
05-19-2006, 12:11 AM
I had a ball today catching Brookies on Sulphers in 43 degree weather with rain on the N. Branch of the Ausable. And I discovered my new favorite small stream fly rod. A Diamondback Bamboo (blank is made in China/ Rod is built and finished here), matched with a Hardy featherweight and Cortland Silk Line. The Best "bang for the buck" is being alone on a stream, and having nice fish rising around you. If you enjoy doing that with a Wal Mart special or a Winston Bamboo it's all cool!:D

Well said.

The bamboo sounds very interesting... I hope to have a look at one soon.

baldmountain
05-19-2006, 08:45 AM
#1 What is it about the internet that makes everybody think, they can insult people personally who they don't know from Adam?

Because the likelyhood of ever meeting you is zero so we can be a rude as we want with no repercussions. (Not that I agree. I'm usually very embarrassed when I realize I've been rude to someone on the internet.)

And I discovered my new favorite small stream fly rod. A Diamondback Bamboo (blank is made in China/ Rod is built and finished here), matched with a Hardy featherweight and Cortland Silk Line.

After all you said you are recommending a overseas built rod? Why not save some money and buy a bamboo rod made in the US? :Eyecrazy: The price on that rod is $650. I paid $400 for a handcrafted bamboo from Lee Orr of Vandalia Rodworks. (They have since raised the price to $500 for a single tip rod and $625 with 2 tips.) Lee hand makes the blanks himself and the fittings are all top notch. And you can even choose the taper of the blank yourself. If you'd prefer to wrap the rod yourself they will sell you a blank with a single tip and ferrels installed for $300.

or a Winston Bamboo it's all cool!:D

IIRC Winston isn't building bamboo rods anymore. But, I agree. :D

zugbugz
05-22-2006, 02:30 AM
Maineguy, I hope that somewhere in this thread you picked up some good advice on your original question...there's a lot of passion here!
If you haven't purchased a rod yet and like your IMX's (fast) action, I think you would be wise to check out the Sage FLi. It's got a nice fast action and though it's a bit more than the $200 price point, the quality is there and in my opinion it would be money well spent at around $260 for the 2-piece models and just under $300 for the 4-piece ones. The new St. Croix Avid rods are very, very nice too and are right at your price point for the 2-piece models and slightly over for the 4-piece models.

Good luck!:)

Don

Zugbugz - Arizona

oldfish
10-30-2006, 04:32 PM
you can't go wrong with either a TFO and a march brown travel rod! If you have to pick one fly rod, the mb travel fly rod will give you more flexibility down the road...

hmaadd
11-03-2006, 03:45 PM
Do you guys own TFO's that recomend them. I've owned 4 previously none now. Cork went bad on all and my 10 wt broke on a 15lb king. I don't recomend. sorrry stick with sage luanch winston ibis or other :tsk_tsk:

baldmountain
11-03-2006, 10:15 PM
Do you guys own TFO's that recomend them. I've owned 4 previously none now. Cork went bad on all and my 10 wt broke on a 15lb king. I don't recomend. sorrry stick with sage luanch winston ibis or other :tsk_tsk:

Actually, yes, I do own one. I think it is a great rod for the money.

Sage's are just too expensive...

Had a Loop rod snap on the 3rd or 4th cast so I'd stay away from them.

The Ibis isn't a bad rod. My only issue with the one I own is that someone bought the rod before me, sent in the warranty card and then returned it. Winston wouldn't warranty it since I was not the original owner. (Although they said they would if I could come up with a receipt listing the rod. But I'd gotten the rod as a Christmas gift from my wife and the receipt was no where to be found. They know me at the shop and I think they would have printed me a new receipt but it's too much trouble for a discontinued rod...)

Stan
11-05-2006, 10:07 AM
Do you guys own TFO's that recomend them. I've owned 4 previously none now. Cork went bad on all and my 10 wt broke on a 15lb king. I don't recomend. sorrry stick with sage luanch winston ibis or other :tsk_tsk:

I own a few TFO fly rods and they are all great and you can't beat it at that price.

I just can't believe you broke a 10 wt on a 15lb king. You must have been high sticking that fish.:tsk_tsk: I caught a few kings that were close to 30lbs on my TFO 9 wt with no problems at all.

hmaadd
11-06-2006, 08:45 AM
If I was high sticking must not know what it means. The guy at TFO told me I wasn't. I've got the whole fight on video. Watched several times and the subject of many a joke. TFO has a great customer service and a great casting rod, BUt I've had no luck with them and neither have my friends. I was using a pro series rod not the ticri think that does make a difference in quality. Must just be me.