GEARMAN (et. al) - todays best mid-range rod/reel combos?
Ironically rhymes well with 'beerman', hmmmmmmm........
I have a friend who is looking for a mid to upper end 9wt SWFF setup under $750 complete. He really liked my RPLXi but that would take the lion's share of the budget away from the reel...
This question is open to everyone BTW!
I would point him in the direction of the 1089 GL3. The best performing rod on the market for the dollar, hands down!!
Given that the rod is $300, he now has $425 to spend. Now he needs a Ross Canyon in either the 4 or the 5 thats it also around $300, maybe $350.
So in the best case scenario he has $125 to spend. Couldnt help him with the lines though although Rio does make a Saltwater Versi-tip system which run $125. And any shop you go to should throw in the backing at no charge with a rod and a reel purchase.
So now he is all set!!
Well......I'm just in from the Clapton concert at the Fleetcenter........not quite sober, but up to the task none the less.
I am particularly partial to the Ross Canyon #5, but, if we have a non-negotiable $750 ceiling I may have to deviate.
Here is my suggestion:
-L.L. Bean Orion 9' 3-pc 9wt. @ $310 (fast action rod)
-Redington Large Arbor AL 9/10 @ $205
-Redington Large Arbor AL 9/10 spare spool @ $105
-Airflo 7000Ts Saltwater clear int. @ $50
-Teeny Saltwater TS-350 sinking line @ $57
Total = $727 (that leaves $23 for the Rip Ryder)
Go for the 990rplxi which he already knows he really likes, and many of us can attest to being a great, sweet rod.
Buy an inexpensive orvis battenkill 10/11 reel for $135 to get through this year, and ask for a better (and specific!) reel for christmas.
I've even got a spare 10/11 spool that i'll mail for free if he wants it.
The 10/11 battenkill served me for years until it flew off the top of my truck with my 990rpl - yeah, i know, i actually always used to clamp it in the windshield wipers until i was ready to break it down, but not this time!
My only criticism of the battenkill is that in a crashing surf it gets sand in the little gear inside and can lock up on you at the moment a fish is trying to head for portugal - you furiously try dunking it in the water and forcing the rim to move, until the inevitable breakoff - this didn't happen a lot, but it does happen.
The sweetness and satisfaction of the rod, however, should override this temporary concern until a new reel fits into the budget, and if you're not standing in a crashing surf, it may never be a problem.
Coincidentally, I've already decided to recommend the RPLXi and have been thinking through reel options. I thought about the rod choices with a $750 budget and w/o a VPS (RPL) 9wt to choose from I was looking at the 10wt 9ft 4pc VPS (RPL), the 10wt DS2 (which is a sweet rod IMHO), but at a loss for that mid-upper bracket 9wt in the Sage line. The RPLXi is the way to go, and perhaps a Waterworks Velocity reel (conical delrin sealed drag / machined bar stock new for 2001). If he wants to upgrade the reel later, *I* will buy that reel used from him in a heartbeat w/ the unconditional lifetime guarantee and low likelihood of any corrosion or drag problems (it's the same drag as the litespeed Lamson).
Loomis, St.Croix, Redington, Scott, T&T, all have rods that are less than the RPLXi in cost and will combine with good reels; which I am going thru the process of evaluating.
Bob Pink swears by the rod he got from Phil Castleman, which would permit a high end reel.
I have several Lamson LP reels (5 to be exact) and could part with help pay for a new L/A. This would put him into the game in a good way financially.
Anyway thanks for the feedback, the plot thickens.
Rod: (why settle for anything less)
Rplxi 9x9 2-pc $525 (or 3-pc $580, 5-pc $600+ up to him) ;-)
Reel: (personal preferences apply)
Ross Canyon / Lamson LP4 / Orvis Battenkill LA / Lamson Velocity / Redington RS2 910 / SciAnglers SA2 89
Listed in the order by the reels he would most likely keep the longest before upgrading.
Whether he stays within or choosed to bump the budget will be up to him. I don't know the Bean or Cabela models so didn't recommend them although I know they offer some good solid deals.
He's not buying till the end of the month so if anyone finds a great deal the floor is still open. Thanks for the feedback.
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