Fly rod setups and brands
undefined Hey, this is my first post for this website, and I have read a lot of replies to other similar topics regarding a beginner setup. I have a Shakespeare 8.5' 5 wt. club right now that I have had decent luck with on small to larger streams. BUT, I am at the point I know there are better rods out there, that actually bend past the last three guides, and are light weight, etc... I have gotten very used to my rod now, after just maybe one full season, but, man, there are a ton of fly rods out there from names I've never seen to names I know I can't afford. Are there any brands to stay away from, or any suggestions from people that have been in the same situation? I can't really go over $200 for the rod, and I have found a lot in that range, I just don't want to get a rod and have to replace it or parts on it after a season or two. Does anyone have experience with the lowend G. Loomis setups, or the Lefty Kreh setups, or any other suggestions of brands that may not be the typical, Sage, St. Croix, Cortland, types I might run into. I like fishing spring creeks to larger rivers, and I am wanting to size my rod down to a 4 wt. 3-4 piece, because I like backpacking and do a lot of that as well. As mentioned, I have a club for lakes, and larger rivers out here. Any suggestions or help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
Welcome to the forum! You'll find out that there are a lot of helpful people on this site. I'm pretty new to flyfishing too, so I guess I can't really include myself in this group of people! :chuckle:
I recently purchased a new 8 1/2' ---5 weight St. Croix Avid combo from Cabelas($300), which includes the Cabelas LSR reel (a lightweight machined aluminum reel) , Scientific Anglers GPX fly line (premium line--$59.95), and a cordura-covered rod case--AND also a lifetime warranty. The rod, when purchased alone, costs $190.
I've only been out fishing once with this new set-up....Had a lot of fun, but didn't catch anything. The one thing that stuck out to me the most was the rod's light weight and balance. The rod is VERY lightweight, especially when compared to the cheap dept. store combos, and balances very well when matched with the LSR reel. It doesn't have that whippy feel and the "forward-weight" (if that makes sense) of cheaply made rods.
There are several other rods in this price range out there--low-end Sage, G. Loomis, etc. The St. Croix is the my first "real" fly rod, so it's the only one I've had any experience with. You'll be able to tell a big difference with ANY of the rods you mentioned!
Good luck in your search!
The good news is that there really isn't a bad single hand 3-4 wt rod in the $200.00 price range. Granted rods in this price range don't have the cosmetics of high end rods and don't have the engineering of the high end ones; but unless a person has been fly fishing for several years and has the skill to get the most out or the high end rods, he isn't really going to be able to get everything out of the high end rod anyway.
Take your pick of brand in the $200.00 range because all of them are good rods. I would recommend you seriously consider staying with a 5 wt though because you mentioned you will be using it on larger rivers as well as smaller spring creeks. The 5 wt will make casting longer on the larger rivers easier. And personally, I'd get rid of the Shakespeare after you get the new rod because you are going to find yourself not using it anyway.
The "low end" Loomis rods are really pretty much the old Loomis blanks the company made when it got started up back in the early 80's. They are very good rods and at one time were considered to one of the best available. They even sold for pretty much the same price then and they are being sold for now, which makes them a good value. The Lefty Krey TFO rods are a new design made in Korea and they are also very nice rods. The cosmetics are not the best, but they are very good casting rods and a great value.
I can't emphasize enough that you really ought to go to a fly shop or two and test cast several of the rod brands you are interested in. This way you will get a rod with an action that suits you best and you will be better off and happier in the long run as a result.
For your price range I highly recommend the Temple Forks Outfitter TiCr x. You will not find a better performing rod at any price. I wish I would have known about these rods before I spent thousands (literally) on my single handed arsenal. They cast absoloutly wonderfully and you will be satisfied. The fit and finish and components are equal to the high end manufacturers and you get a unconditional lifetime warranty (costs $25 if/when you break a rod). Mike at the Red Shed Fly Shop (www.redshedflyshop.com) is a site sponsor and offers the best customer service in the business. Send him an e mail and take one for a test drive.
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