I cast a few of them at a show 4 years ago. They are made somewhere in Asia and claimed that they b=made the blanks for many more well know rod companies. I thought they cast pretty well for the $. There a so many good choices out there. St.Croix makes godd rods and has a good warrenty (insurance).
You might not notice the differences at first but eventually you will. More important at the beginning is where you buy the rod. If you don't have a local shop, buy online (OR FROM ONE OF OUR SPONSORS
), but if there is a close shop, I would buy what ever they have in your budget, and take advantage of the information they have to offer. many good shops have casting clinics, and this is one way to really shorten the learning curve.