RE:The price performance balancing point
Juro and Gang,
My feeling is that there is a revolution coming in the Flyfishing Industry. People cannot continue to pay 500 to 600 dollars for a rod and 450+ for reels. There is just not an endless supply of folks that can afford that. This is where there is the shift in the industry as some manufacturers recognizrd people will not pay these charges anymore. I know that St. Croix, Redington and others have come out with very good rods, etc...at a better price point for most folks.
Now, here is my personal spin........there is in most cases a difference between rods. I like TandT's and feel for me, the feel the most comfortable for my casting style. The warranty is important, also.
As far as reels go, I think there is a much grayer area.
Is the Redington reels as good as Abels and Tibors ?? If you want to go thru and rip apart the reels you probably see the differences. In the big picture, most likely a $175 reel will perform comparibly with a $550 reel.
End result is to buy the best equipment you can afford and know that it "may" have some limitations. Remember that the equipment is only part of the experience !