Originally Posted by coldbrook
just curious what your opinion is when shopping for a new rod:
- do you find fly rods generally too expensive?
- is location of the manufacturer important to you?
- would you try a new brand of rod, and if so, what would compel you to try a new brand?
- would you purchase a rod online?
- what is your number one complaint about fly rods in your experience?
I am thinking of buying a new rod, and generally find the prices very high, so am considering buying one online, maybe a brand I've never heard of. any info is appreciated!
I am also interested long term in getting into rod building...
do you feel there are a shortage of brand choices, or is the market flooded?
thanks for any info guys!
When I first got into fly fishing I did find rods too expensive and to some extent I think some of them still are. I have found ways around that though and have become somewhat accustomed to prices. An example is the Z Axis, I have a 5 wt which I love and I paid full price for it from a local shop. Now they are being discontinued and on sale. So buying another Z online has little risk to me. In fact, I picked up 2 BIIX rods from Winston online because the local shops did not have what I was looking for--but again, I was familiar with the rod. When I ordered online, I patronized smaller fly shops. If I'm ordering gear online, I try and make my purchases from specialty fly shops and avoid the big box stores when possible. Too many specialty retailers are falling to the big box stores to suit my taste.
Experience with a manufacturer and a rod line is important, if you have that either from a past purchase, trying a buddy's rod, using a guide's rod, etc then I'll buy online if I can't find it locally or if I can get a significantly better price online. With that said, I think going to your local fly shop if you have one nearby is your best bet. You can test cast a bunch of rods, get advice and service after the fact is important. The good fly shops I know of will take care of you if you have a problem, and that is important. I have purchased brands that I've not had experienced with previously and have been thrilled with some, others not so much. I've pretty much always been a Sage guy, but upon discovering Winston, I have a 2nd brand that I treasure.
Place of manufacturing has some significance but isn't a huge factor for me, although I probably prefer US made gear when possible. I take into account performance, hardware, price and my budget when making a rod purchase. It just so happens that my two favorite rod manufacturers produce rods here Sage and Winston.
Warranty system does inflate prices, but if you find that special rod that you just love having a warranty to replace or repair that rod can come in very handy. Have heard wonderful things about Sage for example making new sections of long since discontinued rods for some folks, whereas if you got one made overseas, you might get a replacement rod. I guess there's good and bad with both and it's kind of a personal choice. I just know that if something happened to a rod that I found special, I'd rather have it repaired and be able to continue to use it than have it replaced by some newer version of the rod. Just my 2 cents.
Bottom line, buy the rod that best suits your taste, fishing application and budget. Then go out and fish!