Re: TFO BVK 8 ft 3 wt, and the conversion kit
Here are my opinions of the rod. Since we all have different needs, skills, and likes, it's just my impressions.
TFO sent me out the BVK 3wt with conversion to test and I fished it over the winter. For the price, it's an outstanding rod. I was able to put line out with fair accuracy, and liked the mending capability.
The weight of the rod was light in the hand and the swing weight was comfortable as well. Rod tip sensitivity was good and offered nice tippet protection on a few larger fish I hooked into.
Fit and finish was tight, though I did noticed a couple of bubbles in the wraps.
The conversion kit, to me, was pointless. It made the rod heavy and cost it some of the 'feel' that made the rod shine to begin with. I think they should have lost the fighting butt and stayed with a traditional reel seat for the extension. That would have made for a nicer nymph set up.
Quasi-related--- They sent a BVK reel as well. I had difficulty getting the thing to seat and once on, it was not balanced well. I have no idea what line they spooled it with, so I cannot give judgment there.
I slapped on a Lamson Konic (which I figured was a good price point reel for this rod) lined with Rio Gold WF 3wt, and was very pleased at the result.
So, for $225, you get quite a bit of performance. It's ridiculous to compare it to a Sage because it's not. It does not try to be, either. What it is is a very affordable offering from TFO and it represents a commitment by them to offer as much bang for the $$ as possible. I would recommend it to anyone looking to get a 3wt rod on a budget.
I fish, therefore, I drink...