Re: Aleka and Allen rods
I have cast Allen rods alongside Helios(es?) and Sage Ones and found the comparison to be pretty favorable for Allen products. While I'm certainly not suggesting that the Helios and One were worse, I found that the gulf between far more expensive rods and the Allen product was far narrower than would be expected given the difference in price. The Helios and the One are both awesome products and have technology and materials that match their price, but given the fact that an entire Allen set-up could be had with hundreds of dollars to spare for the price of one of the high end rods, its surprising how well the Allen rods compare.
Unfortunately I cannot weigh on regarding Aleka's products, but I can speak volumes for the Allen product as well as their customer service and warranty.
Working out a way to convince my university to allow me to hold my TA office hours on the nearby creek...