Re: How important is rod/reel balance?
This depends...what are you balancing it on?
All kidding aside, I like to have the reel balance out the rod right about the end of the cork (by the winding check). I've been known to buy reels, find that they don't balance the rod where I want it and sell it....but, I'm not obsessive about it or anything.
As Ard says, there are many opinions. To me, if I'm slinging line all day, a decent balance makes a difference.
It's not the heat, it's the stupidity.
What manner of jackassery will I be subjected to today?