Originally Posted by Sep
Furnacefella's point about price range is interesting. My thought is that I use a big rod somewhat seldom so don't wish to drop $800 on one, but, at the same time, I believe you can get away with a cheaper small rod easier than with a cheaper big rod. Throwing the big boys will flat wear you out so using a better rod translates to a more pronounced improvement at +8wt, IMHO.
For the big guns, the Link seems like a great compromise of price and performance - not that I'm in any way suggesting that the performance isn't top-notch.
I think we are in agreement here. In the 7+ wt range I think the Link would be an excellent choice.
My point was more directed at the so important 5 wt. arena that seems to make or break a fly rod. With Sage, G Loomis, Orvis and alike offering some very nice mid-priced rods in the 3-5 hundred range I would think Redington would be wise to try and avoid that price point. The brand names are just stronger and if all things are equal most would rather have Sage written on their rod rather than Redington.
On the other hand, the TFOs, St Croixs, and Echos of the world are offering some very impressive rods at a lower price point. I wouldn't want to be drifting too far north of their pricing without offering a noticeable quality difference.
IMO Sage should focus on the high end gear and Redington should be dominating the low end. I say this just from a marketing standpoint however and in no way am I suggesting the Link rod is not worth the asking price.
I am in the same boat as you when it comes to the heavier rods. I fish mostly trout, but once in a blue moon I like to fish big pike and Walleye. There is no way I am dropping $800 on a rod I may use a couple times a season and would consider the Link rod a top contender.
In fact, I know of one guy that after a couple of trips to Cuba was left holding an $800 Sage Xi2 8 wt. that he had absolutely no use for. He ended up selling it on a local internet site for $150.
The only happy part of the story is that it now sits in my closet.