Originally Posted by williamhj
Initially it is trade offs between Price and Quality. This is followed by design/appearance. Things like warranty and customer service become more important as the price rises.
IMHO I believe that William has expressed it short and simple. I am of the same opinion that price & quality are more important than anything else. Where gear is produced, especially fly rods, is not as important. I see attractive looking gear at both ends of the spectrum but quality will show over the long haul so I generally pay a little more for quality regardless of origin. When I look at three of the top three rods that I have, Hardy Zenith, is made in Korea, Kabuto, (Japan) and Sage ZXL (US). I have to admit, when it comes to reels, I have an addiction to vintage Hardy and very fond of my Waterworks Lamsons.