Re: Don't need the latest...
I work in the business, and I tend to gravitate towards three major brands of rods. If a company has a rod available, I can get my hands on it. I have the latest and greatest. For my quicker stroke (med/fast to fast), the newer rods cast better with less effort. I enjoy quicker rods that offer better tippet protection than those from years past. If newer technology makes me enjoy fishing more, I'm all for it.
With that said, I still enjoy my 8'3" 3 weight rod that I got in 2004 and an 8'8" 10 weight from 2005. The current rods in those categories haven't showed significant improvement for me to justify new purchases (yet).