I know the title sounds like a contradiction, but here it goes:
I just came back from a great day in the catskills where I had fish hammering my dries all day (thanks to a wonderful guide, since the day before on my own I had a few short strikes on a nymph and not much else).
Anyway, those fish included two photo-worthy "trophy" type fish (one brown and one rainbow). This is a big river with strong wild fish only so it was quite a battle.
I had what I thought was a good set-up, a sage vantage rod (an example of what I call "Economical Premium") and a ross flycast reel.
Long story short, the big brown fought like crazy (longest fish fight of my life ending with me falling out of the drift boat
, losing my cigar but keeping the fish!). Any, this fish took my boat downstream about 60 yards and went pretty close to my backing and the reel was a disaster, the drag was jerky and the spool was wobbely. The big 'bow was only a little worse. Hence, it is time to pony up for a good reel, large arbor, 4 or 5 weight that will not break the brank (i.e. no insance ross or hatch reals that cost more than my first car.
Thanks as always for your advice.