Joni & Curtis. Agreed on all you've said and it may be that I need to clarify a few things just to be sure. Looking back over my original post I see where it may have come across a bit jaded.
My intention was not at all to cast judgement on anyone (those who buy high or low end). It's clear that I'm still getting into the sport (I've fished for about five years, tied about four, and enjoy both -- only regretting I haven't yet been able to devote more time doing them). I have friends who fish various rods and I think I've been able to see that there are many kinds of rods, many folks, and all kinds of fits between the two as Curtis suggests. I get it. No doubt as I have more time to devote and a little more experience I'll be able to answer the question for myself as skill and preference are refined.
My curiosity was regarding differences that justify price jumps. If they are there, what they are (e.g. performance, workmanship, etc.) Seems there is to a degree as it relates to casting, quality of blanks, guide placement, warranty, etc. as you have mentioned Joni.As far as a "dig me" thing goes, I'm sure if it is there it is a function of the person, not the rod. For example, I would guess it's one thing to purchase a higher end rod for a specific purpose, feel, need, etc. and because these aspects justify the price paid versus the buy-to-brag thing that may happen as well. No, I don't not assume all those who make the decision for a nice rod are snobs Joni
. And not all who have not/cannot -- yet -- made such a purchase are judgmental and envious. Okay . . . I am envious . . . but patiently look forward to a day when I can speak to both sides of the issue m'self.TJ