I've wiggled them, if that counts
. I don't like heavy rods, so that could
be an issue. Some folks put a heavy reel on a heavy rod in order to get
some sort of balance, but heavy is heavy.... The lower-end TFO rods I looked
at varied dramatically in workmanship, and I was looking at a store isle of
them. It might be best to buy one in person, although the things I saw were
Aside from weight, rod sections that loosen while fishing make me crazy. I
had a rod that was light as a feather and was a delight to cast, but one
of the section required constant tightening. I finally sent it back to the
manufacturer, and they replaced it. Problem solved.
I've neglected my older pre-$600 rods for a while, but used my St. Croix
7'6" 4wt Imperial a few days ago. I hadn't forgot it was/is a nice rod, but it
did make me wonder why I'd ever spend 5X more on a newer rod....... To be
completely honest, my flyfishing rods and reels were what most would consider super-low-end for 20 years. In 1995, I bought a Browning at Dick's
Sporting Goods for $60, and thought I had reached the pinnacle of fly rod
technology! I didn't read very much in the way of magazine articles (nor
the marketing that goes along with it), and didn't have internet at the time.
We moved a few miles from a high-end fly shop in 2000, and it was then that
I was informed that my rods and reels were junk.
I have to pause
here for a minute, because I'm thinking back to all the good times I've had
with junk rods! I still have that Browning, and it is an once heavier than my
high-end rods, but it throws line where it's needed.
I would advice against the marketing hoopla. Cast the rod, and if it works
for you, fine. If it works fine for your friend, practice your casting technique.
I fish from a canoe quite a bit, and used a Cortland GRX rod (another sub-$100 rod that I thought was great!), and did drop the whole rig overboard.
The water was 20 feet deep, so I paused there for a while to remember the
all the fish I caught on that rod, and then moved on. I do take high $$$ rods
on the canoe, but I spend too much time worrying about them.
I'd call the Cortland Factory Store, and ask what rods they have on close-out. I bought a couple of brand new Diamondback Aeroflex rods from Cortland
for $100 each! The Diamondback Americana series is very nicely built, casts
great, is light in weight, and Made in the USA. They were only $175 new, so
you could probably get one for much less now. People worry about the warranty on discontinued rods, but I haven't broken in rod in 30 years (car
door). I had bought already owned an Aeroflex when I bought the closeouts
from Cortland. I called the Cortland repair guys, and they said they had plenty
of sections left for replacement. The Cortland Factory Store's website does
give much info, but the guys there told me they carry armloads
of rods over every couple days, so it's best to call.