jsut starting back trying to get back in to the fly fishing world and lost a lot of info....so im lookin at getting a cheaper rod but something that is a good brand....Sage,Orvis,Scott and so on...looking at spending as little as possible....lookin for something in the 5 wt area and 8-9' in length for fishing small rivers and springs for trout
Full disclosure up front: I'm on Temple Fork Outfitters pro staff. That said, I'm NOT on their pro staff because the give me stuff. I'm don't fish their rods because I'm on their pro staff, I'm on pro staff because I fish the rods. I know the people who own and run the company, and I fish the rods because I like them.
So, I'd recommend you look at TFO. The Series 1 rods are 2pc, and sell for $109 with a full lifetime warranty even against stupidity (ceiling fan, car door, or Labrador). The Professional series are 4pc rods for about $150.
But there are a number of other rods out there in that same price range - St. Croix and Redington among others, and the Cabela's house brand rods are usually pretty good rods as well (made under contract by various manufacturers).
You need to try out a few brands and rod lines to see which one will cast best for you. If you have a reel loaded with line, take it to the fly shop and try out what they have. If you don't, call the fly shop and ask if they have reels you can try with the rods. If the shop won't let you do that don't give them your business.
I certainly hope you'll look at the TFO rods, and believe the medium action of the series one might fit a beginner well.
Good luck, and feel free to email me if you have questions about TFO rods (see my website below to contact me). BTW, we also make reels, although there are, honestly, better deals out there than our low-end reels, especially if you buy a combo at the local shop. But, we also make a very nice rod, reel, backing, line, leader and case combo in 4/5 wt and 5/6 wt for $199.95, called the NXT combo.
Craig i appriciate the reply...would be nice to go to a fly shop and look around but there are none localy closest ones to me are an hour away so its pretty much a full day deal and i havent casted a fly rod in years...not sure if i even remember how really
Your nearest TFO dealers are going to be in the St. Louis area. Feather-craft, Bass Pro, and the Hazelwood Cabela's store.
That said, I'd highly recommend making the trip, especially to Feather-Craft. I've heard lots of good things about the Story family and their shop. I've not had the opportunity to visit there, maybe on our trip to Chicago for seminars in March, if we have time. The Hazelwood Cabela's wasn't too bad when I was there last year to do seminars. They don't really have a casting area, so I don't know if they could let you try out some rods, and that's what you want to do.
But, I will tell you that the TFO Professional series, which is what is in the NXT combo, fits most casters pretty well. It won't be as forgiving as the Series 1 when you're relearning, but it will serve you better in the long run, assuming you will progress toward faster rods. But, I've sold several NXTs to beginners looking to get a combo, and have never had anyone complain.
If you havent cast a flyrod in years it would be to your benefit to visit a fly shop for help.You will get a chance to try out several rods and see what you like and dont like.A good shop will give you some free instruction also.All the brands you mention have a less expensive line and they all carry some kind of warrenty.The TFO rods that Craig mentions are an excellent value and many people love them,including some big named people.But I would start by going to a fly shop first.Good luck.
Here's my disclosure. I'm a retailer. Take the time to go to a specialty shop. There's a good chance someone could give you pointers on casting when you are trying out rods. There's another chance that you will end up buying one of those rods because you liked it and you liked the service.
As for the best rod for the money for a beginner, buy one from the major manufacturers. At least that way you get a warranty with it. Flatlandercp made some excellent recommendations on the TFO rods. Also look at the Redington Classic Trout rod (MSRP $160) or the Sage Vantage ($250 for the 4 piece, less for the 2 piece). The Redington CT has a moderate action that will tell you that will allow you to learn your casting tempo. It's also a fun dry fly rod. The Sage Vantage has a nice light feel to it. It is a tad quicker, to give it more zing in the cast.
Cast a few rods. Don't cast too many because you will end up confusing yourself. Eventually you will choose the one that you feel most comfortable casting.
It's sports show season. I am not sure where you are but the International Sportsmen's Expo is hopping from region to region. The Fly Fishing Show is doing its circuit, too. Many manufacturers and fly shops go there to show off their goods. You can test cast rods at these events.
I am not a pro or a retailer but I have been very impressed with the St. Corix Inperial 3wt that I bought last year. It was the first rod I have purchased at a store. All of my others (all St. Croix) were on ebay, both new and used and are great.
I am just a fly fisherman that is located in the St. Louis area and I can speak from personal experience. The fly shops in the local Bass Pro (St. Charles) and local Cabelas (Hazelwood) are both decent shops, and the Bass Pro fly shop does offer fly tying lessons and a reasonable level of assistance.
However, if you really want to get the best assistance with the most knowledgable people, I highly recommend going to the Feather-Craft Fly Shop which is located on Manchester Road (about 10-12 min from Cabelas). Feather-Craft has lots of rod brands, from less expensive TFOs through the Scott and Sage brands and top of the line Orvis and Winston. F-C will rig up several rods and let you go outside and try to find the one you like best, and will usually offer suggestions on casting skills if you ask them to do so.
I have purchased rods, reels, chest packs, fly boxes, flies and lots of tying materials from F-C simply because they carry a lot of different gear, stock a great inventory, and have pretty good pricing on most items. They usually beat the Big Box stores on quality gear; and they do not carry any junk! They also make one of the best furled leaders available on the market. Once you know who they are, you can minimize the long trips by ordering anything you want through their mail order catalog.
You've received some good advice on starter rods. Here's my experience to date.
My first rod was a 9'0" Sage Launch 5 wt.; a nice rod. I fished it for a year before I upgraded to a VT-2. Sage doesn't make the Launch anymore, but you could probably pick one up on ebay in good condition for a very reasonable price; less than $200. The Sage Vantage is their new entry level rod now and I've heard that it's a good one (uses their G5 technology, the same technology that's in the Z-Axis); pricing is just above $200. The VT-2 is also a very nice rod for about double that money.
Another rod that I'd recommend you look at is the new Scott A3. I picked one up this summer in a 9'0" 9 wt. for striper fishing; because I'd left my Sage Xi-2 at home and it was too far to go back and get it. Very nice rod. In fact, for the rest of last season, the Xi-2 simply gathered dust in our cottage. Price was just above $300 for the 9 wt, but it's below $300 for the 5 wt. My first experience with Scott and I really liked it; a medium to medium-fast action blank with a lot of "feel" to it, which might be of use to you if you're just starting up into fly fishing again. In my opinion, the stiffer rods are harder to "feel"; even though they'll toss a fly a country mile.