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Old 05-09-2010, 10:11 PM
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Default Help selecting a rod?

New guy here, hello everyone-

I fly fished as a teenager some, then after a long spell of not fishing I started spin casting again about 10 years ago, and last year broke out the ol' fly rod. Both of us were quite out of shape. So today I took the 1 day intro to fly fishing class at Bob Mariotts, and tried some very nice fly rods.

It seemed that I did better with a rod that had more flex in the middle than at the tip, so I'm looking for a 9' 5wt that has this quality. The rod I liked the most was a G. Loomis Stream Dance, but it's about $600+, which I'm afraid I can't afford right now. I have some fishing time coming up though so I'm anxious to get a decent rod. I went to amazon and found four options that I could afford:

1. Okuma Crisium Fly Rod
2. St. Croix Avid Series (at $269, is it THAT much better than these others?)
3. Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Professional
4. Fenwick
5. Reddington Crosswater

I'm aware that there are some reviews posted here and various other places, but I can't seem to find any details about that rod middle flex vs. rod tip flex thing. Maybe it's my lack of experience with the thing but I had much less "wobble" when I stopped the rod while casting with the heavier, mid flexing rod.

Any tip on any of those rods is greatly appreciated. Heck, any tip at all!

Thanks in advance.
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Old 05-09-2010, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufustf View Post
New guy here, hello everyone-

I fly fished as a teenager some, then after a long spell of not fishing I started spin casting again about 10 years ago, and last year broke out the ol' fly rod. Both of us were quite out of shape. So today I took the 1 day intro to fly fishing class at Bob Mariotts, and tried some very nice fly rods.
Welcome to the forum.

Welcome back to fly fishing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufustf View Post
It seemed that I did better with a rod that had more flex in the middle than at the tip, so I'm looking for a 9' 5wt that has this quality. The rod I liked the most was a G. Loomis Stream Dance, but it's about $600+, which I'm afraid I can't afford right now. I have some fishing time coming up though so I'm anxious to get a decent rod. I went to amazon and found four options that I could afford:

1. Okuma Crisium Fly Rod
2. St. Croix Avid Series (at $269, is it THAT much better than these others?)
3. Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Professional
4. Fenwick
5. Reddington Crosswater
I cannot comment on the Okuma, St. Croix, or the Fenwick.

There is a reason why the TFO Pro Series 9 foot 5 weight is TFO's #1 selling rod. It is the best performing 9 foot 5 weight at its price point. It has a mid-flex that is very forgiving to people who are just getting started or prefer that feel. It may not be as pretty as some of the higher priced rods, but it can cast as well as some of them.

The Redington Crosswater is a very predictable rod. It is very easy to cast. It casts well in short to mid distances. But it requires work to stretch out longer casts (50 feet plus). But then again it is a price point rod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufustf View Post
I'm aware that there are some reviews posted here and various other places, but I can't seem to find any details about that rod middle flex vs. rod tip flex thing. Maybe it's my lack of experience with the thing but I had much less "wobble" when I stopped the rod while casting with the heavier, mid flexing rod.
Two possible reasons:
1. You are just more comfortable with the mid flex rod. Actually most new casters or people who are getting back into the sport are.
2. The heavier mid flex rod was more damp. That has to deal with the quality of the graphite and how the blank was tuned by the designer for that graphite.

I'm erring toward the first possibility.

From time to time, I teach a beginning casting class. All my class rods are Scott E2 9 foot 5 weights. They are fast action rods. To make them more user friendly to my students, I use 6 weight fly lines on them. By overlining them, I make a tip flex rod a mid flex rod. By doing this, my students feel the rod load. That's what you are noticing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rufustf View Post
Any tip on any of those rods is greatly appreciated. Heck, any tip at all!
Here's my advice for you. Don't spend too much time thinking about flex patterns, dampness, graphite quality, and all the bells and whistles. Since you have an idea what you are looking for, go back to Bob Marriott's and cast a few rods. The one that casts the most comfortably for you now is the one you want. It will cast comfortably for you to reach any distance that you have the physical ability for and offer room for improvement.

MP
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Old 05-10-2010, 09:01 AM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

The Fenwick HMG is a medium action and probably one of the greatest graphite rods in fly rod history. Designed by Jim Green some 30 years ago and still built much the same as they were before Fenwick dropped into fly rod obscurity.
Until recently the HMG rods were exclusively sold by Cabela's, but I'm not sure where you'd get one now. I see them on the websites of small importers, but they're not even listed in the Fenwick product line.

There's three rod lines that Fenwick sells now. The Streamer is a medium action and the Eagle and HMX are listed as fast action. I've never tried those but I do have a Fenwick CoFi which was their last effort in the high end rod market and that's fairly fast

This site sells Fenwick close-outs
http://www.ffo-tackle.com/
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Old 05-10-2010, 11:43 AM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

Hi rufustf,

Welcome to the forum and welcome back to fly fishing.

MP has pretty well laid it out for you. The first thing I would do is eliminate the Okuma and Fenwick rods. That will make your choice a lot easier. If you want to save some money and that is the most important then the Redington two piece rod is selling for $99. The two piece is not as desirable but it is a good rod at that price.

If you have the money the Avid is a very good rod at that price point. Just about everyone who buys one likes them a lot. You should also check out the Redington RS4 rod. It is a faster action and is more to my liking. At $200 for the four piece rod it is a very good choice. Then there is the TFO Pro. I think MP tells it like it is. You can see the Redington rods at the Forum Marketplace.

Frank

Redington RS4 4 Piece 5wt 9'
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Old 05-10-2010, 12:55 PM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

What you might want to do is select a price point to start. Say you are going to stay at or under $270. Then I would find a place and go cast some of these rods. I agree with Frank, I would tend to strike Okuma and Fenwick off my list straight away, if only from a product support standpoint. Rip Tide can tell you more about the merits of the Fenwick stuff.

I would look at the following rods:

Under $200
Orvis Clearwater
Redington Red.Fly2 or RS4
St. Croix Imperial or Rio Santo
TFO Lefty Kreh Professional

Under $270
Sage Vantage
St. Croix Avid
TFO Lefty Kreh TiCr X

Go to a shop and cast them. Some will feel lighter or heavier. Some will feel stiffer or softer. See which ones you like. Have fun with it because there really isn't a wrong answer.
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Old 05-10-2010, 06:08 PM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

If you have an oportunity to handle a few Redington rods in person, check out the CT (Classic Trout). It's a much slower rod than the Crosswater, and is more of a full-flex or mid-flex rod. Overlining this one would be completely unnecessary.
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Old 05-11-2010, 03:13 AM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

Hey, thanks everyone!

I'm going to take another trip down to Bob Mariotts and spend a few hours trying out rods. I don't want to get an entry level rod, & I'm sure that there will be something there that I'll dig that I can afford and feels good. Thanks again.

BTW I won't be able to go until later in the week so if anyone else wants to chip in with a preference or recommendation I'll be checking this thread until then.
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:13 AM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

To me, there are no such things as entry level rods. There are a variety of price points. However, there are some extra fast action rods that I would not try to sell to someone who is getting into the sport or someone getting back into it. I have sold $700 rods to some of my beginner customers after one day of casting instruction. The rods matched their strokes, and they had something to grow into.

Do you need to go to that price point? Maybe not. If you find a rod that works well for you now, and perhaps down the road, and is within your budget, that would be the rod for you.

MP
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Old 05-11-2010, 10:47 AM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

Regarding the St. Croix Avid, yeah, it's that much better: excellent quality components; casts very well in a variety of conditions; can blast a larger fly, and then land a small dry delicately; looks great; MADE IN USA.
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Old 05-11-2010, 01:04 PM
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Default Re: Help selecting a rod?

I guess by entry level, I meant those "get started fly fishing" packages that are all-inclusive but not particularly high in quality. I had a pfluger 8' 5wt which is now a 7.5' after my lady decapitated it by accident with a storage shed door. (Now it'll strictly be a bass pole.)

That's what happened to the "starter" kit.

As a firm believer in buying right and buying once I just want something I'll get lots of mileage out of for as long as I can. It seems to me that among fly anglers that the shopping around for tackle and gear is half of the fun, as most are admittedly "tackle junkies", but that's just not my bag. There'll be enough future shopping for flies that'll match whatever body of water I go to, and I'd rather that in the event that I pick up another rod/reel, it's be for a different purpose (salt water, tiny streams, etc.)

Anyhow, I'm sure you get the idea.

B.M's said they didn't have any St. Croix rods, too bad! There were plenty of the other recommended ones in stock so I'm sure a good one will reveal itself.

Again, thanks to everyone for all of the input, this forum has proven to be an informative resource with friendly helpful people. It surpassed my expectations.
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