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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2012, 06:05 AM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

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Originally Posted by burk48237 View Post
Mojo, In fairness it wasn't a test of mountain stream four weights so I doubt you'd see any glass or Boo. I'd love to see such a shoot-out though. Also the Winston TMF is not a production rod and I suspect George Anderson would argue that the Tom Morgan 8' 4 weight two piece in the test was THE Tom Morgan Favorite.

The B IIIX, the Zenith, the TMF, and the Sage TXL-F all tested well with the SA LT line, a true four weight line. So there were at least some true four weights in the test.
I hear ya.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:00 AM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

What I'd like to see are comparisons without the testers seeing a brand name/model on any of the rods. They should have no idea if they are casting a popular $1000 dollar rod or a $100 dollar rod.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:23 AM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

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What I'd like to see are comparisons without the testers seeing a brand name/model on any of the rods. They should have no idea if they are casting a popular $1000 dollar rod or a $100 dollar rod.
+1 here.
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Old 04-04-2012, 10:39 AM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

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What I'd like to see are comparisons without the testers seeing a brand name/model on any of the rods. They should have no idea if they are casting a popular $1000 dollar rod or a $100 dollar rod.
Back before plastic professional road bikes became all the rage, a cycling magazine had a famous frame builder build up bikes using steel tube sets from the different major manufacturers of the time (Reyolds, Columbus et al) The frames were then built up identically. The only difference other than tube material was a little number placed on the top tube which the evaluators used to identify the frame to write their finding on. This was truly an unbiased test and proved that those who 'knew' one frame material was superior to another were being partial to a brand other than cold, hard reality.
I've longed to see a truly inpartial test like this for fly rods for a long, long time. I think the major stumbling block is that magazines do not want to upset their major advertisers and dealers do not want to lose a product line or take risks with their profit margins by saying anything less than kind about a brand they have always been loyal to for whatever reason.
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Old 04-04-2012, 11:29 AM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

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Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
Back before plastic professional road bikes became all the rage, a cycling magazine had a famous frame builder build up bikes using steel tube sets from the different major manufacturers of the time (Reyolds, Columbus et al) The frames were then built up identically. The only difference other than tube material was a little number placed on the top tube which the evaluators used to identify the frame to write their finding on. This was truly an unbiased test and proved that those who 'knew' one frame material was superior to another were being partial to a brand other than cold, hard reality.
I've longed to see a truly inpartial test like this for fly rods for a long, long time. I think the major stumbling block is that magazines do not want to upset their major advertisers and dealers do not want to lose a product line or take risks with their profit margins by saying anything less than kind about a brand they have always been loyal to for whatever reason.
I actually have to give Andersons credit on this one. They were not previously a huge Hardy dealer, nor did they exhibit any bias towards Hardy rods. In fact they were very hard on a Greys rod in the same test. But you are right about one thing, for the most part in this "business" the positive coverage your get (there is almost no negative coverage) is directly related to the advertising dollars you spend with a publication.

The real reality of this is twofold. First some companies probably don't want to submit unmarked prototypes, if they even have them. There aren't many around. I casted a few of the Sintrex prototypes with Hardy but most of them were in the hands of the field testers and designers. Usually even the pre-production rods have the production reel seats and fittings because these things effect performance, and a lot of times they give off who the builder is.

Second, aesthetics and finish are important. The plain black unmarked prototypes with cheaper cork and fittings (most of the fittings would give off the rod brand) may cast and fish nicely, but they don't feel as good. The fit and finish of a rod and quality of cork and appointments says as much about the rods value and quality as how it fishes.

While occasionally you'll have a rod that is very well built but fishes poorly that is the exception not the rule. But it is common to have cheaply built rods that fish like it. If the manufacturer doesn't care about the quality of the cork or fittings, chances are they didn't spend a whole lot of money on R & D either.

I am very impressed by some of the low cost alternatives on the market, and I would agree that the differences between a $2-300 rod and a $700 aren't near as great as the differences between premium and entry level rods of a decade ago. And the better lower priced rods certainly don't prevent you from having as good of experience or catching fish. I own a few Greys and Cortland-Diamondback rods myself that I fish a lot. But anyone who says they're the same just hasn't lived with a good premium rod.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:26 PM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

True unbiased objectivity is illusive, no doubt. Anderson's Shootouts can be criticized on many levels by any of us but I am inclined to appreciate the wealth of relevant data he distills here. There are attractive, well built in America rods that he sells that he has said negative things about...the Winston BIIx (& I have one) is an awful, hingy in the middle uselessly mushy rod, really horribly designed...Anderson refers to that while praising its designed by external committee replacement. He has featured modestly priced Asian built rods...TFO BVK and this time Beulah...that place high in his rankings. And, Burk, he has lauded the SINTRIX #4 and last years #5 and despised the #8!


If you wish to take his reviews personally, he likes somewhat slower rods than some of us and faster rods than some of our slow rod fans, knock yourself out. This test is less clearly focused than say the 8-weight review where only flats rods needed to apply...ideal flats rods are not optimised for steelheading or bass bugging. 4-weights are a diverse lot that see duty as small stream specialists that are poor on big water and big water dry fly specialty rods that would be useless on little creeks. Therefore the distinction between rods' characteristics in this test are valuable. I like a couple of the winners a lot; the Korean built, winning Zenith is a favorite and I think the Washington State made ONE is terrific too. But I like the low in the ratings Loomis NRX better than the better rated StreamDance (to stay with Loomis for a moment) because I would look to fish it on the Delaware and Missouri with small dries at distance in wind; it would not be a spring creek stick in a league with the Zenith though, and that is Anderson's bias in this comparrison.


Elite custom built rods like Tom Morgan Rodsmiths and Kerry Burkheimer are included for the first time but Stephan Bros. and exquisite Freestone Rods are not. ECHO rods make their inaugural appearance along with Beulah but Rise Fishing is absent. Perhaps among his rejected 20+ rods were some that are your personal preference as in the 5-weight shootout where a popular brand in this forum was excluded for "not being up to snuff".

Lastly, though I admit the concepts is inviting, it is improbable that a blacked out, cobbled together, inexpensive, re-branded off shore rod would compare favorably with a similarly disguised work of rod design art elaborately developed by one of our current generation of brilliant rod designers. Don't take my word for it, cast the winning Zenith 8 1/2' rod side-by-side with any inexpensive rod of the same designation at your local shop and report to us on how they compare to your standards. Just make sure that your standards, like George Anderson's, are high.
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Last edited by sweetandsalt; 04-04-2012 at 03:54 PM.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 04-04-2012, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

Enjoyable read but was sorry my favorite 4 wt. didn't make the cut for analysis - the ZXL 486-4. Any 4 weight shoot out has to include a ZXL!!! It just has to

Cheers,
Mike.
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Old 04-04-2012, 05:44 PM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

Yeah. There are a considerable number of VERY mainstream rods that were left out of this test in favor of a number of rods that MOST of us would never consider...beulah?? I've never seen one, never seen a dealer; a beulah is just not on my list as I'm sure it isn't on many other peoples lists either. They just arent' mainstream (enough) yet.

CT, Superfine, Avid, S4, ZXL, WT...all very established rod lines from the mainstream companies and I would have loved to read their review of any of these over the Beulah. Also, nothing against Tom Morgan rods (they are beautiful)...but 99% of us will never have a Tom Morgan on our list either.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

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Also, nothing against Tom Morgan rods (they are beautiful)...but 99% of us will never have a Tom Morgan on our list either.
Ask Pocono about TM rods.
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Old 04-04-2012, 07:37 PM
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Default Re: George Anderson's "4-Weight Shootout"

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Ask Pocono about TM rods.
Isn't he always bragging about his .78 cent rods and reels??? Nothing wrong with fishing a Tom Morgan or a Yard Sale Special.
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