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Old 08-01-2012, 06:52 PM
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Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

I'm going to agree with a few folks and recommend you not spend tons on a new rod if you've never fly fished before. If you have fly fished before and enjoy it then by all means get a premium rod, get two or three or four. Buy the best you can afford...but it helps to be sure of the action/brand before you do.

My first was a St. Croix Imperial 7'6" 4wt. ($200?) with a ORVIS BBS reel (<$200). Within 2 years I added 3 Helios rods and a SuperfineTouch. I was cautioned against buying premium rods since I would not appreciate the higher end features. But, I made a choice to flyfish the rest of my life and why not have some of the best gear out there?

Definitely test different brands out first. I found Orvis actions to be to my liking and so I've stuck with them. And they've been around a long time.

Having a 25 year guarantee with a premium rod sure makes that sickening "oh **** I snapped my rod" feeling go away faster. You may not get that with a sub $400 rod...depends on the company.

Good luck!
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Old 08-06-2012, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

Probably should go with a 5 wt rod, best general purpose rod for western trout streams and rivers, very versatile. Good for dries, droppers and nymphs. I would highly recommend casting some rods before buying as other have mentioned. I learned that the hard way buying a Sage One sight unseen. A great rod for many purposes but the fast action does not match up well with my casting style. It has a phenomenal sweet spot, when I can find it. My old Albright A5 is an easier rod to cast and fishes well up close in that 35 foot zone. So, I am going to cast rods before buying them in the future.

Price does not always indicate what is best in terms of finding a rod that matches your casting style. From the Yellowstone Angler 2011 5 weight shootout: "Ironically, the Passport felt far better to me than the VSL, which Winston sells for $100 more!" Price usually is a pretty good indicator of components and build quality, however.

The $400 price point is tough, it's in between budget and high end. You should try the A4 as it is in that zone. Winston GVX is worth a look but over your budget at $495. A Sage Vantage or Flight is also worth a try and on sale at many places. Winston Passport is a good one to try as well as the Redington Classic Trout.
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Old 08-06-2012, 11:01 PM
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Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

Alot of good advice about not spending alot on your first rod. For what you are looking for I would check the auction sites for a discontinued Scott A3 9ft 5 should be able to pick up a new one with full warranty for under $225. It is a great rod for the money, slow enough as to not discourage learners but enough back bone and "punch" to get some decent distance and cheat the wind on larger western rivers. I still have my heart set on purchasing a Sage ZXL when they are discontinued, but will not give my A3!
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