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Old 01-21-2013, 03:24 PM
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Default New gear vs old

Being new to fly fishing I have been looking around at a lot of rods and reels. Both new and used.A lot of the new rods and reels seem to be made in China or shall I say imported.Anyway,I am not sure when this started but I was wondering if rods and reels that were made in like the 70's 80's and 90's were of better quality.Or is always changing, new technology better.I am aware of the changes in materials like bamboo to fiberglass and then graphite. Is there a time frame when equipment was really special? Sorry, if this is a dumb question.
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Old 01-21-2013, 03:32 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

There are still plenty of products in this hobby/sport that are made in countries outside of China. Abel being a great USA made company. They cost a lot, but from my readings are well worth the price point plus it is nice knowing that money is going to someone's pay check here in the US.

For me, maybe because I am younger I love the new stuff, but I appreciate the old equipment. For quality that is tough to say, it all depends on how well the owner took care of their stuff. Much like a car, it will run forever as long as you do proper maintenance.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:32 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

In general, materials technology has advanced a lot since the 1970's and 80's, and it is possible to make things now that couldn't be made then. There is a lot of high quality and a lot of junk quality stuff imported from Asia, and everything in between. (In the old days you could say the same about stuff made in the USA and the UK.) Hardy still makes some of the best rods and reels on the market today -- but it makes most of them in Asia now, not England.

But the best stuff from 30 years ago is still very good, and better than a lot of mediocre stuff made today. There are plenty of folks around who think there has never been a better rod than the Orvis Far and Fine or the Winston Tom Morgan Favorite.

If you're just getting into the sport and trying to acquire good gear cheap, you could do much worse than buying used 1990's vintage rods from the top US manufacturers, as long as they are in good condition. For example, I'd rather buy a welll-cared-for Loomis IMX for under $200 than anything available new on the market today at that price point. But you need to do some research and know what you are buying.
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Old 01-21-2013, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

Both replies are good, personally I love the old stuff and there is equipment made today almost exactly as it was 100 years ago...Think Hardy reels. In my opinion it is most important to not let anyone influence your tastes. If you think owning and fishing an older rod is cool, then think about how or where you want to use this rod and get on the forum and start asking questions. Many members here will gladly help guide you in the right direction. If you know the weight and action you are looking for just ask if there is an older rod (or used rod) that can offer better action at a reduced price.

PS: Just bought a Far & Fine myself and already know it is the rod for me.

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Old 01-22-2013, 04:48 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

Thanks for the input,I also like a good vintage or classic piece of equipment.That is good advice, to do a little research to make sure you can get as much info. as possible.This forum seems like a great place to do that.
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Old 01-22-2013, 05:24 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

Quote:
Originally Posted by fly5 View Post
Thanks for the input,I also like a good vintage or classic piece of equipment.That is good advice, to do a little research to make sure you can get as much info. as possible.This forum seems like a great place to do that.
Fly5: Good point, fly fishing gear is expensive no matter how you look at it. The best I can say is do your research and pick what is best for YOU and where and how you fish. Continue to ask questions, we will try our best to over advice.
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Old 01-23-2013, 10:56 AM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

Lots of good comments about an interesting topic. Since I started this fly fishing thing years 12 or so years ago, most of what I'd see in a fly shop was graphite rods and reels with drag. No doubt that technology has improved through the years but sometimes it can be overkill as well. As others have said, think Hardy Reels. There's a reason why you can find reels that are a hundred years old that are still being fished today. A more modern example would be Abel. People often say Abels are lifetime reels. They are exceptionally crafted and just plain beautiful.

Ironically, I am now getting into older tackle. I still like reels with a drag, but I am enjoying the click & pawl reels for trout and Great Lakes Steelhead. I also enjoy the older graphite rods and appreciate the current production rods as well. I have yet to dabble in bamboo or glass. Maybe some day.

Buying tackle from a reputable manufacturer, regardless of country of origin and regardless of production date is the best way to ensure you're getting quality. Junk is junk, no matter where it's made. The new Hardy DD reels come to mind. Although not made in Alnwick, they are getting rave reviews from the industry as well as our forum members.

The bottom line is do your research. Read reviews, read various forums and discussions before buying new or used, get as much perspective as possible before a purchase and buy what YOU think best suits your desires/needs. Half of the enjoyment of owning older tackle for me is doing the legwork, learning the history and hunting for desirable pieces of tackle.

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Old 01-23-2013, 12:01 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

I'm big on vintage gear. It's all I ever buy.
Sitting next to me right now is 4 rods and a reel that I originally bought to resell.
I don't think I can go through with it. It's a sickness.
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Old 01-23-2013, 12:32 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

I don't think there's any better answers than whats been said so far so just try some stuff out see what suits you and your approach to fishing, most of all keep it fun!
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: New gear vs old

Unless you know what vintage gear was good, whether it is in excellent condition, and most importantly, whether it is priced right; I think a newbie is better off buying new.

There are some classic rods and reels that are worth buying BUT because they are desirable and the fly fishers that who it will pay to get it; this is NOT what a newbie should get into. So unless you have a friend that is willing to give you a deal on used, or guide your used purchase, I suggest buying new.

There are inexpensive fly rods you can get that are better than what was top line before. Often they will have more potential that a beginner can appreciate or use. They can be bought in the line weight, taper and action, and length you want without sorting through sued equipment. They have great guarantees that you will not have with the older equipment. Even if an older Sage was guaranteed to the original owner it is not transferable. A new TFO, Echo, St Croix, etc is a better value IMHO. These companies rarely make bad rods. If you don't like one of their rods it is more likely that you ordered the wrong rod action than the rod itself was poorly designed.

So your job is to get the right line weight, right length, and most importantly, the right rod action.

The only freshwater fly reels I would buy used are the original Ross Evo and Ross San Miguel, or San Miguel Vision. New good reels such as Ross and Lamsons go on sale at discount sites often. So do fly lines.
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