I prefer the more relax casting feel of the older models, without having to take out a loan from the bank to obtain one.
I started out with a Cortland Graphite rod, not the best quality but I could get the line out, but was too stiff for me. I tired other rods from the lest 10 years or so, and most seem to be stiff, or priced way out of my range.
I read over the years about the Sage RPL having a more relaxed cast to it. I got a 586 model, and haven't looked back. I can't seem to find the same feel with today's newer rods.
What they call med or med-fast action today, would have been med-fast or fast back then...or so it appears to me.
I like the new Sage Circa, but the price is a bit much. I recently obtained a Sage SPL 282. Back in its day I would have never been able to afford one. But now with careful searching, one can find those good old rods in top condition.
But I've also noticed those classic rods are fetching a good price now as well. The original Scott G (San Fran), Winston IM6, Loomis GLX, Sage LL, and the list goes on. Folks know how well they were made and their actions are hard to beat.
To me the classics feel better than the newer models.
I tend not to follow tackle trends as closely now as I did in the past. Primarily because I've come to the realization that I already have more than enough stuff to last me at least a couple of lifetimes.
It had seemed to me, at least for a while, the trend was to build faster rods. Both in terms of being less "full flex" and in their ability to develop higher line speeds.
As with most things, different people have personal preferences, so if that's what people wanted, that's what got developed and sold. I'll also say that there are a broad and vast range of fishing conditions that folks encounter, and there is an old saying - Different horses for different courses.
In my little corner of the world (fairly large rivers in Michigan, fishing for trout), I get to see alot of people fishing. As I watch others fish, I'm often reminded of the golf adage - You drive for show, you putt for dough.
Alot of folks seem to concentrate on how far they can cast. It is fun, I sometimes find myself doing it. Personally speaking, when it suddenly strikes me that I haven't caught a fish in quite a while, the first thing I do is gather in some line and shorten my cast.
Since folks are naturally inclined and enjoy fishing a ways off, it seems to make sense to make and sell rods that allow them to do so. At least where and how I fish, it doesn't necessarily mean more fish caught, but fishing is about more than just catching fish.
Having just re-read what I wrote, I don't necessarily have a point of conclusion. I find that to be the case more and more as old age sinks in.
Ordinary materials in the hands of a gifted designer trump the benefits of more advanced materials in uninspired hands. The best rods of the past still are better than most run-of-the-mill rods today. Here's Tom Chandler's list of the dozen best (legacy) fly rods of all time:
However, advances in materials and technology do make it possible for skilled designers today to design models that simply can do more, and do it better, than was possible in the past. I expect that with time and experience, recently introduced rods like some of the Hardy Sintrix and Orvis H2 models will take their places alongside legends like the Winston TMF and the Payne 100.
I don't "dislike" some of the new models, but find them more specialized.
Marketing/sales/revenue...if the manufacturers can convince some of us, and we can preach about it on forums, then we can convince all newbies that they can't fish without a golf bag full of rods. I want a rod I can fish effectively all day, through changing conditions and methods.
If you pay attention to these guys, you have to carry a rod for dries, one for nymphing and something different for streamers. Not to mention that there's also a specific line for each that you MUST have.
I've tried for a quiver of all around solid rods lined with quality wf and dt lines...
To the original point, I'm sure technical "quality" is improved in the newer rods, and it's interesting to watch the progression.
Interesting discussion going on here. I, like many others, am a tackle junkie. I enjoy the hunt for new to me gear and finding good deals on tackle almost as much as I do fishing with it. Maybe not that close, but you get the idea. I also enjoy mixing up the rod and reel combinations I've amassed over the years and selecting a pairing for the day or the trip.
I'm of the opinion that our preferences at core are heavily influenced by the "age" of the tackle we grew our love of fly fishing with. By age, I'm speaking of technological age. When introduced to the sport, some of us inherit gear, others look for equipment similar to what our family members may have used for nostalgic reasons, and others go out and look at the local fly shop for newer technology. Sometimes we get to a point in our journey and look for something different. Vintage tackle, new tackle, premium tackle, inexpensive tackle, etc.
We have LOTS of choices these days. Vintage or new 'boo, vintage or new glass, vintage or new graphite. In each of those there are gems that hold acclaim from the masses, some of the gems are more personal to us for whatever reason or another. Better is always subjective, and as such, "better" is the gear you have on your person or are fishing with at the moment. At the end of the day, what's most important is to fish what you like and love what you fish. The older I get, the more appreciative I am of just being out there and doing it. Life was so much simpler when I owned one rod and reel, but not nearly as much fun.
The best rods of the past still are better than most run-of-the-mill rods today.
I will say a run of the mill modern rod wins hands down over many of the early run of the mill fiberglass and then again the early graphite rods. Granted there have always been great rods made, and the great ones more than stand the test of time. However I'd warn anyone not to buy any rod just because it's old, there were alot of real dogs made over the years. That includes rods made of bamboo, glass, and graphite.
When it comes to pro bass fishing, I think high modulus rods have there sensitivity benefits. When it comes to down south cat fishing, I also believe indestructible glass rods offer benefits.
When it comes to fly fishing, I believe we all have different needs. The fisherman is the deciding factor, not the fish. As fly fisherman, the goal is to find a rod, that matches our personality...We should not try to match the stroke of what ever rod the sales man has pitched us.
I will say a run of the mill modern rod wins hands down over many of the early run of the mill fiberglass and then again the early graphite rods.
Understood, and agreed, but the comparison I was making is between the best rods of the past and the average rods of today. I don't think the average rods of either era can rightly be classified as "classics", but I don't dispute that today's are better than yesterday's simply because today's materials are better and don't require as skilled a designer to exploit their qualities.