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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2013, 02:07 PM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

Everything below is just my personal opinion. I think it all depends on the material used to make the blank.

Bamboo: With the advent of computer design programs the tapers have made designing much better casting characteristics than in the days of yore. Remember way back when rods were just meant to get the fly, usually a wet, in the water. Modern = better

Fiberglass: Same basic material as the "classics", with much better technology. For example the new Epic Fast Glass rods use a unidirectional method to align the fiber in the same direction. This makes a better casting, fishing and lifting rod. McFarland & Steffen Bros. glass also falls into the newer is better catagory. Old glass rods cast and fished much like old Bamboo..... engine hoist comes to mind when fishing those rods. Modern = better

Graphite: This is one case where I personally think technology surpassed the material and has created a beast with no feel. It is evident when you see a guy waving the rod back and forth as fast as he can. Plus with the extremely high modulus they tend to break as soon as they get a nick or bruise on them. High speed rods have their place example: windy conditions. The graphites of the 80's had a more delicate touch and could handle a couple nicks or bruises and keep on ticking. Favorite graphite I ever had was an older Sage RPL 490. Classic = better

Notice how many manufactures are touting the new rods that are a bit slower or moderate in action. In other words it appears that they have seen that technology has passed the materials capabilities.

Remember.... JMHO ,
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2013, 03:05 PM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

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Originally Posted by petee View Post
Everything below is just my personal opinion. Graphite: This is one case where I personally think technology surpassed the material and has created a beast with no feel. It is evident when you see a guy waving the rod back and forth as fast as he can.
Remember.... JMHO ,
Pete
and my personal opinion is that we have never had it better when chosing rods and materials. I sometimes think about getting a 'glass rod for small streams but then come to reason and realize I do quite well with my old Orvis Superfines, Scott G's and Winston IM-6 and BIIIx rods.
These rods all work with grace and aplmob in tight streams and close encounters of the trouty kind but also have a bit of starch when needed to do things they aren't really expected to.
As for feel, graphite is a fantastic conductor of any tick or tap created under the water and telegraphs everything the rod is doing during the cast. Each head shake of a fish is transmitted right down the blank to your hands and is crisp unlike the deadened feel that other materials can give.
I'm not saying there are no dead and lifeless graphite rods but with todays materials and manufacturing capabilities and because of wise and verbal consumers they are getting harder and harder to find. One can find beasts with no feel in fly rods made of any material so stop picking on graphite, okay?

Oh, and again this calls for an ad-lib of Steve Rajeffs quote... "I can make a rod that will not break, the problem is... no one will buy it...
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Old 04-14-2013, 05:50 PM
 
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

My opinion is that the "best" of the new rods are better than the "best" of the older rods.

But that is not really the decision process a fly fisher goes through when deciding to buy a new high end fly rod.

The real life decision is, "Do I pay $$$ to replace the fly rod that I already have? In the real world, the question is whether the extra performance is worth what it will cost to upgrade.

I still fish with the GLX classics because the $2400 it would cost me to replace the 3 GLX's I already own is not worth the difference in performance to me. It is important to others, so they are willing to pay for the new fly rods.

In honesty, if someone were to offer me a one to one trade for my GLX for any fly rod from any company, I would take them up. So far, no one has. So with every new "greatest" fly rod, I reassess whether the difference in performance is worth it to me. This is a personal decision and this decision is not unique to fly rods. Everyone makes it every time they replace any piece of equipment that still works.
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 04-14-2013, 10:21 PM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

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Originally Posted by silver creek View Post
My opinion is that the "best" of the new rods are better than the "best" of the older rods.

But that is not really the decision process a fly fisher goes through when deciding to buy a new high end fly rod.

The real life decision is, "Do I pay $$$ to replace the fly rod that I already have? In the real world, the question is whether the extra performance is worth what it will cost to upgrade.

I still fish with the GLX classics because the $2400 it would cost me to replace the 3 GLX's I already own is not worth the difference in performance to me. It is important to others, so they are willing to pay for the new fly rods.

In honesty, if someone were to offer me a one to one trade for my GLX for any fly rod from any company, I would take them up. So far, no one has. So with every new "greatest" fly rod, I reassess whether the difference in performance is worth it to me. This is a personal decision and this decision is not unique to fly rods. Everyone makes it every time they replace any piece of equipment that still works.
Those GLX's are darn fine rods. I remember a shootout in Fish & Fly magazine a few years ago where the GLX 9x5 beat out all the current models from Loomis, Winston, Scott and Sage as well as several less well-known makers. Which current models do you think are better?

On the other hand, I was out in my back yard today testing the Targus Borger LT 8'6" 5 wt that I recently bought (on your recommendation, and because it was selling at a clearance price) against my venerable older Winston WT 8'6" 5 wt, and it was awfully tough to tell the difference. If anything, the Borger was a tiny bit more forgiving of casting errors, and it has the convenience of being a 4 piece.
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Old 04-26-2015, 02:02 PM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

Resurrecting this "old" thread today, because I feel that it still has relevance.

Took a customer out on Friday to test new #5 rods, he wanted to compare the current offerings to his 20 year old Sage 590 RPL+ and see if the new sticks were "better".

It was an interesting couple of hours. We threw about 10 different rods (Sage One, Circa, Accel; G. Loomis NRX, NRX LP, Streamdance; Scott Radian, and A4; Burkheimer Classic Trout: and his RPL+). He is an "average" caster and is competent out to about 40-45'. My observation was that his results were more or less similar no matter which rod he cast and it boiled down to his preference for "feel".

The jury is still out, but he didn't really gain any meaningful performance edge with the newer designs. His RPL+ works just as well for him as any of the newer high tech "wonder" rods. He asked me to cast the rods along with them, and I could do everything with his old RPL+ that I could do with the new stuff. Pretty sure it is the old "It is the Archer, not the Arrow" thing. But, that old RPL+ is a pretty damn good rod, and if it was my only 9', #5, I wouldn't be in want for meaningful casting performance

He is going to fish our Radian demo rod for a couple of days and decide if he is going to buy a new rod, but it would probably only be because it is a 4pc vs. 2pc. rod for easier traveling, not because of performance issues. Maybe more importantly Radian is "new" and shiny and is the hot ticket currently. I can't honestly tell him that he needs a new rod, because he really doesn't.

Don't get me wrong, I love and fish the newer rods. But, the 20 year old premium rods are still very good, and I love and fish those too. And more importantly, only expert casters (of which there are darn few) can really tell the difference and "benefit" from the newer technology.

Here lies one of the real challenges in the fly fishing industry. Rod technology and performance has progressed very little in the last 20 years. In the sense that the "average" angler can detect no difference in performance. That, combined with lifetime warranties, makes it very hard to sell new product. If the guy has a 20 year old RPL, GLX, or whatever, and it is in good working order, there really is no compelling reason for him to purchase a new rod. The new rods just aren't that much better from a performance perspective.

I know that we can rationalize all day long to justify new rods. But...
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Old 04-26-2015, 04:39 PM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

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Originally Posted by coolhand View Post
My first "good" rod was a Fenwick HMG designed by Don Greene, so that probably shaped my biases.
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The first two rods that I purchased were Fenwick HMG World Class models. One for trout and one for salmon. The rods that followed were Sage RPL GFL III series. Sadly, I didn't get into the LL series. None of these rods will ever be sold. My 3 wt. ZXL has it's place and is a gem to me. I added an Advantage 5 weight and is the the last Sage that I will buy. For the type of fishing I do, I have what I need. I have now gone to custom glass in short Kabuto and Steffen rods and love the slower action so I have no interest in the Circa. In my hands old is as good as the new. The only powerhouse rods getting my attention these days and at a bargain price are the first issue Hardy Zeniths. I love the look at ultra modern look of the skeletal reel seat.
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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 04-26-2015, 05:25 PM
 
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

I have a GLoomis GLX classic 10 ft 5 wt that is my favorite rod for the Madison River. I have a more modern 10 ft 5 wt GLoomis Streamdance High Line Speed as my backup, but I prefer the older rod because I am familiar with it.

Before I bought my GLX, I fished with a 9 ft 5 wt Sage RPL. Now I use a Sage VXP when I use a 9 ft 5 wt. I prefer the VXP to the Sage RPL.

For the longest time I used a Fisher GT40 8.5 ft 5 wt as my Wisconsin Rod. It has been replaced with a Gary Borger Light Touch 8.5 ft 5 wt.

When I find a rod I like, I tend to stick with it. It is not that I think that the older rods are better, because I agree with Jackster that like modern cars, modern fly rods have improved because they are stronger, lighter and thinner.

If I were to break my GLX and couldn't get it repaired, I'd move on to a newer rod. After a while, I would find that it can do just everything the GLX does, some better and some worse, but I would adapt.

I'm not one to wax eloquent about an older rod. For me, rods are inanimate tools and there is always another good one around the next corner. Because I have been wed to that GLX Classic, I have not found one that I like as much. The reason is NOT that there aren't good 10 ft 5 wt rods out there; it is because by keeping to the old GLX, I had no need to look.

As to the angler who prefers his RPL+ to the newer rods, there is what is know as pretest bias. His bias both physically and mentally is to prefer what he has over what he has to spend money for. His casting groove is matched to the RPL+ and mentally he is biased against other fly rods. I have the same bias for my GLX classic.

Recently, an angler's posts on another thread revealed that he would rather fish with a 4 wt rod that cannot handle an 14" brown trout than to go to a stiffer rod. Does that make sense to me? No, but it does to him. I doubt that any modern rod could persuade him to give up the rod he is currently using.

So a true test is to get a bunch of independent fly caster and test the RPL+ (which was the top line Sage rod) against the top line current crop of rods like the Helios2 from Orvis. My personal opinion is that the RPL+ was a dog as evidenced by its replacement in just 2 years by the Sage SPL in 1997, and the return of the RPL as the VPS in 1997. Whereas the RPL+ had a 2 year run, the original RPL had a 10 year run from 1985 to 1995 and then as the VPS for even longer.

If independent test were performed of rods from the 1970s-80s vs our current fly rods, there is no question that the our modern rods would be judged superior.
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Last edited by silver creek; 04-26-2015 at 05:49 PM.
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Old 04-26-2015, 08:31 PM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

my all time favorite rod is a SAGE SP 6wt
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Old 04-26-2015, 10:05 PM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jackster View Post
Oh, and again this calls for an ad-lib of Steve Rajeffs quote... "I can make a rod that will not break, the problem is... no one will buy it...
Supposedly in that I cannot find a firm number, in a mere 39 years the Shakespeare Ugly Stik is the highest volume selling rod of all time.

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Old 04-27-2015, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: "Classic" models better than "New" models?

To me, in a world of advancing technology, fly rods and the evolution of fly rod design and technology is unique, or almost unique. I would love to have my old 1976 BMW 2002 back, but a new Audi, BMW or even a Nissan is probably better in every aspect. I would rather gouge my eyes out than watch the little black and white TV I grew up on. I get frustrated using a computer even five years old, it is so slow. But fly rods are different, there is no doubt my new Radian can do things my Old G series can't, but within the limit of the Scott G, fairly light payloads, low wind conditions and casts within 50', I really prefer fishing with the G, or Winston WT or even my old Fiberglass. If the wind picks up, or streamers are called for that day, I go with a more suitable rod. I will be picking up my new Sweetgrass bamboo rod next week and I expect it to become my new favorite, but closer in action to the classics I grew up with.

I don't pick up my G904 to fish the same way a guy trots out his old Model A to drive around the lake on a sunny spring day. The guy with the Model A is making a statement with his 1930s period clothes and 45mph top speed, I'm grabbing what I believe is my best fishing tool for the day.

Bottom line is that the classics are called classic for a reason, the have earned classic status by just being very good and made a lot of people happy for a long time. BTW, even 25 years ago when I bought my first good graphite rod, a fisherman had choices amongst the best of the best, depending on your preference in casting. S&S has stated that he loved the Sage RPL from the beginning, I hated it, it was much too fast for me. I much preferred the contemporary Sage LL series. That doesn't mean either of us are right or wrong, it's just what we like. I ended up getting the slightly faster Scott G 904 which seemed like a compromise between the slow Winston IM6 and Sage RPL. I think you could rightly call any of those rods classics today and be happy with them.
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