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Old 02-26-2008, 08:39 PM
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Default beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Hi everyone,

I'm wondering why a lot of the lower priced rods are considered beginners rods. Rods like TFO, Redington, Echo, etc. are producing very good rods that are comparable to intermediate or advanced ones in feel and castabilty. And yet whenever I read a description of these rods they are sometimes referred to as "a good rod for the beginning angler". And the more expensive stuff is suited for the "intermediate or advanced angler".

From what I have read in this forum and elsewhere on the net, the above mentioned rods, and some others, hold their own against some of the bigger companies that offer the high end stuff. And in blind tests most anglers can't feel the difference between a Z-Axis and a TFO. So why are these lower priced rods frequently advertised as beginner rods.
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:47 AM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Maybe called beginner rod, because if you don't like the sport. It didn't dent your pocket?


then again im a beginner so who knows!
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:51 AM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Hi tca1954,

You can't say a TFO rod casts as good as a Z-Axis. In one case you using a manufacture and in the other case you are using a specific model of rod. You have to compare model to model to give a valid comparison.

A beginner needs a slow to medium action rod to learn how to cast. A beginner also wants a low cost rod. The TFO Professional is a slow to medium fast rod and at a reasonable cost. It is not a pretty rod and is a bit heavier than some rods in the same size. You see it recommended often because it is a good casting rod and appropriate for a beginner to learn with. The TFO rods with faster actions like the TiCr and TiCr X is not generally recommended to a beginner to learn how to cast. A TiCr in a 6wt rod is almost a full once heavier than the Z-Axis in the same weight.

I have not seen any blind test like you are talking about but if you put two different rods into the hands of a beginner he may not know the difference. But, if you put those same rods in the hands of an accomplished caster he would probable know right off. This would be especially tru if you are comparing a TFO Professional to a Z-Axis. I can guarantee you that if you put a Sage TCR into the hands of a beginner and then a TFO Professional they would know the difference right away.

I don't think comparing rods does much good. Rod selection is a personal matter based on experience, requirement, cost and origin. When choosing a rod the caster needs to cast the rods and pick the one that best suits their requirements.

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Old 02-27-2008, 09:34 AM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

My take on this would be that a beginner rod would, or should, be more forgiving of a beginning casters devloping skill level. Something that wouldn't magnify a new caster mistakes to the point they walk away from the sport. That's not to say that a veteran caster wouldn't enjoy using a "beginner rod" but a beginner might be totally flustered with a high end rod that amplfied any lack of casting skills.
My problem is I'm not finding any place to actually try different rods other than giving them a shake inside the store.
Just my $.02
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:56 AM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Regarding the previous post, I don't believe it's a matter of high end or low end... more of action, agreeing with Franks point regarding beginners. There is the 'tomato stake' segment of very fast action rods which is available at both ends of the quality spectrum, none of which are good rods for early casting skill development. Same is true on the other end... I learned on a $99 LL Bean Quest package (med-med/fast rod, reel, line) yet I wouldn't discourage a beginner from starting with a premium rod like a ZXL, G2, WT, etc. if that's what fit them because they do fall in the action 'zone' that I see new casters make great progress with.

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Old 02-27-2008, 11:23 AM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Quote:
Originally Posted by GRN View Post
Regarding the previous post, I don't believe it's a matter of high end or low end... more of action, agreeing with Franks point regarding beginners. There is the 'tomato stake' segment of very fast action rods which is available at both ends of the quality spectrum, none of which are good rods for early casting skill development. Same is true on the other end... I learned on a $99 LL Bean Quest package (med-med/fast rod, reel, line) yet I wouldn't discourage a beginner from starting with a premium rod like a ZXL, G2, WT, etc. if that's what fit them because they do fall in the action 'zone' that I see new casters make great progress with.

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Thanks for clarifying. What you say makes perfect sence.
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Old 02-27-2008, 06:47 PM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

IMO what's a beginner? a person who loves to fish and wants to try fly fishing or a person who has not really fished but thinks catching fish with the fly might be a good sport?..if the former then get the better rod and learn how to use it...cause if you like fishing you will love it with the flyrod...if the latter get the cheap rod and see if you really like fishing...I like most started with my father...first memories at 4... lake michigan chicago perch fishing...then panfish...then bass catfish carp, buffalo,... pike in the ditches of northern indiana and illinois...lastly trout michigan at 12-13...with spinning and fly reel...level line and a fly flatfish...then a flyrod
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:23 PM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Frank Wrote:

I can guarantee you that if you put a Sage TCR into the hands of a beginner and then a TFO Professional they would know the difference right away.

I can vouch for this. In my first casting class, the instructor had a handful of Sages. If I remember correctly, XP, SP, and a TCR. He quickly assessed the inherent casting ability of the group and handed the TCR to the guy next to me who was clearly a natural. I felt I was doing very well with the rod that I was using though I can't remember which model. Toward the end of the class, we switched rods and the instructor had me cast the TCR. I was not able to sense the rod loading or acquire any timing to cast that rod at the time. As Frank says, you have to consider similar actions and intended use when comparing. I couldn't have distinguished between price but could between action.

That said, I own a TFO Finesse that carries a beginner price tag but I consider a permanent and quality element of my rod stable. So I agree that from a marketing perspective, the "beginner" tag is often a function of the level of investment.
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:39 PM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Why are some less expensive rods called beginner rods and other more expensive ones are called advanced/intermediate?

Because if you're out on the river with your new $600 Sage and you can't figure out the basic cast and you spend an hour trying to figure out how not to get your fly to flick the water on the backcast or how not to get your line to land in a heap ten feet from you (and one foot from the rod tip) after you've just spent three seemingly good false casts shooting the line out to a length you want to fish with....well this can be a little more embarrassing than if you are just out there with a $150 TFO rod.

BTW- if that post sounds informed like I'm talking about some real circumstances, there's a reason...
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Old 02-27-2008, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: beginning rod vs. intermediate, advanced

Quote:
Originally Posted by FlyDog View Post
My take on this would be that a beginner rod would, or should, be more forgiving of a beginning casters devloping skill level. Something that wouldn't magnify a new caster mistakes to the point they walk away from the sport. That's not to say that a veteran caster wouldn't enjoy using a "beginner rod" but a beginner might be totally flustered with a high end rod that amplfied any lack of casting skills.
My problem is I'm not finding any place to actually try different rods other than giving them a shake inside the store.
Just my $.02
Being somewhat of a beginner myself I can agree with this. I have two $600+ rods from Sage and Scott and they are both fast action rods. I get frustrated at times because I can't feel the rods load on the back cast so my timing gets off. I have several rods in the $300 dollar range from G-Lommis and Ovis that are medium-fast action and I can feel these rods load so my experience is much more enjoyable. Hopefully with time I will become experienced enough for the Scott and Sage but for now they will stay in the back of the closet. My favorite has to the the 4 wt G-Lommis Stream Dance Metolius which casts like a dream and is one heck of a bluegill rod. It's given me many enjoyable days in the kayak.

Just my $0.02 and I hope you find what your looking for.
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