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Old 06-10-2010, 08:23 PM
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Default Winston rods

Hey all,

I was wondering what you guys thought of the winston vapor? It's made in China but I have read some good reviews. I know it's not going to be anything like something off the performance series. I trust all your opinions and they really do help so thank you.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:12 PM
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Default Re: Winston rods

I've only wiggled them in the shop. Seemed much stiffer than Winston LT and WT rods.

Honestly....Why spend $300+ on a chinese rod, when there are plenty of fine USA made rods? St. Croix Avids are nice, and I've owned a couple. The St. Croix Legend Ultra is also very nice, and both are made in the USA.

Redington rods are made in China, and priced fairly....sort of. Redington rods can be bought from this forums online shop, and shipping is free. I liked the two Redington rods I've owned, and thought the workmanship was fine.

Sage makes two rods in the USA that cost the same or less than the Vapor: the Vantage and Flight. I only have experience with the $250-ish Vantage.
Light weight, responsive, and an excellent casting tool. Winston markets their legacy, but decided that they needed to make some money at a lower price point. Rather than using a different brand name (like Sage does with Redington), they slapped the Winston label on a chinese rod. Why is it that St. Croix, Sage, and other USA companies can offer rods made here for the same price or less?

Last edited by FrankB2; 09-01-2011 at 06:43 AM.
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Old 06-10-2010, 11:23 PM
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Default Re: Winston rods

I'm with Frank on the ST Croix rods. I have owned two, a Legend 7'9" 4 wt and a Ultra 7' 3 wt. Both were very nice rods to fish with, actually the older brown legend 4 wt was better than the newer Ultra that I had. I do have one Sage rod, a VT2 9' 7 wt and I like it a lot.

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Old 06-11-2010, 01:24 AM
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Default Re: Winston rods

Quote:
Originally Posted by jackd001 View Post
Hey all,

I was wondering what you guys thought of the winston vapor? It's made in China but I have read some good reviews. I know it's not going to be anything like something off the performance series. I trust all your opinions and they really do help so thank you.
The Winston Vapor fits a niche as a price point rod, but it is a darn good casting rod. It is "Winston fast," meaning it is fast but not so fast. That will allow it to be more forgiving, but yet it will have some punch to throw larger flies. I actually like the 4, 5, and 6 weight Vapors more than Sage Flights in those line weights. If the Vapor had the pretty green finish and the premium components, it could pass as a premium rod.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankB2 View Post
Winston markets their legacy, but decided that they needed to make some money at a lower price point. Rather than using a different brand name (like Sage does with Redington), they slapped the Winston label on a chinese rod.
The Vapor was designed by the guys at Winston. It's just made offshore. Once the offshore rods are received by Winston, the same quality control staff that monitors "green" rods inspect them. If the rod performs to Winston standards, it's a Winston.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrankB2 View Post
Why is it that St. Croix, Sage, and other USA companies can offer rods made here for the same price or less?
Winston does not have the budget or facilities to make price point rods in the USA. All the money saved by having the Vapor made offshore allows Winston to make some of the best premium fly rods on the market. Its Twin Bridges facility is more of a craftsman's shop rather than a mass production facility. I am sure that Winston doesn't produce one tenth of what St. Croix produces (think economy of scale).

MP
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:59 AM
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Default Re: Winston rods

I agree with MP on Winston rods.

They make a quality product and although the argument can be made that purchasing a foreign made rod may take jobs away from Americans (an argument that, like most of you, I'm sympathetic to), the act of making a rod offshore does not, in an of itself, mean that it's an inferior product. If Winston keeps their quality standards in place, then in my opinion, there shouldn't be a lot of concern about whether the rod is well made or not. Every company is the arbiter of the quality of its own products; regardless of the location of manufacture. High quality standards generally translate into good products, low quality standards, the opposite.

I was looking for a good dry fly rod about a month ago. I went with a 9'0" Winston BIIt 5wt. and it's turned out to be another great rod.

Pocono
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Old 06-11-2010, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: Winston rods

I have a st. croix rod that I love. Never casted a winston but am going to get one some day. If you do chose the overseas route, I highly reccomend the Temple Fork. I have two and love both of them. Great rods.
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Old 06-11-2010, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Winston rods

I knew you were going to respond to my post, Dennis, but I felt that it had to be said. While the Vapor may cast weill, does it cast better than the USA made Sage rods at the same price point? How about the other USA made rods? As far as inspection goes, I can't see that taking more than minutes. Trek bicycles
expanded from a relatively small shop in the early 1990's, and began buying overseas frames. They were one of the first bicycle companies (which included Schwinn) to use thier name to sell an Asian bike. Trek and Schwinn put logos on the frame stating "Designed and Engineered in the USA", complete with an American flag! When I was a Schwinn dealer, the FTC ordered Schwinn to use a larger "Made in China/Taiwan/Japan" decal under the iconic Schwinn badge.
Some dealers simply peeled the diminutive decal off the bike entirely, but we complied. We also sold loads of USA and Italian made bikes and frames, and the
overseas Schwinns simply met a price point. Schwinn had made masterpieces and garbage in the USA up to that time, and everything in between, so it wasn't
a big deal. The FTC thought that the "Schwinn Chicago" badge gave people the impression the bike was made in the USA, however, and many people were
surprised when I told them they weren't. The only Schwinns made in the USA by 1991-92 were being made in Grenville, MS, and there weren't many of those.
The others were made by the Waterford Bike Co, in Waterford, WI. They were superb bicycles, and we were proud to talk about their pedigree.

When a customer buys a Vapor, do they feel they're getting a Winston, and the pride of ownership that the USA made Winston owners have? Does
anyone ever say, "No Thanks" after discovering that Vapor is made in China? We had that happen.

Here's a Winston factory tour video.

Winston uses "home wrappers" just like Sage and St. Croix (there might be other companies that do this as well). So not everything is done in house with the
USA made rods, but it is done in the USA.

EDIT Trek bought many of the small, yet respected names in mountain biking during the 1990's: Bontrager, Fisher, Klien, and even Lemond, and used them as marketing labels on anything and everything made overseas. I'd like to see legendary U.S. names reserved for products made in the USA, and another brand name used for overseas products. I'd like to see a lot of things, however, so.......

Last edited by FrankB2; 06-11-2010 at 08:52 AM.
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Old 06-11-2010, 09:35 AM
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Default Re: Winston rods

Hi Everyone,

Most people have their own opinion about buying overseas rods and some feel strongly. When Winston decided to import from over seas it caused a split within the company. The first rods were poor and some Winston people thought that these cheap rods were not what Winston was about. The split eventually led to some of the long time people leaving Winston. Winston went back and redesigned the Vapor and decided to go in that direction despite loosing some critical people over that decision.

It was interesting that Winston was up front about the problem within the company and even wrote about it on their WEB site. They did a good job of giving both view points and handled it in a very upfront manner.

The above information is my recollection of the information posted on the Winston site a few years back. I thought some of you might find it interesting.

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Old 06-11-2010, 11:19 AM
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Default Re: Winston rods

Good point about the Winston employees themselves, Frank. Here's a link to two articles about the objection of Winston employees to overseas rods, and one of the company's former owner's remarks about the direction David Ondaajte has taken Winston: MATR News: Casting jobs overseas? - Former Winston Rod owner upset over possible outsourcing

It should also be noted that Winston's bamboo rod makers left the company due to similar concerns. Glenn Bracket and Tom Morgan sold Winston to David Odaajte in 1991, but Brackett continued to head Winston's bamboo shop. When he went public with his objections regarding Odaajte's plans for Winston, Brackett said he was pushed out of the company: CLICK HERE The 4 bamboo makers left Winston, but Brackett started a very successful new bamboo rod company: Sweetgrass Rods.

Kenny Hill makes classical guitars in Felton, CA. He is very successful, and guitars from his shop sell for $4,000-$$8,000. Kenny had guitars built in Paracho Mexico during the 1990's, and the label read "Kenny Hill". About 4 years ago, Hill decided to have a Chinese violin shop make guitars for him, but the label now reads "New World Guitars". They are designed and inspected by Kenny Hill and his employees in Felton, CA, and Kenny says that he travels to China to supply the materials used to make these guitars. The MIC guitars sell for around $1,500, and they are very good guitars. Some retailers advertise the New World Guitars as "Kenny Hill", but the label says different. Bravo...
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:50 PM
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Default Re: Winston rods

This is a great thread! I've always loved the workmanship of the Winston rods. After Tom Morgan sold Winston to David Odaajte in 1991, he later opened a custom fly rod shop "Tom Morgan Rod Smiths" in Manhattan, MT. Allan bought one of his premium fly rods last year after waiting 2 1/2 years.

Waited 2 1/2 years

Tom Morgan Rodsmiths - Fine Rods and Reels

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