I wiggled a few of the Crosswater rods last weekend, and looked at the
build quality. Seemed like a lot of rod for little $$$. I looked at a St. Croix
Triumph when I was at Dick's Sporting Goods a few weeks ago, and that
looked dandy for $89.
My first fly rod was a $15 fiberglass job: slow, heavy, and nothing to look
at. I don't remember the line I used, but I'm sure it wasn't over $10.
Fast forward to 10 years ago, and I got back onto FF'ing. I bought a Browning
graphte rod from Dick's for $60. What a huge dufference over the old glass
rod! My son and I fished that for a year, and then bought a couple of St. Croix Pro Graphite rods for $90. Made in USA, and we had arrived...LOL!!!!
It wasn't long before I began looking at FF'ing on the internet, and was
led to believe that true happiness was a Winston. Fortunately, there was
a Winston dealer just 15 minutes away. I tried a Winston WT 9' 5wt, and it
felt like my old glass rod, but lighter. The wife (Eyler's Fly Shop in Bryn Mawr,
PA) gave me a Diamondback Aeroflex to try, and I liked it much more than the
Winston, and it was lighter than the St. Croix. She also knocked the price
down to $225! A couple of theoor regular customers came in, and I asked their opinion. One of the guys took both rods outside with me to cast (again),
and asked me how much they wanted for the Diamondback. When I told him,
he smiled and told me to buy the less expensive rod. He did say that all of
his saltwater rods were Diamondbacks, but neither of use felt $400 difference
in the two rods.
My needs in a rod are:
*Lightweight, and a rod that doesn't feel tip heavy.
*Sections that fit together well.
*Decent looks all around, a nice cork grip, and hardware that's decent.
*Something that's at least mod-fast.
I've cast a lot of rods in the past 5 years, and 99.9% can be made to cast
well with proper timing and decent line. My son is home from Dover AFB
today, otherwise I'd be at the fly shop looking at the Winston BIIX or
Sage Z-Axis that everyone's been talking about. Actually, I was at the fly
at them last weekend, but was afraid to cast one. I'd
probably like it, and feel obligated to buy it....
*I was able to take the Redington RS3 I recently bought fishing on the
Delaware River yesterday afternoon. While that rod feel a bit tip heavy while
simply holding it (9' 7wt), it felt great while fishing for an 1 1/2 hours. Some
will say that it might begin to feel heavy after 3 hours of fishing, but I think
it'll be fine. Best of all, Cabelas dropped the price from $199 to $79 on
closeout. Gotta make way the shiney new RS4's...
Don't let the internet make you feel like your rod is inadequate
all I have to say about that
If I were going to spend some $$$ on a better rod, I'd probably buy another St. Croix Legend Ultra. I've
owned them before, they balance well, and cast fast enough for me. They are nearly identical in terms of casting to the
Diamondback, but they don't make Aeroflex rods any longer.