Originally Posted by Joni
I think LINE is more important than the rod. And of course fly and presentation is the key.
CONFIDENCE is the most important. If you have that, you can make anything work.
The more expensive rods do make a difference though. Not saying you will catch more fish, but like already said, it will be less of a struggle and much more enjoyable.
Agreed - line is THE big one, will make or break your potential with any rod of any cost or flavor.
I do appreciate the differences offered by premium rods. Do I catch more fish because I have a pile of expensive rods? Maybe, but not many if so... I have a few rods that seem to completely integrate with my body and vision, and allow me to pull off some pretty funky presentations to real tricky holds... there are usually more relaxed fish holding there because they are spots most folks won't even see in their scope of what's possible when they step into that stretch of water. Is it just familiarity with the rod? Maybe, but I don't think that's all of the picture... if I hadn't made a significant connection with them to begin with, I would have never gotten that familiar, right? Yes, I do cast all kinds of rods of all weights, lengths, actions and cost, and the few that have really inspired me have lately all been more expensive rods. Trust me, I would prefer they weren't, even at pro pricing it's a retarded amount of $ to spend on a 'fishing pole'.
Others might pick up my 4 core go to rod/line combos I find they don't suit them well at all... it's very subjective. Cast as many rods as you can, and when you find a few you like try them again with different lines and see what happens. My personal experience has been that some rods have one line match that brings out the best of that rod for how they use it. Some rods shine with different lines, taking on different personalities and rising specifically well to different tasks. Most of the rods I own are the later because that's what does it for me, nothing measurable or objective about it.
I fish mostly 2 SLT's, a Z-Axis, a ZXL, a BIIx, a LT3 variant (Delaware Special), an SP and a TRC (hoping to ad a G2 to this list this year). On those, the most fished lines are TT, SA & Rio DT, Windcutter, Tactical Ridge, and Lake type VII. Wide range of rods, wide range of lines.
What you wear and carry to the river has little to do with the heart of the experience. When you're on the water, ALL of your attention should be on the water. This will solve you're concerns for what others think (who?) and make you a better fisherman too...