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  1. Default tfo signature rods

    anyone have any input on there? they were recommended by a fly fisherman who's opinions i value. i like the price and the fact that they are two piece rods. i plan on using it for smallmouth and the occassional steelhead fishing. thanks....rap

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: tfo signature rods

    I have no experience with the rods but just have to ask, if someone you know and trust has recommended them.................................... I think you know the rest of that question. Myself I have changed the way I think on fly rods over the years, I go more with a quality reel and line and figure that if you are a good caster a value rod should do ya fine.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. Default Re: tfo signature rods

    hardy, i am kind of new to this venue, so additional info, whether good or bad, from those with experience is helpful. i do know that i don't care for a fast action rod, given my inexperience. also, learning about all this stuff is fun.

  4. #4

    Thumbs up Re: tfo signature rods

    i fish with a 9' 5wt it's a little faster than i like
    i went to a 6wt line and i like it even more
    it's a good rod for the money

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: tfo signature rods

    I've wiggled them, if that counts . I don't like heavy rods, so that could
    be an issue. Some folks put a heavy reel on a heavy rod in order to get
    some sort of balance, but heavy is heavy.... The lower-end TFO rods I looked
    at varied dramatically in workmanship, and I was looking at a store isle of
    them. It might be best to buy one in person, although the things I saw were
    purely cosmetic.

    Aside from weight, rod sections that loosen while fishing make me crazy. I
    had a rod that was light as a feather and was a delight to cast, but one
    of the section required constant tightening. I finally sent it back to the
    manufacturer, and they replaced it. Problem solved.

    I've neglected my older pre-$600 rods for a while, but used my St. Croix
    7'6" 4wt Imperial a few days ago. I hadn't forgot it was/is a nice rod, but it
    did make me wonder why I'd ever spend 5X more on a newer rod....... To be
    completely honest, my flyfishing rods and reels were what most would consider super-low-end for 20 years. In 1995, I bought a Browning at Dick's
    Sporting Goods for $60, and thought I had reached the pinnacle of fly rod
    technology! I didn't read very much in the way of magazine articles (nor
    the marketing that goes along with it), and didn't have internet at the time.
    We moved a few miles from a high-end fly shop in 2000, and it was then that
    I was informed that my rods and reels were junk. I have to pause
    here for a minute, because I'm thinking back to all the good times I've had
    with junk rods! I still have that Browning, and it is an once heavier than my
    high-end rods, but it throws line where it's needed.

    I would advice against the marketing hoopla. Cast the rod, and if it works
    for you, fine. If it works fine for your friend, practice your casting technique.
    I fish from a canoe quite a bit, and used a Cortland GRX rod (another sub-$100 rod that I thought was great!), and did drop the whole rig overboard.
    The water was 20 feet deep, so I paused there for a while to remember the
    all the fish I caught on that rod, and then moved on. I do take high $$$ rods
    on the canoe, but I spend too much time worrying about them.

    I'd call the Cortland Factory Store, and ask what rods they have on close-out. I bought a couple of brand new Diamondback Aeroflex rods from Cortland
    for $100 each! The Diamondback Americana series is very nicely built, casts
    great, is light in weight, and Made in the USA. They were only $175 new, so
    you could probably get one for much less now. People worry about the warranty on discontinued rods, but I haven't broken in rod in 30 years (car
    door). I had bought already owned an Aeroflex when I bought the closeouts
    from Cortland. I called the Cortland repair guys, and they said they had plenty
    of sections left for replacement. The Cortland Factory Store's website does
    not give much info, but the guys there told me they carry armloads
    of rods over every couple days, so it's best to call.

  6. Default Re: tfo signature rods

    frank, as always, your help is appreciated. i am beginning to hear about the weight of the rods. i have read about the cortland americana but unfortunately they are now made overseas. however, if the price and the weight are there, it may be a possible purchase. i cannot justify a high-priced rod as i may only use it five or six times a year. if you can think of any others that i should look at in this price range, i would appreciate the info. thanks, rich

    ---------- Post added at 09:45 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:18 AM ----------

    frank, i looked again at the americana series. do you or anyone else happen to know the weight of the 7wt? this may be what i was looking for. i should have bought three years ago, but hesitated. again, thanks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Southeast Pennsylvania

    Default Re: tfo signature rods

    I had a 9' 8wt Americana, and it said "Made in USA"...??? I weighed the rod,
    but only remember it was pretty close to 4oz. It was not a heavy rod at all.
    Here's a link:

    Here's a review:
    They say made in USA as well....

    They're light rods! I was really impressed with the guide wraps, and the 8wt shot line like
    a cannon ( ). It really was able to send out 60 feet of line with little effort, but the rod
    was not stiff at all. Imagine that .

    Here's another store link with free shipping:

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: tfo signature rods

    A year or two ago, the shop that I work at had to make a choice on which $99 to $149 price point rods that it was going to carry. The choices were the Ross Essense FS, TFO Signature Series, and the Redington Crosswater. We ended choosing the Ross.

    The Ross had the best build quality. The ferrules were the tightest. There weren't any inconsistencies in the cork based on feel and looks. The TFO looked like it had a chunk that could come off anytime. The thread wraps were the cleanest.

    The Ross casted the best out of the three. It was a true medium-fast action rod. The TFO felt a bit quicker than that. The Crosswater felt sluggish. Also it cast well both close and at distance. When I generated more line speed, the Ross had the least amount of tip bounce. With a 300 grain shooting head, the Ross seemed to take the load better than the others. I got more distance with it.

    The only thing that you may dislike is that the Ross is a 4 piece. Are we still having that debate today? Technology has gotten so refined, that it is a moot point. Many fine casters can't tell the difference between a 2 piece and a 4 piece.

    If you look around hard enough, you may be able to find a Sage Launch rod around $150 to $175. It was designed in both 2 piece and 4 piece builds. You will be getting a rod designed and built on Bainbridge Island, Washington, USA. It has a quality build and casts much nicer than any rod in its $250 MSRP category. The rod comes with a full cordura covered ABS plastic tube. As long as you buy the rod through an authorized Sage retailer, the rod will come with an unconditional lifetime warranty.


  9. #9

    Default Re: tfo signature rods

    Full disclosure up front: I'm on TFO Pro Staff, so factor that in to my answer however you would like. But I do fish TFO exclusively because I like the way they cast, I like Rick and the other folks at the company, and I like being able to recommend rods that don't require a newbie to mortgage the house.

    The Signature Series is a medium fast rod, although it is a little faster than what most people might consider medium fast. A signature 6wt is the first TFO rod I ever used. Rick gave us a couple to try out. We took them to a small lake with fish feeders and BIG carp. We were going to give those $99 (at the time) a workout before we gave up on the Scott rods we had both fished for several years.

    They cast well, and fought fish well. By the end of the day we had tied on 20# tippets and were manhandling 7-10 pound carp away from the feeder on those $99 rods. We were sold.

    I still have several Signatures, and while I fish the other TFO rods more often myself, I bring the signatures on guiding trips, especially for clients who are fairly new to fly fishing, or who have limited experience with fishing for and fighting big fish (carp). I also fish the 8 wt in spring for wipers when I'm throwing an SA Streamer express sink tip line, and the 10wt in winter when I'm throwing a full sink line for deep lake wipers. The signature is easier with those sinking lines than our other series, most of which are significantly faster.

    Yes, they are our low end rod. They aren't built with the best quality hardware, that's why they are under $120. But, they are good rods that fish well. And the cork is better on the newer models than on some of the originals.

    But you've received some good advice on this thread - your buddy recommends it, so you have a chance to throw his, so do it. And try a few other brands if you can so you find one that fits you well.

    TFO, like most other good rod makers, has a lifetime warranty even against stupidity (ceiling fans, car doors, Labrador retrievers, etc.). $25 for shipping and handling and you get a replacement.

    Good luck


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Monroe, Michigan

    Default Re: tfo signature rods

    I don't have the Signature Series rods, but do have two TFO's that I love...I bought a 9' 6wt last summer when I broke my St.Croix and it fishes great...First carp on a fly came shortly after I got it and the rod was awesome.


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