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Thread: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

  1. #1

    Default Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    Before you start bashing guys, I am brand new to fly fishing and know jack squat, and before I drop a lot of coin, I want to make sure I like it. I moved to western Colorado a few years ago and with all the fly fishing around, I figured I should give it a try.

    So here is my situation:
    I bought a Traditional II combo at Cabelas today and am second guessing myself. It was a Cabelas Tradiotnal II rod with a Presige Plus reel, rod tube, Prestige plus line and backing for $99 (I got a 5wt , 4 pc, per recommendation).

    While there the salesman was showing me a TFO combo that he said was a much better deal. It was a TFO Professional series rod with a TFO MK II reel (the add claims it was a $200 reel). Basically it was buy the rod for $149 and get the reel free. He said it was a good deal, but didnt come with line, a tube, etc.

    When I told a buddy of mine about it he said I may want to re-think what I had bought and go back for the TFO. To get it set up with the same line, a tube, etc. I would be looking at $200.

    My question is whether for a beginner who is fly-experimental, would it be worth it, and is the TFO that much better. I am ate up with bow hunting, so I know you get what you pay for, but would rather get a few opinions on the quality of the two set ups and if the difference in quality between the 2 would be justifiable for a newbie, and if the Cableas is really going to leave me wanting more?

    THanks for any input!
    Last edited by bowhuntermac; 05-29-2010 at 11:30 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Upper Mojave Desert

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    First . Good having you here. You won't see much bashing at NAFF. A lot of good folks here with a lot of knowledge.
    I'm guessing that fly fishing is a lot like bow hunting in that there is a craving to upgrade. I have no knowledge of the rod that you bought, but the TFO Professional Series rods are used by some pretty experienced guys.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    Thanks. Just kinda leary asking a question that may or not have an obvious answer as it is all new to me. Just want to make sure I get started on the right foot in case it sticks!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2009
    St. Louis, Missouri

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    Welcome to the forum.

    I have not used the Cabela's Traditional II fly rod, but the rods are on sale right now for $90, the Prestige reel is on sale for $40 and the Prestige flyline is $30 - total value about $160. I have tried a Prestige reel and found them to be rather heavy - a 5/6wt reel is 6.1 oz. in weight. What is the warranty on the low-end Cabela's brand rods? I think it may be only 5 years.

    The TFO rod MSRP is $150, and the TFO Mk-II reel MSRP is $210 (weight 5.3 oz.). Total value about $360. All TFO rods have a lifetime warranty against any breakage, even if you step on it or slam it in a truck door. FYI - The Rio Mainstream fly line is on sale at Cabelas for $20.

    I have used several different models of TFO rods and own several different rods of the TFO Professional line of rods, and have found them to be well worth the $$. If you get the TFO outfit, you will not need to upgrade for a very long, if you "want" to upgrade, well that is a different thing all together!

    P.S. - TFO has great customer service - see the post at this link: Kudos for TFO Customer Support

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    My experience from teaching people is that when the higher quality equipment is put into the hands of people using lower quality gear, the learning curve starts to flatten. It isn't as steep. The rookie fishermen does not have to fight the equipment as much to get decent performance.

    If you ever decide to take formal instruction from a shop or a guide, take a look at the class rods. They will all be name branded. The shop that I work has Scott class rods. One of my guide friends uses Redington and Sage class rods. Another guide friend has TFO and Sage class rods. An obvious reason why they have these rods is to potentially make a rod sale for a shop. The main reason is to give the student the tool to make learning easier.

    The TFO Pro Series 9 foot 5 weight 4 piece model is TFO's number one selling rod. It is a very user friendly rod that performs very well. For many rookies, this is a rod that they could learn with and still have something plenty to grow with.

    You picked yourself a quality rod and reel that will suit you now and maybe a few season more.


  6. #6

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    Thanks guys. I was wondering if there were any significant quality differences between the two or any specific things to look at.
    Thanks for the heads up on the reel weight difference. That is the kind of feedback that is very helpful as I have no idea what I am looking at, but want to give this flyfishing a whirl. I get a lot of looks whilst out chucking a Mepps on a creek with fly fisherman all around me!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Pinedale, WY
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    Welcome to the forum! I know nothing about the Cabelas rod, the TFO on the other hand, is a very nice rod, we have several members using TFO rods and like Brewmaster mentioned, you can't beat the customer service and warranty. Now that you have a basic setup, look around and see if you have a fly fishing club in your area or maybe a Trout Unlimited Chapter. Having someone experienced mentoring you will go a long way in learning to cast. If you don't have either of those options, try getting some help from the local fly shop, as MP suggested take a fly casting lesson. Another option would be YouTube, do a search for fly casting lessons. The best one I have seen is by Tim Landwehr, it is a three part series.
    [ame=]YouTube - Tight Lines-Learning to Fly Cast Part 1[/ame]


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    Welcome to fly fishing Mac,

    The debate on rods and the subsequent relationship between price and quality will always exist. My first rod was not a good rod and I could not cast well with it. Given the years of experience I suspect I could cast it very well today albeit with more effort than with a quality rod.

    I would advise that you look at the reviews from persons who are professionals and handle many different rods. Our member 'Moscapascador' works in the fishing tackle industry and his knowledge regarding fly rods is based on real hands on experience with many rods. He will be a good sounding board for you.

    And, as has been said you should have no fear of anyone "Bashing" you here. This is The North American Fly Fishing Forum and we are proud of our members.


    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

  9. #9

    Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..

    I'm glad there's no bashing here. As a newbie its nice to be able to ask very basic questions without fear of being shouted at to "USE THE SEARCH BUTTON!". I was a member of a car forum with so many angry/unhelpful members that asking anything was worthless.


  10. Default Re: Newbie with a question on a combo at Cabelas vs. a TFo kit..


    I have a lot of different rods from different manufacturers and I can honestly say that only the very accomplished casters out there can take any appreciative benefit out of a high end rod. Don't get me wrong it's always nice to fish with the best you can afford but Cabela's makes rods that are just as good as any others. I own several in different brackets. I used to fish with their low end three forks rod and loved it. I also own own of the older traditional series as well as their newer Pt+ rod. If you stay away from the real heavy and clumsy rods you still can find for $19.95 at your local dept store you will be fine.

    The Cabela's equipment is not bad at all. Not too ruffle anyone's feathers but TFO has benefitted from a genius marketing campaign and the ability to get Lefty Kreh as their designer and spokesperson. Does that necessarily make them the best thing since slice bread. No in my opinion. TFO has a following and I'm sure they are a fine product, but remember they are pushed by the right people. We fly fishers and I'm included to a certain extent need to stop this brand war and help out beginners with the sport itself. I would hate for someone to feel inferior just because they can't afford this or that brand.
    bowhuntermac, your equipment will be just fine. Enjoy and hopefully you will have a long lasting hobby to have fun with.
    Last edited by tennswede; 06-02-2010 at 06:45 PM. Reason: grammar

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