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  1. Default Best premium rod for beginner?

    I was looking to spend around 400 and after reading I've decided buying an older premium rod is better than buying a Scott A4 9' 5wt. I live in Tennessee and go to Montana to fish a few times. I was told either the Hardy Zenith, (625) or the Scott S4 (695) by someone already. I want a 8-9 ft and (5-6 wt I really don't know which is more suitable or easier I mostly nymph or have a dry with a nymph) what are some rods out there that I could maybe find a good deal on that are good for beginners?(guess this means medium action right?)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Broomfield, CO

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    I bought the Winston VSL 9ft 4wt and a Hardy 4000DD reel as my first setup. Love both

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Beijing / Cincinnati, Ohio

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    Welcome to the forum. A search will reveal many prior threads that talk the merits of different rods. Since you are starting with a very good budget for your first rod, I suggest visiting a couple of local fly shops and casting various rods (fast, medium, medium-fast & slow). That way you can find that 'sweetheart' rod which will bring you lots of joy on the water. Whether to go with a 5wt or 6wt depends on what size of flies you will cast with the rod & also to some degree what type of rod action fits your casting stroke. These days there aren't any bad rods in your price range.

    Some decent rod comparison test have been carried out by the Yellowstone anglers through the years and you will find the results on their website.

    FWIW, the current A4 action and is quite similar to the S4. There are differences in the quality of the components but they both cast very similar to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Northern California
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    The reality is that most premium rods will be versatile enough to fish the presentations that you wish to accomplish. What is important is that you get a rod that will allow you to feel it flex. That is called the load. Some of the ultra fast tapers like Sage's TCX and Winston's BIIMx may not be for you.

    The best thing that you could do is visit a well stocked shop and test cast a few rods. Limit yourself to three rods or four rods tops, so you do not confuse yourself. Take notes on what you like and dislike. If you don't find something that screams your name, then try another three or four. Keep taking notes.

    Good luck with your search.


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  6. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    Some excellent advise above but as you're really new to this I'd recommend you 'take a lesson' or two. The reason for the lesson is pretty obvious, but the instructor will have several well balanced 'out fits' for you to try on. Balanced as the rod AND the line strung on same.

    Over time your 'taste' for rod actions will evolve but that's to be expected. You will also find rod manufacture(s) whose products you'll love, and some that you'll hate from top to bottom. (As an example of the last, for me it's the T & T's. Folks that love them, love them to bits. "Eye of the Beholder" I guess.
    When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost. - Billy Graham"

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Sidney, Nebraska

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    With a little luck and some watching of the auction site you can score a new or very lightly used Sage Z-Axis 590-4 with the warranty card for around $400. Since they have been discontinued it seems like everybody and their dog wants one. The 590-4 is my go to stick for just about everything. Being able to shoot out a backing knot or to perfectly lay down a dry makes this a very versatile rod. It has my vote.


  8. #7

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    I wouldn't spend a lot of money as you really don't know yet what feels right and what doesn't. I would recommend a St. Croix Avid. I have been fly fishing almost all my life and the Avid is still a go-to rod for me.

    If you insist on a high end name brand, go to Ebay. There are a lot of almost new, high end rods on there that were bought by beginners who gave up fly fishing after a couple of tries!

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  10. #8
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Colorado Front Range

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    I just posted this link a while ago to Blue Quill Angler's sale. Sage Vantage rod for $160 or Sage Flight for $225. Pretty good deals if you like Sage and these are considered great entry level rods. Vantage is a Med-Fast rod and Flight a little faster.

    Awesome Offers on Fly Fishing Gear from Simms Sage and More

  11. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Hillsboro, OR

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    Mosca nailed it.

    My first premium rod was a Sage. It was only a Flight, not a high end model. At this point in my fly casting abilities, i love it. However, it was a bit difficult to get a good feel for it loading when i was still learning.

    I wouldnt spend a ton at first. You might find yourself wandering from different brand to different brand and model until you settle on one that you really like.

  12. #10

    Default Re: Best premium rod for beginner?

    My very first rod was a Winston "IBIS" 9' 6wt. I still have it. It is not too unresponsive, now that I've had some years with other rods. In fact, I find it quite a versitile rod for still water bass, river smallies and yes - sometimes (shhhh) carp. It can throw a standard 7wt line quite effectively or sink tips with the a floating 6wt.

    Though this is only one opinion, I might suggest looking at some classifieds or even "e-bay" as they can be had for $100 to $150 and often in new condition with warranty card.

    I think these IBIS models were made overseas, but carried the Winston warranty (with card). They sold for around $295 about 10 to 12 years ago, new (retail). The IBIS product line covered a wide range of line weights too.

    I would rate its action as medium to medium fast and can tell you that it will, with the correct leader / tippet, put a turn on a 5 pound smallie - at least the 6wt will.

    Kind regards - redleg
    Last edited by redleg155; 08-01-2012 at 01:55 PM.

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