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moucheur2003 07-07-2013 09:52 PM

Albright EXS
Albright sent me an email breathlessly announcing a 4th of July closeout sale. This came as quite a shock -- not only because Albright (sarcasm) NEVER (/sarcasm) marks down any of their products, but also because it included a lot of models form the EXS series that was originally discontinued more than 5 years ago, and I thought the remaining stock had all been liquidated through Sierra Trading Post at the time. I picked up a couple of EXS rods back then, and while I am a harsh critic of Albright's more recent business practices, I do love my EXS rods.

This new "closeout" EXS sale is offering them for $180, more than 50% off the original $375-$425 list prices these rods had when they were still in production. (Who knows what Albright is calling the "MSRP" these days. When I looked this afternoon I thought I saw a figure in the $700+ range, but this evening they aren't quoting any MSRP.) This is not quite as low as the lowest discounts that were available when STP was blowing them out, but it's still a great value for a very nice rod.

But there's very little info on the Albright website about the EXS series itself and why it's suddenly available again, other than what looks to be some old ad copy about the hardware fittings, high-modulus graphite and quartz scrim. The old rods were sweet if you got a good one, but had some problems with consistent quality control. Does anyone know why another batch of EXS rods is suddenly available so long after they were discontinued, and what their provenance is? Are they first-quality old stock, or old rejected blanks that stayed in the warehouse after the best stuff was sold off, or a new production run? And if they are new production, are they any different from the old ones?

williamhj 07-07-2013 10:38 PM

Re: Albright EXS
Interesting. I noticed their topwater series is on their site again, though it was gone for awhile. Have two of those and they are great rods - use them for back-up and loaners. No complaints.

moucheur2003 03-20-2014 10:08 AM

Re: Albright EXS
It's baaack...

Albright Fly Fish | EXS Fly Rods | Fly Line | Fly Fishing Rods | Rods

brookfieldangler 03-20-2014 10:16 AM

Re: Albright EXS
In all honesty, I don't really care how awesome the rod actually is. Their gimmicks are just too much for me. I know for a fact their reels are china knockoffs and they tout this insane msrp and offer a hige discount that is still higher than the actual value of the reel. There is just not a thing about them that I see as trustworthy. They destroy the value of their own products with these gimmicks.

No thanks

sweetandsalt 03-20-2014 10:59 AM

Re: Albright EXS
As fly-by-night as this company has degenerated into and as surprised as Moucheur by the appearance of these EXS rods, I must say they are very good rods. They were built by the top shop in Korea that has done many other high quality rods, use a taper based on the great New Zealand-built "Nano's" but sans Nano technology and cast and fish very well. The 8 1/2'/#4 and 9'/#5 are stand out trout rods but the rod missing from Albright's list is the 9'/#8 which is a rod I miss. Mine broke when a well meaning but clumsy fishing partner tried to help me bring a bonefish to hand in the Bahamas. Oh, I forgot to mention; those of us who fancy light, fast, high performance rods have been forced during their evolution to knowingly fish rods that are on the fragile end of the spectrum and EXS are toward that edge. I have broken (during having a fish on), besides the #8, a #5 and 12 too. It is only recently with material science advancements in matrix technology that companies have produced thin walled, small diameter, light weight blanks that are durable thanks to material applications like Hardy's SINTRIX and Sage's Konnetic. But EXS trout sized rods perform better than many a high end rods on the market today so, though not suited to throwing lead or too much boat abuse, they are a bargain at $179.

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