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  1. #1

    Default Buying fly rods used, or not?

    I was wondering what most people think of buying used rods. Does the graphite wear out over time or is it the same rod as when new, just a little dirtier and more scratched up?
    The other flies, n., pl.
    1. dry flies, nymphs, emergers, terrestrials, streamers, etc.
    2. What I use when a black #10 woolly bugger isn't catching.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    A graphite rod, not damaged doesn't appear to have any legitimate limit on it's life span. If it was good rod ten years ago, it's probably still a good rod. The only downside of buying used, is that many manufacturers don't honor the warranty for anyone but the original purchaser.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Central Florida

    Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    I agree with Burke. I have graphite rods that are over 20yrs old and I don't notice any degradation in performance. I haven't noticed any set in the tips but I really haven't looked. There might be a problem if a rod was repeatedly over stressed by bending to excess but I don't know that.

    If you follow the general guidelines given in this FAQ post I think you will be fine with a used rod. The biggest problem you have to be careful about is impact damage. A rod with impact damage can break at the damaged location.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    On a stream in MI or OH

    Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    Lots of people buy used rods and do not have problems. I personally do not plan to buy a used rod for two reasons. First, as Frank mentioned, you don't know if the rod took abuse from the impact of beadhead or large flies. Second, if the rod breaks b/c of impact damage or some other issue, the warranty would no longer be in effect to cover the cost of repairing it. With my luck, it would break the first time I tried to land a fish with it!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    So Cal - 33.7645 N, 117.7939 W

    Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    It is surprising how many rods come up for sale from individuals who, for one reason or another, have never used them. If you know what you want, don't need it immediately and have time to browse classifieds & auctions, chances are you will find exactly what you are looking for in unused or lightly used condition, at a considerable saving.
    This has been my personal experience; at the same time agreeing with the points the previous replies to your post make.
    If you decide to give it a try, good hunting.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    South Texas

    Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    The main aspect of how graphite rods break goes like this- they break basically the same way glass does.

    To get glass to break easily along a given line, you need to score it. This is how graphite rods break as well. (and why I cringe when I see rod tips scraping on a tailgate.) So like others have said, its very realistic to get 20+ years out of a graphite rod with no change in performance, but if it gets knicked, even a little bitty bit, everything can change.

    What I do is only spend over $100 on a used rod if the original warranty card comes with it. Otherwise, you may be buying a knicked dud that may not be good for long at all.

    I'd rather hunt fish than bait deer any day.

  7. Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    I buy "kind of used" old models new...demos...factory demos almost always have warranty cards and old models discounted carry cards...I've seen 40% of old but new Sage XPs with 12 wt Winston XTR three piece was bought used barely...from a longtime fly shop...but the cost/benefit was worth the risk $185.00

  8. Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    I enjoy buying a new rod,I look and read and test (if possible).My recent purchase was a `Lefty Krey `Had it it out on Sunday for the first time,of course I loved it ,caught a nice 3.5lb brownie on an AFTM 5# was great.Ffor me its not just the rod its the whole experience of a `new` rod and up to date technology
    Jusy an opinion
    Love the forum

  9. Default Re: Buying fly rods used, or not?

    I've found no issue buying second hand rods, I now own a sage TXL and a Z-Axis as well as a St Croix Legend Elte. All three cost me about half retail, a worthwhile saving even if do end up breaking one of them. The St Croix has an excellent warranty for 2nd owners and is an exceptional buy.

    Essentially I've been able to own three top flight fly rods when my budget only allowed for mid range, and even spend some money on casting lessons which has done more for my casting than any new rod can.

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