Difference Between Expensive vs Inexpensive Rods?

oldskewl808

Well-known member
Messages
591
Reaction score
17
Location
Hawaii
If I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Hawaii and made a plan to meet up and fish with you which I would love to do; there is a high probability my NRX#8 and NV-G might accompany me. There are very few flats outfits its equal. But now I know it might be a turn-off and knowing your penchant for light line weight rigs, I am wanting to try a Korean built SKY#7 with perhaps an Allen Atlas...you're forcing me to spend more money.

---------- Post added at 03:18 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:56 PM ----------

Now I am becoming embarrassed that, in the adjacent thread, I commented upon upgrading my 30 year old Orvis 8'/#4 and its well worn CFO reel with a mega priced Winston and an about to be released Bauer. For the frequency with which I fish small creeks, rarely, I do not need a new rod. I admit to being intrigued by learning that there are several quality casting rods of this size I have never paid appropriate attention to but that old Western Series is really still a very good little rod.



To the OP's question I still say get a TFO or Redington and only consider an expensive rod when, upon test casting one you fall in love with it. I know how Dillon, above, fishes and also observed when he went from a Cortland Big Sky#6, not a bad rod at all, to a Radian#6 or Scott A4#4 to Sage 8 1/2'/#4 ONE what a difference it made to him, his casting and angling enjoyment. Is it worth it, absolutely, if you have skills like he does.


It's just that 9 out of 10 people who fish that rig is because they read about some shootout someplace saying it was the best. I agree however, it is a dream to fish that setup.
S&S I would welcome you and your gear with open arms! Any time to come fish here. Aloha.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

jimbaker488

Well-known member
Messages
150
Reaction score
6
Location
Houston
I've kinda grown to hate this subject. Fish whatever you are comfortable with or want without regard to what anyone thinks. You want to fish a Ferrari, fish a Ferrari. You want to fish a Lada, fish a Lada.

Are you happy on the water? Does fishing whatever rod you have satisfy you? If so, who care.

Sent from my E6853 using Tapatalk
Some of us who aren't as knowledgebable about the subject want to learn what if anything in terms of performance can a guy potentially realize with the higher priced equipment ? For example cast a greater distance or have more accuracy in casting ?
BTW since I'm asking questions - what's the difference between fiberglass and grafhite rods, is one best for one kind of fishing or another ? One best for small steams, etc. ?
 

silver creek

Well-known member
Messages
7,330
Reaction score
782
Location
Rothschld, Wisconsin
Some of us who aren't as knowledgebable about the subject want to learn what if anything in terms of performance can a guy potentially realize with the higher priced equipment ? For example cast a greater distance or have more accuracy in casting ?
The obvious answer is that if you can't cast to where the fish are, you can't be accurate. Obviously any rod that can reach the fish or angler who can reach the fish will be more accurate than those who cannot. For closer in accuracy read the post about :

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/fly-rods/372547-rod-accuracy.html


BTW since I'm asking questions - what's the difference between fiberglass and grafhite rods, is one best for one kind of fishing or another ? One best for small steams, etc. ?
The difference is mass and modulus. The rod actions can match but the rod feel will be different because the fiberglass rod will have more mass so it will feel and cast differently than a lighter graphite rod of the same length, line wt and flex pattern. Read the thread above and then read:


http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/fly-rods/372866-lighter-always-better.html

http://www.theflyfishingforum.com/forums/bamboo-fly-rods/365209-bamboo-vs-fiberglass.html
 

karstopo

Well-known member
Messages
2,820
Reaction score
100
Location
Brazoria County, SE Texas
It's just that 9 out of 10 people who fish that rig is because they read about some shootout someplace saying it was the best. I agree however, it is a dream to fish that setup.
S&S I would welcome you and your gear with open arms! Any time to come fish here. Aloha.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I was almost that person. The read about it somewhere someplace person that buys an expensive rod that isn't really needed or helpful for them. But, I came around and decided that I'm pretty happy now with my moderate and low end rods. They do what I want them to do. But you never know where this fly fishing might take you in terms of places, rods, fish, newly developed skills. or whatever. How are we or is anyone going to know more about what's out there without the exchange of experiences and ideas?

It might be nice to describe what such and such rod can do without knowing what it costs. Sort of a cost neutral approach. Those shootouts I've seen seem to try to use that approach, judge a rod on its merits and faults (of course, price of each is readily available). But the assumption is that the shootouts are conducted by accomplished and expert casting/guide/pro types. Maybe there needs to be a beginner or advanced beginner/intermediate casting rod shootout. Best rod of 2017 shootout for the sloppy caster. Best rod for not-so-tight loops. Best rod for the noobie shootout. Best rod for a pretty good water reader but less good caster shootout.
 

ulflyfisherman

Well-known member
Messages
188
Reaction score
3
Location
Ohio
You can choose "good enough" or "even better", depending on how much you can or want to afford. For me, I love to fish, but I am also a tech junkie, so I buy what I want and fish what I've got. When I buy something that I like better than the old, I usually donate to an up and coming fly fisherman. And, for what it's worth, expensive does not always mean more fun. Some days, when the situation allows, I will grab the el cheapo buggy whip Cabelas Prime over the Sage One or Scott Radian. Fishing, like life, is all about self perspective.
 

mike_r

Well-known member
Messages
877
Reaction score
43
Location
clinch river regular
All I can say is that the OP's question has to be based on the fact that this person is intrigued by the idea of acquiring and fishing a Premium modern fly rod. Our perception of value will differ from individual to individual, yet the "mystery" aspect is universal. I certainly can remember reading field and stream magazines and being mesmerizingly intrigued with the gear ads as a young lad, dreaming of acquiring a really respectable brand rod and reel. The appeal of owning the best equipment one can afford to be employed in the sport most dear to me is one that does not fade! Coveting is a universal sin that affects all of us on some level. There is nothing wrong with wanting "better" and striving to achieve the same. Only you can decide if the fly rod is worth the price tag. The old mantra of "you get what you pay for" still has merit within the realm of fishing gear. How much better is an assessment built on very personal criteria. In my opinion, having owned over a hundred fly rods, covering the whole spectrum of pricing, and in upwards of 60% of those rods falling into the "premium" category (certainly not that I payed full price for!) I would have to say that the overall build quality, and commitment to design parameters are superior to all 'lesser' offerings in the same given rod configuration. The end result is you are buying a better rod for the application. How much so has to be experienced personally...there is no way around that! Get out and cast them all: when it "feels right", the rod will have spoken.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

ia_trouter

Senior Member
Messages
8,518
Reaction score
63
Location
Eastern Iowa, Southern Driftless
Coveting is a universal sin that affects all of us on some level.....
And now we're having a late winter thread lol. May I suggest an 11th Commandment? Or perhaps a Constitutional Amendment?

11. "Thou shall not covet they neighbors high end fly rod"

Religion and Politics added in only one sentence. I'm getting good at February threads. :D
 

modad2010

Member
Messages
12
Reaction score
0
It's been said that many of today's entry level rods are as good as the top level rods (minus the high end hardware)of 5-10 years ago. TFO's Base 3wt Base rod has been said by a fly shop owner in the driftless area to be one of the finest casting 3wts he's ever fished. I also believe, as stated earlier, that the ability to feel the difference between the two comes with acquired skill, so does a beginning caster need a high end Sage or Winston? Probably not, he/she wouldn't have the skill or "feel" to tell. But, if having that high end rod makes the experience more enjoyable for you and you can afford it - do it. That's what it's all about anyway, right? Just being out there and enjoying yourself.
 

fredaevans

Well-known member
Messages
11,302
Reaction score
106
Location
White City (tad north of Medford) Oar-E-Gone
Hey Candyman , Welcome aboard ! Cold down there in PA too I bet :)

A smile came to me when I read your question, I asked the same thing some time ago, not because I was so much returning to FF but never really paid much attention to gear and all. When I did look at these new elite rods with their elite prices I figured well I guess you must need to be an elite caster to truly experience this eliteness so I embarked on doing something about that too. I didn't achieve that goal by a long shot but I did get a lot better and I do have a stable of elite rods with a few elite reels too , pretty elite of me huh :)

Does it make me a better fly guy ? Well, the answer to your question is actually in your question , at least in part. If you think it is about "outfishing the next guy" than you are missing the point. Does it make you a better caster ? ...in some cases but probably very few, hard work and diligence does that for the most part. Does it enhance the experience ? I'm going to steal a line from a classmate profile in a yearbook long ago that never really made much sense to me but seems to fit well here:

" Nothing is real and nothing is fake , it's all what you feel and all what you make"

Does that make sense to you ? No ? ....That's good than , because in 5 years from now when you reflect on it again it still wont make any sense and you will be looking at all the elite rods and reels you have and asking yourself again :)

Cheers
Paul
Thumbs up Paul.

Much of my 'gear' may be as old as some of the posters here ... but it 'Ain't broke so I'm AIN'T going to fix it.' Have there been huge advances on materials/rod designs/etc.

You betcha! But do the fish know?

My last rod was an 11' Boo 3 weight 2hander (custom build); LOVE IT!!! Cost a fricking fortune but pure majic!! (spelling intended) Low water Steelhead/trout fishing FISH WILL FEAR ME!:rolleyes:

Well maybe not the old Doggie-Dog's. Years of trips with Sandy and Huskey ... Now gone ...one eye open ... creaking .... rate that cast ...[poke] 'Sad, very sad ...' Eye open, eye closed again. :rolleyes:

"Thank you for your Fking Support!"

Both were in their 'teen's' when they passed on; their ash boxes are on my desk. Gone, but not forgotten.:army:

fae
 

mike_r

Well-known member
Messages
877
Reaction score
43
Location
clinch river regular
And now we're having a late winter thread lol. May I suggest an 11th Commandment? Or perhaps a Constitutional Amendment?

11. "Thou shall not covet they neighbors high end fly rod"

Religion and Politics added in only one sentence. I'm getting good at February threads. :D


Certainly I had no intention of passing any judgement nor wished to pronounce moral dogma. I was merely trying to illustrate the human condition, and how it applies to want in relation to high end fly gear. Strong words yes I know, but only meant to be taken metaphorically in the lightest sense.
 

mike_r

Well-known member
Messages
877
Reaction score
43
Location
clinch river regular
If there were fly rods " blind tests" there would be some.....surprises:rolleyes::icon_roll:D


I think you are absolutely correct with one caveat: maybe I am a cork snob, but I can feel high end cork, and feel pretty confident I could tell you which was the more expensive rod blind folded
 

raceboarder

Well-known member
Messages
85
Reaction score
2
Location
New Lenox, IL
A big factor in this is the personal "bang for your buck" factor.

Many guys claim to love their sub $300 Redington or TFO because they know that they will never be able to float the $900 for the top shelf models. They have to justify owning the rod to themselves.

Some will take the justification a step further and claim "this is the best EVER!" instead of "this is the best I can afford" and blindly broadcast that opinion. They feel that since they will never see a top shelf model they close the idea of them being better from their mind.

It's seen all the time on the conventional side by the Ugly Stick crowd ($40-60 rods) claiming that they are just as good or better in sensitivity than a Croix, Loomis, Pure Fishing, etc. rod of any price. And these people truly believe what they are saying.
 

Rip Tide

Well-known member
Messages
9,929
Reaction score
250
Location
quiet corner, ct
If there were fly rods " blind tests" there would be some.....surprises:rolleyes::icon_roll:D
Yesterday I bought an unmarked 8' fiberglass rod that appears to me to be about a 10wt
Sleeve ferrule, double down locking seat, large fighting butt, extra guides
It looks to me that in it's day it was a high quality custom build, but to me it's bit of mystery waiting to be unravelled.
For all of 20 bucks
That's the kind of challenge that I like. ;)
 

udiablo

Well-known member
Messages
137
Reaction score
1
Location
OK and CO (between Gunnison and Crested Butte
This is an interesting thread. Personally, if the rod manufacturers relied on an older bamboo-to-fiberglass-to-graphite owner-user like me for new rod sales, they would likely starve to death.

I appreciate the lighter weights, but find very little among the newest rods that appeal to me. I've bought a few when I'd rather not risk taking and possibly breaking an older (i.e., better feeling) rod, including another Method while my older Sage 8wt was out of commission (back to Sage) for awhile.

It comes down to how the rod feels when you use it. This is what matters, cost is not important.

My personal preference for equipment "made in USA" keeps me from considering some offshore stuff, but if your conscience does not impose that on you then there is an endless supply of less expensive options, and several expensive ones also.

As for graphite rods with "feel", the high-water mark seems to have been several years ago. My accumulation includes Sage LLs, Winston IM6s, and WTs, along with a few "anomalies" that weren't popular but felt and worked good for me.

Newer and more expensive is not necessarily better. Marketing hype exists, so try it before you buy it.
 

ulflyfisherman

Well-known member
Messages
188
Reaction score
3
Location
Ohio
Pondering again about the differences between expensive and inexpensive rods, I have to ask myself why in the world I keep my Redington Classic Trout rods now that I have Orvis Superfine and Sage Circa rods. The answer is, without a doubt, "I don't know." I don't dislike the cheap Redingtons - they are a fine, inexpensive, slower action (by today's standards) rod, and I still fish them - but usually when I'm tromping through heavy brush, small creek areas where I am more likely to break a rod. Not that the Superfines or Circas are brittle, it's just in my mind that, if I break one, I'd rather only be out 80 bux or so. Do the Redingtons cast like the Superfines or Circas? Not really, but they do share a similar, slower required casting stroke than, say, an H2 or One. The Redingtons are for sure a heavier swing weight than any of the others listed, but it's not like swinging a telephone pole. The higher end rods also offer a bit more tip sensitivity for light bite drifts, as well as a better tip recovery time to allow for ever so slight casting accuracy advantages. Think of it, for comparison, as the difference between dropping the fly directly under the osage orange vs under the branch the osage orange is on. Is it a $300 to $700 increase in accuracy? That's up to the consumer, the shopper, the fisherman to decide.
 

tcorfey

Well-known member
Messages
1,751
Reaction score
246
Location
SF Bay area California
The crux of this question for me is:

udiablo -"It comes down to how the rod feels when you use it. This is what matters, cost is not important."

Basically if I am shopping for a rod or any equipment and it feels "right" then I will figure out how to get it. Even if I am selling a rod if the buyer does not like something about the rod or they say x rod felt better to me but it is more expensive. I tell them to buy the one that feels right to you.

In my life I have found that I had more regret spending less for the wrong tool then I have regret for spending more for the right tool. That does not mean that I do not analyse what is best or buy just based on price, If the less expensive tool feels right then I buy it, if the more expensive tool feels right then I buy that.

Regards,

Tim C.
 
Top