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Cost vs. quality seems to be an issue for most people. The new blanks coming from China and Korea, and used by companies like TFO and Cabela's, seem to offer very good performance at a low price.

I am hoping to hear about people's personal experience with various types of fly rods: What are your thoughts about these new, lower cost, rods? How do they perform relative to the more expensive offerings? How about quality? What about support/service?

I am planning to upgrade soon, so this info would be very helpful to me. But, I bet the info would be of interest to many folks on this forum.

Thanks,
J. B.
 

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I would just go with a Sage Fli. I believe the Launch is out of production.
Awesome warranty and bang for the buck.
 

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The old adage "You get what you pay for" pretty much rings true when it comes to fly rods. I've heard of some warranty probs with TFO, that's why I went with Sage. Cabela's I believe has their rods built in China,TFO in Korea. Just remember that their quality control programs may not be as stringent as domestic ones, opting to just chuck another rod at someone rather than making sure it doesn't break in the 1st place. Look into things before you decide. I've returned a rod to one of the major US mail order/online companies & no questions AND no cost, they replaced it. Even sent me a check for the postage to boot!! The 3 major US rodmakers all have made reps for themselves, as well as their warranties. Make sure that the cheaper cost of an offshore rod & the warranty don't overshadow shoddy workmanship. Ask others & be sure before you buy the cheaper rod. I did, and it made all the difference.

PS The Launch is Out of production, but is one heck of a rod.See my avatar pic. Caught on a Launch rod!!
 

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I had a TFO rod as my main rod for about 3 years and I liked it. It was an easy rod to cast. I still use it today as a back up rod, and have had part of the rod replaced under warranty with no trouble just shipping and handling.

After I got better at casting and wanted to throw more and more line I found that the TFO rod just didn't have the backbone. I switched to a Sage TCR and it is a fantastic rod. I haven't replaced anything on this rod yet, but I replaced my 4 piece case at the local Halifax fishing store with no questions asked.
 

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HI all,
I agree that one has to look carefully at the warranty/guarantee if that is important to you.
St. Croix, for example, has a great warranty - but it is just that - a replacement if the rod or component is at fault. It does NOT cover user "incidences". Sage, while makers of great rods, does have this same warranty, not guarantee. At the other end of the spectrum is Orvis who gives you a 25 year guarantee - break the rod in a door, on a tree, etc., they send you a new rod or fix yours. Bean's has the same guarantee on things they sell. TFO is a super rod, but I agree, if you get into really long distance stuff, that's when a better quality rod (Orvis/Sage etc.) will pay off.
Hope that helps,
Bill
 

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I have a sage xp and it's a fantastic rod, but a little steep in price for some, I know I wouldn't be the owner of one if it weren't for winning it. Beulah also makes descent rod, with a not so steep price tag. I haven't had to deal with any warranties from either company (knock on wood), but from what I hear, most rod makers stand by their product.
 

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As far as I'm concerned the difference between the two scenarios is in the warranty. All of my rods have cost me a total of $130. I have a 4, 6 and 8 wt. With those rods the warranty is either extremely limited (30 day) or none at all. For example I bought a 7' 4wt Dogwood Canyon just prior to the trout opener here this year had a 30 day. I found this out after the rod tip broke before the first cast of the morning after a successful weekend. The performance of these rods however have been terrific.

There are great rods like the Ross Essence that has a decent warranty. I think (but not sure) Albright has a decent warranty. Good rods for a great price. I've casted them and like them a lot. My next rod when I con my wife into me needing one will be an Albright.

Alex
 

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Nobody has said anything about Redington
I bought a 5wt crosswater brand new with reel and line for dirt cheap and love the rod
Anybody else have any opinions on Redington?
They are owned by Sage arent they?
They do only come with the 1 year warranty though that only covers defects basically
 

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High end rods are fast and wonderful in the right hands. It's like owning a Ferrari, it takes skill to drive it. Then comes the use of the rod. Are you going to the corner store for a liter of milk, why would you need a Ferrari, wouldn't a pick-up do the job. Most people are not trying to win a Grand Prix.
Mid range rods are more forgiving to the average flyfisher and timeing is not as critical. Remember what you are trying to do and most of us are fishing 60-70 feet of line. There are times you need speed and distance but a small sacrifice. Mid range rods when they are cast well can get out there as well. I have loner rods for quiding from LL Bean that I have used and like them very much and so do the clients. Just my opinion.
That said I am packing my Loomis GLX in the truck for a morning fish! lol
 

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I might be wrong about this or at the very least mixed up. I think the guy that owns Redington was with Sage or it was a guy from Redington that now owns Albright. LOL... coming to think of it... I'm now totally confused myself.

Just to hit on what Perry said (well said btw). I agree with him but just to add on (it might be a little off topic) I think (IMO) that the line itself plays a huge role as well.

Alex
 

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Very well put, Perry!! For a beginner to learn to drive in a Ferrari is such a waste. They never get to appreciate the value of the lowly Ford Escort(they are too busy looking down their noses at it), nor do they discover the joys of being able to advance while always aspiring to something better as their skill level increases. Regards....
 
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I agree with him but just to add on (it might be a little off topic) I think (IMO) that the line itself plays a huge role as well.

Alex
Alex,

I've been pondering this thought myself. I bought an 8-piece LL Bean travel rod this year and assumed that it would be inferior because it has so many pieces. As it turns out, I'm able to cast it better. I'm not certain whether the characteristics of the rod suit my style better (and by "style", I mean casting flaws) or whether it's just the line that came with it (Scientific Anglers - I forget which one but it may be the "Headstart").

Paul
 
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Good reading, before this season ends I intend to have some better equipment and I am taking this all in. I was out with Dannyboy who was using a reddington and was impressed with what I was seeing, definately on my short list.

Greg.
 

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Does or has anyone used the Crystal River fly rods sold at Wal-mart? I'm looking for a "pick-up" before I move to a Ferarri. Also wondering if anyone here sells fly rods? I'm interested in fly fishing for speckled trout, shad and even mackerel.

Thanks,

J
 

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Up until a few years ago all I've ever used were the $49 walmart/ crappy tire specials. Then I picked up a nice little emery and it was like night & day in how easy casting is. That said, I also picked up the crystal river 8'6" rod last month and love it. Never had the opportunity to try casting with any of the high end rods, and likely wouldn't, I'd be spoiled and not want to go back to mine. haha
 

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I've cast only a couple of high-end rods. A friend of mine is a Snowbee rep and I cast one of his 7 wt rods. I liked it but I didn't really notice a significant difference between it and the SA blank that I bought for $15. Similarly, I had the opportunity to cast a LOOP 4wt last year at the Grand River Spey Clave. At the time I thought that it was like cheating. But then I bought the Dogwood Canyon (BP Model...lol not British Petroleum) and that rod is equally good. I guess the big thing between the high-end rods and the lower end isn't so much in the performance but the warranty. Perhaps the components are better with the higher-end rods. Sure I would love to own a Thomas & Thomas, a Winston, Sage or Orvis but frankly I'd need to win a lottery to justify it. it was odd that the Ross Essence in a review beat most of those names. At the time the Ross was $130 vs $800 or so.

Alex
 

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Alex,

I've been pondering this thought myself. I bought an 8-piece LL Bean travel rod this year and assumed that it would be inferior because it has so many pieces. As it turns out, I'm able to cast it better. I'm not certain whether the characteristics of the rod suit my style better (and by "style", I mean casting flaws) or whether it's just the line that came with it (Scientific Anglers - I forget which one but it may be the "Headstart").

Paul
Paul:

It's possible that the action of the LL bean might suit your stroke better. But I tell ya.. I put a Cortland Bass Taper line onto my 8 wt and with that short shooting head I cast like a champ. I can cast that line into the backing. So I really think that the line can and does make a huge difference.

Alex
 
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I might be wrong about this or at the very least mixed up. I think the guy that owns Redington was with Sage or it was a guy from Redington that now owns Albright. LOL... coming to think of it... I'm now totally confused myself.

Just to hit on what Perry said (well said btw). I agree with him but just to add on (it might be a little off topic) I think (IMO) that the line itself plays a huge role as well.

Alex
I was under sort of the same impression, I thought Redington is also owned by Sage and basically the only differences were the warranty
But I could be greatly missinformed
 

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I'm currently using a couple of crystal river rods, they cast well compared to what I started with, not sure of the blank quality, but the reel seat is low end for sure.

Greg
 

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There is obviously a difference between low end and high end rods. Warranty and performance. I started with a wal-mart rod ($49) several years ago and it did the job ok but I wondered and wanted a better stick. I ended up with a Diawa power mesh series that I paid $200. for and used it for several years and have since upgraded to a Sage SLT.

You can appreciate the good stuff only after having the cheap stuff. It is to bad there wasn't a place around where you could test some of this stuff before you paid for it.

The thing I find is that I can cast most any rod but it takes 10 or 15 minutes to get the feel of the rod and making adjustments to my casting stroke.
 
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