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Discussion Starter #1
I ordered a TFO 13' 7/8 Deer Creek spey. It was drop shipped yesterday. It came with horrendous composite cork grips that look more like chipboard, so dark and mottled you don't notice the dark composite accents that make the DC so distinctive in its class. If I wanted that I would have bought a bass rod! Unfortunately I need it this weekend, otherwise I'd return it. Caveat emptor...
 

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The advertised rod with pictures shows a normal cork grip with accents, thus what you have been sent appears to be different from that advertised.

However, if you use the rod, you may not be able to return it for a full refund/replacement.

My advice would be to hire, beg or borrow another rod for your trip, and inform the seller outlet that, in addition to having to replace the unsuitable rod, you may well be charging them for your additional expenses & disappointment!


Mike
 

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I'd keep it and fish the bejeebers out of it.
That's a very good stick.
 

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This to me is the big issue with TFO.
I guess that they probably are able to keep the price down by using a lesser grade cork but I think most of us would be willing to pay a few dollars more if we knew all the components were as good as the blanks. To be honest this was a deciding factor in my recent spey rod purchase. I went to another brand and paid more but I felt that the overall quality of components was better and most important it cast as good if not better. I really think that if they addressed this issue that even at a higher price they would be an even better value than now.

Emel
 

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Now you know what TFO stands for:

Totally F(ricked) Over

My experience with the TFO company and their products has not been good. In my opinion, proffering one thing and delivering something less, is typical of this company. Now if they follow their normal marketing strategy all their reps and paid posers will crack on me for having a justifiably deserved opinion.

So when they picture one thing and deliver another does it make you feel like a sucker. It did me.
 

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Too late now (most likely) but most of their rods including the Deer Creek are available as blanks. Sort of like the Angler's Roost blanks (only they are worse). Put on whatever components that you want.

Quinn
 

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Discussion Starter #7
TFO responds...

I received this email today:
"After rave reviews of our esox predator rods (for pike, musky, etc) earlier this year, we decided to make a running change to the Deer Creek series families and use the same cork as well. The new cork combines the burl cork wlth thin threads of eva resulting in a grip that will withstand much more wear and punishment without incident. The only issues we saw with DC rods were cork related. Because of the torque and different pressures that two handed grips experience we decided that upgrading the normal cork to a burled (and more expensive) variety would cut down on warranty issues and allow our consumers to stay on the water longer." He then says they will replace the rod. But with what? If the DC series has gone to burled cork what is there left? I hope they have some cork-ringed rods remaining. I would rather have the DC as I have done much research and decided I liked the action of the DC. I also ordered (and received) a custom Steve Godshall line made for the DC. On an aside, I have noted that cork quality has definitely declined over the decades; rods I have from the late 1980's have much better cork than any mass-produced rods I've seen of late. I"ll see if TFO has a rod in stock with standard cork-ring grips, otherwise I guess I've got to look at an elephant's hind end every cast, or sent it back and find another rod that will work with the Godshall line (553 grains!). Finally, cork seems to work well for everyone else; why should TFO experience high failure rates save for poor quality cork?
 

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gooch,
I'm sorry you don't like the way your grips look. I'm not connected with TFO, not a fanboy, or anything, but it might be worth looking at this a different way.

I've had several, and still have a couple, DC rods. The only complaint I ever had was the corks. I used to patch them up with a corkdust/epoxy mix now and again to keep the rod fishing. I would have killed to get the grip you now have on your rod. It's durable, provides a good grip, and will shift the balance of the rod back towards the grip a bit, a useful trait if you use a modern (read lightweight) reel.

I've returned rods to TFO for a variety of reasons and have never once had a problem with their warranty or speed of response. They've been easy to work with and give the customer BOTD on rod breaks. Seriously, for a less expensive product they back it to the hilt.

The rod you have is really good; it was my primary all-round stick for a few years. TFO repaired it once and totally replaced it once. I got my money's worth!

Of course it's OK to not like the grips, if you don't like the appearance by all means do what you feel you need to do, but I think you'd be missing out on a great casting and fish fighting tool over mere aesthetics. Aesthetics, while pleasing, are way less important than how it casts and fishes. Maybe you should just name it Elephant Ass and fish it!
 

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I have the rod you're looking for and I like it. I had to visit the internet myself to see a picture of the cork associated with their musky rods -- you're right -- it's different. I'd probably be a bit frustrated, too, but every company updates their products from time to time. It sounds like they are trying to make it right. I have dealt with TFO for years and have had many of their spey and switch rods. Their customer service, from my perspective, has always been excellent and I could give some very good examples.

QUALITY cork is becoming increasingly difficult to find. Thankfully, our industry has buyers like Meiser and Burkheimer and Anderson, etc. who understand the quality and aesthetics of quality cork.

TFO rods are 'workhorse' rods. They get the job done and they are a pleasure to cast. They're not ugly, but they're not a custom Meiser either. But then again, neither is the price. Be prepared for a give and take at that price point. Cork is now one of the "gives'.

Aside from the looks, I bet you will be very pleased with the rod overall - especially with a custom SGS line. I really liked the last part of your note. 'If you can't get the old model TFO, you'll find a rod that matches Steve's line'. :chuckle: Steves lines are soooo good --- I would have probably said the same thing.

BTW... this rod will balance nicely with a Hardy Salmon 1 reel.

Cheers.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I know the DC's are good rods, in fact I had the temerity, the outright GALL to talk to Bob about the rod. He was,as always, a delight to talk to and the reason I bought the SGS line for the rod. I hope sometime to buy a Meiser to go with the line. I agree too that whining about the grip may be a bit much, but I like the looks of the Meiser rods and the Deer Creek is unmistakably Meiser in overall appearance, at least from a distance. But I guess the ultimate point is one should get what is advertised, and this isn't. I looked several times at the web site, and even now TFO shows the DC with "traditional" cork-ring grips. I'm waiting to hear from TFO; there is always the possibility I'll keep it, otherwise maybe a Decho will be the replacement.
 

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They are using sh!tty cork if burl is is more expensive.

"Because of the torque and different pressures that two handed grips experience we decided that upgrading the normal cork to a burled (and more expensive) variety would cut down on warranty issues and allow our consumers to stay on the water longer."

I use burl because I like the feel of it, last longer and it does not cost 2 bucks a ring
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Oh, I like burl too, but only as an accent. I know the quality of cork is declining; I'm most familiar with Sage both from ownership and from working in a fly shop years ago. I still have a Sage RP from the late '80's and a Powell (beautiful craftsmanship) of even earlier vintage, both nicely fitted and with great cork, and have to say there is no way I would pay the money Sage wants for a rod with the cork they use today, especially when Meisers and Andersons cost less, and Burkies just a little more. I know talking about "looks" should not take precedence over performance, but I think we all would admit that a "pretty" rod is icing on the cake. To me, the "original" TFO Deer Creeks look nice, especially for the price. The new ones, not so much. It would be interesting, by the way, to hear how many other brands of spey rods suffer from cork failure due to rotational stresses.
 

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I have never casted a TFO two hand rod but when I have owned several single handers (I think I still have a couple) and they truly are one of the best companies I've dealt with. A true no questions asked repair or replacement and the fastest turn around I've ever seen. I once dropped a section of a rod in to the river while loading my raft and the very next weekend I was back out with my trusty TFO, I think it was like 20 bucks...

All that said we all but the best we can afford at the time and if your not happy now you will grow less and less happy in time. I too would borrow something for your trip and get it replaced or refunded.
 

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hell, I had the lower grip on a Loomis 15'er fall apart on me. Thank God for that warranty too. Surprising though, Loomis has a reputation for using some pretty good cork.
Guess it can happen to any brand, just happens less on rods that get a lot of care and attention during the build.

Speaking of which, for a few hundred more you could have a Meiser instead of a DC. Bob's corks are da bomb. And they are pretty rods.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Agreed, Speyspaz, that Meisers are terrific rods. But, "a few hundred dollars more" is more like twice as much as a DC. It took me a month to scrape up the cash for this rod which is, I suppose,one of the reasons I want the rod to look the way I want. I am going to try to save enough to buy a Meiser next spring, but for now I got a "Meiserish" rod I could afford to fish through the winter. (Another reason: I want Bob to get his money on a new rod rather than buy used from someone else, no offense meant to anyone).
 

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OK, just lemme know when you're done with it ;)

A few years ago Bob told me that 13' 7/8 is such a good blank that he's had clients who wanted a rod from his shop, built on that blank. Imagine that. COOL:saevilw:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
...and the more I hear about how good the 13' 7/8 is the happier I am about my choice, especially if I can get the rod I want, or learn to live with the "elephant ass" grips. But I'd plan to keep the TFO as my heavier-duty winterish rod and get a Meiser for my primary rod for the rest of the year!
 

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that's the plan that worked for me. The first Meiser I bought was a 13' 6wt S rod, one of the early hybrids before they were known as S rods. Oh man, that's a sweet rod. I need to get that thing out one more time before the water temps drop, I was neglecting her this summer.
I have a stable full of rods, but I still miss that 7/8 DC.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
There are enough talking machines. I don't need a rod " that speaks for itself, yammering "ya idjit, ya blew THAT cast, didn't ya!"
 
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