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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is more of a general Fly rod question rather than a Spey specific one.

What makes a great rod great? How do you tell the difference? Is it just a feel after years of casting? Is it a rod that has great fittings and casts in your style?

What distinguishes an $800 Thomas & Thomas from a $150 Orvis Clearwater from a $40 Walmart special.

What distinguishes an $800 Sage Spey rod from a $250 TFO Spey rod?
 

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Soul...tough to describe, but you know it when you've got it. Wish I had the ability to describe to everyone what I mean. There are certainly rods out there, at different price points, that have it. It is what I was searching for in my "gems of the series" post. Some rods by some makers have it AND some in the same family don't. Lines certainly make a difference as well, but (that "but" again...) there certainly rods that have the tapers, recovery and progressive feel that set them apart.
Chris
 

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Mr. Mom
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baldmountain said:
What distinguishes an $800 Thomas & Thomas from a $150 Orvis Clearwater from a $40 Walmart special.

What distinguishes an $800 Sage Spey rod from a $250 TFO Spey rod?
Those comparisons may be a tad unfair. "what seperates a $800 Thomas and Thomas from a $600 CND" seems more reasonable. Or in my current questioning phase what seperates a $600 CND from a $450 Lamiglas CST... Tough questions filled with intangibles...
 

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.............while personal preference enters into this, some rods are made by fisherman for fisherman. You don't have to look at them and say,"What were they thinking when they did that?" My T&T casts 600 to 900 grains wonderfully, fishes as though it is part of me, and fits into the trunk of my Honda. What more can you ask?
 

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A good rod

1. casts with performance
2. feels sweet
3. casts well at all ranges
4 casts any line of the proper weight of any head length ( within reason for the rod length)
5 is easy to cast
6. has mojo for finding fish
7 looks awsome!

not necessarily in order of importance
 

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" the correct line"!!!!!! I have not cast a bad rod for a very long time, I have cast more than a few that were lined incorrect.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
The reason I ask is I often see people unfairly criticize certain lower priced rods. TFO, Reddington and Albright seem to be favorite targets. I'm not sure why. I have a TFO rod. In fact it is my 2 handed rod. It's matched up with the proper line and casts and fishes just fine. I consider it a good rod and I'm completely satisfied with my purchase.

I also have a Scott rod. Not a high end Scott, but a pretty good one. It looks a bit nicer than the TFO and is lighter in the hand than the TFO. But you expect it to be. It's a 4 wt single handed rod rather than a 12'6" 2 handed rod. I really like my Scott rod as well.

I even have a rod that I made as a kid using a blank I got at a fishing show for less than $10. The stripping eye came off an old spinning rod and the rod could use another eye or two. The windings are sewing thread and it wouldn't surprise me if I used nail polish to seal the windings. The action is so slow that I feel like I'm waving a wet noodle. (Total cost may have been something like $20 or $25. But that was all I could afford at 13 or 14.) But I can still throw 70' of line without a lot of effort. (Well, maybe a little effort. :D ) An I still catch fish on it.

I see people buying what I consider to be fabulously expensive rods and I'm having trouble understanding why? I assume I'm missing something important. I guess I need to cast some more rods...

I will admit that the fittings and finish on a high end Sage or Thomas & Thomas are MUCH nicer than on the the less expensive rods. They are beautiful. (Maybe that is the reason. The joy of owning a luxury rod. Comparing to cars, a Toyota Corolla will get you there, but arriving in a Lexus or Mercedes Benz makes you feel good about it.)
 

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...........some people can't tell the difference between a Toyota and a Benz. MB enginering is more concerned about a lot of other things than how much style you arrive in. Take a corner at 100 mph, you'll discover the first difference between those two automobiles!
 

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For me it is feel. Even my favorite sage the 8150 dose not impart as much feel as I like. The correct line plays a huge part in it, but even then some rods just feel better then others.
Mike
 

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JD
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baldmountain said:
This is more of a general Fly rod question rather than a Spey specific one.

What makes a great rod great? How do you tell the difference? Is it just a feel after years of casting? Is it a rod that has great fittings and casts in your style?

What distinguishes an $800 Thomas & Thomas from a $150 Orvis Clearwater.

What distinguishes an $800 Sage Spey rod from a $250 TFO Spey rod?
The line you put on it will make the biggest difference. But a good looking rod with a pedagree is a definate confidence booster. :D
 

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What makes a Flyrod great

"This is more of a general Fly rod question rather than a Spey specific one."

"What makes a great rod great? How do you tell the difference? Is it just a feel after years of casting? Is it a rod that has great fittings and casts in your style?"

The rod looks good to the user/owner. When matched with the right line, it has soul, is intutive and works with you not against you. You feel confident with the rod and the line that works with it.

"What distinguishes an $800 Thomas & Thomas from a $150 Orvis Clearwater from a $40 Walmart special. What distinguishes an $800 Sage Spey rod from a $250 TFO Spey rod?"

Here the "Eye of the Beholder", comfort level and fit come into play.

It is probably the same as selecting a new car. Two summers ago, I got tired of replacing coolings systems in my wife's Sable and the potential danger of an unreliable cooling system. I decided to go to the Acura or Lexus for her. She didn't like the styling of the Acura, and she like the midsized Lexus model. So we went to a Lexus Dealer to look for the mid size model.

They had one in the color she liked. We went on a test drive. I sat in the right rear seat to watch her reaction. Her reaction was very positive verbally and non verbally. Then, I drove it. As a retired salesman and one who has rented a lot of cars, I have driven hundreds of cars/vehicles. The Lexus was the best handling and riding car I had ever driven. I didn't comment about that until later when we went for a drive after dinner. I stopped my test drive, and we had my wife drive it back to the dealer. Again she was pleased and happy. We bought it, and she drove it home during a bay area rush hour on a Friday. When we got home she was even happier. Two years later, we both still feel it is the best car we have ever driven, ridden in and owned.

I'm sure that similiar behavior responses happen in our choices of Spey Rods.
Some responses are driven by logical needs which are either met or not with a specific rod. Then, there are the intangible needs, which again are either met or not by the rod. That in a large part is the appearance and the reputation of who built the rod.

The final deciding point is can we afford the new rod, the new reel, the new SUV, the new car or the new boat.
 

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Objective/subjective criteria

The criteria by which a rod is judged are more likely to be subjective ones than objective. Some objective criteria include the weight for a given length and line weight, wherein lighter is generally better, within the bounds of like rod material. Others include the quality of the fittings and number of guides on the rod. Good quality cork is becomming scarce, so any rod fitted with good cork should be deemed well finished.

Preference for a particular rod action is mostly subjective, so the "goodness" of any rod varies according to how casters perceive it. A good rod generally feels light in the hand, which is influenced greatly by its balance. However, balance is much influenced by the weight of the reel fitted to the rod, and the line one chooses to use. While still subjective, most anglers prefer that the rod not feel excessively tip heavy.

I think that price from the low end to the mid range correlates fairly well with rod quality, but not at the upper range. However, the inflection point where price begins to diverge from quality remains mostly in the eye of the beholder.

Sincerely,

Salmo g.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Good answers guys. I can accept that sometimes you just want to own something REALLY nice.

I'd like to comment on this:

Philster said:
Those comparisons may be a tad unfair.
Yup! I exaggerated in order to be clear as possible.

Philster said:
"what separates a $800 Thomas and Thomas from a $600 CND" seems more reasonable.
Honestly, I'd say not much. To continue with the car analogy I'd say your Thomas & Thomas is a Rolls and the CND is a Lexus. Both serious good toys. :D

Philster said:
Or in my current questioning phase what seperates a $600 CND from a $450 Lamiglas CST... Tough questions filled with intangibles...
Again not much. The main difference is you get the stamp of approval from Mr. Nodera. Of the three brands mentioned I'd probably go with the CND. I've read the CND website and Mr. Nodera seems like the kind of guy I'd like to do business with. Plus Juro lives close by so I know I could get it fixed if there was a problem.

Although if I was going to spend that kind of money, I'd seriously consider a Rob Meiser rod.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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The $40.00 Wal-Mart (and other under $75.00 rods) specials have an action like a wet noodle, very poor quality guides that will groove in a short time, terrible cork (or worse a foam grip), a very poor quality reel seat, and doesn't even come with a cloth rod bag-let alone a protective rod tube.

The $150.00 Orvis Clearwater has poor quality cork, a cheap reel reel seat, comes in a thin-walled plastic rod tube, guide wraps that have gaps in them, mid-price range guides, is made on an older, less than optimum performing blank design, and has not been field tested to finalized and fine tune to final blank design.

The T&T has quality cork, high quality machined reel seat, guides of the highest quality, quality fit-and-finsh throughout, is made of the high performance modern graphites, uses an optimum performing blank design, has been field tested by several very good anglers to fine tune the blank design, and comes in a thick-walled aluminum tube with a protective cloth rod bag.

Performance wise, the Wal-Mart special cannot come close to the casting performance of either the Orvis Clearwater or the T&T in the hands of a good caster. The T&T will outperform the Orvis Clearwater in the hands of a good caster by a very measurable amount.

Now to get to the heart of your question. For the average caster and fly fisherman, a $250.00 TFO (or the Redingtons, CND Experts, and St. Croix lower end rods) will perform as well as an $800.00 T&T. So from a performance standpoint, the average fishermen is really only getting the rod tube, better cork, a better reel seat, and nicer overall fit-and-finish with the T&T compared to the TFO. However, a good caster will be able to cast farther and fish with less fatigue in a day on the river with the T&T or other high performance rod when compared to the TFO.

And there are some rods such as the Scott LS2 rods which are the top performing 2-handers in the Scott line, even though they are cheaper than the ARC's, although this is the exception in the rod world. And if a person really wants to keep his costs down while having the best reel seat, guides, cork, etc. in a rod with decent performance, he can build his own on a blank by TFO, St. Croix, Pac Bay, Forecast and have a decent performing rod with stunning cosmetics for around $250.00-$300.00 and his labor.

Me? I prefer the perfomance and cosmetics of the high-end rods of T&T, G. Loomis, Meiser, CND, Sage, etc. and gladly pay the extra dollars for them. I own 2-hand and single-hand rods by T&T, Meiser, and G.Loomis.
 

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fly on little wing
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Nobody mentioned Hardy? The list price RRP (£) 899 on the Angel is keeping me away. Sure the USD $ is weak, but, come on......

Agree on the Scott LS2. 14' 8 wt is in my future.

Still need to compare the LS2 to the Meiser 14' 7/8 or 15' 7/8.

Waiting for $$$ before I give Bob a call.

Gary
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Flytyer, good post.

flytyer said:
The T&T ... uses an optimum performing blank design
By what measure?

flytyer said:
...has been field tested by several very good anglers to fine tune the blank design
How do they tune the blank?

flytyer said:
Now to get to the heart of your question. For the average caster and fly fisherman, a $250.00 TFO (or the Redingtons, CND Experts, and St. Croix lower end rods) will perform as well as an $800.00 T&T. So from a performance standpoint, the average fishermen is really only getting the rod tube, better cork, a better reel seat, and nicer overall fit-and-finish with the T&T compared to the TFO. However, a good caster will be able to cast farther and fish with less fatigue in a day on the river with the T&T or other high performance rod when compared to the TFO.
Is that worth $550?

flytyer said:
And there are some rods such as the Scott LS2 rods which are the top performing 2-handers in the Scott line, even though they are cheaper than the ARC's, although this is the exception in the rod world.
That is good information! Any more?

flytyer said:
Me? I prefer the perfomance and cosmetics of the high-end rods of T&T, G. Loomis, Meiser, CND, Sage, etc. and gladly pay the extra dollars for them. I own 2-hand and single-hand rods by T&T, Meiser, and G.Loomis.
I can accept that, and actually admire your willingness to buy the best.
 

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hmmm this is very subjective but i have to disagree with something a number of people said.. I believe that if you have to hunt and peck to find the right line for a rod then the rod is not a good one. Certainly some lines cast better than others but for instance a good 8 wt rod should cast any 8 wt line well regardless of head lengths or tapers.. There are of course exceptions at the extremes 100ft heads on an 11 foot rod for instance. and that kinda thing...
 

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it's all about having fun

isn't it!?????,,i look at what my kids spend on their car stuff wheels,sterios,and of course their cell phones :rolleyes: ,well,my wife's paying for those i'm sure :tsk_tsk: ,but,some have the money to spend other's ;just don't due to family or whatever,i like my old Daiwa's,they're different than what i see out there on the water,they do the job,i'm going to buy more spendy tackle in the future,just because i'll be able to,kids are out of highschool and;it's getting mighty quiet around here ;) ,I wouldn't be ashamed of theTFO rods,the 12.6's make a great two-hander from a driftboat,and that's good enough to sell me so relax!,have fun with your two-handing!,like Peter S-C said once,as long as no one craps on my parade :hihi: another side note=when i wander the river here and come upon bait oriented folks;they see me with my big old rod and recoil :eek: ,i tell em'=`it's a Daiwa',funny how they just relax,,,weird,,,hahaha,lots of different prices on rods,but it's all the same=fishing :smokin: ,now if i could get a TFO in an 18 or twenty :hihi:
 

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Guys, not too much to say after everybody, but There is THAT psichical factor what comes from the above mentioned parameters of a good rod.

And for me that is what really matters. While we can fish with (almost) any kind of a rod, with the one which is special for me because of smhting, I would catch more fish, and I will have more fun with it.
For me the mental/psichical thing is strongly bonding to performance and fun on the river.

While I play drums, and I am a cymbal-maniac, I can play on any kind of cymbals, but I choose those whit THAT special plus (sound, character, heritage, quaity...etc), which really influences my performance. I just enjoy it more. It's that simple.
 
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