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Discussion Starter #1
I commute up and down Idaho's lower Clearwater every day for work, and I've decided it's about time I joined the two-handed fun!

This seems like a friendly group, so I'm taking a proactive approach. My initial preferences based on research here and elsewhere:
  • 13' to 14',
  • 7- or 8-weight,
  • Price up to $400,
  • Sage or Beulah preferred (personal preference, for several reasons), but other brands considered as well.
For some reason Deer Creek and Echo rods look odd to me, so those are generally out. My alternative strategy is a bargain new rod such as the Redington Dually 7130 or 8136. Ideally this rod would serve double-duty on the Grande Ronde as well as OP rivers such as the Hoh, Calawah, Sol Duc, etc.

And yes, I've visited Poppy at Red Shed on several occasions (though not while in the market for a rod). Great guy at a great shop, but I thought I'd try the waters here first.

If you have such a beast you're interested in passing along to a newbie, send me a PM!
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Still looking

I appreciate all the PMs I've received so far; thank you!

There appear to be quite a few heavier rods (9-10wt) in circulation, as most offers have been in that range. I'm considering the options, but I'm still primarily interested in something lighter: 8 wt (maybe 7), around 13'6" or longer. I'm not a big fan of TFO/Echo/Loomis cosmetics, and I'd prefer something made in the U.S. Other than that, I'm pretty flexible. Even the $400 might be negotiable if a real gem becomes available. PM me with your unused rods, and thank you!
 

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If you are flexible, you should not discount the echo rods. I have three and I am happy with them. There were two 12.5...6 wt on these pages yesterday at a very good price. There was one at 125$ in almost new condition , how can you go wrong? No ******** warranties.
Just my poke. I mean that's no joke. Good luck in your quest. :D
That should read no bull warranties.
 

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Good for you for sticking to 7 and 8 wts. You said above you had not talked to Poppy since you began your rod quest, perhaps it is time to make another visit to the shop. Nobody knows the Clearwater like him. You might also talk to him about advice on lessons. A good instructor will have a full quiver of rods for you to try and that will let you see if you really want any of the 9 or 10 wts being offered. I took Poppy's advice on an instructor and it was the best move I made in regards to two-handed casting. I was hitting 80-90' on river right and left after my lessons. He also let me try a number of rods and I ended up with a 7wt for my first rod, and bought a 8 wt after that.
 

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Good for you for sticking to 7 and 8 wts. You said above you had not talked to Poppy since you began your rod quest, perhaps it is time to make another visit to the shop. Nobody knows the Clearwater like him. You might also talk to him about advice on lessons. A good instructor will have a full quiver of rods for you to try and that will let you see if you really want any of the 9 or 10 wts being offered. I took Poppy's advice on an instructor and it was the best move I made in regards to two-handed casting. I was hitting 80-90' on river right and left after my lessons. He also let me try a number of rods and I ended up with a 7wt for my first rod, and bought a 8 wt after that.
I second that!
 

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IMO Echo rods are the best bang for the buck (I have 8 of them!). Amazing warranties and they do an awesome job. Best part is, they're pretty cheap, so if you bang it up you don't feel so bad. Check out the Dec Hogan or Dec Hogan II, great rods.

As for being made in the US, not many budget rods are made in NA, so that is going to be tough, even the $1000 rods made by Orvis, Loop & the like are made offshore.
 

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As for being made in the US, not many budget rods are made in NA, so that is going to be tough, even the $1000 rods made by Orvis, Sage & the like are made offshore.
Sage is made "offshore" only if you consider Bainbridge Island, Washington "offshore". Which I suppose it is, given that I can see it across Puget Sound from my office in Seattle right now.
 

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Sage is made "offshore" only if you consider Bainbridge Island, Washington "offshore". Which I suppose it is, given that I can see it across Puget Sound from my office in Seattle right now.
I'm an idiot. I mean't Loop, but somehow fingers typed Sage. I should know this considering one of my first Spey rods was a Z-Axis.
 
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