For all you rod builders and/or manufacturers...

Discussion in 'Rod Building' started by Gabriel Burgi, Mar 10, 2004.

  1. Gabriel Burgi

    Gabriel Burgi doesn't live in WA anymore :(

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    211
    Media:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    I have been fly fishing for about 18 months now, and I think it is about time to step up from my all-purpose 5/6wt Pflueger basic setup. I have been following the "ideal rod size" thread, checking out websites, and browsing my new fly fishing specific Cabelas catalog. I started thinking, and I came up with this question:

    Now, this may step on some elitist toes but....

    What exactly is the difference between a top of the line $600 Sage and a top of the line $300 Redington? These are just examples, and I know prices vary. I also realize that there is the fact that maybe one is more accurate, one is slightly lighter, etc. Basically, if two rods are made from the same material and come from the same manufacturing process, are people really paying for a just a name? How much does it cost some company like St. Croix, Sage, Orvis, etc. to make a rod? What kind of profits are these people seeing?

    Sorry to ramble, but I feel that the economic rape of the consumer is going on much more than people think, and I was just wondering if it also applies to fly fishing. While I will probably never own a rod that costs more than $200, I just want to know if my frugalness (is that a word?) is costing me some righteous fly casting experience. Thanks for the input.

    Gabe:professor
     
  2. Flip

    Flip The dumb kid

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    Messages:
    806
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lk Stevens WA
    all that big price tag is is the name.the ideal rod is one that you like, regardless of price or name. some fail to see this and spend 600+++ on a rod just because they see others doing it. that type of thing.
    company profits are BIG, somthing like 65-90% of rod cost.
     
  3. gregor

    gregor New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    .
    Your question is really one only you can answer. Try to get to a fly shop if you can and ask to cast as many as they will let you in as wide a price range as possible. I started with a low end cabelas outfit and now have several rod, some high end some not. To me there is a difference but I have caught just as many fish with the lowest cost one as the highest. It's all about what you like, cast well and fish well with, decide your own budget and get the one you like the best within that budget, the fish won't care what name is on your rod.
     
  4. clockwork

    clockwork New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2004
    Messages:
    318
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    bothell township
    Gabe, if you are in the market for a rod, i can get you into a used but "like new" Sears Ted William's signature series 7.5' 4wt for under $200. no gimmicks! and you still get the name! Ted Williams was a hell of a ball player and he knew a good flyrod when he saw one and only put his name on the best! take my outboard, for example, Ted Williams knows quality. Collect 'em all! get it while it's hot. i'm not even lying. -ryan
     
  5. Gabriel Burgi

    Gabriel Burgi doesn't live in WA anymore :(

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Messages:
    211
    Media:
    32
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Milton, FL
    Ryan,

    If that rod is of the same quality as your Ted Williams Special outboard, then I guess I can expect to be able to use it effectively about 1 out of every 5 times...sounds like a hell of a deal. If you pay me to use them, I will fully endorse these products with my name, and that will surely bring in the business!! :thumb

    Gabe:professor
     
  6. espja

    espja New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2003
    Messages:
    151
    Media:
    50
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Bonney Lake, Washington, United States.
    So what happens if the rod you like is $600?

    .....of course you don't need a top of the line rod to fish and I don't think your missing out on that much if you never fish with one. If you really want to try a top of the line rod out, there are plenty of fly shops out there that will rent their rods out so that you can test it in actual fishing conditions.
    I own 12 or 13 fly rods, so being frugal is not my thing. But the new rods from TFO, Echo, and some of the Redington line are all excellent rods for under $200. What I think the trade off is? Wieght and workmanship. Plus the extra $200 for the name.
    So there are choices...just make sure that your purchase is right for you and your situation.
    -Joe (I guess the elitist for having an expensive fishing stick)
     
  7. tailfeather

    tailfeather New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2003
    Messages:
    41
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    .
    I think the real deal is in blanks. There are many extremely nice blanks being manufactured by obscure companies. These blanks can be obtained at a fraction of the cost of a top of the line sage, etc. If you really want to save some coin, roll your own. Rob.
     
  8. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,383
    Media:
    85
    Likes Received:
    922
    Location:
    Glenraven Ranch
    Gabe, the differences are many. The question is, do any of them matter to you. There's two parts to any piece of equipment, what it looks like, and what it performs like. If you're only interested in performance, then reel seats of bocote or maple burl aren't a big deal, and nickle silver hardware is money thrown away.

    If you want a rod that suits you, decide what is important to you and see if a commercial rod suits your needs. If not, talk with a rod builder and see what it would cost to build what you want.

    Spend your money for what you want...not what is marketed as "the best".


    Roper,

    Good things come to those who wade...
     
  9. Rob Blomquist

    Rob Blomquist Formerly Tight Loops

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,343
    Media:
    21
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Mountlake Terrace, WA, USA.
    Everybody is using the same graphite. They are not using the same glues, they are not getting the same ratios of glue to epoxy, and they are not handling the pattern, or the tapering the same.

    And its a delicate balance, make the graphite without much glue, and its able to break easily, but it will cast like its bionic. Add more glue, and it gets mellower, but its far stronger.

    But I think the difference between rods at the high end is all about advertising. Sage buys a lot of full page glossy ads, has a lot of professionals in the field touting the rods, and somebody has to pay for it.

    Rob
     
  10. Denny

    Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    4,087
    Media:
    100
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Said pretty succinctly and well, Joe.

    I have a Redington Redfly 905/6 that is a great fishing rod, particularly when I factor in that it retails for $75. Is it the same workmanship and performance level as my Sage XP? No. Is the Sage XP worth $500 more? To some folks not, to some folks it is. I also own a Scott S3 that is the counterpart to the Sage (both 9', 5 weight, 4 piece) in performance and price. It's a great rod. But, if I had to pick between the two (please don't make me do it, though!), I would likely pick the Sage. Price is not an issue in this instance, becaue these two rods are the same price, but performance.

    The fish would never know the difference. And, I believe many fisherpersons, in function and performance, would not discern much difference, let alone that much money. To some people, though, that price difference is a big, some it isn't.

    You should visit the Sage factory (it's free) some time to get a sense of what goes in to making a rod. You would be amazed how many people "touch" the rod throughout its time of fabrication and how much time it takes, from being a piece or prepeg to that time it is shipped out the door. You'll then understand some of the costs of the rod. They are hand built rods in the total sense of the term.

    The cool thing about this industry right now is there are so many good rods at all price spectrums. TFO, Cabela Stowaway, Redington RedFly, WW Griggs, there are some very good performing rods out there right now for under $100. What a great time to be a fly fisherperson!

    :) :thumb
     
  11. Denny

    Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    4,087
    Media:
    100
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    C'mon, Rob, everyone doesn't use the "same" graphite.

    For example, I imagine Loomis, who uses a proprietary form of graphite for its GLX rods, would argue that not everyone uses the same graphite. Saying everyone uses the same graphs is akin to saying paint is paint, steel is steel, wood is wood, rubber is rubber, rebar is rebar, bolts are bolts, a car is a car, and that there aren't differences, varying degrees of quality or types.

    Advertising has to be a big cost to Sage, and just like anyone else who has overhead, employees, or advertisers, Sage obviously has to recupe its cost through its products. Redington advertises a ton, too, but keeps its prices down relative to Sage. How does that happen? Lesser expensive materials, and the product is made overseas (Korea). Price aside, are those Redington products comparable in finish, quality, and performance to Sage? No, but they are still good products. Make those products over here in the U.S., pay a U.S. wage, and Redington would have to charge a lot more for its products.

    :thumb
     
  12. windtickler

    windtickler Member

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2003
    Messages:
    508
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    .
    Since Redington is essentially Sage's second brand, I would say the difference in price is essentially the difference spent in marketing. But there are a lot of great blank producers around. Check out Dan Fast, he gets a lot of comment, and blanks are around $100.
     
  13. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2004
    Messages:
    4,383
    Media:
    85
    Likes Received:
    922
    Location:
    Glenraven Ranch
    You bring up a point that chaps my hide, exporting American jobs. I don't care to contribute to Korea's economy. They don't do much for Washington State. However the employees at Sage and Batson do.
    If corporate America keeps offloading jobs, no one will be buying expensive anything soon.
    I'd just as soon not go cheap by buying imports, but frugal by building my own made from American components.

    Roper,

    Good things come to those who roll their own...
     
  14. Denny

    Denny Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2001
    Messages:
    4,087
    Media:
    100
    Likes Received:
    57
    Location:
    Seattle, WA, USA.
    Regarding Batson blanks:

    Rainshadow: made in the U.S.

    Forecast: imported

    More and more companies are taking work overseas, or offering imported products.
     
  15. Tom McLaughlin

    Tom McLaughlin New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lock Haven, Pa
    Ryan---Please email me at tvm@kcnet.org with info to buy the ted williams 7 and a half footer
     
  16. Tom McLaughlin

    Tom McLaughlin New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2006
    Messages:
    2
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Lock Haven, Pa
    Ryan--I mean if Gabe does not want it, Please let me know about details on Ted Williams fly rod and email me at tvm@kcnet.org
     
  17. speyfisher

    speyfisher Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,078
    Likes Received:
    130
    Location:
    State of Jefferson U.S.A.
    Ted Williams 7.5' 5wt

    Yeah, and if Tom doesn't get it, I want second chance at it. mailto: speyfisher@charter.net
     
  18. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2002
    Messages:
    1,993
    Likes Received:
    132
    Location:
    Bellingham, WA, USA.
    To me, there are two primary factors that make one fly rod worth more to me than another:

    The first is feel. A beginner can no more tell the difference between a fine and a poor fly rod than a new piano student can tell the difference between a concert grand and the clunker in the church basement. With time, the senses learn discernment. Rods that feel like living poetry in the hand aren't necessarily expensive, but cost does seem to improve the odds.

    The other factor is the cachet of certain premium brands. Okay, this is appeal to naked ego, but since that's part of what makes humans human, I don't deny it. I just try to keep it from bankrupting me. For a long time, I've wished that I could afford a premium Winston. Since that company's management goals have recently imploded, I no longer care about owning a Winston. (Oddly enough, this applies to older Winstons, too; I'm not sure why.)
     
  19. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2003
    Messages:
    2,799
    Media:
    8
    Likes Received:
    83
    Location:
    Tacoma
    Well, while the graphite isn't really the same, you'd be surprised at how little difference there is in the graphite. While a lot of folks tout a "proprietary" graphite formula, 99.9% of it is just off the shelf prepreg available from manufacturers like Aldila (yes the golf shaft company). Loomis may be in a slightly different boat as the have Shimano as a parent company (who does some work with graphite), but all in all, the same stuff you can find on the internet as prepreg is the same stuff that the rod companies use.

    Also, the way rods are made, glue isn't added to the prepreg. Each batch of prepreg is made to a *very* specific formula as to the amount of epoxy to graphite, and it's woven into the cloth. You can change the prepreg you order, and how much you use, but in general, what you buy is what you get.

    Also, oddly enough since we live in Washington (Boeing), we happen to be in a place where a lot of this materials are available.

    But overall, the biggest differences between rods will still be the way the rods are made, and the taper they are built on.

    -- Cheers
    -- James
     

Share This Page