Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by shawn k, Feb 8, 2007.
All it takes to get on "The List" is a credit card.
T&T, and Orvis make their blanks in house here in the US too. And I think Dan Craft is also among those who have their blanks made in the US.
Meiser uses CTS to make his blanks for him because they are one of the best and most innovative composite tubing manufacturers and composite engineering firms in the world. In short, CTS has the expertise to do what Bob is looking for in high performance, multi-modulus graphite blank construction and is willing to make small numbers of a given blank (including variations of each one) for him to his design specifications. He is just as much a boutique builder as Kerry.
Back to the discussion this started out as. TFO, ECHO and other lower priced Asian companies provide a decent product at a low price to those looking for bargains. That is why they are successful. It is not because they have superior product or innovative designs and materials. It is simply because they offer a decent casting product at a low price, nothing more. However, the more of this type of product we buy, the fewer rod building jobs are left in the US, which means only the very expensive, high end and boutique builders will be left to do any innovation in rod design or materials. Don't know how many of you know this; but just 30 years ago there were a lot more rod manufactuers in the US and they employed a fair number of people making everything from fly rods to spinning rods to casting rods to offshore rods. There aren't many of them left today. And it is due to cheap labor being used to build rods offshore in Asia.
I'm not saying its a good thing that manufacturing is moving abroad, but its sort of a fact of life. We're all consumers and we want to buy cheap goods (think about the last thing you bought other than a flyrod), and the fact is we're living in a global economy.
I dont think anyone thinks they're going to get a meiser with a different label for 325 dollars, but what TFO will be offering is a relatively well designed rod for an affordable price. There is a place for that in the market, and I dont think its any knock on Meiser or any other boutique/upscale rod maker. So why the heated posts?
what i don't understand ?? are these cheap goods or affordable price. i don't buy cheap goods. i have to little time to enjoy my sport so i won't be spending it with cheap goods, i would rather have a good used goods.you can find those with affordable prices. when you buy cheap it never gets any better it will always be cheap.
And you'll alway know you didn't buy what you wanted ...:rofl: That said, 'cheap is not always bad,' gather Wal-Mart is China's 7th LARGEST international trading partner.
Without going into TFO’s proprietary methods of design and development, I can assure you that there is no fly rod copying machine, and no boutique fly rods have ever traveled across the Pacific in a TFO box marked, “ Please make 100 copies.”
I know that there are certain fly rod manufacturers who would like you to believe that their designs are being copied by TFO, but it is utter nonsense, and frankly, I find it an insult to some of the greatest people in our sport, who do the real development work.
If you want to make the best fly rods, you get the best people you can to develop them, and with folks like Lefty Kreh, Ed Jaworowski, and now Bob Meiser and Mike Kinney doing the development, I am confident in TFO’s ability to make the best fishing tools in the world.
And for those of you who don’t think our tools are yet up to your specific level of flyfishing, then you must be operating at a higher level than the folks listed above.
In which case, we would love to hear from you about how we can improve TFO fly rods performance.
Advisory Staff TFO
Just a quick word about cork grip quality:
The difference between a really great, smooth cork grip, and an average one, is really in the number of cork rings you are willing to leave on the floor of the workshop, at something like a dollar-and-a-quarter each.
If you are making a fishing pole for sale at seven-hundred-dollars, you can justify a grip which costs fifty-bucks or more. You can't really do that if you are making a rod to sell for a hundred dollars retail!
Have a look at the grips and finish on the new TFO 10th anniversary 5 & 8-weight rods.
Jay- I think if you review the whole thread and other comments about TFO on this board you will find that most people here are very pleased with the products TFO has come out with and expect these new spey rods to be something great.
If you send me one of the rods I would be happy to take it for a run and spread the word as to its casting ability.
Getting the greatest spey rod designer in the world (Bob is the greatest) will not enable you to make the best rods in the world. You have to use the best materials and components, too. It was my understanding that TFO wants to make the best rod in the business at an affordable/low price. That is totally cool, but don’t get all bent out of shape and act like your rods stand up to Burkies or Bob’s because they don’t. The materials, design, and finishing work do not stand up to them. Maybe your rods are better values, but they are not the best. This is constructive criticism, so do not take it as a slam, but you asked “how we can improve TFO fly rods performance” in reference to your ability to “make the best fishing tools in the world.” To improve you could use higher quality graphite, better cork, better reel seats. Better design would be to turn the cork down some and give it some shape, lighten the blanks, keep the big globs of epoxy on the tread and off the guides, faster recover would be nice, and better guides and tip-tops. I like TFO (love Bob and Mike) and I can’t wait to cast the new spey rods. If you want to say "best rod for the $" that is great but don’t act hurt if someone tells you they are not the greatest rods in the world.
I've built on 3 of Kerry's blanks, and never waited more than a month. It probably would have been quicker than that, but I also asked Kerry to do the cork work. And he did a fine job, to my specs.
like BigK1 says, all you need is a credit card, or perhaps know someone who has one of Kerry's rods/blanks to sell :beer2:
Try the 11'6" beulah spey... I got one they built here before production went overseas. It was a meiser for $325. Actually all my beulahs have been that way. Also, Beulah will "Custom wrap" you one in Oregon to your specs in terms of hardware and threads. Not alot more expensive and they used to use one of the top wrappers down there. Alot of the time if they don't have an overseas one in stock, they will tie one up for you in Oregon at no cost.
They try really hard to please... not trying to pimp for them, but they have really blown me away. I have no idea what will happen with Meiser now working for TFO, but I'm sure Beulah will continue to add cool products.
As to industrial production going over seas... Well it's a mixed thing isn't it... You think there's zero pollution in blank production? No volatiles used? Good for us, bad for them. Complicated...
Never thought of that! The cork is pretty intimidating on a spey. If he does that it would remove the only really huge obstacle in building a spey. Thanks for the tip! :thumb:
Like I said, it is the exception, not the rule. My experience was going through a vendor who place what I believe was a rather large order. His stuff didn't come very quickly so I cancelled. I was NOT knocking Burkie, as I said, he does great work and puts out a very good product. Rather I was simply stating that as a boutique builder it takes time to get his products. In some cases an inordinate amount of time. If you are willing to wait, great, but sometimes people don't have the time to do so.....
I wouldn't reckon the TFO products to be cheap. For the dollar the represent a good value, with a great warantee.
Now as a philisophical point, if you want to say that you could get a like item used of higher quality than a TFO for the same price point, then kudos to you. A lot of folks miss out on great bargins because of haste. Like it was stated before, we live in a "want it now" kind of society.
Walmart is a whole nuther can o worms! I hate that store because a lot of times the price difference between the crap they offer and what you can get is like $1... But people drawn to the siren song of "cheap" just can't seem to resist......
Thanks for posting. I don't own or use a TFO rod, but I've cast some owned by friends, flexed them at the show, and a friend is another Spey rod advisor besides Kinney and Meiser. I like what TFO is doing, and the fly fishing marketplace is better for it.
The rods that are the best values will never be the top performers out of all that are available. However, very few are the casters who are even close to good enough to extract all that performance potential anyway. But for those who are vulnerable to marketing hype, they'll read those Sage ads in the magazines and believe they'll be better casters and anglers when they plunk down the Visa Gold card for a new rod. But they won't be any better caster or angler than they already were. Marketing seems like a faith-based endeavor.
IM-6 is a perfectly good graphite fabric. It's not the latest or greatest. It's been around a while now, and builders know how to extract it's potential in the form of excellent fishing tools. It's not as light as the latest fabrics, nor does it have as rapid a tip recovery. But it's also much less brittle and less likely to result in a broken rod.
I don't intend to discredit the work, mostly trial and error, that goes into designing graphite fly rods. But it's disingenuious to try and lead consumers to believe that a high end fly rod actually contains a lot more valuable material in it than a moderately priced one. I haven't checked the cost of graphite fabric lately, but I doubt there's $20 more in rod blank material in a high end $800 graphite rod than in a $100 rod from China. The rod components on high end rods are usually a lot more costly than those on the less expensive products, but none of it adds up to $700 difference. And it's really offensive to see the crummy cork being offered on $700 and $800 rods.
However, it's a good thing that some consumers believe their rods are worth $800. Otherwise who'd pay for the research? And the full color 2-page ads? etc.
I guess value ultimately is correlated with what people are willing to believe and far less about the cost of the materials, labor, and business costs.
You just burst my balloon I just ordered a Meiser MKS 7/8 because I thought it would make be a better caster Next you're going to say that I have to practice to become a good caster.
Sorry you ordered it for the wrong reason. If you re-think, and decide you ordered it because it's a good rod, maybe you'll feel better.
Ahhh salmo, I think you forget that every MKS has been sprinkled with magic fairy dust and boiled in eye of newt! These are processes that the Korean manufacturers haven't quite perfected. Last I heard the Highlander was painted using a mixture of "the blood of the innocent" and unobtainium... I've personally cast both, and yes indeed due to the fantastic processes making them, I am a better caster!
PS, I'm being serious. Those rods did help me out in casting, not because I'm a good caster but because the really were better tools. It helped that I had Mike Kinney helping me all day too!
I'm surprised that people seem to prefer Meiser's MKS over his other rods. Personally, I like his Highlander the best. But I guess thats just me.