High Dollar vs. Less Dollar Rods

My first rod cost me about $50 new... I still have it and use it in case I break my other rod. It's a Crystal River Cahill... I moved from there to a Sage that I built... couldn't tell you what model, but it was easier to cast.. I had to sell it because money was tight and didn't fly fish much after that... My rod now is a North X northwest that works fine. I've caught a fair number of fish on it and think I only paid around $150 for it. My wife fishes with a Sage VPS. I don't know what my point is... Probably a little like this thread, point challenged. But I like my rod, it works for me... and I suck at casting any of the rods my wife and I own.

I can't believe how many strong opinions there were on this. I hope we are all fishing with our gear no matter how much it cost. I just posted a report from my trip this morning... definitely worth getting up at 2:30 this time.

Sorry to anyone who fealt like I was looking down on them, just got a little riled up yesterday... I think the fish cured me.:D
One of my favorite spey rods to cast is a Winston B2X. I love the fit, finish and action of this rod. It handles a multitude of lines well and I can bomb out casts when I need or want to. The price tag on this rod is $835.00. It can help me catch fish, but so can that Echo Classic or TFO Professional that costs $275.00. Buy buying a TFO or Echo I now can afford a pair of comfortable waders as well as a reel and line for the setup. Heck I can even afford a ticket for my daughter to Disneyland. All of our priorities are different.

What I get sick off is listening to someone say that high end gear is going to give you an edge versus someone who is using something cheaper. The best fisherman that I fish with own both high end and low end gear and use both. A lot of them have them because they have the luxury of being on those companies pro staff. Catching a bonefish on a Heritage rod is no differnet than catching a fish on a Sage if you know what you are doing. Some do and some do not.

Sloan, I do want a Hardy Perfect.


Well-Known Member
I've done quite a lot of fly fishing since 1972. Some might say that makes me experienced. Some say I cast with elegance and grace - this is referring to single hand rods, not double. I fished for steelhead with a fiberglass rod that I built for about $16 or so, and I caught literally hundreds of steelhead with it. In recent years I've have more money than time to fish, and I have rods that cost me from $100 to $1200, and not a one of them has caught a hundred steelhead, or even 50, but then I'm fishing more rods. I gravitate toward using the rods that please me, regardless of what I paid for them. I have two favorite Spey rods lately. One of them retails for $545 and the other was that $100 kit Charles referred to. I also have Spey rods by Sage and Hardy that sit safely in their tubes, the Hardy a souvenier and the Sage I save just in case I need it some day.

Anybody who thinks that paying more for a rod will make them a better angler ought to invest instead in some fishing and casting lessons.



We should just let JB be the expert and have the final word on this. Because no matter what anyone else might say he will rebut with his opinion and every person with a different opinion is just wrong.
We should just let JB be the expert and have the final word on this. Because no matter what anyone else might say he will rebut with his opinion and every person with a different opinion is just wrong.
Why thank you PT; how kind! Finally someone here talks some sense.....
woo hoo 5 pages:beer2: :beer2: I have learned one thing from this thread, from the many issues that have been discussed. The other night I was in the bar and I totally struck out hitting on this girl. The town drunk,sitting in his normal bar stool, had quite a laugh when I got shut down. His advice was "you should of shown her your ROD!" Now it has been confirmed once again. Now if youll excuse me Im going down to the bar and by the old drunk a few drinks. And Im bringing one of my rods ,possibly a two handed sage as another poster mentioned chicks dig em. Thanks guys. Dude I am SOOO getting lucky tonight!!!!!:beer2: :beer2: Kevin


Recreational User
Dunno, man...the outfit that I guide for has a mix of gear, so probably 45 sage rods, 8 redingtons, 10 orvis', a few others...we sent back each sage about twice last year for breaks, and only one single redington and one orvis...

Personally, I have a big quiver that runs from cheap to not-so-cheap. Winston ( a few Ibis', 3 BIIx'), a few Loomis IMX and gl3's (old school), sages (sp+, rpl, TCR, z-anus), plus a buttload of others (3 echos, 2 beulahs, a smattering of lamiglas)...I love em all.

For a 6wt and my particular casting idiosyncrasies, nothing I've cast beats a Beulah...love their 5/6 switch, too.

For a 7wt nymph rod, I like my gl3.

8wt? casting all day with no fish, I'll take the TCR and feel like a hero...if I have to fight fish, the 10' BIIX...

etc, etc,etc...

Point is, it's personal. The correlation of Cost to "Value" don't really apply. If it feels good, then it's worth it, but a $660 turd is still a turd, no matter what some sucker paid for it.


James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
So the funniest thing of this whole thread is that some folks need to validate the purchase they've made. In some cases, paying top dollar for brand X is no big deal. The variables? Disposable income, pleasure from owning the stick, prestige, how much you plan on working on your stroke, performance. Of those NONE of them can be decomposed to a pure single number things. Hell, even disposable income can't be set on a single number because regardless of how much money you have, it's up to the person to decide how much is disposable.

Also, let's be very clear here. Top dollar does NOT relate directly to performance. In some cases Sage has had some *very* nice rods even if they cost a mint. In other cases, complete dogs. The same can be said of any brand. As an example, let's take a look at the venerable Loomis GLX and XP. For a long time these rods were *cream of the crop*. Were they the highest priced rods out there? Hell NO, there were significantly more expensive rods out there (several Hardys, some T&T, Winston). But in terms of reputation, the better casters gravitated towards using them.

Personally I can't believe that we are still debating it, but the carnage is kinda fun to read.


Active Member
Did I ever share the time I fished with a broken Alder stick, string, and a goop of feathers/hair...never mind about that did you know that soda pop can tabs placed above a hook can catch fish ....add some dear hair feather to it it seems to do better. :) Actually did this by hand....but hey my arm is worth a TCR...at leat to me.