A few facts, as I see them. Price doesn't necessarily relate with quality or usefulness. I have learned not to discount any fly rod on price alone. I emailed River Run with a question about the availablily of a rod I wanted, but they never replied. I have visited most of the fly shops in this area, so I am somewhat familiar with what they have. You cannot really tell if a spey rod is what you want without using it on the river with several lines. I have been in Gart and they are at least friendly. I would rather go fishing than attend sportsmen shows, spey claves or etc.