I think it was the 10’ #8 CPS that was a cult rod for steelhead nymphing. The problem was that they had a “snappy” sort of action. - set the hook on a rock.... Snap! And then Redington sends you a CPX as a replacement, and it’s not as good.
I have a Sage RPLX that looks like it has been the victim of a very bad cult. Does that make it a cult fly rod?
Come to think about it, almost all bamboo rods other than Horrocks & Ibbotson, Montegue and the early Japanese products have a well deserved cult following. And even those mass produced rods are revered by some.
When it comes to cult-status rods, most of us are blind folks groping one part of the elephant: few of us have the opportunity to try most of the great rods out there, past and present.
On Hood Canal for searuns, I got to fish with my guide's Burkheimer Classic 9 foot 5/6/7 for an hour or two. It's not the smoothest rod, but the medium-fast power can be felt with every cast, like an adrenlin-surging football player saying "Put me in the game, Coach!"
In the 1980's, I built a 9 foot graphite blank from Dale Clemens' Apogee series, which has a tip section (18" or so) of small, solid graphite. It's rated for 5-9 weight lines, and that's almost true. I'd say 6-9. It's a smooth medium-fast action, not freaky, just very useable. I fish it mainly with 6 and 7 weight lines. Dale Clemens and his fine rod component business are long gone; but Apogees occasionally turn up.
I’ll throw a rod into the mix I bet not many know of but those that have tossed some line on it will understand. Cortland CL Graphite 9’ 5/6 2 piece. I’m not a great caster but with this rod I’m more than capable of throwing a full line plus. I have talked to a few others who own this rod or have fished it and everyone is amazed with the smoothness and power of the rod.
I have owned and fished Sage RPL's, Winston IM6's including TMF's, Loomis IM6's and IMX's. When I retired I downsized my quiver to be for the type of fishing I enjoy most and realistically am able to do physically. I have not regretted selling any of them. Not everyone can say that tho...
I would like to cast some T&T and Scott G's that are moderate action. I have heard so much about them. My quiver may get larger if I like them a lot... Other than that, I continue to look for backups of my Loomis rods just in case...
Sage 590 SP+ is a cannon, pretty similar to the method but a little smoother. I heard it has become a cult favorite among Danish Sea trout anglers, but I use mine for stillwater and salt around here.
Sage 490-2 DS2 - not a lot of room in my arsenal for 2 piece rods but this thing's such a gem I would never get rid of it. wonderful rod for small streams where you might have to throw a dropper and alpine lakes.
Redington 896 CPX - so light, so crisp, perfect for flipping little roll casts off the left shoulder for tight high bank swinging, or bombing massive casts across the river.