When I first started flyfishing, I used a fairly inexpensive Cortland rod, which was sufficient. Then I upgraded, and was amazed at the difference in casting ease and sensitivity. I use a Talon rod, which is locally made and not as high-priced as a Sage or other well-known brand. You can find them at www.ontheflynw.com. Tell Gary that Aaron says hi. The one I use is a 9ft 6wt medium-fast action, for mostly stillwaters.
I bought a Scott Alpha 5wt 3 piece several years ago for around $240 and I love it. It has cheaper components and comes in a cheaper case, but that is a great way to save money. I don't know if Scott still makes this rod but I am pretty sure they still make a sub-$400 rod. Orvis used to do the same thing with their Silver Label rods. It was pretty much the same rod as the more expensive models with less expensive components. I can't say anything good or bad about Orvis rods, but that is also an option.
Also, you will get a good deal if you look in classified adds. I frequently see high quality rods advertised in the Seattle Times. The classified section of flyshop.com is a good place to look also, despite it being nearly taken over by retail shops.
I have two St. Croix Legend Ultra's in a 3 and 5 weight and I love them. Beautiful to look at and good performance for under 300, I think Cabela's has the 9 foot 5 wt for 290. The best part about them is the unconditional lifetime guarantee, I can slam it in the car door and they'll replace it. I refuse to even look at some of those $600 Winston's and if I'm going to spend good money, I'd like to know that I'll have it in 20 years, even if I'm a clumsy SOB. Check em out :THUMBSUP
Check this site's classified and/or the Times/PI classified over the next week or so. In addition to my Fenwick pack rods, I'm going to be listing my fishing partners extra rods which include a Scott G series 9' 4pc 5wt, an Orvis award winning 7'9" Far and Fine 5wt, a Winston 6wt, and a custom Winston 5wt, each for under $300 or email me. All these rods will eventually go to eBay but I would prefer to sell locally first.
I have two Sage DS2 rods in a 9'0 5wt and a 9'6" 8wt size. They have performed well for me, no complaints. Price range 240 to 280 bucks depending on if you want the 2 piece or 4 piece rods. Still carries the same warranty as the higher priced Sage rods. Just a thought
I have the Cabala's 5 piece 6wt Stowaway pack rod and love it just do not get the reel that comes with it. I also have a older Lamiglass fiberglass 2 piece 5 WT that I perfer with sinking lines. I found it for $8 at a used goods store. Quite the bargin but I bought the only good rod they had in the bin. For general use these rods work great. For my heavier rods both the 8 and 10 weight I went with some high end units from Lamiglass. I am still looking for a inexpensive 3 wt for small streams and may buy another Stowaway from Cabelas if I do not find a better deal on one before the June 1 opener. The 6wt is just to heavy for the mountain streams.
If you are not picky about the name on your rod and don't need a 3 or 4 piece, go to Outdoor Emporium and get one of their graphite 5-6 wt fly rods for $39.95. They work great...good action. I bot one a couple of months ago. Only thing is the eyes aren't perfectly aligned and that shouldn't be a big deal unless your are looking for top performance in your cast or trying to impress your friends.
I started out on a $29.00 Pfleuger Summit from Wal-Mart. 9 years later I still use it. Check out St. Croix and Fenwick. If you have some time to invest, you can always look at building one. A friend of mine is building me an $800+ Sage for less than $400. I built a St. Croix Legend Ultra for about a third of the price. Building or having someone help you build is quite a time investment though, but, on the other hand, you end up saving a great deal of money!
There are some cheap rods out there that will work fine but don't have the finish or warranty that more expensive ones have. I've used Martin rods and they are fine. For lake fishing I take my Sage DS 5wt with floating line, and a Martin Trophy series 5wt with a sinking tip or full sink for trolling.
Loomis rods have had a reputation for being fragile and in the past they have carried no implied unconditional warranty. Now they have bit of a warranty that costs $45, I believe, for them to fix or send you a new rod including shipping both ways. They do have nice performing rods, but who doesn't?
Definitely St. Croix. Also, I cant believe nobody mentioned Orvis!!
The Silver Label rods are excellent! Less expensive than sage discovery and better materials. You cant beat Orvis customer service and lifetime warranty in my book. And St. Croix customer service is the thing of legends. I have sent St. Croix 2 different rods back that I have slammed in car doors. They fixed em and sent that back to me within one week. And they went all the back to Wisconsin.
My suggestion would go with a 6wt, fast action. Casting big bass bugs into the wind would suck with a cheap, 5 wt. Don't skimp, you will regret it. You don't have to pay a ton, but get something with some POP in it.
The previous postings all mentioned good brands to look into
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.