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Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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Fishing rods are a lot like cars, a Chevy will get you where you want to go, and yet there are some that want drive a Lexus. The Lexus probably has a more appointments, leather interior, a smoother ride, etc., but you still end up in the same place. Still others want to fish with a bamboo rod or drive an antique classic car. It probably doesn’t go as fast, and needs a lot more maintenance, but looks pretty and has character.

Sandfly is right about those new to fly fishing – don’t spend a lot on a rod. I would not teach anyone to cast with a fast action rod, although that is my preference for most of my rods. As you develop as a caster, your choice in rods, and the right rod for you, is likely to change.

I agree with Maurice, test cast a bunch of rods until you find the one right for you. You may find that a mid-priced rod suits your casting style and budget better than some of the high-end rods. With that being said, and casting a lot of rods, there are high-end rods out there that out perform the mid-priced rods, at least for me. I only have a handful of rods compared to a lot of other fly fisherman, but most are high-end models, and I do appreciate how they cast and fish. Before I bought them, I test cast a whole bunch, and picked the one best suited for me. Some of these rods are now older models and all have served me well for a lot of years. Is that worth paying twice as much as the mid-priced rods? I will say they are a little better, but certainly not twice as good. The other thing that Maurice mentioned is that a $500-600 rod usually carries a no-fault lifetime warranty for a small handling fee. Take that into consideration. I've had some of my rods repaired because of my stupidity.

Posted on: 2006/12/20 17:00


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/9/14 10:34
From Southeast PA
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You don't necessarily have to spend a lot to get a lifetime warranty. Many rods in the mid-cost range, and maybe the lower mid-range, have lifetime warranties.

Sockman, I have a 7' 3/4 wt. CL that I use for small stream fishing. I can't really give you a comparison to high end rods because I don't own any. All I can say is that the Cortland fishes great as far as I'm concerned.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 8:24
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Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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Quote:
The other thing that Maurice mentioned is that a $500-600 rod usually carries a no-fault lifetime warranty for a small handling fee. Take that into consideration. I've had some of my rods repaired because of my stupidity.


A cortland CL costs around $80. For $500 or $600 you could buy a lifetime supply of them.

I am not saying that the higher end rods aren't worth the money. Some are, some aren't I guess. But in addition to the fancy guarantee, you are paying for the fancy ads in the fly fishing magazines and the sales reps who go around to the flyshows giving away tshirts and hats.

If you like the Cortland CL don't let anyone talk you out of buying one. If you like the Sage XT or whatever they are pushing now.... get one of those. But a rod is very personal purchase. Feel good about whatever you decide on.

I still use the Whitewater Classic my wife bought me out of the BassPro catalogue. It's an 8' 5wt, and that is a perfect wt and length for most PA trout fishing. That and it's a mdm or mdm fast action, which suits me very nicely. So even though I also own a Winston WT, a Scott, a couple bamboos, a St Croix Ultra Legend etc. The ole Bass Pro rod still sees a lot of use. It's a good rod that I enjoy using a lot. And that is all that is important.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 9:16
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Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/12/13 9:28
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Face it people, those $400 or $500 or even $1000 plastic (graphite or other composite material) rods probably cost less than 100 bucks to build (with few exceptions). That is a bigger markup than furnature gets. They cost only slightly more to build than the lower end plastic rods. Someone mentioned more expensive components. What is there in the way of components on a plastic rod??? The ferrules are part of the blank, so they don't have nickel silver ferrules (which typically run $50 a pop or more for good ones). Even the top end line guides are only a few bucks a piece and even less for a builder. The reel seat is about the only place where there can be a difference, and what does it really have to do with how it casts? A top of the line reel seat would cost a rod manufacturer maybe 50 bucks. Yea, they are more for you and I, but with volume from a business, I doubt it. News Flash: Reel seats don't improve the casting assuming the rod is balanced. I also have to ask why would someone want to put a fancy stablized birdseye maple reel seat insert on a plastic rod??? Because it looks better??? If you are buying for looks, go for the real deal (split cane). Putting a natural insert on a plastic rod is like adding chrome to your Yugo. My graphite rods have graphite seats. Anyway, back to my point. Some of the more expensive rods have relatively cheap reel seats anyway to save weight. They do typically have better blanks, but those blanks don't cost much more to build outside of engineering and tooling, and will be next year's discount rods anyway.

So, lets do the math. 50 bucks for a reel seat (probably less, but we will go with the NS with wood insert pricing). Add 20 to 30 bucks for guides on a long rod, less on a shorty. Throw in a CB antenna for 20 bucks, and a little labor and now you have an expensive rod. Think about it. There are no moving parts to speak of. So, why should it cost more than an 870 remingot express. The only reason they cost so much is because some people are willing to spend it. It is like contact lenses. When they first came out, they cost way more than regular glasses, but they cost only a couple bucks to make.

Seriously now, The best advice has been repeated a couple times. Cast a bunch of rods and see what you like. Also, the warrantees add considerable value if you fish a lot. Most importantly, fish more, and fish more often. Cortland makes some decent stuff.

P.S. Please don't take the fist two paragraphs too seriously. They were intended to be simply a friendly jab at those of you who like high end plastic stuff.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 9:36


Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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Farmer Dave – all true, I’m sure. Just for fun, lets break down fly rod pricing on the basis on your estimated costs of components, and add in labor and profits:

Premium Rod:

+Reel seat $50
+Guides / T-Top / W-check $30
+Cork Grip $15
+Blank $20
+Alum Rod tube / Rod Bag $25
+Labor $120*
=Total Rod Cost $260
+Profit Rod Mfg** (35% margin)$140
=Mfg price sold to fly shop $400
+Profit Fly shop ***(30% margin)$170
=Total Retail Price Premium Fly rod $570


* Labor to manufacture blank, build rod, inspect, and package rod - 5 hours @ $24 ( $14 / hour wages + $10 in benefits and costs ) = $120

** Out of the $140 profit, the Rod Mfg has to pay all overhead, advertising, non Mfg labor, taxes, and pay for future warranty work

***Out of the $170 the fly shop has to pay all costs of overhead, labor, advertising, and taxes. (How many fly rods do you think your local shop sells a day – a week – a month?- in the off season?)

Mid Priced Rod:

+Reel seat $25
+Guides / T-Top / W-check $20
+Cork Grip $10
+Blank $15
+Mfg Fee from Foreign Rod maker* $50
=Total Rod cost $120
+Rod Co. Profit (35% Margin) $65
=Rod Co. price sold to Fly Shop $185
+Profit Fly shop (30% margin) $80
=Total Retail Price Fly Rod $265

*$50 Mfg fee includes labor cost (which could be as little as $5 total). Also included is manufaturer's profit and shipping to the US.


These above costs are just estimates, but I believe them to be fairly realistic in both costs and margins. My wife works in the fishing tackle industry. Her company makes top of the line fishing equipment (non fly fishing rods and reels) manufactured in the US. The company now has a line of tackle made in China at 1/2 the price, since their premium US made tackle line is struggling.

The prevailing idea for a lot of folks is that premium US made goods (fly rods included) are overpriced. Maybe they are, many foreign made goods are cheaper and in many cases good quality. Labor costs make the biggest difference in price. Labor costs in developing countries are a fraction of what they are in the US. Most people are under the assumption that the rod manufacturers, fly shops, and the people working in the industry are making a fortune. You be the judge.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 14:51


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

Joined:
2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
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Afishinado, does she have a sister???

I'm joking.

You're good. you should be in sales or marketing. Great response. I'll consider myself slapped down after that response ... especially because i usually make an effort to buy American whenever i can, even if it costs quite a bit more.

Now how do you feel about bobbers, errr, I mean strike indicators.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 16:07


Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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Joined:
2006/9/11 8:26
From Chester County
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FarmerDave:

LOL, check my profile under occupation............

I love those indicators..... especially the red & white plastic ones!
Kidding, but I sometimes use strike indicators. Under certain conditions, they are indispensable.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 16:26


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

Joined:
2006/11/2 8:50
Posts: 6180
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Quote:

lestrout wrote:
Capt - your analogy between cars and fly rods is very apt. For sure, 30 years ago, there was a lot of difference between high and low end stuff. However, these days, there is far less difference, especially in terms of pure functionality.

Cortland has always had excellent value at the various price points, and even their starter stuff (I recall C/L as up the curve a bit?) is quite nice.

Same thing with wines. Even the basic stuff is usable these days, though admittedly with all of these, you can spend lots of money and there are differences, if you are looking for them.

tl
les


I also think the car analogy is good. It used to be that the lower priced rods were really much poorer quality than the high end rods. Think Chevette, Vega, Pinto.

But now many of the lower price rods have closed the quality gap quite a lot. More like Civics and Corollas. Very good value.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 19:17


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

Joined:
2006/11/16 20:06
From Lebanon County, PA
Posts: 27
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I really do appreciate everybody's input. Great stuff, very helpful. Like I said I have used the Cortland CL 5/6 wt for six years. I have and use other rods like a 7 1/2 bamboo (sweet action) and a couple of Orvis rods ( Clearwater Classics) that I use most of the time; my CL is a true 6 wt with a tip flex and I use it especially for nymphing and for fishing bigger water on windy days. It has a great feel for me, with good power and sensitivity. We are so fortunate to have so many options in buying good gear at reasonable prices to enjoy our beloved sport of fly fishing. I must say that in my experience Cortland stands by their products well. My wife has a CL 4/5 wt. Two years ago, a problem developed with the reel seat. The customer service office told us to send it to them. In one week the rod was returned to us, repaired for no charge. Thanks again for all your comments.

Posted on: 2006/12/21 19:41


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

Joined:
2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
Posts: 18508
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Quote:

afishinado wrote:

LOL, check my profile under occupation............



I did before I posted that.

For the fun of it, I was going to nitpick your numbers but figured I'd be better off if I quit while I was behind and admitted defeat.

Posted on: 2006/12/22 7:37



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