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Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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Well, it's official. I got a hold of dealer in Van Nuys, CA that got a Winston rep to send in some casting sample for me. I'm going to make the drive up there - 4 hours away - to get hands-on some of the rods I can't handle anywhere nearby.

Posted on: 2013/11/9 13:52


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2766
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There you go. That's the way to do it

Posted on: 2013/11/9 15:35
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Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
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Well, I got out to the Fisherman's Spot in California this weekend to test cast a bunch of rods. I feel the need to state that the service I received from this shop was absolutely excellent. I drove a long way to test out these rods, and they treated my experience accordingly. They set up and broke down a bunch of rigs for me to take out to the lot and put aside significant time to answer my questions. As I may have mentioned previously, Ken (the owner) made arrangements with the Winston sales rep for me to try two of their rod selections (the only two show demos left in the country right now, apparently) shipped in specifically for me to cast. After testing these and several other rods, the verdict is in...sort of...

The lineup of rods that I tried (and I'm not going to list specific length/line weight permutations on all of them because it's exhausting):

-Sage Circa
-Hardy Zenith
-Orvis Helios 2
-Winston WT "Tom Morgan Favorite" 2-piece
-Winston WT 3-piece
-Robert Bolt custom bamboo*

*This was not for sale - it was an incredibly rare opportunity to cast a pricey custom rod brought on by a customer who just received it while I was in the store after a 2-year production wait.

So, the three I liked the most (excluding the bamboo – more on that later) were the two Winston rods and the Sage Circa. All three gave me the best accuracy out of all the selections and worked well with my casting style, particularly for the kind of dry fly fishing I plan on doing. Narrowing it down further, thus number one rod on my list is now the Winston WT 3-piece.

Earlier, I stated that a 3- or 4-piece rod was almost a necessity given that I need to be able to travel easily with whatever I buy. However, something unexpected came to light when I finally got to try the WT 3-piece out: it’s just a shade stiffer than the TMF, giving me a little bit more fight in the wind and distance without sacrificing accuracy nor the suppleness desired to protect a light tippet. Don’t get me wrong, I’d buy a TMF in a heartbeat, but the little bit of wind we had on the day I tried these rods out exposed a subtle advantage in the 3-piece that isn’t coming at any perceivable cost. Add in the fact that it packs down a lot nicer and I THINK we have a winner.

What am I not 100% certain? Because there were two rods I didn’t get to try that day that I need to get my hands on: the Orvis Superfine Touch and the Winston Boron III LS. I feel stupid because Ken had a Superfine in 4-weight sitting right on the shelf but I completely forgot about it in and amongst the million other rods I tried. At any rate, I have to go back to the area anyway and will return to give it a shot when I get back. All that said, I now understand why certain rods come at a much higher price. The accuracy difference, in particular, is nothing short of astounding.



Posted on: 2013/11/18 22:35


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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As for that Robert Bolt bamboo rod, I have to say that it was an utterly impressive piece of custom craftsmanship. Every inch of the thing was clearly looked after: the engraved ferrules, the perfect finish, flawless real seat, beautiful cork, etc. It was shocking easy to cast, both in terms of accuracy and the ability to throw surprisingly tight loops given my previous impression that bamboo was not known for this attribute. At around $2K, it would be tough nut to swallow, but there’s definitely something there. Is it heavy? Yes. In the 5-weight/8’ setup I tried, it felt nearly the same in the hand as my Horrocks-Ibbotson 8’6” fiberglass rod. Did it cast incredibly well? Yes. Yes it did.

Posted on: 2013/11/18 22:41


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2011/5/26 10:12
From Dauphin PA
Posts: 2766
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Sounds like you'll be going team Winston. What we're your thoughts on the Circa and H2 mid flex?

Posted on: 2013/11/19 10:55
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Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2009/6/17 21:49
From United States
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I would not blame anyone for going Winston. The feel of the tips and how they respond to a smooth stroke with power. However if you decide on a Circa. I bought two. The three and four weights in the 8 foot 9 inch. Looking for a new limestoner rod, I liked the three for my purposes. If you would be interested in the four weight. P.M. me.

Posted on: 2013/11/19 12:11
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Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13549
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Very good.

One last thing. That store that gave you such good service? If they carry what you will buy, get it there. Sure, they'll often be 20 or 30 bucks more than the same rod at a big box store. But that 20 or 30 bucks pays for that service you got. In fact, get most of your stuff there. Even if they aren't close enough to go down the street to get to, many things you can order and you'll have it as quick or quicker as ordering from a big box.

Yeah, good bamboo surprises a lot of people. One thing I can say, though, is that boo (and glass, too) vary a lot more than graphite. I mean, you casted some graphite sticks, and you can definitely feel the difference. If you had the luxury to cast 4 or 5 different boo rods, the differences are just wild, enough to make all those graphite rods feel awfully similar. But, the graphite sticks do the job just fine, better for some applications, and are a heck of a lot cheaper!

Posted on: 2013/11/19 14:52


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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Quote:

krayfish wrote:
Sounds like you'll be going team Winston. What we're your thoughts on the Circa and H2 mid flex?


The Circa casted very well for me under the same casting style I use on most waters I fish out here: slow buildup with a sharp snap at the end to straighten out the tippet. The Winston rods simply outshined by a small margin when it came to accuracy with my casting technique and the 3-piece in particular did better when casting into a mild headwind. Obviously, these are highly suggestive dings and small ones, at that. It's definitely well within the top tier of performance I would expect for a rod in it's price range.

The H2 on the other hand was simply not what I was after. It's a great rod, but even in a mid flex, it's a tool built for casting distance and not short/medium range presentation. I couldn't do much with it without having it lay into it more than I would for a dry fly cast. Don't get me wrong: when you want a distance casting rod, it really will get you out there a good ways with very good precision, but I was not into it for the shorter, soft casts I'm after.

Quote:

Stenonema wrote:
I would not blame anyone for going Winston. The feel of the tips and how they respond to a smooth stroke with power. However if you decide on a Circa. I bought two. The three and four weights in the 8 foot 9 inch. Looking for a new limestoner rod, I liked the three for my purposes. If you would be interested in the four weight. P.M. me.


I appreciate the offer, but there's a new twist in this purchase: the wife is putting out feelers like she may be trying to get the family to pool money for a gift card purchase for me for Christmas at the shop I tried the rods at. That would push the purchase up timeline to well before tax season like originally planned. You won't hear me complaining!

Quote:

pcray1231 wrote:
Very good.

One last thing. That store that gave you such good service? If they carry what you will buy, get it there. Sure, they'll often be 20 or 30 bucks more than the same rod at a big box store. But that 20 or 30 bucks pays for that service you got. In fact, get most of your stuff there. Even if they aren't close enough to go down the street to get to, many things you can order and you'll have it as quick or quicker as ordering from a big box.

Yeah, good bamboo surprises a lot of people. One thing I can say, though, is that boo (and glass, too) vary a lot more than graphite. I mean, you casted some graphite sticks, and you can definitely feel the difference. If you had the luxury to cast 4 or 5 different boo rods, the differences are just wild, enough to make all those graphite rods feel awfully similar. But, the graphite sticks do the job just fine, better for some applications, and are a heck of a lot cheaper!


I can definitely imagine the bamboo world having a wild variance in performance from rod to rod and maker to maker. After casting this one, I will certainly not turn down the chance to cast another if for no other reason than pure curiosity.

As for sticking with the shop that helped me out, there's no question that will happen. The guys not only helped me with all of those rods, they are not going to charge for shipping if I buy through them. Couple that with the fact that I won't have to pay CA tax since I'd technically be buying remotely as an out of state customer, and it's actually a BETTER deal to go through them than it would be to go to my local big box store. Even if it was a few $ more, I would definitely give them my business. They earned it.

As it stands, I would have to order either of the Winston rods I tried if I indeed go with one of them. It's looking like a 6 week production wait in that regard, but I really won't miss the time since fishing season in winding down out here.

Posted on: 2013/11/19 21:00

Edited by Six-Gun on 2013/11/19 21:18:58


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

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2012/1/13 15:28
From Ferguson Twp.
Posts: 2551
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You know, a lot of people "talk" about how you need to cast as many as you can before you buy. I have the idea that the four hour drive you took would have deterred many people. Well done, a lifetime rod is worth the effort after all you two will be spending a lot of time together.

Posted on: 2013/11/20 6:54
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Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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Quote:

lv2nymph wrote:
You know, a lot of people "talk" about how you need to cast as many as you can before you buy. I have the idea that the four hour drive you took would have deterred many people. Well done, a lifetime rod is worth the effort after all you two will be spending a lot of time together.


It's funny you bring this up. Initially, I WAS deterred by the thought of driving that far and that long to go see rods. My thinking was that if I hate the rod I end up buying, I can eat the return shipping provided I kept it out of the water. Then I came to the realization that when you're going to spend $750 on a rod, gas and time are a small investment to be absolutely sure you are putting you money into the right rod.

Posted on: 2013/11/20 12:12


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

Joined:
2008/1/31 17:19
From Pretty much everywhere at some point, Thorndale today.
Posts: 13549
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Quote:
After casting this one, I will certainly not turn down the chance to cast another if for no other reason than pure curiosity.


Yeah, that sounds like a lot of us. I own 1, count em, ONE bamboo rod. I own zero glass sticks. Most of my arsenal are made of graphite. But I never turn down the opportunity to cast ANY rod, and getting to cast boo and glass are the most fun because every one takes your expectation and trounces on it. With graphite, you imagine this one's gonna be softer, this one a rocket, etc., and you're usually right, though it's still interesting to feel. But with glass and boo, there's just no predicting it. I've expected noodles and gotten broomsticks, I've expected broomsticks and got noodles, and everything in between, and some that you can't even find the words to explain. It's fun.

I like your "life rod" concept. Just make sure your best rod, that you put all that research into and are gonna be proud of, is a rod that you're going to end up using the most for the type of fishing you do most often. I would not go through such extensive measures and pay that much money to obtain a specialist rod that's gonna get used once or twice a year. You're buying your lifetime workhorse.

Posted on: 2013/11/20 14:31


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

Joined:
2013/7/30 17:16
From Fairborn, OH
Posts: 312
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pcray -

I definitely put a lot of thought into the type of rod/type of fishing that qualifies for this purchase The more I fish, the more I realize that I spend the vast majority of my time pitching dries, small nymphs and small streamers. I make diminishing use of my 5-weight rod and even less use of my heaver 6-8 weight options. I figure a 4-weight dry fly specialized rod would be the perfect "heavy" dry fly rig for me and will likely - provided I don't let it get too long as to become cumbersome in brush country - become my true go-to setup...at least until I get orders somewhere with completely different conditions.

Posted on: 2013/11/22 21:07


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 876
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Funny how this thread started as superfluous equipment desires but turned to most practical very quickly.

A lot of bamboo bashing and also praise here ,but ,if you are going to spend eight hundred on a rod ,do you really want a plastic one?

Another thing.why do people always bring up the weight of bamboo? I have never met a bamboo rod under nine and a half feet that weighed more than a shovel or a framing hammer. Most people can use either of those for eight hours,can't they?

There was a claim earlier that bamboo,or split cane,is outmoded and inferior.actually it protects tippet better than graphite and usually better than fiberglass.

I see bamboo as a lifetime rod ,graphite as a "till the next trend"

However,OP,you will be the user not is,so if you like graphite,go for it!!

Going to try them,even if it is a four hour drive is the smart thing!

Posted on: 12/4 18:00


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

Joined:
2006/9/17 9:47
From WNY
Posts: 287
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(Shakey, Cheers to your strong right arm) ;)
My aunt fished an 8' 6wt FE Thomas short-tipped Special for most of her fishing life and well into her 60's. I never once heard her complain of a sore arm or the rod was too heavy.

Posted on: 12/4 20:58


Re: Help me make a gratuitious rod purchase

Joined:
2007/10/7 0:44
From philadelphia
Posts: 876
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Your aunt sounds like my kind of woman!

Posted on: 12/7 12:39



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