View Full Version : Fly Rod Action Price

04-18-2008, 10:10 PM
I've wanted to know the answer to this for a long time. I've been flyfishing my whole life, and to this day, I do not know why fast-action rods are more expensive. Well, why?

I suspect it is one of these things where some marketing genius figured out that people will pay more for fast-action, since that is probably more subconsciously associated with folks who have fly fished for a long time, or "experts." Kind of like why food manufacturers charge more for identical items without salt or sugar in them... it's a mental weakness that they exploit for more profit.

I'd love to hear anyone else's opinion.

04-18-2008, 10:55 PM
I'd like to hear the "real" answer to this too. My assumption is that fast rods are all the rage right now and the manufacturers charge more because fishermen are willing to pay more for the latest and greatest.

I'm not complaining because I like slower to medium action rods and it allows me to get a really great rod at a lower cost.


04-19-2008, 07:18 AM
For the most part, lighter, stronger materials & ADVERTISING:eek:


James Buice
05-11-2008, 11:57 AM
I'll take a stab at this. For the most part, graphite is graphite is graphite. There have been no substantial changes in graphite technology in several decades. The scrim (bonding matrix for the graphite) however is another story. The advances in this have aided in making rods that are lighter, faster, and stronger (all three combined). By eliminating traditional scrim, graphite can be bonded in a unidirectional manner (Scott, Sage, T&T, Orvis all use this on their high end rods). This makes for a ligher, stronger rod via the elimation of a fairly heavy bonding matrix. Also, now graphite can be blended throughout the blank, giving a lower modulus in areas where more strenght is needed and higher modulus where a faster recovery or weight is concerned. One reason rods have become more expensive is due to the lifetime warranty. While there are some less expensive rods that offer this, the overhead with these are less, thus the margins are still present. Another factor is the increasing price of graphite due, in part, to military efforts abroad. Advertising is built into everything we purchase, so yes, some of the price does go to advertising and promotions.

A high price premium rod does have many advantages over a lower priced model. New scrim-less designs offer a stronger, lighter, and (usually) faster action. This does not mean the rod is a broomstick, just that the higher modulus graphite rebounds to a static position faster than a lower modulus sample. If the rod is designed correctly, it will have a soft, supple tip to protect tippets and allow for loading the rod for shorter casts, but a taper that will allow fast line speeds when needed in the wind, distance, etc.

I'm not a rod designer, so I can't tell you all of the ins and outs of the development process, but I do know first hand from Scott and Sage that the development costs are high; experimenting with new materials, technology, and computer models plus the prototyping process. Also, there are the components which are pretty expensive. Go price some high end REC components for an entire rod (guides, reel seats) and you're looking at a chunk of change. All of these things add up to a premium price.

As most of you know, I am the Scott rep for the southeast, so these I really dig these rods, but the fact of the matter is most of the high end rods are amazing. However, just because a rod is expensive doesn't mean it's better than another. Cast before you buy and make the call. Remember this, the better the rod, the more it will allow you to grow as a caster. It will not necessarily make you a better caster, that comes with practice, but it will aid you in your growth.

I hope this helps and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.


tire guy
05-11-2008, 01:16 PM
This is a perfect example of a sales consultant that likes his job and is good at it. Thanks James.

05-11-2008, 01:53 PM
James, my two favorite rod companies are Scott and Sage. I wish you could talk Scott into making a 9' and 10' 3wt. G-Series. I love the G-series rods because they load so easily with little or no line out. Does the G2 have the exact same action, taper, etc. as the original G?

Byron Begley
05-11-2008, 03:09 PM
I agree with Tire guy. Good job James. I just learned a lot of stuff I didn't know.

Sorry I had to leave so fast the other day. The fire turned out to be a controled burn near Cades Cove.


05-12-2008, 07:26 AM
Very well done James, it's nice to hear a rep say other companies other than his own make quality products.
Scott has always produced quality rods & great fishing rods at that. I totally agree with casting as many as possible to, you never know which one will click with your casting style.


Hal M
05-12-2008, 08:25 AM

That is the best explanation I have ever heard on graphite rods. It was well worded and easy to understand. You definitely know your product and its make-up. Thanks for sharing your expertise,


05-13-2008, 02:01 AM
Very well put and I only wish I had your job! A commendment is in order and I do so commend you for your words towards another manufacturer! I never even looked at a Scott while purchasing my fly rod, though I'm not sure why! I know several people who swear by them now! I must say that I'm a fast action finatic!

There's just no other action out there that will allow you to punch a dry fly 50+ ft in any kind of wind unless your Lefty! So as far as pricing is concerned no one want's to pay $700.00 for anything let alone a rod. But anymore with gas at $3.50 who want's to fill their tank up with gas, drive 100 miles or better, and get to the water's edge with a steady breeze while fish are rising to dries? Your paying alot for versatility! That being said make sure the rod you pick up will lay a dry where you want it at 15'. Not all fast action rods are created equal!!!! I won't even touch on the mending factor! Fast action rods are more than a rave they make life easier on the water and simply keep you on the water when everyone else has to head to the car!

I've been more than a time or two with my father who enjoys fishing lighter weight's and slow to medium action rods! I can't tell you the amount of times I've seen him have to stop casting or sit down until the wind dies!

Two cent's as always!

James Buice
05-13-2008, 09:04 PM
Hi all. Glad I could help out a little. True, I am the Scott rep, but anyone who tries and down other products is working on their own agenda. Simple fact is, they're all tools that will get the job done. My job is to promote fly fishing along with my products and you can't do that with a one track mind. Truth is all of the rod companies learn from each other in some form or fashion.

Brett, I'd say the faster actions do build up line speed, no doubt about it. I would hesitate to say, however, that they're the only rod that will punch the line out in wind. I've seen a lot of guys fishing old Winston IM6 5wts bombing casts on the Missouri or Henry's Fork when the wind is howling. It does require more work by the caster as you end up generating a lot of the line speed instead of the rod (here timing becomes critical making the rods more difficult to cast in the wind).

Luckily, the advances I described above have helped us keep the "feel" of a fly rod while giving us the ability to, as you said, have a versitle fishing tool. Rods whos tips return to the static position quickly (fast action) include many rods thought to be of a slower nature than say an XP or TCR by Sage (think Scott G2, Sage ZXL, Winson BIIx series-I mention these as I have a lot of experience with the rods). Just because some of today's rods do not feel stiff doesn't mean they won't generate that line speed. That's the beauty of modern day technology in these rods. They can have a soft tip for delicate work/protecting tippets and still bomb out the casts; casting with an easy stroke at short distances then laying out the distance when needed (for lack of a better description, think of the blanks having hidden power that comes out when you need it).

$3.50 a gallon. That's a bargain! LOL I'm in Titusville, FL right now...you don't even want to know what it is here. Quick report: Windy. Tough fishing. They're here...I just can't see 'em LOL

Guys, if any of you ever have a question about rods or just wanna talk trout, my email is strangetrout@gmail.com