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View Full Version : Best "Cheap" Med-Fast Action Rod


CinciVol
12-22-2010, 10:52 AM
Folks,

I may be in the market for a new fly rod but my budget is limited (like everyone elses right now I suspect). I am interested in a 4 weight, 9 ft rod for use primarily in the tailwaters. Essentially I am looking for a rod that can throw line a good distance with moderate accuracy and will make a 12-16" trout seem like a whale. I started out looking at the Sage Flight and St. Croix Legend rods but my upper budget for the rod may be in the $200 range so I am looking for something cheaper.

Any thoughts on a rod that might fit the bill? A brand available at LRO would, of course, be ideal...

Thanks, Cincivol.

Knothead
12-22-2010, 11:30 AM
You mentioned a rod that is carried by LRO. My suggestion would be go to LRO and look at what they have, cast them and make the choice. I am confident the folks at LRO will do everything possible to help you make the right choice.
Your signature indicates you are from Cincinnati and now a TN Vol, right?

tjw37909
12-22-2010, 02:25 PM
Ross Essence FW490-4 $229.00
Redington RS4 9044 $199.95
Ross Essence FC490-4 $179.00
St. Croix Imperial 2 and 4 piece $180 and $200
I know a guy who has a couple rods in that range for sale new as well. tjw37909@yahoo.com

rivergal
12-22-2010, 06:53 PM
The trout will never know or care how much or how little you pay for a fly rod.

ahighlan
12-22-2010, 07:58 PM
The less expensive St Croix rods generally have a good reputation. Temple Fork Outfitters makes great affordable rods as well. I have two and like them both.

LRO carries both brands.

I've never felt like I would have caught more or better fish if I had a more expensive rod.

Rainbow Warrior
12-23-2010, 12:51 AM
I agree with the St. Croix and TFO recomendations I have a St. Croix Imperial 4 wt. 8.5' rod, and It does pretty darn good for me. It is light enough to make your catch "feel like a whale" and fish light tippets without worrying too much about setting the hook to hard. Its casting distance, for me atleast, is pretty good. I do not own a TFO 4 wt, but own 5, 6, and 8 wt. models. They are all pretty darn good. They flex pretty well under pressure with big fish and cast very well. I really couldn't recommend one over the other.
St. Croix Imperial 4 wt. : $170
TFO 04 90 4 P: $150

CinciVol
12-23-2010, 10:49 AM
Thanks for the great suggestions.

John, you correctly deduced that I am a native Cincinnatian, lived there for 25 years. I have been living in Knoxville off and on for about 10 years (attended UT for a few of those years). Cincy is a neat city, lots of history and beautiful buildings. I like it here better though. The fishing is better by a long shot!

jeffnles1
12-23-2010, 02:31 PM
Thanks for the great suggestions.

John, you correctly deduced that I am a native Cincinnatian, lived there for 25 years. I have been living in Knoxville off and on for about 10 years (attended UT for a few of those years). Cincy is a neat city, lots of history and beautiful buildings. I like it here better though. The fishing is better by a long shot!

Cinci,
I live right outside of Florence (about 15 miles south of the river). Let me be the first to say, you're not missing much by avoiding our winter here. Right now, about 5" of snow on the ground, hasn't been above freezing all month and more snow on the way. I think we've had about 5 or 6 hours of sunshine all month and the streets downtown are all just dirty slushy gray what used to be snow.

Spring, early summer and fall are beautiful, but you can have August, December, Janurary, February, March, and the first couple weeks of April though.

Hopefully, I can retire from my day job in 3 or 4 years and head to SE Tennessee. Yes, it's cold in the winter there, but it doesn't last quite as long and in August, one can drive up to the mountains for a break from the heat. :biggrin:

Jeff

CinciVol
12-23-2010, 04:02 PM
Jeff,

I miss the snow in Cincy, but my memories are probably clouded because my snow days there were all about missing school and sledding all day, not the grownup version of snow days (bad traffic, managing kids that are out of school, etc...)

Another thing that Cincy seems to have is some great striper/hybrid fishing in wadable rivers. My brother and friends have had a great year on the Little Miami and Great Miami rivers catching 20-30" hybrids in water that's 2-3 ft deep. I still haven't found that here yet.

Stay warm. I'll be up there in a few days for Christmas.

Dave

gutshot
12-23-2010, 09:24 PM
I'll also throw in for Reddington. I have an RS3 in 4wt that I got for fishing the Caney Fork, when the numbers of big fish tanked. It is wonderful for the price range.

I do not like the RS4s as well, they do not have the medium action qualities of the RS3. But there are RS3s still out there for sale. I like the more medium action qualities of the RS3 especially when fishing 7 and 8x tippet under an indicator, lots of cushion.

bigpopper
01-13-2011, 12:21 AM
I'd go with the TFO pro series, I own a 5wt and an 8wt, fantastic rods, and you can't beat the pricing. Lifetime warrany too.

Trico
01-13-2011, 02:18 PM
You may wish to look at the new Winston Passport. George Anderson, the owner of the Yellowstone Angler in Livingston, Mt., just did a review on this rod in a 5 wgt. It sells for 199.00 I believe. You can go to their website and read about the Passport. It and numerous other rods were tested in their 5 wgt "shootout". If your interested you can also call the store ask about the matter. I have found them very helpful in the past. Always fun shopping for new gear!

silvercreek
01-13-2011, 03:02 PM
That caught my eye also. LRO sells Winstons. Not sure if they have the Passport, but I bet they could get it.

ChemEAngler
01-13-2011, 11:10 PM
You may wish to look at the new Winston Passport. George Anderson, the owner of the Yellowstone Angler in Livingston, Mt., just did a review on this rod in a 5 wgt. It sells for 199.00 I believe. You can go to their website and read about the Passport. It and numerous other rods were tested in their 5 wgt "shootout". If your interested you can also call the store ask about the matter. I have found them very helpful in the past. Always fun shopping for new gear!

If it is anything like the Ascent, I wouldn't give it the time of day. I bought a 9' 4-wt Ascent that felt good casting at the store when compared to 2 other similar priced rods. However, after one full day flinging double nymph rigs on the Clinch, I felt like my arm was about to fall off. Blasted thing weighs in at around 4.5 ounces. In fly rod terms that is a heavyweight. I think part of the problem for me was that when I test cast one at LRO, I was using a lightweight standard arbor reel. I also attached a ridiculously heavy Orvis Mid-Arbor to mine that weighed in at 6 ounces before line and backing was added.

So my point is to be sure to test cast whatever it is that you are looking at, and if possible do so with a similar reel you plan to use.

RFork
01-14-2011, 12:43 AM
I've heard a few good things about Echo rods. I've never used one in any way, but they may be worth a look.

Grannyknot
01-14-2011, 10:10 AM
Here are the final results of the 5wt shootout done by yellowstone angler -> http://www.yellowstoneangler.com/Photo%20Gallery/FinalResults5weightrodcomparison5weightrodtest5wei ghtrodreview.htm

The RLW Passport did really well against other rods that cost 2 to 3 times more. I believe its a new rod for 2011, so LRO might not have it yet, or it might be a rod they've decided not to stock for one reason or another.

Chemeangler, I believe the characteristic you are talking about is its swing weight, which it did fairly well at (8 out of 10), unless your agony came from high-sticking the nymphs. Then again, we are talking about a budget friendly rod here, so we can't expect to fish nymphs all day and not be a little sore.

Owl
01-14-2011, 02:13 PM
My recommendation is a St. Croix Avid. Not sure what that will run you these days, but it's a solid rod for the mid-range price level( if its still is mid-range). I have had two avids both purchased in the early 2000's, and I fished both hard - then gave each one to a different friend and they are still fishing them today. they are well built and cast very well. $600 rods are nice rods, but as someone else has already said, the fish don't care how much you spent. And if you have good taste in friends and fishing buddies, neither will they.

Owl

pineman19
01-14-2011, 02:47 PM
I like the new St. Croix Imperials. Just under $200, lightweight. I have a 8'6" 4 weight, 4 pc and have used it on tailwaters and mountain streams. Good warranty, have always like St. Croix's service. I would like to get 4 pc five weight in the same rod for use on tailwaters and larger mountain streams.

Neal

RFork
01-14-2011, 03:54 PM
My recommendation is a St. Croix Avid. Not sure what that will run you these days, but it's a solid rod for the mid-range price level( if its still is mid-range). I have had two avids both purchased in the early 2000's, and I fished both hard - then gave each one to a different friend and they are still fishing them today. they are well built and cast very well. $600 rods are nice rods, but as someone else has already said, the fish don't care how much you spent. And if you have good taste in friends and fishing buddies, neither will they.

Owl

The fish don't know but there is a reason they are more expensive. Much more enjoyable and easier to use a nice rod I'd say.

flyman
01-15-2011, 09:00 PM
I saw this on another forum and thought it was almost perfect for this topic. :biggrin:
http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7795583/

The Principal
01-15-2011, 11:47 PM
Flyman,
Well said my friend. Very good, we all need to stop and look a that little video often
just to keep things in perspective.

Crockett
01-18-2011, 12:54 PM
Flyman I loved the video and it speaks a lot of truth. I learned this past year that in the mountains the rod makes little difference at all it's just a stick to dabble a fly from and can easily break on rough and tumble mountain streams so you should go cheap. A cheap rod in the mountains will catch just as many trout as an expensive one unless you are in wider open streams like little river or deep creek but not so much on sams creek or road prong. Learned this after leaving my rod at camp and catching specks with great ease on my sons $10 spider man rod with tippet tied to the end lol. However tailwaters as CinciVol said he is fishing are a different story and a more expensive/fine rod may indeed serve you better there.

spotlight
02-02-2011, 11:57 PM
Flyman that was comical!! I love the part at the end where he asks do you have money for gas and he says no, but I have a new fly rod! It's all about the toys I say. A nicer more expensive rod ain't gonna make you catch more fish. I love my temple Fork 5WT pro series casts like a dream. I just bought a ZG Helios I had it out this weekend it's very forgiving so i must say there is some difference but like Crockett said......in tight streams you don't need a fancy rod.

I still am laughing at that video.....

flybum62
02-04-2011, 05:49 PM
I have a nice TFO 8' 2 wt, $149.00, not to bad a rod for the price. Especially since I use it only for a week in the Smoky's.

narcodog
02-04-2011, 06:06 PM
How about a Cortland Endurance 10 ft 4 piece 4wt for $125.00?

kentuckytroutbum
02-04-2011, 07:45 PM
flyman-

I'm still laughing. Everyone should watch that video.

Good equipment helps, but it still boils down to skill of the user! Glad I'm not in marketing or advertising, I couldn't keep a straight face while dealing with the B.S. :eek:

Bill

silvercreek
02-06-2011, 01:30 PM
Back when I got started fly fishing in 1980, I spent a couple of hundred dollars on several rods. None of which felt right. After receiving a good promotion at work, I decided to treat myself to a T&T 8ft 5wt. Top of the line, top in price. I wondered if I was being foolish paying so much for a rod. Could it be worth it? When the rod arrived and I cast it, I could not believe the difference. In a moment of monumental stupidity I lost it and promptly replaced it. Still have it and it is still my go to rod after more than 20 years. I've never kept track of it, but I'm sure I have spent more on leaders than what the rod cost me. Find a rod that you truly love regardless of price, and take care of it. You'll find it is the cheapest part of this fly fishing game. Regards, Silvercreek

Trico
02-06-2011, 01:43 PM
CinciVol: Did you buy a rod yet. If so what did you end up getting?

Mundele
02-06-2011, 10:32 PM
I like TFO rods. I had a 5wt Professional but it was on the fast side for me. I traded it for a "Signature", also 5wt and it is really nice. All that being said, I don't think the action makes a ton of difference for fishing in the park, especially up high in smaller streams.

I've got one you can borrow if you would like to use one awhile until you buy.

-Matt

Crockett
02-06-2011, 10:38 PM
I like TFO rods. I had a 5wt Professional but it was on the fast side for me. I traded it for a "Signature", also 5wt and it is really nice. All that being said, I don't think the action makes a ton of difference for fishing in the park, especially up high in smaller streams.

I've got one you can borrow if you would like to use one awhile until you buy.

-Matt


I will borrow it to go to the Clinch or SoHo with you Matt. I need to expand my horizons and stop being such a mountain snob. Seriously when I get my Korkers back from the chinese sewing sweatshop where they are reparing them we should go.

Plunker
02-06-2011, 10:59 PM
I saw this on another forum and thought it was almost perfect for this topic. :biggrin:
http://www.xtranormal.com/watch/7795583/

I really appreciate you posting the movie....Puts a WHOLE NEW perspective on the Shiny Green BIIIX I was wiggling in the store the other day. But it comes with a Shiny Green Tube with a Screw on Brass Cap!!!:eek:

Enough said, I'll stick with the TFO's and manage not to sleep in the dog house tonight....many thanks Sensei!:biggrin:

GrouseMan77
02-07-2011, 06:25 PM
I am in the market for a 5wt. Considering a Sage Flight or Scott A3. Plan to cast both rods soon. LRO carries Sage and CR Outfitters carries Scott. Wish I could cast them both at the same time. Might wait till Troutfest? Which, I just thought of.

old east tn boy
02-07-2011, 09:11 PM
Posted a story about the old man and the boy awhile back. Story was about me and my favorite uncle who taught me to fish. He also taught me something else, you generally get what you pay for, even today. None of his gear was cheap and he had a fit when I broke one of those beautiful rods. Threatened to use me for an anchor, he did!

His motto was this; buy the best you can and better than you are currently capable of fully realizing. You'll have far less regrets in the long run. My experience is he was exactly right!