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flyred06 11-18-2009 11:05 PM

can someone explain?
Can someone explain to me why a TFO rod cost a $149 to $199 while a sage cost from $200 up. I know the difference in the fact that TFO is korean made but what is the differences when it comes to the build and/or quality of the rods. I have a hard time making myself buy a TFO (korean) rod versus other rods but for the money and from what I see I cannot understand the differences. I do not believe it is the cosmetics for they seem similar. And what is the difference that makes one rod $700 v/s $199. I am not trying to be sarcastic or mean I trully do not understand. I have never built rods and that is why I am trying to learn if it is something in the build or is it just a prestige thing to own the higher end rods. All my rods are of higher end value but my fishing partner fishes TFO'S and darn I can't really see a difference except price and cosmetics. Any help in understanding this I would greatly appreciate. Thanks.

Fishermansfly 11-19-2009 03:19 AM

Higher modules of graphite *biggest reason*, premo cork, better hardware (guides, reel seats, hook keeper, etc.), If you've ever owned a TFO the corks are horrible using lots of filler, which is extremely unpleasant while casting! It all has to do with feel.

TFO makes nice rods, for cheap, and have exceptional warranties but doesn't compare in my mind to a Sage, Winston, or a Orvis Helios!

Visit to really understand why. Check the prices on things and you'll get a clearer picture of the differences in prices on the blanks, graphite, alone!

Alot of the diff in rods is what your trying to accomplish doing with them.


billyspey 11-19-2009 06:52 AM

can you compare a yugo with a chevy suburban.they both get you where you want to go just how you get there and pride in ownership.sage lower price rods was yesterdays best technology. i prefer the yesterdays technology to the best tfo.

Grumpy 11-19-2009 08:39 AM

It all depends on how deep your pockets are;) I've fished them all, all of them will catch fish.
No one in the business has a better warranty than TFO, you can't get a $700 rod returned within a week:eek:
I like my high $$ rods & have no complaints with the cheaper ones. I have heard that there are a few breeds of fish that will not bite a bug if it is cast on foreign made rods & that they swim up & down streams with the high $$ banners on their sides with their noses up in the air, i avoid those unless i happen to have that particular brand with me that day:biggrin:


Grannyknot 11-19-2009 09:37 AM

It's really more about the stickers on your vehicle than the label on your rod. :biggrin:

gmreeves 11-19-2009 09:55 AM

It is capitalism in action and a beautiful thing.

flyred06 11-19-2009 10:56 AM

Fishermans fly thank you for that insight. That is a well defined answer that I was searching for. Billyspey I feel the same as you. As I have stated many times before I don't buy TFO unless it is a rod of cause ex: Breast cancer, Healing waters. I have orvis, sage, winstons and I love them all but the recent growth in these korean rods left a debate between me and some people. They called me a gear guy (one who is more worried about names than gear) and simply ask how fancy a stick you need to catch a fish when you only got out 9 ft of line? I am looking at purchasing another rod soon, what I am looking at is the flight series or another launch (can not afford the zxl yet) what is your opinions on these two rods. I know it is up to me on the way they feel but I am talking about component make up and craftsmanship?

gmreeves 11-19-2009 11:42 AM

You will definately see a difference in the quality of components from the entry level rods of TFO's and the higher end Winston, Sage, etc. But if you are looking at the entry level rods offered by Sage now, you will see similar components as the imports but still pay the slightly higher costs for buying an American made production rod. I can get the Nickel Silver reel seat hardware for a Winston for about $60 retail where I could get an aluminum reel seat hardware commonly found on the less expensive models for well less than half of that. The best cork rings can cost up to $3 or more for a ring and you will need 10-14 rings depending on what type of grip you want. On the other hand you can also get some pretty bad rings for .50 and use filler material to make it look better on the shelf. Guides are the same way. I have built functional bamboo rods that fish and cast great that I outfitted with components for less $30 but the majority of the rods I have built take about $200 worth of components retail and that's not including the price of a blank since I make those as well. Do you need clean and void free cork, fancy exotic wood insert for your nickel silver reel seat attached to a state of the art space age technology blank to catch a fish using fur and feathers on a hook? No. But you will buy what you can afford and cherish it because you know that you bought what you wanted because you can. Enjoy the pursuit of your next rod and make sure you cast before you buy because that is really all that matters.

flyred06 11-19-2009 02:56 PM

Great points GMREEVES. And I can say from being in your shop you definately go to the nth degree for quality. I value your opinion and insight. Like I was saying I am just trying to get a little research in so that I can make good quality judgements on this issue. I love the bamboo but everyone I see lately has some TFO rod for less money trying to convert me over because of price. I like american made products and I like my rods I just did not know all the info on the cost of components and so forth that made a rod more expensive. Thanks guys.

flyred06 11-19-2009 08:08 PM

One other question on this subject. Several years ago when I started buying my first fly rods, I remember Thomas and Thomas being a well stocked rod and lots of people liked them. Now there does not seem to be as many dealers around and I was wondering what changed? They have always been a very georguos rod. Just trying to find that out.

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