I agree with chemeangler. the main difference is components, graphite and a few small other details. A american made rod will always cost more than any off shore rod company. Also just because the rods are high dollar doesn't mean they are equal. Here is an example, not really saying these rods just a hypothetcal example. Just because a orvis rod cost the same as a sage rod doesn't mean there the same on performance. A mid line sage might cast as well as a high dollar St. Crouix. So with that being said, cast the rods you like not looking at any price tags and lay them out as best to least liked then see which one falls in your targeted budget. When you find what you cast and like best then it will not matter the cost because each time you go fishing you will use it more than any other rod you own.
Romans 10:9-10 KJV