Last year, I bought my first, decent all-around fishing setup. I had heard such great things about Pflueger President reels on this site. My local Wally Worlds was selling a President combo - the 35 size reel with a 6'6M/F rod (also from Pflueger). It was marked down to the same price as the reel normally sells for ($60), so I pulled the trigger and bought it. I had a lot of fun and success with that reel.
Fast forward to this winter/spring... Back during big sale week(s), I made my first ever trip to a BPS. My son and I had a great time driving the couple hours together and browsing. I wanted to get a heavier rod for my experimentation with the jig this year. And, being on a budget, I wound up getting the BPS Tourney Special 7' MH/F rod. At $50, I figured that it was apt to at least be comparable to that Pflueger rod I used last year in sensitivity.
My son also wanted an upgraded rod. So, I got the bright idea to buy a matching, 7' M/F Tourney Special rod, slap my President on it, and then hand the Pflueger rod to my son. At worst, I figured, the BPS rods would be at least as sensitive... Right? Win/win.
Well, I've now been out with the new rods a couple times now... While I'm too much of a n00b to bash anything, I thought it was worth posting some of my experience for other people who might be considering these BPS rods.
While it's possible these things will grow on me, I would personally advise anyone considering the new year Tourney Specials to consider another line of rods. While these are clearly budget rods, I can tell you that the sensitivity over the Pflueger, 'no name' rod I used last year is *markedly* reduced. It's possible that the issue is simply that, for a given power-rating, the new BPS rods are simply much 'stiffer' than the comparable rod against which I'm comparing. However, the just feels much more 'dead'.
For example, using the MH rod to pitch a 1/2oz jig with a sizable soft plastic trailer... I can't really distinguish between the 'tick' of the jig hitting wood/brush. The sensation is very dull and 'thuddy'. Throwing a similar rig on last year's rod results in a much more 'crisp' sensation.
FWIW, I know that 'you get what you pay for' and so I'm not trying to moan sour grapes or anything like that. Rather, my point is simply to give someone considering these rods something to think about. And, if you're ever in your local StuffMart and see that Pflueger President rod/reel combo, buy one if you're on a budget.
I'll update this post as the year goes on if my experience warrants it. Just hope this might be useful to someone else in the market.