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tennwalkinghorse

High End Rods and Reels

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I was wondering about this figured I would put it out there to see how people feel about it. Most of my rods are in the $200.00 plus range ,reels from $180 to $250.00. I all so own some entry level set ups. I feel you should buy the best equipment that you can afford. I know there are many people out there who can not afford high end set ups more important to feed your family and they catch just as many fish as the people with the big buck set ups. So here is my question I don't know any one who owes a Shimano Calais DC or a G-Looms GLX so it is hard to say if they are worth the extra money or not. I know there are many people on this forum who do own these types of set ups so I thought I would ask for some honest opinions. At what point do you think you are just paying for the prestige of owning some of the high end rods and reels and can not really tell the difference between a $100.00 rod and a $300.00 rod. As for reels casting further I can cast may cheapest set up with in one yard of a set up that cost 10X the price. I know the quality is not the same and the reel will most likely fail in a short period of time but that aside is it really worth spending $700.00 plus dollars verses $400.00 on a rig. Do you high end guys really think there is a real trade off for the price or does it really just come down to prestige after all? Hoping to get some good feed back on this.

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It's called "the law of diminishing returns". As the price increases,

the "relative improvement" is less. As a generic example, a $300

reel might be 25% nicer than a $150 reel.

Industry wide, it seems to me "high-end" begins around $150 for

a rod or reel, a $300 combination. (Let's not quibble over the exact

number). For around $150 (on sale), all retailers offer a very nice

combo. After that, it's really about how important a dollar is to you

and your family.

As a specific example, which I am very familiar with, the G. Loomis

IMX series is all anyone would ever "need". For another $100 or 40%

more you move to GLX. You might pick-up 10% in sensitivity, but that

is very subjective and not easily quantifiable. If 10% improvement is

worth $100 to you, that's your pick. It boils down to what $100 means

to you.

8-)

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i agree with RW.

there is a difference in sensitivity between my avid and my glx but its not as big of a difference compared to the avid and say the 50 dollar rod i owned 10 yrs ago.

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Well put RW.  I've spent the better part of the last two years collecting equipment.  Do the rods and reels I own make me a better fisherman?  Nope.  Do I like collecting hard to find JDM tackle, AND get to fish with it?  Yup.  

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Good explanation, RW.

I have a little different take on rods than some... I do think a better rod makes a feel fisherman better, if you have the hands for it. (some people don't have the sensitivity in the hands to take advantage of / or be able to tell certain rods apart)

Since the majority of my fishing is t-rig and c-rig, I do wholeheartedly believe that a small gain is worth it, and will allow you to catch some fish that you would have missed with a lesser rod... especially since the biggest fish tend to pick up baits the softest. A couple big fish a year more than I would have caught is certainly worth a few extra dollars and I think makes me "better".  YMMV.

Factor in that I usually keep a rod for 5-10 years and you are talking pennies a day for the "upgrade." For me it's a no brainer.

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I'll give you my no BS non Shimano related opinion of the Calais DC. If you can cast then you do not need a Calais DC. However if you need to cast a spook 4 miles then this is the reel for you. I use my Calais DC for two applications. Spook and the frog. I do not need it for t-rigs, jigs or anything else like that.

The adjustability is cool for windy days, but it does not cast normal things that much further. My Curado 200E7 will almost hang with the DC and my Calais 100A will typically outcast it with everything but a spook and frog.

My opinion on high end rods is that they can help you detect those subtle bites. I fish Loomis and Shimano rods only. I use GLX and Cumara and a few Crucials. Yes they are a lot more sensitive IMHO. When you can feel a bite on slack line with a breeze you know the rod is sensitive. However will it help you catch more fish? Maybe. An angler that is used to his gear will be able to catch fish. When I first switched to GLX rods I actually missed more bites because I could feel what was going on. It took me a while to get used to it. Now it feels normal and when I pick up a lower model rod I feel that it is inferior. This is only because I am used to my gear.

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RW said exactly what I was going to say after I read your post. Well said.

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I'll give you my no BS non Shimano related opinion of the Calais DC. If you can cast then you do not need a Calais DC. However if you need to cast a spook 4 miles then this is the reel for you. I use my Calais DC for two applications. Spook and the frog. I do not need it for t-rigs, jigs or anything else like that.

The adjustability is cool for windy days, but it does not cast normal things that much further. My Curado 200E7 will almost hang with the DC and my Calais 100A will typically outcast it with everything but a spook and frog.

My opinion on high end rods is that they can help you detect those subtle bites. I fish Loomis and Shimano rods only. I use GLX and Cumara and a few Crucials. Yes they are a lot more sensitive IMHO. When you can feel a bite on slack line with a breeze you know the rod is sensitive. However will it help you catch more fish? Maybe. An angler that is used to his gear will be able to catch fish. When I first switched to GLX rods I actually missed more bites because I could feel what was going on. It took me a while to get used to it. Now it feels normal and when I pick up a lower model rod I feel that it is inferior. This is only because I am used to my gear.

Good points Bantam,  your honesty on the DC is very much appreciated.  For the record I think it's a very cool little reel, I have the 100DC as well as the 250DC.  Awesome little reels, and to me they do seem to be made with tighter tolerances than other Calcutta models.

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I'll throw in my 2 cents.

In 1974 I got my first BC outfit for Christmas.  I was 17 years old.  It was a Garcia 5000 reel and a Lews Speed Stick, 5'6" M/HVY pistol grip rod with the alligator grip handle.

Man, was I stylin or what?   ;D

The best thing that's happened to fishing over the years is the competitive nature of tournament angling which is reflected in the manufacturers constantly trying to one up each other in their products.  In this age there is a far greater selection of rods and reels available along with a far greater range of price.  As RW stated above,  the uber $$ rods and reels can't be judged to be X amount better than those products that cost less but it does raise the bar on everything.  In other words,  even a middle range or low-middle range rod and reel combo will be a worthy choice quite capable of putting plenty of fish in the boat.

It's benefited all anglers along with creating lots of confusion for beginning anglers which have so much to choose from but that's what this place is for.   :)

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I believe everyone has good valid points here.  But I believe for the average fisher RW hit the nail on the head.  I honestly could not tell you the difference in feel between a GLX, IMX, GL3, GL2 Avid etc...

But I can tell the difference between a $50 reel and a $150 reel and can tell the difference between a $50 rod and a $120 rod.

So my theory has become buy what you can afford and be happy.

Just my $.02, :)

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I honestly could not tell you the difference in feel between a GLX, IMX, GL3, GL2 Avid etc...

Sure you could, it's about as tough as telling a diamond from a charcoal briquette. :) ;D

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I honestly could not tell you the difference in feel between a GLX, IMX, GL3, GL2 Avid etc...

Sure you could, it's about as tough as telling a diamond from a charcoal briquette. :) ;D

exactly....

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I find it hard to believe that there is that much difference in the rods that I listed that you could easily tell the difference in them.

Later, :)

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I find it hard to believe that there is that much difference in the rods that I listed that you could easily tell the difference in them.

This is a serious reply, I'm not putting you down:

If you can't tell the difference, you should not spend

the extra coin, but some of us can. My most expensive

combination is my most sensitive and is used almost

exclusively to fish live bait. Since "fishing live bait requires

no skill,"  I suspect many would find that hard to believe,

but I'm also fishing for the next World Record smallmouth,

seriously!

8-)

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I find it hard to believe that there is that much difference in the rods that I listed that you could easily tell the difference in them.

Later, :)

I've said this many times before and I certainly don't mean any disrespect by it- there are people with very sensitive hands and people with less sensitive hands...

one of my close friends can't tell an ugly stick from IMX and as such rarely catches a fish on a t-rig or any other "feel" presentation. He has to throw moving baits like spinnerbaits and crankbaits. I had always figured him to be the exception, until the last couple years.

Once I spent some time here (at BassResource.com) I realized that there is some % of the general population with less sensitive hands that really can't distinguish many rods from others. But for a great number of people (with sensitive hands) there is a noticeable difference even between IMX vs GLX and a legend T vs Legend E.

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I find it hard to believe that there is that much difference in the rods that I listed that you could easily tell the difference in them.

Later, :)

The differeces are there. I really think that detecting and feeling sensitivity is dependent on each individual angler.  I think that people have different levels of sensitivity and to complicate things further, defining what is sensitive to one person could be different for someone else.

This is easily illustrated:

1) Angler A picks up rod X, uses it and rates its sensitivity from 1-10 as a -1, i.e., a piece of cr@@.

2) Angler B picks uses the same rod and rates it as better than GLX.

Assuming that everything else was equal, they arrived at different conclusions.  

Another illustration is the notion that ugly sticks lack sufficient sensitivity for bass fishing.  Well, in my hands they are sensitive enough to feel a 5" dink take a senko of the same size on 10# big game mono. Other anglers would note that the ugly stick is a piece of junk.

No, I don't use ugly sticks.  ;D

Also, I have a GL2 and it is pretty sensitive, better than my Clarus and about on par with my Compre. However, my Crucial and Lamiglas Certified Pro run circles around those rods. It isn't a fair fight. ;)

Consider yourself lucky that you see no difference between the GLX and a GL2. That is some serious $$$ savings for you.  Paraphrasing what Bantam mentioned, once you're up there, lesser rods will feel inferior.

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At the risk of quibbling I honestly believe "High end" reels start at $250 for list price.

I think the Chronarchs, Stellas, Sustain's, Zillions, Steez's & Premiers etc are high end.

The $150 to $220 is just excellent quality at an above average price

The $59 to $149 is Mook to (Mook ) high end range lol

For rods I'd say maybe $150 and up?

FFI - AKA Matt Crum

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After reading that last post I'd say I'm a Mook with reels. ;D

I probably have no business replying to this thread until I have more experience but I will anyway ;). I haven't fished with ANY of these rods, the Shimano Clarus, Compre, and Crucial rods that is, but I will be fishing two Compres this coming season and then I'll find out even more on this.

But in the stores, just picking them up I could tell some significant differences from one to the other and that made me take a pretty long time to decide which ones I wanted. The Clarus felt better than what I was used to for the most part but I do have maybe 2 rods here already that would be about equal to them (Quest LS-7 rods from Dick's) and the rest are below that line. One that is well below that line is an Ugly Stik Lite Pro [hangs head in shame now]. Otherwise the Clarus would be a slight step up from most rods I've owned in the past.

The Compre is worlds better than I've ever had before and I could tell a difference in it vs. the Clarus too, light weightness and overall feel I mean. Nothing else to compare them to yet since I haven't fished them. I compared the Compre and the Clarus (same ratings on both rods) by holding one of each in each hand, mildly shaking them, mock jigging them, mock casting them, feeling for which one was lighter weight, swapping them back and forth between hands to see if that made a difference, just letting each one impress me however it would. Each time I felt as if I would be able to tell them apart if blindfolded, they felt that much different from one another. I even closed my eyes and did all this and there literally was a big difference in them. Not sure if it was more, less, or equal to $30 worth cause I don't have enough experience yet to make that call, but it was enough to me that I was easily willing to lay down $100 for the Compre over the $70 they wanted for the Clarus.

Then I picked up the Crucial and there was a significant difference again, enough that I was wishing I had enough money for 2 of those over 2 Compres instead. They are super light and their overall feel was just about more than I could have imagined. I even debated just trying to get by with one rod so I could get the Crucial instead of 2 Compres but in the end I wanted 2 very nice rods more than I wanted just one super nice rod. Man that sucks!! Those Crucials are NICE!!

Always before this I never allowed myself to look at rods that costed more than $60. That's where I drew the line when buying rods until this passed fall and I finally decided to make a jump up to some nicer stuff. Now that I am looking at them I can tell some serious differences in the higher end rods just by picking them up and feeling them in the store compared to the type and pricerange of rods I've always fished in the past.

I'm hoping that means I have the "sensitive hands" Flechero was talking about cause this coming spring I'm planning to jump into a bunch of T-rig and jig fishing with these new Compres. :)

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Back in the mid eighties I got a Shimano Bullwhip Fightin' stick rod along with a Shimano IQ spinning reel (team Depends guys may remember these) I remember thinking "It doesn't get any better than this"

I caught a ton of fish on this rig and still have it to this day even though it's been retired for about twenty years now. For whatever reason, I don't get rid of my old gear.

As the years go by I've SLOWLY worked my way up the tackle food chain. I picked up that Shimano rig the other day and it feels like a broomstick in my hands. There's no way I could fish with it now and enjoy it despite the fact I had a lot of good times with it.

Now that I have an Avid to start the upcoming season with, I wonder how long it will be before it becomes my next "broomstick" ? :-?

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Honestly, as far as rods go i really cant tell the differance.except maybe for the wieght.10oz's compaired 3oz's. But for the reels,it is a compleatly differant story!but i think where most of your money is spent on high end reels is twofold,who made it,and WHERE! because a JDM(Japanessedomesticmodel) IMHO is ten times better than an export! or the same reel thet WAS made in Japan and now it's not made in Japan anymore(Daiwa BG/SStournament models) because it is going to cost more for a reel that experianced hands made and one the was made by a "day worker". so your going to notice if the gears make noise, if there are pieces that do not "fit" right. an experianced workers hand can tell!whereas "joeblow"workers hand "feels ok to me", but it's not! and i think that IS worth more money.because in the long run your going to save money, i would rather spend 400-500$ for a reel that lasts 6-8 years than spend 100$ every year on a new reel! it seems i get yelled at lot for saying this but a reel that's made in Japan is worth it because it's the best! the fit and finish is better,the gears are smoother, better bearings/more bearings, less plastic parts. they are just better made reels! honestly i wish i COULD NOT tell the differance,save me ALOT of money :)

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Honestly, as far as rods go i really cant tell the differance.except maybe for the wieght.10oz's compaired 3oz's. But for the reels,it is a compleatly differant story!but i think where most of your money is spent on high end reels is twofold,who made it,and WHERE! because a JDM(Japanessedomesticmodel) IMHO is ten times better than an export! or the same reel thet WAS made in Japan and now it's not made in Japan anymore(Daiwa BG/SStournament models) because it is going to cost more for a reel that experianced hands made and one the was made by a "day worker". so your going to notice if the gears make noise, if there are pieces that do not "fit" right. an experianced hand can tell!whereas "joeblow" hand "feels ok to me", but it's not! and i think that IS worth more money.because in the long run your going to save money, i would rather spend 400-500$ for a reel that lasts 6-8 years than spend 100$ every year on a new reel! it seems i get yelled at lot for saying this but a reel that's made in Japan is worth it because it's the best! the fit and finish is better,the gears are smoother, better bearings/more bearings, less plastic parts. they are just better made reels! honestly i wish i COULD NOT tell the differance,save me ALOT of money :)

If you fish a lot of plastics , the rod is the most important part of your equipment.    JMHO.

The japanese equipment does seem to be put together a little better.

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The high-dollar argument should be broken into two separate parts; quality and how it affects the angler.  

Tighter tolerances, better components, all that should equate with better equipment the higher you climb on the dollar/yen/euro tree you go.  That can be quantified.

The human aspect is where it gets to be preference and opinion and from one person to the next, totally worthless.  As mentioned previously, people detect things differently, but there is also the element of experience.

Would a person who has never fished before know what it feels like when a fish is hitting bait?  They may detect something different but may not recognize it until explained.  As the angler builds experience, he or she can decide if the investment in higher quality equipment is justified.

The final aspect is angler-equipment interaction.  How does the tackle handle under stress?  Can you honestly say the quality of hook or line has an influence in getting a fish to the boat but the rod or reel doesn't?  There's many a slip from the cup to the lip, got to be twice as many from hook to the net.

Dry fly fishing

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