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how important is an expensive rod

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I am looking at upgrading my rods, I am wondering what the true difference between a 160 dollar rod vs a 400 dollar rod. Why and what makes these differences and how important is this to a weekend fisherman.

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It can be described to you but you will never really know until you try one...basically it's build quality ,rod  weight, sensitivity

  T

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not as much difference as there is between a $50 rod and a $160 dollar rod.

increased sensitivity and less weight are the biggest differences id say. i think most people use more expensive rods for "feel" baits like jigs and plastics where sensitivity is key.

for a wkend angler id go with st. croix avid at $180 retail

i made the mistake of buying a loomis glx a couple years ago. i now own 6.

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I was having this same discussion recently with a customer.  I am a firm believer in that you are only as good as your equipment - to a point....

I have no doubt that given the same lake and conditions, KVD could outfish me with a Jon-boat and a combo from Wal-Mart with me using his boat and the best equipment money can buy (although would like to think he wouldn't out fish me by much....). But, given his skills and the best equipment out there, well, like he's doing (and done) he would be out fishing the best of the best.  I say all of that to point out that using the same equipment as KVD will still not make you KVD as I am sure we are already aware.

The premium blanks are exceptionally lighter thereby increasing performance and sensitivity - weight is the enemy of performance.  They are better made meaning they will last forever and be more reliable.  Everyone jumped all over a certain "high-modulous high performance" $100 rod a few years ago.  After all, a "high performance" marketed and labeled rod for ~$100 is hard to beat. 

But, the bottom line is this: there is a reason a rod costs a $100 - period.  This is now being proven out as you are now hearing more and more about the $100 "high-modulous high performance" rods snapping like dried twigs.  The way the "high performance high modulus rods" are done is that blank mfgrs DECREASE the graphite and added more resins thereby reducing the weight and increasing the "modulus" which lowers the costs due to less graphite. 

Less weight, higher "modulous" and less costs - great for marketing but not so good for serious fisherman!  Reducing the graphite reduces the overall tensile strength of the blank which is just as, or, more important than modulus.  The tensile strength is what allows the rod to deform (bend) without breaking.  The ~$100 "performance" rods under extreme conditions deform but the fibers fracture and break because they do not have the tensile strength support due to shortcuts or inferior materials during manufacture:  less graphite, inferior scrim, etc.

Now, as a custom rod builder, I say all of this to point out that upper-end rods like the St. Croix SCV's, NFC, Phenix, etc. all use lots of graphite with a premium scrim - fiberglass, high-quality paper or in NFC's case another layer of woven graphite.  High modulus and high tensile (Strain) materials are what make a high-end rod truly high-end.  Like Pappa John says: better ingredients make better pizzas.  Same is true for fishing rods and the costs are typically reflective of the quality.  Yes, the premium blanks and components are that much better.  Period.  I say that without hesitation or question.  Will the additional cost catch more fish?  Well, that's up to the person with the rod in their hand.  I believe it will.  If nothing else the confidence of knowing that you have the best equipment available to you makes a big difference.

The choice is ultimately up to you, the consumer, if it is worth it.

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Man, great explanation!

8-)

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The question should be, "How much do you like your current marriage/relationship with a significant other?"  Because once you buy one high end rod, more will follow and if your significant other finds out how much this crap costs, you will have some sucking up to do.

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I don't find it to important, the way I fish I use my index finger to hold the line up just a tad while working the bait.  So it doesn't really matter if I can feel it through the rod because I have always used my finger to feel the bite.  It hasn't made me loose any fish and since I have been fishing this way my whole life it is comfortable to me.  I think it would more important for me to buy an expensive spinning rod because I cant fish that way with a spinning outfit.

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I carry 12 rods in the boat. Some of them are AllStar IM6 models I bought years ago for about $60. I also have some older model Falcon LowRiders that cost me between $60-$70 at the time. My latest Skeet Reese rod cost me a whoppin' $76 off the shelf. If I had to make a living catching fish, then perhaps something more expensive might help. But fishing only one or two days a week???? I think I'll keep dancing with who brung me.  If the need arises in the near future that I need another rod, I'll be looking at maybe another Skeet Reese or a Bucoo, but nothing over the $125 range.

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There is a definite difference in a quality rod from an average one. The balance, sensitivity, durability and weight will all be noticeable. Not to mention the warranties are usually excellent. However I do not think you have to spend $400 to get a great rod. If you wait for sales you can buy high quality rods for under $200. Memorial day weekend BTD had 20% off (example:you could have purchased a Dobyns champ rod for $175-$195 after disc). Some manufactures like Powell dropped their price point down to $169 or less due to the economic times. Anyone who has been around fly fishing knows Powell has been in business for a long time and makes high quality products. My point is you do not have to break the bank to get a good rod and you could buy 2 rods for the price of something like a GLX. Tackle tour is a great place for reviews and can help you make good decisions.

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i made the mistake of buying a loomis glx a couple years ago. i now own 6.

Boy, I hear that! I had a lot of trouble spending $200 on a rod the first time I did it. I bought a Loomis IMX spinning rod for fishing shakey heads 15'-25' deep. I'd been fishing them on a decent lower end rod and really wanted to see if the Loomis made a difference. Unfortunately, it made a huge difference in the feel using the same reel, line and lures. I was hooked. I've since bought pretty much nothing but GLX's (9 so far). I did let one Kistler LTA slip in there, but was/am disappointed in the lack of feel compared to my IMX and GLX rods. So back on the GLX bandwagon for me.

Now, I don't think the GLX is the only good high end rod. But I know how incredibly sensitive they are and don't feel like wandering much anymore. I know I'm catching fish that some of my fishing buddies never even feel.

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I'll take a 19 dollar combo and a 30 dollar combo and outfish many people with 500+ combos. I don't care what ANYONE says, the equipment does not make the angler. Just like if someone buys a ferari, they're not going to go out and win a road course event, or if they buy the best pots and pans they're not going to be the best cook... unless they also have the skill to back it up. Of course, I would certainly expect to hear otherwise from the people making these higher end items...

Reminds me of the time some guy in a brand new porsche was giving me crap, until I embarrassed the hell out of him with my $15,000 hooptie in comparison. Should have seen the look on his trophy wifes face after I winked to her lol. Sure, his porsche had all the high tech items, lightweight wheels, bigger engine, carbon fiber here and there, but what good did all that fancy stuff do to someone that didn't know how to truly use it? And what about the guy with sub-par equipment that actually knew what he was doing?

Point is, you can have the best fishing rod in the world.... if you dont' know how to find the fish, and work your bait, it doesn't matter what you have, you will not be in any better shape than someone that knows what they're doing but owns sub par equipment. For the weekend angler that gets out once or twice a month, things are a little different than someone who goes out 4-5+ times a week and really uses the crap out of their equipment. Buy the best you can afford, but don't let ANYONE try to convince you that you can't go and have a good time without spending a ton of money. Because for the weekend angler, that's what it's all about... having fun, and catching a few fish in the process (hopefully!!) And you certainly don't have to take out a 2nd mortgage to have fun.  A $160 rod should be more than sufficient for the weekend angler.

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Which do you like better,   .35 for a can of WalMart soda or .75 for Pepsi or Coke?  They both wet your whistle but I enjoy drinking the Pepsi MUCH better than the WalMart special.

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while i would absolutely love a rod box full of GLX's I do  think that a quality rod can be bought for $100.  case in point the falcon bucoo.  I know that there are a ton of rods out there that are better, but the weight and sensitivity of this rod is incredible. another one would be the shimano compre and crucial.

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A very high modulus well built graphite rod of good design will be more sensitive than a lower modulus graphite rod built on an assembly line basis.  Whether that makes for better fishing depends on the fisherman and on the presentation.  I go with high end graphite for slow presentations like worming, jigging, and Carolina rigging where rod balance, touch, and bite detection are at a premium.  But there's not much need for rods like that throwing moving baits like a lipless crankbait where the rod tip will always be loaded.  In fact, durability can be an important practical consideration in that type rod and an IM6 graphite or fiberglass rod is way more durable than a St Croix Legend Elite or Loomis GLX.  IMO, there are some very competitive rods available in the $150-200 range and like most things, the farther up the quality curve you move from there, the more and more you pay for less and less performance edge.

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There is always point of diminishing returns. I own too many rods: Cumura, GLX, custom rods based on  IMX blank and top of the line components, Avids, Vendettas, Various All Star rods, Dobyns, and Star Rod Nickelites.  In my opinion the difference between the GLX and Cumura is not much, but between a Vendetta and a GLX its noticeable.  If fishing all day I really, really appreciate the light weight a "high end" rod. 

I really believe that for certain applications such as T-rigging plastic or jig fishing where bottom contact/feel is vital one should buy the best rod that they can reasonably afford.  For other applications the light weight and sensitivity that are offered by a high end rod are overkill.  Thus, my GLX, Customs, and Cumara are used for my soft plastic presentations and others are used for hollow body frogs, spinnerbait, crankbait, and top water applications.  So there you have it the expensive rod is only as important as its use dictates.

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Which do you like better, .35 for a can of WalMart soda or .75 for Pepsi or Coke? They both wet your whistle but I enjoy drinking the Pepsi MUCH better than the WalMart special.

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I've been a "Loomis Junkie" for many years, but if I were forced to start from scratch I would certainly feel comfortable shopping in the under $150 category.  It wasn't too many years ago when China rods usually had a dog leg blank.  Times are better.  Bottom line paraphrasing Harry Callahan, "A man has to know his limitations!"

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I dont think the weekend warrior needs a $400.00 rod. You can get a fantastic rod much cheaper ie. St Croix Avid. The sensitivity is much better in an avid then it would be in an ugly stick.

I normally purchase the st croix Legend Tourney rods when places like bass tackle depot run a 20% off sale. Last one I picked up cost me $180.00 shipped and its a wonderful rod.

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Rod material and manufacturing technology has certainly come a long way since my 1st fiberglass rod over 50 years ago. The "must have" rod this year will be replaced by another "must have" next year. I myself can't justify paying $400 for a rod. I will wait and spend $100/$150 for a quality rod on sale. Everyone looks at things differently.

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No one "needs" a $400 fishing rod to catch fish, we all know you can catch fish with a stick, string and hook.

I was catching lots of fish on a $30 rod and $30 reel, however, once I discovered $400 rods and $400 reels it elevated my fishing experience up to a new level. I don't think I catch any more fish than before but I really enjoy using the expensive gear, I can afford it so i buy it.

Based on lots of experience fishing with high end gear, I will always recommend it if you can afford it.

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No one "needs" a $400 fishing rod to catch fish, we all know you can catch fish with a stick, string and hook.

I was catching lots of fish on a $30 rod and $30 reel, however, once I discovered $400 rods and $400 reels it elevate my fishing experience up to a new level. I don't think I catch any more fish than before but I really enjoy using the expensive gear, I can afford it so i buy it.

Based on lots of experience fishing with high end gear, I will always recommend it if you can afford it.

I agree with this

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Point is, you can have the best fishing rod in the world.... if you dont' know how to find the fish, and work your bait, it doesn't matter what you have, you will not be in any better shape than someone that knows what they're doing but owns sub par equipment.

That may be true, but there are still advantages. For the guy who "knows what they're doing", the extra feel can mean more fish at the end of the day. And for the guy who does not know as much and/or does not get out as often, the dramatically better feel (at least in my experience) will shorten the learning curve to become someone who knows what he's doing. And they will likely catch more fish, which is what it's all about.

I'm not saying you have to have all GLX rods or anything to catch fish or to be a great fisherman. But I think high end rods will help most fishermen catch more fish and improve their skills faster.

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Decent equipment is fun to fish with.

Great equipment is a PLEASURE to fish with, and will make a good fisherman even better, and the whole experience even better.

It's up to the individual to determine what prices and equipment fall into those categories.

Even the best equipment wont' do much for a bad fisherman.

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