I have been fly fishing now for about 4.5 years. I picked up my first combo in college, Orvis Clearwater #9 mid flex 2pc with a Large Arbor Battenkill reel. Though I've caught everything on it inshore I have really come to dislike the rod. My closest fishing buddy picked up a #9 Reddington for half the price I paid and it is an absolute dream to cast compared to mine. I like how much more stiff it is and my accuracy with it is incredibly better. I'm not sure the model but it was a rod/reel combo that was fairy inexpensive. I want to purchase a new rod, if not the same Reddington then something similar. I've seen posts on here of FFmen using #7 with #8 line and liking the results. I've never had a problem fighting any size fish on the #9 which is the only thing I really enjoy about it. I muscled in a 43 inch red on it in Mosquito Lagoon (below) last year. I wade fish primarily around Tampa Bay and my main questions would be: since I'm keeping the same reel, do I really need another #9? The rod itself does get difficult to throw around after 3+ hours. Would I still have all the backbone I need in a #8? I don't catch monsters a regular basis but I've never felt undermanned with the #9, and how effective would it be to purchase an #8 but rig it with #9 line? Any other rods in the same class and price as the Reddington? Sorry for the ramble, it seems like everyone in the fly shops want to sell you something and I'm just looking for the best setup for me. All opinions welcome, thanks for your time!
I just looked on E Bay and there is a brand new Ticr-x 9ft 8 wt for sale for $150. I have one of these rods and use it with a 9 wt line all the time and the rod casts my floating, intermediate, full sink and 300 Grain shooting head with no problem at all. I have a lot of friends who use this same rod in 8 wt and they all throw 9's.
For $150 it is a great deal and i am sure you will be happy with it.
I just went back and looked it the rod, it is a bid and has 5 days left and the seller is located in Sarasota, Florida.
Last edited by bonefishdick; 01-10-2013 at 08:52 AM.
Reason: add info
Last edited by Carl Blackledge; 02-06-2013 at 01:03 AM.
I have to second Carl's recommendation above. Visit a local fly shop and cast several rods. Even within the same rod company, rod blanks are different. Then between companies, WOW even more different. But casting each yourself is the ONLY way to go.
If you're here in the Tampa Bay area, it's worth your while to visit Bill Jackson's on US 19 in Pinellas Park (St. Pete). They carry a range of rods from Sage RPLXi3 to GLoomis, to Temple Fork and Reddington, so you can see the difference at different price points. They also have a pond in their backyard, so it's realistic casting.
As far as rod ratings go, IMO, a 9wt is a great rod to base your FF around here in FL. While you maybe a bit oversized for Speckled Trout and small Redfish, you're right-sized for "normal" Reds, Snook, Tarpon to 40-50lbs, Jack Crevalle, False Albacore, Spanish Macks ... From there you can add to your FF collection with a 7wt for trout and bonefish or 11wt for tarpon, depending on the direction you want to go.
In FF, the rule is to spend more on the rod; it's more important to your casting and save on the reel. In SWFF, that's not always the case. I'm not familar with the Orvis Battenkill series, it's anodizing, or construction, so I don't know how long it'll last. Since you're keeping it, take care of it. Rinse the reel off at the end of each day, clean the line & backing as well periodically. One thing you may consider doing is buying a "spare" spool for your reel and put an Intermediate or Sinking Tip line on it.
As far as over or under lining your rod, every rod is different. "Slow/Soft" rods can be underlined easily, while "Fast/Stiff" rods can be overlined -- but not the opposite as a rule.
Good luck with whatever you decide.
Last edited by Prop Blast; 01-10-2013 at 05:15 PM.
Thank you all for your input! I will be heading to Bill Jackson's next week, I didn't know they had a casting pond. I will definitely be making my decision there, thank you much Prop Blast.
I do take meticulous care of all of my belongings especially my reels. It has held up this long and seems to work just as it did the day I bought it. Thank you again for the info and quick replies!
Bob, listen to Carl. I think he knows the difference between a Good rod and a Bad rod, but his recommendation is still a little vague.
What Prop Blast said is excellent advise, if you have the chance to cast a rod before you buy it that is the way to go. If not all you can do is seek advice, which is the next best thing to do. I will say this, I am sure you have read a lot of different posts with questions about fly rod recommendations and somehow TFO rods always get mentioned as a good rod with a lot of bang for the buck.
My recommendation was just that, a recommendation based on my personnel experience with the rod I mentioned within your price range and I have over fifty plus years of Fly Fishing experience and at this point I think I know the difference between a good rod and a bad rod. The final decision rests with you and whatever you decide I wish you success and Tight Lines.
Last edited by Carl Blackledge; 02-06-2013 at 01:04 AM.
It is not hard to tell someone what they will like, as a matter of fact, it is easy. I mean get a life, if you watch TV all the adds tell you, but my product, you will love it, it is the American Way,
He did mention he was going to test cast some rods which is good. I also said that the final decision was his and I made merely made a suggestion based on his question. I for one don't understand how you would have a problem with that. I also said he did the smart thing by seeking advice and you seem to have a problem when people respond to a simple question.
We have both been doing this a long time and I have no doubt that if you or I were to pick up any rod that we would be able to cast it and cast it to the best of the rods capabilities. That would be a testament to the both of us. I often tell my students that many low end rods today are equal to or better than what a High End rod was 5 years ago. The technology is getting better and better and 80 or 90 feet on a $150 rod is the same as 80 or 90 feet on a $795.00 rod.
I often tell people to take a look at the Yellowstone Angler Shootout and what you will find it how a $250 TFO rod finished 2nd behind Loomis but it did beat out a lot of High End Rods like the Sage xi3, as well as Winston, St Croix, Redington, Orvis and Hardy. This is an annual review done every year using both 8 weights and 5 weights and is very highly regarded throughout the industry. Is their making recommendations any different than what I did when I made a recommendation based on a rods performance.
Originally Posted by bonefishdick
Watching TV and listing to some A-hole (saleman) telling me what I'm going to like is alot different, then some guy asking advice about a fly rod....As far as my life, I have a great one, I don't think your 4 1/2 years would equal my 40 in flyfishing The man needs to cast the rod before buying it. Its just that simple. I also don't mind somebody with a different opinion then mine as long as we are both talking about the same thing, you always seem to take everything I say different then most......
The Yellowstone shootout is just a joke, the only thing that matters is how the rod performes in your hand, not theres...gesssss, make sure you tell your students that too.
I'm 65 years old and have been Fly Fishing for over 58 years, my father started me when I was 7, I don't know were you got the 4 1/2 year number but then that doesn't surprise me that sometimes you can't see the forest from the trees.
I did not say anything about your life or offer an opinion about whether I thought you had a bad, good, great one or a HAPPY ONE. I am beginning to think that maybe you do some real issues.
I'm going to ask you one question and all it requires is a yes or no answer, but I also know that it is something your not capable of doing. But I will ask it anyway, The question is , did I not say if you cannot cast a rod then the next best thing would be to seek advise and do some research on various products on the market within your price range to aid you in selecting a rod.
I'm one person who offered an opinion, it's that simple and you have taken it way beyond that, take a chill pill my friend.
There is an old Chinese Proverb, " A journey starts with the first step." and for some people the first step is to seek advise and ask questions and then wade through all the reply's they receive and then they will try to make an informed decision. I think that is the intelligent way to go about things. I also said it was fortunate he had the ability to go and test cast some rods and that was a good thing, but people don't always have that luxury. My mentioning the Yellowstone Angler was only to point out it was one more thing to look at to help someone in their research on a fly rod.
The Yellowstone Angler Shootout is merely a comparison by a group of qualified anglers rating rods based on a list of criteria that consists of more than just casting ability , but also other things such as workmanship, warranties and service on each product. These are all things to consider when making a purchase. If I can select a company that has a turn around of 7 to 10 days or 3 to 4 months to fix a rod which one do you think I would select. Sage is the 3 to 4 month company if your lucky and TFO is the other, I say this based on personal experience. I have to say I have broken a few rods in my 50 plus years of doing this , I think I need to re emphasize that .
To say the shootout is a "JOKE" is a joke.
I think you need to take off your Oakley's or Costa del glasses and take a deep breath because it is not always a Rose colored world out there. Then put them back on and go to Baja for a month and give the Rooster fish, Jacks and anything else that might swim by a good thrashing with your xi3 and Abel.