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through most of my fishing career, I've used decent but not too expensive gear. Lately, I've been fortunate to buy a Scott rod and match it with a Bauer reel. Man, What a difference it can make!! I just got back from a week of dry fly fishing and tossing the new Scott 4 wt was very easy on the arm. No tangles in getting the leader all wound up in the reel either. I guess that tight manufacturing tolerences do make a difference!
I'm not promoting anything in particular, but I do encourage the lucky to step up to as good a package of gear they can afford. It greatly increased my enjoyment of a real good trip. :thumbup:
 

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To me, nice gear is always nice to have, but I believe that the right cheap rod suited to the right fisherman will be far better than the wrong expensive rod.

When I was in college (early to mid-90s), I bought a Pflueger flyrod from Walmart for $29. I matched that with a $69 Scientific Anglers clickdrag reel (cheap at the time), and I consistently outfished my buddies who were fishing with G Loomis rods and Abel reels. I liked my cheap setup far more than my dad's high-dollar Orvis setup I had been using until then, for the action suited my casting style better.

After a three seasons of fishing with my walmart rod, the ferrule finally broke, and I upgraded to a St Croix Imperial (their cheapest rod at the time). Though it was a significant upgrade from the cheap walmart rod, I missed the cheapie dearly.

Nowadays, I'm fishing with a 5wt St Croix Avid that I paid ~$200 for and a 3wt Cabellas stowaway rod that I paid $100 for. I like the Cabelas rod far more than the St Croix.

Even though I can easily afford a $500 or two, I simply don't think it's a wise investment for me. The more expensive rods are built nicer, with a tighter fitting ferule, smoother action, etc, but some of what you're paying for are uneccessary (imho) bells and whistles (mahogany reel seats come to mind).

One thing that Loomis and Sage rods come with that aren't available on the cheap rods is the nice unlimited warranty.
 
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