April 27th, 1998
How Much is Enough?
I want to try to help some of you with a potential problem;
how much to pay for your first fly rod. Most who buy a first fly
rod look at the price. Some look for the cheapest one they can
get out of the store with. Others take the advise of a clerk and
spend a few bucks more than they had expected to. And then
there those who buy the 'best' rod in the store.
Till next week, remember ...
There are dangers in all of the above. To buy the
'cheapest' rod you can get most often gives you a rod which
casts so poorly you can not learn on it, and it would not 'fish'
for you if you did learn. Using this approach could land you a
fly rod in the price range of $10.00 to $50.00 This rod is a total
waste of your dollars, even if you put a good fly line on it.
The second choice (taking some advice from a clerk) is less
dangerous than the other two methods. Here you need to
have found a clerk who really does know what he is talking
about and is to a degree, honest; not just pumping up the sale.
Ask yourself these questions: Will this rod really do as a
'second' rod for back-up later on? If I wish to sell it and get a
better one, will it be of any value to re-sell? If I want to give it
to someone (wife, or offspring) will it be good enough for
that? These questions should lead you into the price range
from $150.00 to $250.00 Any brand of fly rod in this area will
cast well enough for you to learn on and serve you well for
many years and uses.
The worst mistake I see is purchasing
the 'best' rod in the store. The greatest share of these are
'specialty' rods. They are 'performance rods' designed for
the professional caster. They are probably extremely fast, very
light in hand, gorgeous to look at, but make as much
sense as buying a 'Indianapolis 500' race car for your first
vehicle. Remember, the salesman may not have very high
ethics (most do, by the way) and make lots of points with
the boss if he can high-grade you into the top-of-the-line
rod. You may be able to impress your
buddies with the latest expensive model ('till they see you
cast), but you may have problems learning on it. You will
probably break it due to inexperience, perhaps not even like
fly fishing because of it. You may give up the whole sport.
That's too high a price for making a mistake.
So there you have it. What is the best way? That is still
your choice, but now you have a few more ideas to work with.
Good luck. ~ JC