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tjwierz2

$200 rods that much better?

28 posts in this topic

I was down in the Fla. Keys a couple weeks ago and went to with a guide to do some saltwater fishing. We had a great time cathing many species of fish between 12" - 28". These are the most aggressive fish I have ever caught and they fight like crazy.

Quality rods and reels are a must. We were using graphite g-loomis rods and some really nice shimano spinning reels. (sorry, dont know the model). I know the rods were over $200 though. The action and feel of the rods were great, and the reels had a great drag system...which was a must.

But for walleyes and smallies in minnesota, I've been using an 6 and 6 1/2 foot ugly stick with a shimano lx1000 and lx2000 spinning reels for awhile now. I have great feel when using 6 lb test and I the drag system works great.

I know I'm using "economy" equipment. A lot of people spend the money to get the quality equipment, g-loomis etc...

I would like to hear how much difference it makes for you guys that do use the better stuff? Is there not much difference? Or is it a big advantage. Like ice fishing without a vexilar, compared to ice fishing with a vexilar. :-)

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I have to tell you, that it can and will in some applications be to your advantage to go with the more expensive rods. I personally go with the middle of the road rods usually spending between $80-$120 for each, sometimes less depending on the application for the rod. I have used some G-Loomis and others and they are not for me!! Mainly because of the price tag(They do have great balance and feel), but I usually just keep looking for the one that matches me overall. Great feel, balance, tip action, and easier on the pocket book.. Overall they are worth there price, if you can justify spending upwards of $300.00

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tjwierz2,

I think the problem you're going to run into with this question is that anyone who's bought a spendier rod will tell you they're definitely worth the extra money. I fished for years with a low-end Berkley graphite rod and was perfectly happy with it (walleye, bass, etc.). About 8 yrs. ago we were going on a trip to Ontario and I decided to splurge on a little nicer rod for the trip; a St. Croix, moderately priced for their rods. I haven't touched the old rubber stick since. Now I'm not saying you need to spend $200 for a good rod. I think I paid $70 (on sale) for that one. The sensitivity and action are just much better if you're willing to spend an extra $50. We're heading back this summer, and after watching my dad struggle with his 'econo-rod' for lake trout and walleyes on a couple outings, I decided he was due to experience a little better quality, so guess what he got for Christmas! Since my first, I've since acquired five others in various lengths/actions; spinning and baitcasting. I didn't "need" them at the time, but when they went on sale, I took advantage of the savings, and have gotten lots of use out of them ever since. Now if someone offered to trade me one of them for the rod they replaced, plus the difference in cost ... no way. The extra money might seem like a lot at the time, but down the road, the difference you notice in quality will far outweigh any memory of the price you paid. Just don't drop a tackle box on one! (Of course, the good manufacturers would send you a new one in that case).

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tjwierz2,

I own a few cheaper rods and a few of the more expensive models. The biggest difference between them is the amount of graphite in their construction. This directly corresponds with the amount of sensitivity in a rod.

When I am pitching a 1/4 oz. jig & minnow for walleyes, I want the most sensitve rod available. I have found the more expensive models do provide a significant difference. However, if the type of fishing you do, does not require that type of rod, the extra money is not worth it. I use the cheaper ones for crankbaits or trolling rigs.

So, to answer your question: Yes, I feel it's a huge advantage in the right situation!

<;))))><

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I build custom rods. There is a big difference between the cheap rods and a good one. It is mostly the amount of graphite. But, the more graphite that a rod has, the more apt it is to break if abused. They are sensitive but don't bang them on the side of the boat. Most of the rods I make are used for walleye fishing. I feel the St. Croix Avid series is the best bang for the buck.

------------------

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I started fishing with a cheap rod from galyans, then switched over to a seventy dollar st. croix, then to a Gloomis GL2, and I'm now using a Gloomis IMX. At first I didn't think the more expensive rods were that much better, but after using one for an afternoon, I soon fell in love. The feel I get with the IMX and even the GL2 while walleye fishing is amazing distinguishable. I would highly recommend GLoomis Rods. However, they are very pricy. I would get the best rod that you can afford, but dont be afraid to spend a little extra, I know you will be satisfied.

------------------
EVERYBODY LIKES WALLEYES

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tjwierz2,
Uffdapete's reply made me think of another factor that we failed to mention:
Higher caliber rods have better-quality ceramic guides and more of them! Guides provide the only contact points from line to blank. The additional transmission points supply added vibration to the handle, ultimately giving you a more sensitive rod.

<;))))><

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Lots of good comments and info here. My dad is a custom rod builder and has made rods of value from as little as $40 to as much as $400 (actually more than that I think). I think the key here has already been mentioned- the specific application is extrememly important to keep in mind. If you're pulling cranks in the summer there is absolutely no need to be using a G-Loomis GLX (a really spendy bugger), but when you go to jigging finicky 'eyes in the spring and fall when they don't bite, they just suck (and barely at that), a quality graphite rod is an absolute must. I'll outfish my buddies lots to few if they are using cheap equipment when the bite is light. Relatedly, other applications need other types of rods- not all of them require you to spend a lot of money.
I agree with the comment about St. Croix being a good buy for the buck. I also am very fond of the Loomis brands, but what a lot of people aren't at all aware of is that there are an absolute ton of options with any one brand of rod. It's not just a matter of buying a Loomis- you have to decide which series, GL3, GL2, GL1, IMX, GLX, etc. Then decide action and the speed of the tip- medium with a medium-fast tip, ultralight with a medium-slow tip, etc. Lots and lots of info.
And... to make matters worse, it's really tough to say exactly what blank you want with what action unless you can get the rod in your hand and feel it (unless you really, really know your stuff).
So, in a nutshell I think in some situations the right rod will put many times more fish in the boat. In other situations it doesn't matter- you could fish with a 2x4. And, deciding which rod is right for you and any given application is complicated beyond what most people are aware. After you have all of the facts straight, however, you have to go with what you like.
Reels, that's a whole different ball of wax and I'm sick of typing now so I won't go into that. Hope I gave some info. that might be of value to someone.
Scoot

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Thought I'd add my two cents worth. With rods as with most purchases you generally don't get anymore than what you pay for. That being said most of us donot have ulimited financial resources so price really does become a limiting factor. A piece of advice a received a bunch of years ago I think still has application today. When buying a rod and reel, spend as much as you can afford, and then spend two-thirds of it on the rod. Goo and one-third of it on the reel. It's worked pretty well for me. High quality rods really are a joy to fish with when you can afford one, but affording to fish is a lot more important.

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Part of the whole sensitivity issue for me is the weight and balance of the rod & reel you're using. I've found that the more expensive rods are generally lighter too. Not just a lighter blank, but lighter weight guides too.
I will not use a heavy or unbalanced outfit that I need to hold for any length of time due to fatigue. If my hands or wrists get tired because of weight or imbalance it doesn't make any difference how sensitive the rod is, my ability to feel what's going on at the end of my line is greatly diminished.

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I am not the kind of guy who feels good about a rod just becouse it has a big brand name.I feel good about a purchase if I can find a fair price for a quality rod.I look for graphite content and balance when purchasing a rod.I think I have the the rating system figured out.The higher the modulus rating the more senstive the rod.I have a tough time parting with 2 to 300 bucks when the modulus rating is lower(if you can even find it advertised) than some store brand rods that are much less expensive.Now you have to factor in the balance of the rod.It doesn't matter how balanced the rod is until you put your reel on.This is where the balancing kits offered by store brands have the advantage.In my opinion you do not need to spend 200 bucks to get a good qaulity sensitive rod.You can spend less than a 100 bucks and still have all the performance a guy needs.Bass Pro,Cabelas and even Gander Mountain have rods that are less expensive and have higher modulus ratings than some of the "brand name"rods.All that being said I have only fished with a Gloomis once.

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I own a G Loomis IMX as well as many other rods. Once you fish with it you will fall in love with it, but once you break it you'll be sick instantly. I also own some Gander Mountain rods. There are times that I leave my Loomis at home, knowing that a particular trip is going to be rough on my equipment (aren't they all). I have friends with Loomis's that have Cabela rods and do the same also. Fishhead makes a good point about Cabela's, Bass Pro, Gander, etc. You can get a lot of bang for your buck. Yes, there is a noticable difference between my $230 Loomis and my $60 IM8 Gander Pro Select, but not necessarily a $170 difference. The way I look at it is I could have four Pro Selects for the price of one IMX. The pro select is definitely more sensitive than other rods out there, but not quite as sensitive as the loomis. $60 is much easier to justify to the better half than $230.......

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Rods are definately a fine example of diminishing returns. I had always had cheap rods before buying a couple of St. Croix rods for around $100 a piece. There is a heck of a lot of difference between the cheapies and these, but I've also tried my buddy's $250 rods and they just aren't that much different then my St. Croix's. There are always people that will spend top dollar for what is marketed as the best, but like most things you can get 95% of the performance for significantly less then top dollar...

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I myself also have a hard time justifying the expense of high end rods as my tackle get's used by many folks of differing skill level's thru a season. So I stay middle of the road, and for my money the Premier series by St Croix fill the bill great, they range from like 70 to 100 dollars. For walleye fishing these are some of my favorites:

Spinning rods,
5'6" LF- great for jigging smaller stuff in shallow water/slow current situations.
6'0" MF- great all around jigging rod for jigs up to about 3/4 oz.
7'6" MLF- my favorite rigging rod, also doubles as a pretty good slipbobber rod.

Casting rods,
7'0" MLF- Good for rigging and shallow water spinner/bouncer tecniques.
7'0" MHF- Same use as above but for deeper water using heavier bouncer's in deeper H2O.

Crankbait trolling I use the Pro Glass Series once again by St Croix,
7'0" MM- Great for flatlining cranks.
8'0" MM- This is the rod I use for in-line planerboards with cranks or spinner/snapweights. Also makes doubles as a great catfish rod, I also use these for baitfishing for big Jacks on LOW. These are a telescopic rod so they will fit in the average rodlocker no problem.

Downrigger work is handled by Uglystik 8'3" BWD's.

Couple each of these and you should be all set!

Best regards....Fisky

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Hey Guy's FYI Reedssports (.com) limited specials from Walker is having a sale on Pinnacle combo's with IM56 and IM6 rods. They seem to be a decent rod especially at these prices.
I picked up one of their PWT combo's last year for $79 now it's $49 with free shipping! :-( Time for a couple more! Mine has a nice infinite anti-reverse, great for vertical jigging. It looks like a good way to get into the intermediate $$ rods for a good pricewith a reel to boot.

Later,

Ferny.

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I would just say, read what Scoot wrote above. That sums up everything. I have 5 different G-Loomis rods and I would not get anything else. That is just my personal preference. Get what you can afford, but YES there is a huge difference in rods!ScottS

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Bar None your top end rods are better. I purchased a St. Croix Legend Elite (7'-MLF) for live bait rigging on Mille Lacs.

I can feel the slightest "tap", which most other rods cannot detect. Plus it has enough backbone to land a 52" sturgeon from the Rainy River.

If you can find a rod under $200 that has this type of perfomance, buy it! I don't know of one.

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I have both St Croix and G Loomis, I love them both. However, it's tough to tell the difference between the avid and IMX and with the avid running at half the price. Also G loomis has gotten a little cheap in backing up the warranty, have paid a fifty dollar blank fee a couple of times now. St Croix has exchanged with no question.

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I'll reiterate what I said in a previous post:

"I think the problem you're going to run into with this question is that anyone who's bought a spendier rod will tell you they're definitely worth the extra money."

That's true ... TO A POINT.

I've read a lot of touting about Loomis rods here. I agree, they make good rods. Unfortunately, you pay for a lot of name in that $200+. Yep, I've fished with them and to be honest, they're not the leaps and bounds better that so many owners make them out to be. Ever notice how easy it is to say how great a rod is when you had to part with so much money to get it?!

My favorite rods so far in terms of quality (at a REASONABLE price) have been Bass Pro Shops Extreme rods. I bought one as a combo, and the following year when they redesigned a new model, picked up two more for $27 each. They now retail for ~$90 with some definite improvements. Very sensitive, light, and a workable action (i.e. not a 100 million modulus fence-post!)

You can spend all the money you want for a rod. But unless you're a tournament angler who's livlihood depends on not only what you bring in but the brand you endorse, my honest opinion is that you're paying for IMAGE when it comes to some of the big name rods; LOOMIS in particular.

I put my plug in for St. Croix rods earlier (I own a few and love them), but they've gotten praise from others here. They're great rods and they're almost always hassle-free on warranty matters. I'd never think twice about picking one up at a decent price. Part of that comes from knowing that they're one of only two brands currently manufactured in the US (and my home state--yeah I'm a cheesehead by birth!).

[This message has been edited by Matt D (edited 02-21-2002).]

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I have a couple of ice rods that Scoots Dad made; they are very sweet rods. They are my favorite by far and quality materials along with craftsmanship are the reasons why. Rod is a true craftsman and if I would wish custom sticks made again he would be the man I would call first. Thanks again Rod and Scoot!

Quality rods are a performance investment as I see it. Do you need $200 rods to catch fish; no I don't think you really do. But then again, a B&W TV would do the job too, so who needs color?

What level of performance is right for you, as an angler is the question once again? Many main line rod companies were forced to upgrade materials to remain competitive. Now the angler can get very high quality sticks for $80 that once was $300.

Matching special rods to special needs is an addictive pursuit once you get into the game. Much like collecting guns is to some. It will all add up fast but if that is what you need go for it.

My personal theory is, "Need what you buy and buy only what you need."

------------------
Backwater Eddy.......><,sUMo,>

Backwater Guiding
Ed Carlson
(701)-281-2300

http://home.talkcity.com/ResortRd/backwtr1/index.html

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I for one cannot afford a Loomis rod, and as far as I am concerned, I would have a hard time justifying buying one if i did. I know people swear by them but as much abuse that my equipment takes, I would have a hard time laying down 200-400 bucks. I do own a few St. Croixs and for the money, they are awsome, but still a little pricey for me right now.
What I have been doing is making trips down to the Pure Fishing/Berkley outley store in Spirit Lake Iowa. The deals are out of this world. I just picked up a few top-of-the-line Fenwicks for $14 each...all that was wrong with one of them was the top 2 inches were broke off and a new tip was placed on it, the other ones, minor blemishes. They have bins full of rods like this. If you spend the time to look through them you'll find some really sweet deals. They also have bins full of rebuilt and reconditioned reels too. Picked up a couple of Abu-Garcia C4 5600's for $30 a pop!...just a few scuff marks, thats all.
Just thought I'd throw that out there for ya as an option.
Good luck

------------------
>"////=<
Gull Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/gullguide
Brainerd-Mille Lacs-Willmar
Bemidji-Ottertail

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Does anybody know of outfit like that in central MN so i don't have to go all the way to Iowa.

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Bigguns...Nope, nothing like it.
Besides, it's only a 3 hour drive down there. I'll let ScottS know when I'll be going down again, maybe you could ride with.
------------------
>"////=<
Gull Guide Service
fishingminnesota.com/gullguide
Brainerd-Mille Lacs-Willmar
Bemidji-Ottertail

[This message has been edited by GullGuide (edited 02-22-2002).]

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Gull Guide - second your recommendation of Berkley's outlet store in Spirit Lake. I've going there for the past 10 years. Good place to pick up lots of inexpensive Power Pro, Fireline, and all their monos too.
Sometimes they have an unbelieveable selection of rods for $14 & $18. The selection is never the same, but that's the nature of an outlet store. Right now they're featuring a high end Garcia spinning reel on the home page of their HSOforum - http://www.ffo-tackle.com

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Everybody wants to fish with the most senitive rod available. There's alot of good one's out there at all price ranges. I once spend $90 on a name brand rod,then used a buddies old rod and it out performed my $90. So instead of spending 90 here, 90 there, I bit the bullet and bought a loomis glx. Is it worth it? yes. Is it worth the money? I'm sure there's a comparable rod for less money but what? I thought a $90 rod would be good. It's night & day compared to my glx. If people add up what they spend on rods searching, you could have a better rod. I'm not saying Loomis is the best, but you can't go wrong.
I went to a Winnipeg boat show one year and ran across Loomis rods on sale.Same rods,same
brochure and same price.$340 rod for $165 and no tax. So I bought another one.
Do you spend alot of time fishing? If you do alot of time fishing it's definitely worth the money to buy an expensive rod.
Scheels Sporting Goods rods use a Loomis blank.Very light and balanced but which blank? Good Luck

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