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A.W.Wolfram

Imported vs. US made blanks

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I prefer to US made products if I can. I usually use St. Croix blanks, but have to RainShadow blanks that seem pretty nice and I have a RainShadow fly rod that seems great.

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I use both g-loomis and st.croix and enjoy both of them. although my favorite fly rod is a glx 9ft 8wt.loomis. but i enjoy my st.croixs for walleye fishing. i'm just a confused fisherman i like them both

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I think most people are more than happy with G. Loomis and St. Croix.

I still give the edge to G. Loomis.

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I've had good luck with G Loomis and St. Croix as the others as well as Batson (Rainshadow), Lamiglas, CTS, Dan Craft, Thorne Brothers, and some closeout models. I've also had some less than stellar blanks from the above. What I'm more concerned with are the suppliers. Do they cull through blanks looking for the straightest, do they easily back the blank due to manufacturing issues, do they work for me? Or are they just a middle-man who takes little to no interest in the quality of the specific blanks they sell. The country of manufacture really has no bearing on the quality of the blank.

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I like the rods, G Loomis and St.Croix(I own 2 loomis rods and 14 St. croix)

I just don't like paying for the name.

In the past when you could buy St. criox 2nd blanks I built on them alot(a 8$ blank is a lot easyer on the wallet for a teenager)

I hear the quality issue.

IMO perfection is more important when I'm spendind $250 or more on a blank VS. around $100(but some times that quality just is not there with the higher price point)

So..if I'm spending that much on a blank, I need to be able to feel the differance. And what i'm trying to say is I have been let down before.

If I take a quality non-highend name brand blank and build it up with good components, IMO it should Feel better then a highend production rod.

So for me it comes down to;

Is it that important that I buy blanks that are made in the USA.

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I was under the impression that St. Croix imported their blanks. I was told that they don't actually manufacture any blanks, but only paint them.

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I am pretty sure they manufacture their own blanks. You could check their HSOforum.

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The Triumph and lower grades are imported, the Premier and higher are made here. The imported blanks are to compete with the other imported rods out there from a price point.

What ever happened to buying Americian?

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Quote:
What ever happened to buying Americian?

Getting hard to find American made products. So you do with you can.

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Not that hard to find them. St. Croix, Sage and G Loomis, and they are just a click away.

I did read in the new Field and Stream that there is a shift going on right now away from Asia and moving to Mexico. I guess the transportation cost are to much.

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Yes, there are some very good American made blanks (include Lamiglas in the list). Use what suits you. I'm currently trying to find some multipiece blanks that I can use for Muskie, Pike, Walleye, etc. Good rods that I can take on bush planes. I'll probably go with CTS in New Zeland for those blanks as they will make 2, 3, 4 or more piece blanks based on their production models for a small upcharge. You won't get St. Croix or G. Loomis to do that.

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This is a quote form a manufacture. “It is not possible to make a quality rod, built with all USA made components for less then $100 and make any profit.”

If you are paying $75 dollars for a rod, it’s not all made in the USA.

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Depends on the interpretation of "quality". If you are interpreting it is as top end no, but middle of the line, probably can do it. Problem is there aren't too many companies making the components here anymore, so it limits availability of parts.

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They can do it they just choose not to because they cant make a big enough profit. Like upnorth said very few rods are a total american made rod.

Rods I like in the $75 range are Gander Mt. rods when on sale, Rapala makes a couple nice rods in that price range, Berkley has a few. The St. Croix Triump is the biggest let down St. Croix ever made. I think they really took a step back with them.

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The triumph is an off shore rod, and IMO, you get what you pay for.

I have to say it and I'm surprized nobody else has, but why not buy American? Since we all live, work and play here, why not support here? If we all purchased all of our goods from overseas, very few of us would have jobs. I'll also say that I own two IMX rods and one St. Croix Legend and two Avids and I have yet to use another rod that even comes close to these, and I've got about two dozen offshore rods that are in that $75-100 range sitting in the corner of the garage. From day one I should have just bit the bullet, saved the pennys and got the best, not "good for the money". One more thing I've noticed about the "cheaper" stuff is that if you ever want to resell it it's not worth anything. Out of that pile of very good Gander, Bass Pro, Rapala, Berkely and so on rods that I own I'd be lucky to get 20 cents on the dollar, and I've tried to get more but no takers. My advice is, save your milk money and get a good one, the warranty is second to none and rods speak for themselves. If you don't believe me, ask the top rated rod shops what blanks they use? (I said top rated)

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Typically I have about $60 or less in parts for the rods I build. I get good prices on my components and make my own handles from materials I collect for free probably a $15 savings there alone. I usually build on St. Croix SC111 or RainShadow RX7 blanks, mostly St. Croix. But there is no profit or charge for time in there. But I am sure someone who buys in larger quantities can get better prices than I do, but they are going to have to charge something for labor. From the reading I have seen on the web most larger rod manufacturers are paying wrappers per guide to wrap, I have heard about $.08 per guide. One expense that is left out a lot of the times are shipping, it is a killer.

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Is this about cost or just which one is better? There is no doubt that offshore blanks cost less, and if a guy is building a rod for resale I'm sure there is a much higher profit margin in using the lower cost materials. From that standpoint I know nothing about it and don't want to know about it, but from the users end I will say that there is a big difference between offshore and U.S. built blanks. I will say that the Shimano rods I have used have been the Clarus and lower grade, I would like to try the Compre and up sometime as I hear they are good.

Warranties are another thing to think about. G. Loomis will, if you break your rod, next day air you a new one for $50. That alone is worth the money for me if I break one on a week long trip. Shimano has a great over the counter warranty (on their better rods) which is great if you live in the cities, but try to get an exact replacement on your next trip.

In a nutshell it's going to come down to three things.

1, your pride in purchasing American made products,

2, what your budget is,

3, if you want the best or if "good enough" will do. I don't think anybody is saying that the good offshore stuff is anything but that, they are good. But IMO they have a ways to go to catch up the the best US built blanks.

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I am not sure how this got turned to production off the shelf rods, but it started out as someone asking a question about rod blanks, so I would assume we should be chatting about custom built rods.

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I took it as rods starting out as blanks, whether they are Cabelas, St. Croix, Rainshadow or anything else, factory or custom, it all starts with a blank. I also took it as which one was better and should a guy even be purchasing offshore products in times like this.

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