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Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Kelly Dow (---.lightspeed.renonv.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 13, 2017 03:40PM

So just joined and already my 2nd question, sorry! The info on here is priceless. I'm no stranger to forums and proper etiquette so I only ask the questions AFTER I have researched properly to see if I can get an answer without bugging you guys with yet another thread. Alas, I could only find 1 relevant post on this and it was in 2009:

[rodbuilding.org]

The question, as per my subject line, is what are the current opinions on the best FLY rod blanks that are available today? I own Sage One rods, g loomis NRX rods, Orvis Helios 2 rods...so I have played with some of the "best" out there. I know I can buy blanks from some of the major brands out there but are there other blanks that are excellent quality and performance that are just as good if not better at a better price point? On that other thread referenced above there are mentions of CTS quite a bit. 8 years later are they still at the top? I hear Batson and MHX a lot too but they seem more "commercial" to me so not sure on the quality and action and if they are considered "high end" per se. I'm one of those that like to use the best materials available if I'm going to build it, that is my motivation behind this post.

Again, I'm just looking for opinions as I know everyone's will be different but maybe there's a consensus?

Thanks again all!



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2017 03:42PM by Kelly Dow.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Matthew Paul (---.lightspeed.milwwi.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 13, 2017 04:57PM

so make it a bit easier to give an opinion and what type of fishing are you doing fresh stream ,lake ,river or salt water

The best day to be alive is always tomorrow !!
Think out side the box when all else fails !!!
Wi.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 13, 2017 05:15PM

I would put the Batson Eternity 2 and NFC blanks right up there with the name brands you mention.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/13/2017 07:03PM by Phil Erickson.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Kelly Dow (---.lightspeed.renonv.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 13, 2017 05:34PM

Matthew Paul Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> so make it a bit easier to give an opinion and
> what type of fishing are you doing fresh stream
> ,lake ,river or salt water

Excellent point, I really focus on 3 rod weights: 3wt for small streams (brookies, etc.), 5wt for general river fishing, and 8wt for large Lahontan Cutthroat Trout (up to 25+lbs). I may also play in the 7wt Switch Rod game as I have used a few to swing on the river and for launching line at Pyramid Lake. Pyramid is basically a "salt" lake due to the alkaline and the heavy duty gear you need to play with large LCT. So to answer your question completely accurately...I fish all of the types, lol. Streams, rivers, lakes, and salt (just not traditional salt flats, etc. unless I'm on a trip which does happen). Sorry I can't narrow it down but in northern NV, we are lucky to be close to all types of fishing.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Donald La Mar (---.lightspeed.lsvlky.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 13, 2017 06:19PM

#1 Tom Morgan's Unity with the Universe, 7 weight

#2 Orvis' Superfine, 5 weight

#3 T&T'S Heirloom, 3 weight

#4 TFO TiCr X, 12 weight

#5 Everything else

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (---.static.mdfd.or.charter.com)
Date: May 13, 2017 06:39PM

Kelly,
You've brought up a point with your rod selections. Who is to say what is the best for you?
Case in point, except for the 6 and 7 weight versions, I' m not particularly impressed with the Sage One rods, others I'm sure will have a different view. Best is in the eye of the beholder.
Another, I prefer the NRX LP 5 wt. over the NRX, again the eye of the beholder.
CTS makes some good stuff, as do many of other companies on and off this site and it's sponsors. The differences in performance for the dollar spent for many people is a few percent to non-existent, again the customer has to figure this out whether it's a factory, or custom build.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Eugene Moore (---.dhcp.stls.mo.charter.com)
Date: May 13, 2017 07:43PM

Kelly,
Winston is the smoothest. Great finesse.
Sage has power and range especially the Method blanks.
St Croix is a good choice for an American made blank with a reasonable cost. Tend to cast a line size heavier then rated.
The NRX is a great casting rod but haven't seen it sold as a blank.

Gene Moore

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Bill Hickey (---.nycap.res.rr.com)
Date: May 13, 2017 08:32PM

In Carbon, CTS or Mike McFarland

Fiberglass, CTS, Epic, Livingston, Steffen Brothers, Tom Morgan, McFarland, Kabuto.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: May 13, 2017 10:12PM

Best really depends on what your criteria is - Quality? Performance? Value?

Every blank mentioned above is a quality product, but performance varies depending on your taste. What one person finds perfect for their type of casting and fishing, another person may find that same blank to be lacking.

Something funny to keep in mind - some years ago I wanted a small pond rod for bream. A 3-weight. There were some Amtak blanks on sale for $19 that appeared to fit the bill. I bought one and wasn't expecting much out of a $19 blank - I generally build on upper end blanks. To this day that $19 blank is the very best I have found for what I want to do with it.

...........................

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Kelly Dow (---.lightspeed.renonv.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 13, 2017 10:21PM

All good info, thanks for the responses. I almost expected the answers I am getting, which is basicallly: "everyone is different", lol. I guess I just want to make sure when I buy a blank, it's going to be a quality blank. I have a 2wt MHX kit I bought as my first build and I just started building it today. I'm not expecting a killer rod TBH, I just wanted something to start out on that I can pass to my niece and maybe play on some streams with. In any case, I just wanted to hear from the experts here maybe what rods have been good quality for them and maybe which ones to avoid.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 13, 2017 11:19PM

I have several MHX fly rods and like them a lot. I agree with Tom in that the most expensive rods are not necessarily the best. The best rods are those that you enjoy to fish with the most. There are a lot of very good high quality fly rod blanks available that are relatively inexpensive and perform wonderfully. I made a high end Sage fly rod for a friend and he prefers to fish with the first fly rod I made for him which cost a great deal less. Who can figure!
Norm

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Eric MONTACLAIR (---.fbx.proxad.net)
Date: May 14, 2017 01:45AM

Thera are very good fly Blank around.
Some MHX (not all) are very very good (and not so expensive).
In general CTS make very good Blank and you have choice between MX and FX series.

For a 9' #5, IMHO nothing is better than the Swift Epic Carbon 590C (hand down the better blank I had in hand period, and I handled a few).

But as stated the more important is to choose a blank that suit your need.

________________________________________
@+
Eric
[www.emfishing.fr]

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: May 14, 2017 03:38PM

Yellowstone Angler periodically does a double-blind test of a dozen or so rods of the same "weight," assimilating the opinions of a group of acknowledged master fly casters. The ratings are given in several categories, including accuracy, distance, finish, value,etc. You can look these tests up on line. I find then very informative.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: eric zamora (---.lightspeed.frsnca.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 14, 2017 08:46PM

Kelly, i thought I understood what you were asking, but maybe i'm wrong. you have orvis, sage, and g loomis. you mentioned CTS. it sounds to me like you are asking for the best fly blanks offered by companies that would NOT be considered the major brands out there. so you're asking about blanks by companies EXCLUDING the big names like sage, g loomis, orvis, winston, redington, thomas & thomas, scott, st croix, etc etc. for instance, yellowstone anglers' shootouts usually are limited to these major names, with an occasional smaller company thrown in like douglas.

you wish to focus on the relatively lesser known names who market to us do-it-yourselfers, but the very best of THOSE, correct? or am i wrong?

there are many companies fitting that bill. as you see, CTS is still in that group. companies like batson offers good options like their eternity2 line, and even revelation. MHX has caught my eye, but there's always american tackle (bushido) and Pacific Bay, who constantly introduce newer blanks to keep in step with developments. and i'm assuming you are sticking with graphite, because it really expands if you're also considering fiberglass, which has experienced a resurgence over the last few years.

as some have said, there are a lot of options out there considering much of it can be subjective, and all over the price spectrum.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Kelly Dow (---.lightspeed.renonv.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 01:11AM

eric zamora Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> you wish to focus on the relatively lesser known
> names who market to us do-it-yourselfers, but the
> very best of THOSE, correct? or am i wrong?
>

You are correct. I know I can buy the "big name-brand" blanks from Sage, St. Croix, etc. So I'm specifically inquiring as to what brand blanks the rod builders here prefer in regards to fly that are lesser-known if you aren't a rod builder...thanks for the clarification.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Spencer Phipps (172.56.42.---)
Date: May 15, 2017 03:29PM

I've made/have some fine rods made on Dan Craft Ent. blanks.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---.res.bhn.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 05:32PM

The 2016 Yellowstone Angler 8-Weight Shootout included these six 8wt. rods [not blanks], including cloth sleeves and rod tubes: 1@$100, 1@$160, 1 @$249, 1@$260, 2@280 The $249 rod rated 4th best all-around rod out of the 20 tested. I built a fly rod on the blank of the $249 rod. It cost me $152 to build and it's the equal of several $700+ (built out) fly rods. I am happy I followed the recommendations of recognized, expert fly casters.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Russell Brunt (---.lightspeed.miamfl.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 15, 2017 06:59PM

Such reviews are all the more helpful when you notice a more costly rod of the same brand scored very poorly.

Read throught the article and you will see cases where a different weight blank was quite nice but their eight weight.....well sucked!

Compared to the prices for the "big names" I wouldn't lump St. Croix in with them.

Russ in Hollywood, FL.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.adr02.mskg.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 08:52AM

The best rod for an expert may not be the best rod for me. The Yellowstone 8 shootout puts high priority on handling 100 feet of line. There is no way I can reliably handle 100 feet of line with any rod. A better rod for me would be one that would handle about half that easily and accurately. I'm not sure that prioritizing 100 feet compromises its performance at lesser distances, but in most devices, to make one characteristic a high priority compromises others.

I also wonder if an 8 that can handle 100 feet of line as described in the shootout is really an 8. Would be nice if they published the CCS numbers. And does it not follow logically that if it handles 100 feet well would it not feel underlined at 35-50 where most bones are fished?

Just comments from a "non-expert" but enthusiastic bone fisherman.

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Re: Opinions on the best FLY rod blank available...
Posted by: Norman Miller (---.lightspeed.jcsnms.sbcglobal.net)
Date: May 16, 2017 10:31AM

Michael is correct, a rod with the manufacturer's 8 wgt rating but with an ERN of 9.5 will be able to handle a 100' of 8 wgt line better than another manufacturer's 8 wgt rod that has an ERN of 8. Almost like false advertising. Also fast high modulus rods tend to handle more line out than slower lower modulus rods. Like mentioned before the best rod is the one you most enjoy fishing, and everyone has different likes and dislikes.
Norm

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