Brand Loyalty

The Forum is Closed. Forums The Rodsmiths Brand Loyalty

This topic contains 21 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Scotty MacFly 1 year, 1 month ago.

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    Dry Fly Guy

    Do you have a favorite Builder, Maker, or Manufacturer that you look to before all others?

    If so, who, and why do they strike a chord with you?

    ~ DFG



    The short answer is no. There are so many quality rods, vintage and modern, and an equal number of fantastic builders found more easily with the advent of the internet and fly fishing forums that narrowing it down would be very difficult for me. I have favorites within a brand, but not a favorite brand.

    A few of the FAVS:
    T&T Special Dry Fly 804
    T&T Horizon 909S
    Scott HP 888
    Scott G 8’4″ 4wt 5 piece
    Scott F703
    Loomis IMX 8’6″ 5wt
    SAGE XP 9’6″ 6wt



    As far as big brands go, HARDY! I admire their history of excellence and simply love their products. I’m also a fan of Scott and Winston and don’t mind a Sage rod in my inventory from time to time (Orvis gets honorable mention). Kineya would be my favorite small reel manufacture. For small production builders/designers, have to say Larry Kenney and Tom Morgan are my favorites. Chris Barclay goes into a category of his own, a young Morgan or Kenney in the making. There is so much talent out there it’s hard to just mention a few. Matt Leiderman, Shane Gray, Vlad Milenkovic, George of Tightloops, Mark McKellip, Studio Thin Line. I love Fly Fishing!




    Nope. There are a few brands I wouldn’t consider, for reasons like poor past performance or shoddy business practices. Otherwise, I’m open to buying from any mfr, large or small, that puts out a good product.


    Eric Peper

    As evidenced by my prior and recent posts, I have a very strong bias toward Hardy reels. The couple of their graphite rods that I own ain’t bad either. The only graphite maker for which I feel any real affinity is Kerry Burkheimer because he makes tapers that I like. On the bamboo side, it’s real hard to pick any tho’ I’m extremely fond of the Doug Daniel quad he built for me last year. But, at the same time, I love my Grangers. Wish I could afford to own one of each maker’s rods that I’ve cast and really enjoyed.

    The only other “brand” for which I hold a real bias is TroutHunter mono tippet material and their “Finesse” mono leaders. Great stuff, and IMO better than any other I have useed.




    For graphite I like Winston in the days that Tom Morgan owned the company.

    For bamboo………not really. Lots of makers can make great rods.



    I’ll agree with Eric about Trouthunter tippet. Good stuff.

    I’ve been a Winston fan from day one, mostly due to chance. But like many Winston fans, I’m losing my affection for their modern wares and marketing tactics. Coincidentally, I’ve become much more interested in glass rods, so it works out fine for me.

    Eric, I’m not very familiar with Burkheimer’s rods aside from his reputation. But I see there’s a deal on some of them at the website now.



    Eric Peper

    Burkheimer is best known for his Spey and switch rods, I think. I was intro’d to his trout rods about 6 years ago after he had made a special taper for TroutHunter’s shop. My wife had recently “expropriated” my favorite 4-weight, and I was seeking a new stick. A half hour of casting the Burkheimer, and I thought I had found it; a day of fishing it confirmed that. They are true fishing rods; not casting tools.




    And what is the 4wt your wife uses?



    Eric Peper

    Here ya go, Brett. In the late 90s I bought two Hardy Ultralite model rods — a new design for them at the time, specifically aimed at the US market. The Ultralite was the slower action, and I believe their “Sage competitor” was called Ultralite Plus.

    Both rods are 8.5′, 3-piece graphites; one a 4-weight, the other a 5. The 4 was my “go-to” rod for years while my wife was using a 4-weight Deerfield rod, which I also liked. I was fishing a new 5-weight bamboo one day, and she asked to try the Hardy. That was the last day I fished the Hardy. A week later, I added the Burkheimer and used it for several years before going to bamboo for 99% of my fishing.




    For Graphite by far TMR rods although I wish they would be made in 4pce configuration. My favorite of these is the TMR 8 foot 3pce 4wt followed by the 81/2 foot 4wt.

    For Fiberglass my Unity with the Universe although Tom’s 8’3″ Streamer Special is right up there.

    For Bamboo, well there are soo many great makers but some of my favorites’ are TMR 71/2 foot 5wt, Bill Harms 8′ 3pc Hollowbuilt 5wt and my Rick Robbins Holy Grail.



    Dave Lewis was a master rod builder and I have 3 examples of his work.

    Farlow/Sharpes built very nice impregnated cane rods. Currently, I have a 5’10.25 inch one piece, a 6 1/2 foot Cortland, 7 1/2 foot Duracane and an 8′ 3″ Sharpes, all their cane.

    Phillipson glass was superb. My first fly rod was a Royal 7 footer. Today I have a Royal 6 footer.

    There have been others along the way.



    I took delivery of a TMR fiberglass 5wt last week. Haven’t gotten it out on the water yet, but I can see why rsagebrush and so many others swear by them. Smooth and distinctly ‘glass’ feel. It makes my 5wt Winston WT feel like a broomstick in comparison. But I’d still probably prefer the WT on windy days. It’s got a bit more punch while retaining accuracy.




    I only use Winston fly rods.
    I own a dozen and a half in 4 thru 8 weights.


    Scotty MacFly

    m1911, which rods are they? Do you have any of the WT’s or the newer ones?

    For me it’s Scott and Orvis in the graphite rods. I have tried the Winstons but never have owned them. I like the older rods better than the Boron. I understand boron, and how it makes the Winston rods stronger, but in doing so, I feel Winston has lost something.

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