Best quality Fly rod/Reel makers?

wchaudhrey

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Apr 12, 2020
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25
Hi all

I have been fly fishing for some years now and have accumulated some decent run-of-the-mill tackle that has served me well. I am looking to start buying some higher quality stuff now for use on reservoirs and streams and i wanted to know what rod/reel makers you believe to be the best or any that youve used extensively that you recommend.

I want to put together some outfits with tackle that will last me a lifetime that are built to last, have great warranties/customer support and are fantastic to use.

You can give me brand names or specific products in any price range

Many thanks
 

sean freeman

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Dec 4, 2010
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Manchester
For reels I like Ross and Abel. Built in the USA. I’ve fished them for a good few years now and they’ve never left me down.

For carbon rods I like Sage, Scott and Stickman. The Stickman P5 or Scott Radian are the best 9’ #5’s out there.
 

bobmiddlepoint

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Sep 28, 2017
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STAYING AT HOME!
I want to put together some outfits with tackle that will last me a lifetime that are built to last, have great warranties/customer support and are fantastic to use.
The problem with that bit is that rod and reel makers can't leave anything alone. They have to keep bringing out new improved models to keep the tackle tarts happy. So you can't know for sure which new product is going to last a lifetime.

For example I'm still using Leeda Dragonfly reels from the 1990's and they are still going strong but they are hardly high end or nice to look at. When I got them I never though they'd still be in use now! Hardy reels bought at the same time just didn't last, utter rubbish really.

Simple stuff that is a bit over engineered is always better than complicated stuff that is cut down to the minimum weight if you want it to last. Fishing is not F1 ;)


Andy
 

tangled

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Dec 28, 2015
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Any of the premium brands will make you feel like you've bought something of high quality - something that you feel proud and happy to own. But you have to remember that it's mostly the marketing of the thing that makes you feel good about the thing. That's how premium branding works.

Having said that, premium branded gear will all be well made (there are a few exceptions), look good and work well so it's not really the gear that matters with this sort of decision, it's more about which brand you associate with.

So long as you make sure everything is balanced - critically rod and line; reels are mostly for decoration - you'll be happy with whatever you blow £1,500 on.

btw, I don't mean to be disparaging, I'm not immune to this stuff either, I just bought a Loop salmon rod even though I've got no chance of using it for at least another year - and there's nothing wrong with my Airflo rod.'Tis human nature to want nice stuff. Mind you, it was half price in the sales :)
 

boisker

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There are good/great rods at every price point... European / US made, China / Korea, one of the bigger companies or a ‘one man band’...
but rather than initially thinking about what brands people suggest I would say you need to have an understanding and feel for what characteristics you want from the rod, and then look for rods which meet that...

and after all that consideration buy a Scott.... only joking 😂 😂 😂
 

JJ O Malley

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west of ireland
Orvis have excellent customer service. The best I've come across and their gear is great too. Stay far away from G Loomis. Customer service is terrible in my experience and I've dealt with them a few times.

Cheers
John

Sent from my SM-G960F using Tapatalk
 

pati

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Nov 20, 2012
Messages
558
Buy a bamboo rod, it will outlast you and your offsprings ;-)

The best carbon rods of today (Loomis Asquith and NRX, Scott Radian/G Series, Stickman, Winston, Thomas&Thomas, Loop...) are only incrementally better if better at all than the best carbon rods from 20years ago (Redington NTi, Loomis GLX, Scott G powerply, Winston IM6, Original T&T Paradigm etc). The only real big change is on lower end carbon rod which are now amazing quality and value compared to 20 years ago.

On reels: Galvan, Abel, Ross, Hatch, Nautilus, Tibor, Danielsson, Einarsson, Lamson, Loop, Vosseler and Orvis for modern reels are top notch.
 

original cormorant

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I know, it's exciting isn't it! Will it rival the extent of 'Understanding Mono', 1012 posts or reach the dizzy heights of 'Cost of Rods', at the exceptional 2679 posts?
You should try the Abel snips threads on the North America site - not as tedious as understanding mono.

I recently re-discovered a thread I started for a couple of years ago on how many pairs of shoes do you have - sadly it never appraoched the number of posts for cost of rods.
 

Lewis Chessman

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Mar 16, 2008
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1,893
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Isle of Lewis
I am looking to start buying some higher quality stuff now for use on reservoirs and streams and i wanted to know what rod/reel makers you believe to be the best or any that youve used extensively that you recommend.

I want to put together some outfits with tackle that will last me a lifetime that are built to last, have great warranties/customer support and are fantastic to use.
What often happens with any rod series is that its reputation becomes built upon one or two models in that range, i.e. not all lengths & weights in a series by any maker are equally good. Some excel, other are just 'good'.
Most of us don't have access to a wide range of new rods from which to draw a valid comparison so, beyond build quality, it becomes highly subjective.
If you don't insist on new then do some research into 'classic' Sage/Orvis/Scott/Winston/Loomis rods in specific lengths and weights. These rods have been around long enough to build a solid reputation and their actions, pros and cons, have been discussed extensively. Sure, you don't always get a warranty with an older rod but most contemporary warranties aren't worth the cost they add to a new rod anyway. Customer service varies with company and country - Sage have a sterling reputation here, Loomis sadly don't - but they've still made some very special rods worth owning and these have tended to hold their price over 20 years or more.

Other's have mentioned the most respected reel makers. Much, then, will depend on your aesthetic tastes and on the best weight to balance any particular rod you use.

Have fun window shopping and try before you buy - if at all possible.
 

speytime

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Feb 27, 2009
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West Lothian Scotland
There are good/great rods at every price point... European / US made, China / Korea, one of the bigger companies or a ‘one man band’...
but rather than initially thinking about what brands people suggest I would say you need to have an understanding and feel for what characteristics you want from the rod, and then look for rods which meet that...
That's good advice 👍 +1

Fwiw I've also a 20+ y/o bfr rimfly, still going strong.
I like barstock reels as much as anyone but they aren't needed as such, like tangled said its nice to have nice things, but they won't put anymore fish on the bank.

Best of luck Al
 

arawa

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Nov 28, 2013
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281
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Highlands
I am very like glueman with a good assortment of “high end” items - many of which have given me a great deal of pleasure at the time. My most expensive, and beautiful, rod is a Tom Morgan. My true love is the first expensive rod I bought back in the 1990s and which has caught me many many fish over the years; a 9ft #5 Sage RPL+.
These days the first outfit I pick up, and which is packed in anticipation of Thursday, is a Hardy Demon Smuggler 8ft #4 matched to a Sage Click reel.
 

catzrob

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Oct 29, 2017
Messages
108
My fantasy setup is a Luke Bannister rod with a cascapedia reel (just like the look of the reels and it’s basically a line holder on small streams). Even though I’ve never tried either 😂

Thomas and Thomas, and Sage, seem to be preferred top rods though Orvis and 10 others will compete for price and reputation.

When I’m ready to drop the best part of a grand (or even more) on a setup I will be touring test centres and making sure to have a chance to cast before I pay my money and make my choice.
 
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