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Ralph... the best advice I can give is don't listen to anyone's advice. Rods seem to fit people's stroke. I like a slower rod, some of my best buddies, who are every bit as good or better fishermen than I am, like super fast.... others like super slow.

My point is, fish those high dollar rods for a couple hours before you buy. Find a shop that will let you do more than cast in the parking lot... get those rods on the water and see how you like the way they fish... one will stand out and be the easy decision. Opinions of others will always be based on what they own and will not be objective or take into consideration how you cast.
 

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Just a thought, I own a Scott a Sage and a RL Winston, all fine rods and all quite expensive. The last three rods I've bought all come from TFO, they carry a better warranty and the price is $99 to $129 each on sale. I'm not an expert fly guy but these TFO rods are, in my opinion, 90% as good as the high end stuff.
Whichever you settle on, please remember to buy a rod float for it if your going to be on the lakes or reservoirs especially if you fish two rods.
Bill
http://tforods.com/
I totally agree with this... 100%. Fly fishing gear has gotten so obnoxious. The elitests insist on this or that, yet 3/4 of them can barely cast. My dad fly fishes with a set up that cost about $80. He does well.

I remember being at a fly shop that I frequent. One of the regulars there is rather irritating....One of the last times I saw him, he said something about a guy who was starting along these lines, "Oh, he won't stay with it, he can't afford it". I left thinking, what a joke. It doesn't take a lot of cash to get a cheapo reel and a decent 5wt. That will cover most every trout in CO. I could also get away with about 5-6 patterns total in 2-3 colors... At $.99 a fly from some of the online retailers, It seems very easy to afford.

TFO rods are very nice... I think the 90% statement made earlier is very accurate.
 
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