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Discussion Starter #1
I wanted to get some of your opinions on a decent, mid-range rod that isn't going to completely deplete my bank account.

I finally jumped into the 9' realm last year ( 5wt 7pc March Brown-Hidden Water) and thoroughly enjoyed having a bit more reach than what I have been accustomed to. One downfall that I have realized is that while it is extremely packable and perfect for hiking/back packing trips, it seems quite whippy and with any sort of sustained wind I lose substantial power resulting in the little form/technique that I possess to go right out the window. If I had to guess this is due to the fact that it is a 7pc but I have owned only one other fly rod so I don't have a lot to compare it to.

Thank you in advance for any advice you can lend me, this site has been a great learning tool over the past few months and has inspired me to get into fly tying. I am currently working my way through a couple of Craven's books and learning a ton! Can't wait to try out some of my home-ties for bass around town and trout up the canyon.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
The other rod is a 6'6" Eagle Claw variety that I have had since first learning how to fish as a kid. It has worked just fine but recently I have been focusing much more on fly fishing and less on spin.

My concern isn't "packability" since I already have a decent pack rod but what, if any, are some positive characteristics of going to a 2/4 pc. in lieu of my current 7pc? Are there some decent mid-range brands that offer a faster action rod while still maintaining some backbone for those windier days?
 

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I'd suspect a 7 pc rod has some compromise on the action, my opinion and I prefer 2 pc rods over 4 pc that are all the rage for the same reason.

What's your price range? There are decent rods out there from the likes of TFO, Orvis, Scott and Sage among others..

A 5 weight is a good all rounder for streams and lakes, even with a fair amount of wind, I use that and a 4 weight for smaller creeks like Bear or Clear.

9ft would be the best all around length, nothing shorter than 8ft and anything up in the 10ft range is just unwieldy unless you are exclusively high sticken.

I'd shy away from "fast" action, unless you have your rhythm and strokes down on your casting, it's just gonna fudge you up. Better would be a medium action, more forgiving of casting errors.
 

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If you are looking mid range it is hard to beat St Croix. Excellent customer service, good warranty and good rods.
What are you looking to spend?

9ft is great but don't be afraid to move into 10 foot rods. Pistol calls them "unwieldy" but I have several and love them. One of my favorites is a 10 foot 4 wt Orvis helios tip flex. It's a nymphing machine and lays out a dry beautifully.

However, until you build up a collection I would say a 9 ft rod for our rivers is a better choice.
 

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I would not shy away from fast action. Most today are very forgiving.
Go to a shop and cast several different models and flexes.
You timing actually has to be much more precise with a medium action rod.
You have to wait for the rod to load. If you get to fast the rod won't load and won't perform well at all.
Do yourself a favor and go find what suits your stroke..
 

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You can't beat St Croix or TFO as stated...I'd like to add ECHO to the mix...Pretty sweet sticks for the $$$
 

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I'd suspect a 7 pc rod has some compromise on the action, my opinion and I prefer 2 pc rods over 4 pc that are all the rage for the same reason.
I would have to disagree on this, as my go to pack rod is a 7 piece, 9ft, 3 wt and it casts like a dream. Sometimes I even fish it on bigger rivers. I have no problem fishing dries, dry droppers, and 3 nymph rigs with it. It probably has more to do with the blank and build than number of pieces. personally I think snake guides verses single foot guides, wrapping, and how thick the epoxy is applied has more to do with retarding a rod than the number of conections.
 

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pieces have nothing to do with wind, action or forgiveness. Its about action.

The rod you have is slower and not as strong in the wind. i suggest a fast action rod, and learn to double haul if you don't know how.

TFO, ST.Croix etc. both are mid range and have good fast action rods.
 

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only advice I can add is just cast the fly rod. Any fly rod. you will find what works better for you! I fish a 9'6" 5wt, 9' 3wt, 8' 2wt, 8' 4wt, as my normal rods. Most are pretty/very fast, but I do have an 8' 2wt that is relatively slow! All are Thomas and Thomas. Some people love fast and some love slow! There are rods out there that cost not much more than a $100 that are awesome. TFO, St. Croix, and so on.
 

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^^^^^^

Cast the rod you intend to buy! Your casting style might work better with a slow, moderate, or fast action rod. Find the one that feels good with a line on it, don't just do the old 'tip wiggle' in the fly shop... (I realize 'tip wiggle' leaves a lot open to discussion on this site...)
 

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Yup. Don't believe the hype on all the fly rods. Sure some cast better than others. Yes the $800 rods do cast really nice, but they'd better for almost $1k. Its all preference, a lot like skis, find a rod that works for you. Know what species you wanna catch with it and what situations you'll use it for. These are all things to consider.

Once you've got all that established, figure out 3-4 rods that fit all of that criteria. Then talk to a local shop, most of the good ones have demos that you can borrow that can give you an idea if you'd like the rod or not. Just don't be a dick and walk off with it, or these shops will stop doing those favors.
 

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Only one way to purchase a fly rod, that's to go to several shops and cast everything in the store. When you cast the rods it will become apparent which one will be the best fit for your casting style.
 

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If you can get this for $200 or so (they retail for $300+) you'll have stolen as fine a rod as anything retailing for $400 or more. I have one and often marvel at its all-round performance. Light, durable and medium-fast, it's great for casting dries, nymphs or streamers all day.
Can't recommend enough.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Nice-G-Loomis-Model-FR-1085-GL3-2-pc-9-5-Line-Fly-Fishing-Rod-/271394968234?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3f306692aa

or better yet, this one. I would not hesitate to buy a used Loomis.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/G-Loomis-GL3-Nine-Foot-Fly-Rod-With-Reel-And-Cabelas-Padded-Case-/321318806644?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4ad017e474
 

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...And then it gets more complicated. Lines. A lot of rods, even high end ones, can feel like crap or nirvana depending on the line you put on them. Just look at a shop that lists all their lines online. For any given weight there are probably 20+ lines depending on application. So, even the perfect rod for your stroke might feel like a dog with the incorrect line. Example: my Sage XP was steps above OK with Rio Gold. With SA textured GPX it is pure bliss.
 

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I would cast the **** out of a bunch of rods. Finding the right fit is important and no one can tell you which one FEELS best in your hands... and feel is everything in fly casting.
 
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