There are plenty of arguments out there both defending and attacking the quality, authenticity, and perceived value of the Temple Fork Outfitters rod company; whether these arguments are intelligently developed or not is usually quite apparent. Many fly fisherman firmly stand by the opinion that you get what you pay for and this is true in most cases. However, if there is one company (and only one, in my opinion) that undermines this belief, it is Temple Fork Outfitters. I own both the top of the line TFO rod (Axiom), and the least expensive rod that this company manufactures. Though the quality does vary significantly from the base model to the high end offerings, I feel that most everyone would agree that the same could be said for most all rod companies. The unique thing about TFO is the fact that the price increase, from their least expensive rod to the most expensive, is only a couple hundred dollars. Try purchasing a bottom line Sage or G. Loomis and see what happens. Sooner or later you will realize the need to upgrade to one of their higher end models because, as I said earlier, the quality difference from base line to high end rods in most all companies is significant. What you will also quickly realize is that, unless you are blessed with the financial freedom to spend/blow close to a grand on a new rod, it looks like you will be sticking it out with the cheap rod hanging on your rack. But hey, at least it has a cool name brand printed on the blank. Im not here to start a TFO v/s Sage or Loomis argument, because for God sakes I hope there is a difference in a $200 rod v/s a $750 rod. My point is simple and reasonable: TFO rods offer the real world recreational fly fisherman a great line up of rods at a more than reasonable value. And, with the debut of the new Axiom series, they also allow the tight-budgeted consumer a chance to purchase a top of the line rod with truly professional quality. The Axiom is a rocket launcher! Based on my experience and comparisons, this rod will run with, if not outperform, those of the highest quality, reputable manufacturers. I went through an Orvis, Sage, and Scott rod, in an obsessive attempt to find a strong, far-casting rod that is suitable for inshore saltwater fishing before someone talked me into picking up a TFO. Arent they that cheap company, I said. Because what Ive always heard from these experts on the forums, you get what you pay for. That belief flew out the window faster than Dale Jr. will hammer a Budweiser tallboy. I loved this rod from the minute I wiggled it in the outfitters shop. It is a solid, strong, well balanced rod, though not extremely (...or pointlessly) light, with all the performance that a saltwater fly fisherman would demand. Seriously, if you cast an $800 rod all day long and switch to the Axiom, you might just find your snobby, aristocratic name-brander collecting some dust in the garage. This rod will improve your casting, your fishing, and most importantly, your savings account. Dont take my word for it, just pick one up. Dont let the savvy marketing department at Sage, or the flocks of biased, better-than-you forum snobs fool you into thinking you have to sell your oldest son in order to afford a decent rod. True, you do get what you pay for: If you pay $800 for a Sage, you get a great rod with a Sage sticker on the blank, if you pay $275 for a TFO Axiom, you get a great rod with a TFO sticker on it and money left over for gas on the way to the river. Spend your time practicing, not purchasing. Find a good rod that is matched to your requirements, at a fair price, and practice casting. Wasting your time looking for a rod to make you a great caster is like a fat woman looking for a diet pill that will help her loose 10lbs without changing her diet. Concentrate on what really moves you closer to your goal; practice. Ill guarantee you that Tiger Woods will whip your ass on any golf course with a set of wooden clubs that he picked up on Ebay. You get the point.
I must agree with your perspective on TFO vs. Sage, Scott St. Croix...etc. There is no substitute for practice no matter what you are trying to do. Whether it's fly casting hitting a golf ball or shooting an arrow you can only do it well with practice. As for the TFO rods, well I am not financially in a position to buy the top of the line anything. So I first define exactly what my needs are and then I match those needs to a tool then of course to a price. I generally buy the best I can afford which in most cases isn't a top of the line anything. So here's what I have found over the years. No matter what you buy as long as it's been proven to satisfy your needs then go for it. Practice and be the best that you can be with the tools you have. And above all have fun with it. If it were that you couldnt fly fish unless you owned an Orvis Helios or a Sage Z-axis then I guess I would have to find another sport. I don't own a lot of fly rods mainly because I have 5 children and three of them are my daughters. Now that two of them are married I just might get a chance to try one of those higher end one's soon. But either way I will still be out on the streams and lakes having a ball.
Re: Temple Fork Axiom Series
July 6 2010, 10:35 AM
Absolutely correct. For the snob who only buys a fly rod based on a heftier price tag because they think it's better, they are not the brightest bulb. Sage, G loomis, TFO....all great rods, some models better than others. Most people don't even need to be concerned with the quality of the rod but instead with the quality of their cast.
September 7 2010, 4:13 AM
I own a TFO signature series and this guy is a pleasure to cast it feels very well balanced in your hand, this is there bottom of the line rod and it is very impressive it has no problems at all roll casting or casting all of my 7 wt 100 feet of line off of the fly reel,with TFO I noticed I get alot more preformance than I payed for, I will keep on buying there products, top notch products at a bargain price!!!