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Did people lose their minds buying such expensive rods and reels?

9/29/21 @ 3:57 PM

I bought a fishing pole at the St. Croix factory 16 years ago for a hundred bucks.   I just turned it in for a new pole.   The new one was around $130.   It should last another 16 years.

I can afford to spend more, but I see no reason why I should.

Yes, St. Croix rods are that good.  I have no idea what the other high end rods are like.

The easiest way to double your money is to fold it in half and stick it back in your pocket.

A penny saved is a penny earned.


10/2/21 @ 2:33 AM

People talk about 40 dollar rods That was the about as expensive as farm and fleet had when I started fishing. Paid 35 dollars for a Fenwick had it for 30 years broke it this spring Like losing an old friend cost a lot more to replace. Bought another fenwick 79 dollars and a Kastking for 99 should be set for a while.

10/1/21 @ 10:21 PM
USER SINCE 7/30/10

I used to think the same, but I eventually bought some more expensive higher quality rods/reels, 100% notice the difference in performance.  Bottom line, why do you care what how much others spend? Take a broom stick, 4 eye screws, and some floss and make your own rod, I wouldn't give you a second look on the water. Why? Because I'm here to fish, you and your equipment aren't my concern. 

10/1/21 @ 6:14 PM
Wacky Rig
USER SINCE 3/11/17

I'm at a point in life where I can afford a better rod and reel.  Got more than I need but can't resist an annual upgrade of one at Cabela's Spring Fishing Classic.  But, I'm going for a St. Croix Premier at $150-$180 not the $400+ models.  Definitely feel the difference compared to the older rods I have.  The improved feel of the rod just adds to my enjoyment.

Reels are a different matter.  Very happy with the $59.99 Pflueger and Daiwa models.  Sure, I do an annual upgrade from an older Shimano too but can't see a reason to go >$100 on a reel.  My rod inventory outfits the entire family and two sons (maybe grandkids) can enjoy the nicer rods when I am gone.

10/1/21 @ 2:01 PM
USER SINCE 5/21/03

Yah, it'll "handle" a musky, but it won't work finesse musky baits the way the high end rods do.  Different rods for big rubber, glides and then bucktails/topwater.  Rod action make an absolute huge difference when working musky baits.

My sucker rods are catfish rods.  Awesome.  And fun.  Perfect application for them.

10/1/21 @ 12:54 PM

I'm perfectly fine with 40 dollar rods and about the same for the reel.  Several of my rod and reel combos were about 40 bucks.  I don't replace rods unless they break so most of my rods are 15 to 20 years old.  Many of them are ugly sticks and those rods are indestructible. And musky rods? Heck, I just use one of my catfish rods, lol! If it can handle a 30 pound cat it can handle most musky!

10/1/21 @ 9:42 AM
drummer boy
drummer boy
USER SINCE 3/14/08

JD I lost a 606 the same way,on the same river.But it was my dads was he pissed.Had to cut a lot of grass to pay for that.Now days I can afford good rods and reels so that's what I buy.

10/1/21 @ 9:22 AM

When younger I got dragged along to fish for carp with my friends. The Fox River has some big ones. Attention spans are different in young minds and the line would tighten up like a rubber band and rod and reel suddenly shoot off the bank into the river. Losing a Zebco 202 and glass Shakespeare was a really big deal. Fast forward to a windy and bumpy Lake Mich. , and a beautiful Loomis set up my friend had, on a more recent trip.... We get back to the dock and the rig was gone from the vertical rod rack. Fishing stuff sees what I call rough service at times and graphite makes a huge difference in the sensitivity department. The tip of my first St Croix broke off three times and served many years with the new tips I put on myself. The extra cost was worth it to me, but.... stuff happens so, buyer beware.

10/1/21 @ 5:59 AM
USER SINCE 4/17/07

All I use are berkley lightning rods now. They cost me about $30 at the local hardware store. I have 7 now of them between spinning and baitcasting. I used to use higher end Fenwick, St Croix and Abu Garcia rods. I had a sponsorship deal for a while where I got them half off. I have one st croix spinning rod left. It is nicer and more sensitive than my lightning rod, but not $100+ better. 

My old ultra light that my dad gave me 20 years ago still catches a lot of fish for me. The rod itself isn't that great, but lots of memories with that rod. 

For reels now I usually spend $30 - $100. Either a cheaper shimano or pflueger for spinning or lower end Lew's if its a baitcaster. 

10/1/21 @ 3:27 AM
Major Mark
Major Mark
USER SINCE 5/20/05

A couple inexpensive rods for friend's kids to use & my first store bought rod that I bought about 45yrs ago(an original Berkley Cherrywood that I retired for sentimental protection!), otherwise all high end rod/reel combos.  Mostly St Croix Legends or Extremes, a Loomis, couple Walleye Anglers.  Average cost of each combo is about $400.  Most spinning reels are Shimano Stradics or Symetres.  Baitcasts are Curados and Abu Revo STX's.  Total value of collection, about $7000 if I had to replace them all.  Used to make good coin before I retired...

9/30/21 @ 7:01 PM
USER SINCE 9/14/21

Agree with other commenters that a more expensive rod and reel is important for musky fishing. You dont want your drag on your reel to crap out on a big fish, and you want as much help as you can from your rod to cast giant lures. 

I can understand the serious panfish or walleye guys getting a super sensitive rod to detect light bites too. 

Some of my most memorable catches I've had came on a two-piece $40 rod and a cheap reel that I had for 10+ years. I brought it to Madison with me for college and would throw it in my backpack and fish from shore on Lake Mendota after class and in the summer. You don't always need to spend a ton of money to make great memories. 

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