Temple Fork Rods
by Bill Leuchten
There is a glut of low-cost introductory soft action rods on the market. They are forgiving and easy to cast but lack in power and have some other performance issues. I've also tried some stiff fast action rods that were under $200 and performed like a broom handle, unable to load at short distances and very unforgiving. One thing I have gleaned from casting a lot of rods at all different price points is that it seems to be difficult to manufacture a truly decent fast action rod at an economical price.
I've recently tried the new Temple Fork Outfitters rod line, which is endorsed by Lefty Kreh, and was very impressed. Their $200 TiCr series is a fast action rod that will throw fly line like the best of them and yet has a supple tip for loading the rod at short distances. The rod taper really loads the rod in a smooth and consistent way so it is forgiving if you start your forward cast too early or late. (Some rods try to get their power too quickly down the taper of the rod resulting in unforgiving stiffness.)
They also offer the Professional series model. It's a medium-fast rod in the $140 range that is also a pleasure to cast. It will be very hard to match its performance vs. price. These come in 2pc., 4pc., and even 6pc.! They even offer a 2 wt., which is very unusual in this price range.
So what are the drawbacks? And while we're at it, why would
you consider spending $600 on another rod if the performance can be had
for much less? Weight is a consideration. The new more high-end graphite
composites are noticeably strong and light and the aesthetics and attention
to detail are excellent. The TFO rod is a little on the heavy side, which
affects the feel of the rod. The finish on it is also not of the high
caliber you would see on a higher end rod. But if you can put these issues
aside the TFO line should be something you might consider. Many people
take an economical route to round out their rod arsenal, and this line
is perfect for that. Feel free to come into the shop and cast a couple