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Toad in Nj

Custom vs. Top Shef Off the Rack?

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I'm sure this has been discussed before but since the search feature is down I figured I throw this out here.

I currently have 2 St.Croix's (Ben Doerr 8-6 2 piece and 8-3 Elite 1 piece)

Both are nice rods but I am looking for someting a little longer to match with the VS 150. I mainly fish the open beaches throwing Bombers, Megabaits, Pencils, etc.

 

How much of a difference in price and quality would a custom be compared to an off the rack rod, i.e. Loomis, Lami, St. Croix??

 

Thanks,

 

Todd

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Todd,

 

If you know off a top notch builder then you are comparing a Chevy with a Ferrari. Figure approximately twice the price of a production rod.

 

If you are looking at a Loomis or Lami for a VS150 figure $375-$425 for a good custom rod with quality components.

 

Remember, there are alot of rod wrappers out there. You want a good rod builder.

 

Al

 

[This message has been edited by Al Goldberg (edited 11-05-2001).]

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Thanks AL,

When I do spend the $ it will be with someone with a great reputation. YOU,lol

If I am going to spend $275 for the factory rod I will definitely spend the $400 for the custom. Just makes sense to me.

 

I will pick your brain more when I have the cash in hand to be able to narrow down the blank selection.

 

Thanks again

 

Todd

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OUCH!

 

Chevy versus Ferrari?

 

Van Staal VS 150 + Lami XS 101 MHS

 

What improvements would a custom builder make over that particular factory rod?

 

I just bought XS 101 MHC for an Accurate 870

 

Flounder

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Flounder,

 

To answer your question about the differences between custom versus production, here are some general observations:

 

- Production rods are typically a compromise in design. The higher the price of the rod the more design specific for an application.

 

- Because quantity of units sold is the name of the game for production rods there is a much lower level of quality in both the construction process as well as the components used.

 

That being said, then here are the key differences between production versus custom:

 

- The custom rod is designed to the specific application and to the fisherman.

 

- Choice of grip materials and proper length.

 

- Choice of quality components.

 

- Best choice of blank for the particular application.

 

- The blank will be properly spined.

 

- Better quality of construction and finishing.

 

These are just the design and construction differences. Then there are the cosmetic points of choice of thread colors and exotic wraps that also may be important to someone.

 

Let me put in another way, I build rods for professional pinhookers and a number of charter captains for their personal rods. The rods I build for them are purely functional with no fancy wraps. They realize the difference between custom versus production and will fish with nothing else.

 

 

 

 

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Dear Al,

 

Thank you for the explanation. I would have preferred less of a general answer, and more of one that specifically addressed XS 101 MS and XS 101 MHC which were, I believe, inspired by custom rodmakers like yourself.

 

My choice of XS 101 MHC was dictated by finances. I wanted to know just what I had sacrificed to save, what for me, would have been a considerable amount of money. I asked you in particular, because I can not think of anyone more qualified to give me the information I (still) lack.

 

Sorry I found out about the 'tog trip too late to participate. Maybe you can give me some pointers next year.

 

Flounder

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Flounder,

 

The two rods you talk about are 10 foot Lami surf blanks rated from 3-8 ounces. One is conventional and the other is spinning. Both are advertised in several tackle catalogs for $225.

 

My guess is that a custom rod built on the same blanks would run around $400 from a qualified rodbuilder. I would also state that if built correctly, the custom rod would outcast the production rod by a fair bit.

 

So what do you get for the additional money for the custom rod:

 

- Better performance since the rod is specifically fit to you and the reel you intend to use.

 

- Better quality guides, since the production rods use Fuji's least costly guides that will have a higher degree of failure.

 

- The custom rod will stand up better to the rigors of saltwater since the guides will be underwrapped, properly prepared for wrapping and given a better coat of finish.

 

This all comes down to better performance and durability on the beach. The last thing you want is tackle failure when you are into a good fish.

 

As dedicated fishermen we all need to make a decision on the amount we should spend on our equipment. You have invested in two high quality and expensive reels. It's your decision as to the rod they will go on.

 

Happy Holiday.

 

Al

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Thanks Al,

 

That answered all of my questions!

 

I did not know about the gradation in Fuji's guides.

 

I also did not consider the underwrapping,

preparation of guides, or finish.

 

I knew (obviously) about the lack of personalized fit.

 

Perhaps it's false economy on my part,

in 25 years the factory rod will be

essentially worthless, while an original

Al Goldberg creation will likely sell

for more money than it cost when it was new!

 

I'm not the fellow who bought the Van Staal

that was the query that started this string.

I only bought the casting rod ...

and plan to try the Accurate 870 on it.

I will be comparing that to Penn 155/200.

Over the years I have accumulated more

Penn reels than some tackle shops!

(But at fire-sale prices - garage sales etc.)

 

Perhaps a Spinning pole for the high surf

...someday, but not this year!

 

Thanks again,

 

Flounder

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Flounder,

 

That 870 is a great light tuna reel. I would not use it for the surf. There is no casting mechanism to control the spool speed and the ultrafine machining requires that the reel be kept printine. Sand and saltwater will play havoc with it.

 

Al

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Thanks Al,

 

The "casting mechanism that controls spool speed" is my thumb. But if the tolerances on the 870 proscribe surf duty, it becomes a boat reel. Harbor Blues, no doubt, as I have never been Tuna fishing.

 

I only have one reel with a mechanical device to regulate spool speed. THAT one permits me to cast with my thumb in the air, I only have to stop the spool on splashdown.

It's also my only levelwind, but it's too small/light for surfcasting (Abu 5000).

 

So what's old is new, and I guess I will go back to the Penn 155/200 types. Somehow, in 40+ years of fishing, I never bought a Squidder! The Penn 980 would be a beautiful match, but they were off the market almost as soon as they appeared.

 

Thanks for the heads up on sand and the Accurates! Congratulations on the tog outing as well! I'm curious how the little old lady did.

 

Flounder

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