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CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Robert Flowers (---.res6.spectrum.com)
Date: July 07, 2021 12:39AM

Herb, tis is a question that I'm not sure you can answer. Both CTS, and Epic are rod companies with stellar reputations. Any idea why I never see them in shootouts where they might be tested against a scottk Sage, Orvis, etc/ I would like to hear some comparison's bt people who test, and report such things. I love my CTS 3 weight, but have really never fished it against any other three weight. Any ideas where I might find such comparisons online?

Tight Lies and frisky fish


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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: chris c nash (70.40.86.---)
Date: July 07, 2021 05:17AM

Even though I don't fly fish I love reading those comparison shootout's myself. Most of those comparisons don't include the CTS models which is indeed a bummer . The most popular seems to be held by "Yellowstone Angler" and I believe one of the guys names is George . If I remember correctly I believe George is the one who left a comment on the CTS official website commenting about the Affinity X under the reviews for that model .

You can find lots of comments about CTS flyrods on many different fly rod specific sites all over the web and I have yet to find any negative comments about them , lots of love for their fiberglass 'Quartz' creations as well .

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: July 07, 2021 07:59AM

It may be that fishing rods are essentially parity products: the differences between them defy measurement. That would explain the lack of available hard data comparing different brands/models of rods: no mentions of hoop strength, resonance, tracking, recovery speed - factual physical information. Marketers of parity products are obliged to reset to emotional appeals featuring words like "smooth" and "powerful" and "soulful". Even words like "accurate" and "long" mean nothing without hard data. There is no substitute for test casting a rod before purchase.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2021 08:00AM by Phil Ewanicki.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Herb Ladenheim (---)
Date: July 07, 2021 09:47AM

I actually contacted George at Yellowstone during the #8 Shootout 5-6 years ago (I think).
He explained to me that he could not feature a rod unless it was available, already built, for purchase at a retail store.

I did, however, send him my personal Affinity-X and Affinity-MX #8.

His comments were that they were excellent rods - BUT were a little underpowered for his liking.
If anyone has casted the Affinity-X #8 - you know that it is not underpowered in the least.

The winner that year was the GLoomis NRX #8. I never casted a #8 - but I did cast a friends #10. It was a dead club.

This is, after all, a business. And Yellowstone, like all retail stores, are in business to sell equipment.
I think the CTS product can stand with the best of them.

At 83 years old - I don't have to market the CTS product to survive - I just have so much fun when someone casts his/her rod they built on a CTS blank.

just recently I gave a rod to a new friend in RI where I am chasing Stripers. The rod was the product of one of my design experiments that just didn't quite meet my expectations.

The comment that came back to me form my friend in a text:
"Holy S..t!!!!!
Nice work my friend.
3 false casts n I almost put all the line and a 10' t-5 out!!!

"Slides thru the guides like a dream.
Thank you again!!!

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/07/2021 10:05AM by Herb Ladenheim.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Phil Erickson (---.dsl.pltn13.sbcglobal.net)
Date: July 07, 2021 10:29AM

All the "shoot-outs" I am aware of compare production rods, not custom. Custom rods would likely have too many variables to compare.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Lance Schreckenbach (---.hfc.comcastbusiness.net)
Date: July 07, 2021 11:24AM

Maybe we could do a custom rod shoot-out with all the different blanks available! Just need a sponsor, sounds like good PR for a Components Vendor.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: John DeMartini (---)
Date: July 07, 2021 12:19PM


I had a similar experience I built a spinning rod and it did not meet my expectations, I gave it to a friend and the report I got back several weeks later was that it is the one of the best rods he has handled.

"casts like a dream and handles like a fine tuned instrument"

This supports my position that it is the end user who decides the worth of a rod.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Tom Kirkman (Moderator)
Date: July 07, 2021 01:13PM

Typically, whichever rod is the most powerful will win these type "shootouts." Submit a 9-weight as a 6-weight and you'll garner the distance award.


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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: July 08, 2021 09:25AM

Is there any downside to advertising a 3 weight rod capable of casting a 300 grain line 90 feet? Do you doubt such an ad would increase the sales of such a rod? No worries about false advertising. There are plenty of guys around who could cast a 300 grain line 90 feet with a two-foot long dowel rod.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Michael Danek (---.alma.mi.frontiernet.net)
Date: July 08, 2021 06:51PM

That's because the two-foot loing dowel rod stores energy, then releases it, thus pushing the line out to 90 feet. Sorry, couldn't resist.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: david taylor (---)
Date: July 08, 2021 11:55PM

The Yellowstone Angler shootouts make fun reading. They do collect and present some objective data. But ultimately they are subjective reviews. They do try and put control measures in their reviews, such as all the rods are tested with the same line. Regardless of rods, I am not a big fan of lines like MPX with more aggressive tapers, so I take the reviews with a grain of salt. It seems George and staff seem to prefer more powerful modern rods but with a tip that is a bit softer. We all have our preferences. Good reading and a quality effort by YA, but I would not take it to the bank. Car reviews and shootouts in the car rags are fun to read, as well, as are those in the golf club mags. But I would not buy a car or clubs without a test drive. Unless one builds a rod from an OEM blank, you are taking a bit of a leap of faith in buying any blank (or finished rod) without testing one. But in regard to blanks, that's OK for me.

I would love to see some group tests or reviews of some of the more popular blanks we rodmakers choose to wrap up , including OEM blanks, and see what people think of the comparisons.

I have seen a few U.S. Epic on-line reviews: [gearjunkie.com] [www.flyfishsd.com]

I have not seen anything formal for CTS, but I have seen enough postings on forums to know it is a damn good blank/rod. I'd be willing to throw some money into a pot to help purchase a number of 5 or 6 wt rod blanks, have someone on the forum wrap them up, and then have a single event for them to be tested. Since only a few people could make such an event, it would be fun to have the review rods mailed around the country to folks who wanted to test drive them.

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Re: CTS rod shootout
Posted by: Phil Ewanicki (---)
Date: July 09, 2021 10:30AM

david: Agree with your assessment: Yellowstone angler is fun and does provide some information. Still, different strokes for different folks. Most golfers are savvy enough to seek clubs suited to their physical and technical abilities. Golf club makers, marketers, and users accept differences between golfers and attempt to make, market, and buy clubs that best serve the individual user and his/her swing. Manufacturers, marketers, and advertisers of fish poles - especially fly rods - pretty much ignore the difference in abilities between casters in the their marketing - and presumably in their products?

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