In my search to be as cheap a bastard as I possibly can, I’ve been intrigued by the Albright Fishing Company. They have a rod (the GP series) that they are selling for about $80. The one I have looking at is a split weight rod… 8/9, 4 piece. I have not been a fan of split weight rods, but, at $80… my interest has been piqued. It was for that reason that I asked my bro for that very rod for my birthday. I have been informed that it will be making it’s way to the Bonefish Fantasy Capital of the world, here in the Sierra Foothills.
There are other great cheap rod companies out there. Echo and TFO spring to mind. The both have very serviceable rods for under $200. The $200 threshold seems very reasonable, really and I’m sure that they compete well with the $500-$800 rods that sprinkle the pages of glossy ff magazines. Breaking the $100 barrier seems excessively cheap… but that’s the kind of guy I am.
I’ll be taking the Albright Rod with me, I hope, when I go to the Bahamas in the Spring (2010).
In the end, I think it is important to remember that what is or isn’t a bonefishing rod is largely up to you. An $80 rod will likely be slower than a $800 rod, the components will be lower quality, but remember that folks have caught bonefish on all manner of rods. With modern graphite rods, you know they’ll work to a point. If you are fishing in the Keys and are an excellent caster, you might get 20% more out of a really high end rod, I’d imagine. For the masses in most situations, I don’t think it matters.
I ended up buying two new TFO rods for my trip and bringing the Albright GP along. I only cast the GP a little bit, but one of those instances was casting a 1/0 popper with a wire leader and… the rod did very well… I was impressed.
I doubt I’ll own another $700 rod. Personally, I don’t see the value there and I hate being charged for the label… that’s my impression/belief and I’m sticking to it.