It seems the most folks look toward 8 weights when going after bones. Sage seems to be the rod folks talk about most often. The Z-Axis looks great… and costs $690 or so. If you are on the water every day, or if you have the scratch, it might make good sense. I think there is a threshold of fishing days/year where it makes sense. For me… for 95% of folks going after bonefish, I’m guessing we aren’t there, although “there” sounds like a lovely place where my wife would never be able to find a job that would pay enough to support my lavish and bonefish-centric lifestyle. So… since I don’t live “there,” how about some rods that will ease the pressure on your wallet while still allowing you to put the right amount of pressure on the fish.
Echo Rods… these rods are pretty durable and just might come with a tiny bit of the Rajeff fishing mojo. I got to talk to Tim Rajeff at a fishing show and got to play with one of these rods. Medium-Fast action and a great price. This is probably the best rod under $200.
TFO really started the low-price party a few years back. I own two of these rods and a third TFO. I’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of these rods. I’d call them on the fast end of Med-Fast. I can tell you that their repair service is quick… broken my 4 wt. lots of times.
This is a split weight rod… 8/9 is the one that just was dropped off at the house. While the price tag really can’t be beat, the delivery guy did run over some of my daughter’s sidewalk chalk, so I’ll say this cost a total of $84. This is not the world’s best, best piece of hardware… but it will do the job. It’s on the slower end of Med-Fast, but if you haul, you can get the fly there. Remember, guys used to do this with Bamboo and Fiberglass… this rod is certainly better than those options and it is the rod I’m going to take with me to the Bahamas when (oh God, please let it be) I go in Spring 2010.