On our last fishing trip my wife Lori a few weeks ago just before breaking her arm broke a fly rod while we were fishing.
It was one of our customer rods that I keep in my Suburban. Although we have expensive Sage, Winston and Orvis rods, we often take our customers’ cheap rods when we go fishing. They are readily available, usually already rigged, and fish well. I actually can’t tell the difference between the way the client’s rods and our personal rods throw.
Our customer rods are the Temple Fork Outfitter (TFO) professional series rods. New, they cost $ 129. Mine are about 15 years old. These are the rods that I lend to customers who do not or have not brought their own rods.
We also use them regularly on Dry Run Creek. Because of this, they suffer a lot of abuse. They are really beaten up. Their best feature is that they have a lifetime warranty.
When I got home I remembered I had another client rod that was broken. It was time to send them back to TFO for repair. I gathered the stems and put them in the box they came in (I had kept the box in the garage for this purpose). I have attached my address and a check for $ 80. It’s $ 40 for each rod. I sent the box to TFO.
Two weeks later, I received a box of TFO. There were two new fly rods. I can only assume that the folks at TFO were so impressed that I had used the rods so much or they felt sorry for me, because the rods I sent for repair looked so damaged.
I used the rods the following week. My clients were so impressed with the way the rods were throwing and fishing that they decided to buy the same rods for themselves.
At the same time as I sent the TFO rods for repair, I returned an Orvis rod. It was an expensive rod ($ 800) that I use for fishing streamers. Orvis comes with a 25 year warranty. I had to get a return authorization from Orvis. I have enclosed the broken rod, my address, and a check for $ 60. I posted everything the same day as the TFO rods. I haven’t received the rod yet.
While the best idea is not to break a rod, the reality of the situation is rods are broken in doors, ceiling fans, fighting huge fish and a thousand other places. Most rod manufacturers offer some sort of guarantee. TFO has one of the best. It’s quick, inexpensive, and easy to do. The idea of receiving new rods was a definite plus. The Orvis warranty is limited, costs more, and takes longer.
I’ve been a fan of TFO for a long time, and that only makes it stronger.