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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:28 pm • # 1 
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The market trend shows that a factory built rod will bring more money than a custom built rod on the same blank with a few exceptions. WHY??? I was among those who would pay more for a factory rod before I started building myself. I have since learned the error of my ways. For me, a custom build from a quality builder where I can pick and choose the exact components and wrap color that I want would seem to be worth more than an off the rack rod where they are all the same. Is it the "instant gratification" syndrome or the lifetime warranty (which in most cases doesn't transfer to the next owner) or is it just plain old laziness on the part of the buyer? Opinions??


Doug


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 2:45 pm • # 2 
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Warranty-p-


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:54 pm • # 3 
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I say warranty as well, or the fact that many folks are not aware that there are many custom builders out there. I for one will never buy a factory rod again, as you all know I build my own.

J.


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 4:55 pm • # 4 
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Factory rods have their ups and downs. You will have a rod like the guy across the stream!


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 5:27 pm • # 5 
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I don't know how other companies do it, but Sage has the same warranty on their blanks as their factory rods. I broke an SP a few years ago that I had built and all I had to do was send in the broken section of the rod and they replaced it with the matching piece of the blank, and sent both back so I could re-use the guides. Their blanks are marked with a 'B' after the model number so they know if it was originally sold as a blank or a finished rod.


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sat Dec 20, 2008 8:06 pm • # 6 
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I'll never buy a factory built rod again.


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 5:38 am • # 7 
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The trend seems to be the same with used rods where warranty isn't an issue.


Doug


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 6:58 am • # 8 
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I would agree with the idea of used rods too- especially older vintage models.


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 6:57 am • # 9 
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Ideally a custom rod should stand head and shoulders above a factory rod. However, there are so many hobbyists out there that most "custom" plastic rods will be Wally World quality. Different rules for bamboo with the incredible amounts of handwork involved. I never fish factory rods of any sort. Don


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:00 am • # 10 
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Don, I see what you are saying. That really makes sense to me as a budding hobbyist ;)


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:39 am • # 11 
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Zenkoanhead wrote:
Ideally a custom rod should stand head and shoulders above a factory rod. However, there are so many hobbyists out there that most "custom" plastic rods will be Wally World quality. Different rules for bamboo with the incredible amounts of handwork involved. I never fish factory rods of any sort. Don
Wow....as a "hobbyist" I find it hard to swallow that sentiment. I think that it's dangerous to use broad categories and stereotypes that lump folks with widely varying degrees of ability and skill in similiar groups.

As far as my home builds being "head and shoulders above a factory rod" I guess that's a matter of opinion. I do know that my wraps aren't perfect, but better than I've seen on many factory rods. I also know that it's impossible to buy a factory built copy of my only build to date (Lamiglass 7'6 4wt)....and impossible to buy the rod that I'm ordering parts for as we speak (Dan Craft 6'10 1wt). So we'll never know if my "hobbyist" builds are better than the factory equivilant, since there are no equals.

David


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:54 am • # 12 
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David. Remember that factory rods are all made by factory workers. There are no fully automated machines to wrap guides to blank, apply epoxy, etc. Therefore the individual worker after a couple of weeks on the job is guaranteed to have far more experience building rods than the average hobbyist, at least as to his or her particular task on the assembly line. Our big advantage is an abundance of time and the ability to select components. So you can in fact make some pretty broad, but accurate, generalizations. That is not to say that the beginner's rods are not fishable, but this is not a function of tightly burnished wraps or the perfect epoxy coatings. There is a saying in the bamboo world that you haven't really arrived until you have completed a 100 rods. I think at the low to moderate range it is darn hard to build a rod at less cost than a factory model, but ours is a labor of love. Don


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:06 am • # 13 
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Zenkoanhead wrote:
David. ............. So you can in fact make some pretty broad, but accurate, generalizations. That is not to say that the beginner's rods are not fishable, but this is not a function of tightly burnished wraps or the perfect epoxy coatings. There is a saying in the bamboo world that you haven't really arrived until you have completed a 100 rods. I think at the low to moderate range it is darn hard to build a rod at less cost than a factory model, but ours is a labor of love. Don

I agree with one point.....it's hard to build a rod less than the factory model......but then why would you? I certainly am NOT out to copy a rod available from a factory.

.............And that's really the reason I build rods - to fish with something that isn't commercially avalable.

On the other points....I think that's the beauty of forums like this - the ability to express opinions whether they be agreed upon or not. I guess we'll just agree to disagree!

David


Last edited by armyflyfisher on Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:25 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:01 pm • # 14 
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David. I don't know that we are actually disagreeing on this one. I tie and fish my own flies because I made them, not because they are as nicely tied as store bought. It took me a long time to reach a level of expertise where my basic flyrod would favorably compare to a factory model, however. But like you say, that is not the point. In fact, I do not fish custom bamboo rods that are much nicer than I can finish simply because it is not mine! Don


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 3:11 pm • # 15 
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I have 4 factory rods, 1 rod that Jim Little (who recently started posting here) built up, and 5 or 6 rods I put together myself. I have no qualms at all about buying or fishing a factory rod, and the main reason I've built as many as I have is cost savings. I really like turning grips and reel seat inserts, but I'm not crazy about wrapping guides, so if I can buy one anywhere close to the price I can build it, then I'll buy it.

BTW, 2 of my 4 factory rods are as nice or nicer than the ones I build--the other 2 are budget rods, but still put together nicely.

My 0 wt rod from Jim Little is nicer than the ones I build. You can tell he's wrapped a *lot* of rods.

Jerry


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 Post subject: Factory or Custom?
PostPosted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 8:27 pm • # 16 
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Don,
Bud showed me that cane you built up for him.That is indeed fine work in my eyes.
Les


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