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After having plenty of good custom rods built and buying enough off-the-rack rods to fill the all the joist hooks on my basement ceiling, I fail to see the big advantage to using a Loomis rod or blank in a salt water application. Their saltwater series of blanks are either all basic standard modulus graphite or composite glass/graphite, no different than most other manufacturers, just more money.

In a fresh-water application there are more pronounced differences, with some of the ultra-high modulus proprietary graphites Loomis uses having an apparent advantage and a significant following, based on what I read on the FW Bass fishing boards. But even there, there are plenty of really quality competitive blanks being built these days. So "GLX" is Loomis' top of the line $300 blank. St. Croix has an "SC-V" that they use in their "Expert" line that is every bit as light, sensitive and FRAGILE. And less money.

Throw in the fact that Loomis wants $50 to replace a broken rod and frankly I fail to see any advantage to using their product at the excessive prices they charge. For what you pay up front, they already got paid for the replacement, IMO. They make quite a big deal about the replacement for $50. At what they charge it ought to be free. I know from personal experience that St. Croix does the right thing and for me they replaced a rod that was clearly not broken due to any possible fault of theirs, unless they manufacture Chevy Van Doors too. Of all of them, I'd go with the St. Croix first, then something in a Seeker or Calstar. If you want something more, look for a custom weapon built on a Cape Fear blank. I have two and they are absolutely awesome. Best I know of.

rgds, Leprechaun
 

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Captneil - you are right, this is a sensitive subject, and I like to maintain something of a personal relationship with my custom builder(s).

If a custom rod lets go, for whatever reaseon I think that some agreement should be reached with the builder regarding compensation for his time. Most if not all the guys I've dealt with are small one-man operations and to expect him to eat the time and materials requires to wrap a fresh blank after a disaster and subsequent blank replacement would not seem fair to me. I think this is just one of the expenses that has to be anticipated and should be added into the entire decision process regarding the purchase of a custom rod. I understand that the going rate for guide wrapping is something in the neighborhood of 8 to 10 dollars a guide. So 7 guides plus a butt wrap would probably work out to around $100 worth of the builder's time/labor. I really don't see this as a major issue, maybe because my most used custom rods are all in the $300-$500 range and since I value each of them WAY more than that $100, its not really something I dwell on. Since I actually like my builders and enjoy their company and valuable guidence, its a small price to pay, when you factor in the thousands that have to be laid out each season in boat expenses, repairs, gas, bait and the such.

Nobody likes to pay twice for the same rod, but if its a choice between having my rods or not, I choose to pay.

Having said that, I also should disclose that I've never had a custom rod break so maybe I'm not really all that enlightened? ;)

rgds, Leprechaun
 

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Captneil - You probabably will not remember, but we have met already. It was at the Lindenhurst Flea Market and you courteously spent about 20 minutes of your time with me and my buddy explaining and demonstrating the advantage of the spiral wrap over a convention guide placement. Very convincing. But not for me. ;)

We also spoke about IBM and I told you about my solicitation of them up in Fishkill for Microscope sales.

Green cap with the pewter blackfish stuck on it.

You spoke of the differences between the various Calstars and you showed me a little number you made up on the GX7 blank. Very nice.

Anyway, we also spoke about your building something for me and you indicated that I should drop by your shop to check out some blanks, after calling to set an appointment. It'll happen yet.

rgds, Leprechaun
 
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