After casting a few different rods, and reading a lot of reviews, I decided this rod was to be my 8-weight of choice. Why this one? Well, I'm not going to "put down" any other rods in particular, that's not really how I roll. But clearly the Mangrove didn't win on looks...no fancy carbon fiber reel seat...no space age grips (athough the contrasting rings at the top of the cork grip are handsome)...and in typical TFO fashion I didn't buy it for the rod tube, because TFO rods don't come with 'em...rather it all came down to feel.
See, making the transition from small stream rods to saltwater rods, I have to say I've absolutely HATED some of the broomstick stiff "fast" rods I've cast to date. No feel in those whatsoever...I like to know that 9 feet away, the thing is loading and I'm not just twirling around a pole like I'm in the color guard...
However the Mangrove's got just enough flex in the tip and you can feel it fling out 30'-40' of line without hesitation or difficulty. I bet the 6-weight is nice too. Heck, I suck at casting for distance (never really had to), but 60' + with a fair bit of accuracy wasn't even out of the question for the uncoordinated like myself...
I realize it's only gone through some lawn casting paces, but at this point, I honestly couldn't be happier. Sometimes things just feel right.
But I know the real test will only come once it's broken in on some fish.
See you on the water this weekend!
The TFO Mangrove Series Fly Rod covered in this product review was bought with my own stinkin' money from Feather-Craft for $249.95. I don't have any relationship with TFO at all, and based on my affinity for tenkara, I should actually have a negative bias toward them.
See, the only time I ever talked to anyone from TFO was a sales rep in their booth at the 2012 "Fly Fishing Show" in Jersey, right after Lefty Kreh called Tenkara a fad. I was just chilling out while Matt from Functioning Fishaholics was shopping for a new bass rod and was getting the rundown on a TFO Mini Mag (he ended up buying a Sage). Anyway, their booth was almost directly behind the Tenkara USA booth, and the rep was calling tenkara "fly fishing for pansies" or something along those lines...I guess not knowing his own company was going to stumble into selling their own rods just months later... Whatever...
Regardless, the point of all that blabbering is that this "First Impressions" review is fairly unbiased and I wasn't given free stuff to write nice things. Although I won't stop you from sending things. FTC disclaimer requirement satisfied.