For years I have fished with low-end rods and reels, in part due to finances and also because I have kids. Occasionally I’d find something on sale that was a little better so I’d grab it.
One time I got lucky and found a bunch of Falcon rods mismarked so I snatched some up. Only one survived due to a mishap where one of the kids slammed the tailgate of my truck closed and broke 3 of the rod tips off. (YES, Falcon has a great warranty, but I will never exercise a warranty due to negligence)
After that, I only bought cheap stuff and managed to do OK with them. As the years progressed and the kids grew up and started their own lives, we began to do incremental upgrades on gear. Fast forward to 2020 and we had a lot of time on our hands due to COVID.
Through research and watching videos, we were introduced to Japanese made fishing tackle. It definitely piqued our interest and we decided the time was right to treat ourselves to some better rods and reels.
Do we “NEED” Japanese made fishing tackle? Absolutely not. It was purely a “WANT.”
Like most things, there are levels or tiers, and we didn’t aim straight for the top of the line stuff. We were conservative about it and started at the upper-end of the bottom tier. What an eye opener! Even a $125.00 JDM rod was light years ahead of anything we had fished with previously.
We eyeballed the next tier up and made two rod purchases. They were even better! Higher quality, better components, and sensitivity was amazing. However, that’s where we stopped. We just couldn’t justify the high-end tackle. I’m sure the top tier was a lot better on all accounts, but it was out of our budget.
I have friends who have zero qualms about buying a $900 fly rod. I can’t do it! $400? Maybe. I don’t fly fish enough to justify the expenditure. (And I’m a guy that can rationalize A LOT of things) At least with expensive fly rods you are able to pick one up and see if it suits you…not so with gear from Japan.
I’m not a gambler and can honestly say that I’ve never been in a casino. But I was gambling big time on buying tackle from Japan. There are a lot of reviews on JDM Ultralight rods but we were after Light and Medium Light rods and noticed the void in reviews. Fortunately it paid off and we got lucky and have been very pleased with our purchases.
And now I can honestly say that a $700 outfit fishes much better than a $350 outfit. So yes, perhaps I am a bit of a “nutter” for spending that amount, but it ticks ALL of the boxes.
You won’t see me “swanning” around the stream showing off because it’s not my style. But you will see me working this setup hard to wring every penny out of it in an effort to “rationalize” the expense! I’m only 50 once! cough…cough