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Rod Review: Cabela's LSi/WLx Combo (Summer Edition)

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February 16, 2011

Rod Review: Cabela's LSi/WLx Combo (Summer Edition)

By Kirk Deeter

Cabela's is launching an impressive new collection of fly rods and reels in 2011. The Honest Angler's Joe Cermele and I decided to test a couple of these combos in completely different scenarios, literally at different ends of the earth. For my part, I tested a LSi 8-1/2-foot 4-weight rod with a WLx reel (combo price $350) in a variety of midsummer conditions in Patagonia, Argentina. (Joe fished his in the slushy, cold Northeast... I think I got the better end of the deal). Neither of us have reported to the other what we will say in our reviews. So here's my report:

I thought the rod was rock star. For the price, ($200 for the rod alone), I thought it was an exceptional all-around performer. It's a nicely balanced rod, with an action I'd describe as "crisp," without sacrificing feeling. How does that translate to casting? Foremost, I thought it was very delicate with dry flies, and it loaded nicely at ranges as little as 15 feet. But it also had some spine, and when challenged to toss big hoppers into a wind at, say, 50-60 feet, I was able to do so. I thought the roll cast action was better than average. What impressed me most was the "steering." It's a very true rod, meaning, when your mechanics are right, and you're looking through your casting thumbnail, you find yourself thinking about aiming your casts less, and instead "willing" your shots into the strike zone. I don't like rods that make you think a lot.

I had no problems with the reel, and found the drag to be smooth when hooked up to big trout (24-inches plus). I'd describe the reel as a solid option, but to be honest, I think reel value is best gauged over time.

Both rod and reel were smartly styled. I thought the rod components (reel seat, guides, etc.) were attractive and functional. I also closely inspected the work on the wraps, the cork grip, and all around, I'll say I have yet to see a better value at $200 or less.

My opinions were backed by guide Javier Herrera (pictured above, casting on a clear creek near Alumine, Argentina). Click here to see if Cermele felt the same about the 7-weight combo he tested between bouts of warming his hands and shaking icicles off his hood.

Comments (11)

Top Rated
All Comments
from mountaindew732 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Would you recommend this rod to a beginner who does not want to have to upgrade his/her equipment for a long time?

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Yes I would. I would describe this as a rod that is forgiving to the beginner, but hard to ever outgrow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If you ever need another person to test those rods out, you need look no further. :)

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from themadflyfisher wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Nice.. I'll definitely have to check this one out !
I love it when I get to read reviews on stuff I can actually afford !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i was thinking a 5 or 6 wt for my fishing. i think i'll build one before i invest in anothr one, but i like to hear about the new stuff coming out. seems like last year there wasn't much new on the market.

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from buckhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Not in the market for a new rod but for the price they would make good gifts.

Curious, what line did you use?

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from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I used the WF4F "Prestige Premier"line that comes in the combo package

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from fflutterffly wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

It's about time the prices of good quality rod/reel combo's were priced for anyone who wanted to enter the sport as well as folks who just hate spending all their money on rigs, leaving less for a trip. I'm curious, is this rod made by Sage and the same as the Vantage series?

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from troutmad wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Mountaindew732,
Cabela's name brand equipment is usually top quality, and hard to best. Even though they out-source most of their products, they usually find the best rod companies (i.e. Loomis or TFO…I don’t know for sure), that will mass produce a bunch of rods for a low price. Sometimes the hardware, like reel seats and guides, are not the top of the line, and the finishing is not as fancy, but the blanks are high quality. Cabela's sometimes will have their own people design the specs for their line.
Buying a good fly rod for less that $200.00...You can't go wrong. Also, you should consider buying one of their combo outfits. If you add up the price of a rod, reel, line, and backing separately, you will be stunned at the savings. I would suggest getting either a 5 or 6 weight, 9 foot rod, for all around fishing. Yoou can have fun catching most fresh water fish (i.e. panfish, trout, and bass)
Their WLx fly reels look great. Large arbor reels are really nice to fish with. They pick up line faster, and help maintain the "line memory" (the line isn't wrapped as tight as a conventional reel).
Cabela's has a great reputation and their customer service is excellent. There name brand products are hard to beat. I would not be surprised if they had something like a life-time warrantee, too!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman29 wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Definitely sounds like a quality piece of equipment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman29 wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Definitely sounds like a quality piece of equipment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from troutmad wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Mountaindew732,
Cabela's name brand equipment is usually top quality, and hard to best. Even though they out-source most of their products, they usually find the best rod companies (i.e. Loomis or TFO…I don’t know for sure), that will mass produce a bunch of rods for a low price. Sometimes the hardware, like reel seats and guides, are not the top of the line, and the finishing is not as fancy, but the blanks are high quality. Cabela's sometimes will have their own people design the specs for their line.
Buying a good fly rod for less that $200.00...You can't go wrong. Also, you should consider buying one of their combo outfits. If you add up the price of a rod, reel, line, and backing separately, you will be stunned at the savings. I would suggest getting either a 5 or 6 weight, 9 foot rod, for all around fishing. Yoou can have fun catching most fresh water fish (i.e. panfish, trout, and bass)
Their WLx fly reels look great. Large arbor reels are really nice to fish with. They pick up line faster, and help maintain the "line memory" (the line isn't wrapped as tight as a conventional reel).
Cabela's has a great reputation and their customer service is excellent. There name brand products are hard to beat. I would not be surprised if they had something like a life-time warrantee, too!

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Yes I would. I would describe this as a rod that is forgiving to the beginner, but hard to ever outgrow.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from mountaindew732 wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Would you recommend this rod to a beginner who does not want to have to upgrade his/her equipment for a long time?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Evan V wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

If you ever need another person to test those rods out, you need look no further. :)

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from themadflyfisher wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Nice.. I'll definitely have to check this one out !
I love it when I get to read reviews on stuff I can actually afford !

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

i was thinking a 5 or 6 wt for my fishing. i think i'll build one before i invest in anothr one, but i like to hear about the new stuff coming out. seems like last year there wasn't much new on the market.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

Not in the market for a new rod but for the price they would make good gifts.

Curious, what line did you use?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

I used the WF4F "Prestige Premier"line that comes in the combo package

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 3 years 8 weeks ago

It's about time the prices of good quality rod/reel combo's were priced for anyone who wanted to enter the sport as well as folks who just hate spending all their money on rigs, leaving less for a trip. I'm curious, is this rod made by Sage and the same as the Vantage series?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman29 wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Definitely sounds like a quality piece of equipment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from outdoorsman29 wrote 3 years 7 weeks ago

Definitely sounds like a quality piece of equipment.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment