Cast Before Purchase, Or Shake and Buy?

That’s my good friend and editor of Fly Fishing in Salt Waters John Frazier test casting a Rise rod with … Continued

That’s my good friend and editor of Fly Fishing in Salt Waters John Frazier test casting a Rise rod with guide Amanda Switzer at the Somerset Fly Fishing Show last weekend. The line to get a turn on the casting pool was rather long, which I found encouraging. And watching the show-goers send casts to Hula Hoops floating down range got me thinking about the way anglers purchase rods.

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No one will argue that the best thing you can do before buying a rod, be it a fly rod or conventional stick, is cast it. I mean you probably plan on having it a long time, so you would think really feeling what it can do and how it fits your hand on the cast would be a no-brainer. But I am just as guilty of the in-store grip, wiggle, shake, flex, and walk to the register.

I strive not to do this with fly rods, and have no qualms about asking a shop owner to walk out back for a test. To be honest, I hate casting at expos like Somerset, because then you have an audience and heaven forbid you snag the line in the rafters. With conventional gear, a good shop should be fine with you at least flipping a jig down the aisle, but I once asked to short-cast in the archery range of a certain sporting goods chain and was met with odd stares and mumbles.

How often do you actually test a rod before dropping the coin? Is the wiggle and shake enough?