Part 5: Testing the rod. Temple Fork Outfitters Titanium Chromium (TiCr) TFO 07 90 4 T 9’0’’ 7wt 4pc - a High Performance Rod For The Coast At A Reasonable Price
Today I remembered the story how I – better said how it was finally decided to build this rod. First there was just the idea that it would be nice to have a rod, which could close the gap between my Sage RPLXI #7 and RPLXI #9. Up to that point it was just an idea spooking around in the back of my mind.
Then we planned to spend our annual vacation in Florida. Over there I utilised this family vacation to pass by a rod building supply shop where I sometimes order through the internet. With no intentions of course! Until my wife said “If you need something just buy it – we will not come back to this place too soon”. She was sooo right, and so I started my shopping tour in Florida...
Three months passed until I finished the rod and it needed a couple of more weeks to test cast the rod the first time under real conditions, “waders on” in the sea. I was really curious to see how the rod would work and if it would be able to keep pace with my expectations for a coastal rod.
In short: it did!
Let’s get down to the basic facts of this rod. The TFO 07 90 4 T is a 9 foot 4 piece rod with a matte black coated blank, the male joints are coated gloss grey. I equipped my blank with three stripping guides and with so called stand out single foot snake guides and a ceramic tip top – contrary to the factory built version, which comes with two stripping guides followed by snake guides and a wire loop tip top.
All this was done with the intention to enhance the distance casting capabilities of this rod. The handle area I kept similar to the factory rod. Full Wells handle, anodised aluminium reel seat and fighting butt.
I would describe the TiCr clearly as a fast rod with quick recovery behaviour. The rod loads with ease and can deliver the line with a high speed, which helps a lot under windy conditions. The rod works mainly up to the middle of the rod, the butt section has a lot of power and enough backbone to fight even real big fish. It will also be able to lift any stubborn Cod to the surface as you can find them here in the Baltic Sea. Not to give a wrong impression: this rod is not one of these insensitive, broom sticks without any feeling and accuracy, which will kill you after just one or two hours of fishing.
Together with my fishing buddy Frank, I tested the rod with three different lines to evaluate the distance casting capabilities. We used a Guidline Pounch, a Loop Distance and a Loop Opti Stillwater, all these lines are classified as WF 7 F from the manufacturer.
The rod worked well with the Pounch and the Opti Stillwater. With the Opti Stillwater the shootability was a little better than with the Pounch due to the more shooting head like characteristics of that line we assume. The Loop Distance was not much fun to cast on this particular rod. Maybe we are already too spoiled with more modern and aggressive, special tapered lines like the other two.
|Lines used for the test casting|
|Guideline "Pounch"||WF 7 F||10,15 m||15,4g||Old, not modified taper|
|Loop "Opti Stillwater"||WF 7 F||10,60 m||15,5g|
|Loop "Distance"||WF 7 F||12,65 m||16,1g|
|Note: According to AFTMA standards a 7 weight line for a one hand rod should have a weight on the first 9,14m between 11,47g and 12,51g.|
One very important point for everybody who is interested in this rod is that all lines used in the test are clearly 8 weight lines according to their head weight. This made us consider this 7 weight rod as an 8 weight “in real life”.
Temple Fork Outfitters offer you a so called no-fault warranty for the first owner of the rod. For a 25 US$ shipping and handling fee they will replace the broken or damaged part. This offer is valid for the ready made rod as well as for the blank. You can find more details on the TFO homepage.
To boil it down to the essence, this is a very good rod for streamer fishing on bigger distances - also under windy conditions. The rod is the right choice for people with a preference for a fast casting stroke. On top of this the rod as well as the blank are a good bang for the buck if we consider the price of 105,- US$ for the blank or 210,- US$ for the factory made rod.