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Temple Fork Outfitters Fly Rods Review – Is TFO Any Good?

Temple Fork Outfitters is the go-to brand for affordably priced fly rods. They pack lots of performance for a very reasonable price. This makes them very accessible for beginners just getting into the sport.

As far as affordable fly rods go, I think TFO is the #1 choice. However, there are some downsides to these rods. Although they are good for beginners, they don’t fish as well as a Sage, Orvis or a Scott fly rod.

This article will cover the pros and cons of Temple Fork Outfitters fly rods. Hopefully it will guide your decision if you’re in the market for a fly rod. I know that getting your first fly rod can be confusing, as there are so many options out there. However, I would strongly recommend Temple Fork Outfitters if you’re just starting out.

Pro: TFO Offers Competitive Pricing

TFO offers very competitive pricing compared to other brands. Ranging from $100-$400, these rods are accessible for lots of beginner anglers.

It can be daunting when selecting your first fly rod outfit. Rods, reels, and lines can add up pretty fast. This can deter newer anglers from getting into the sport. With TFO’s competitive pricing, new anglers can get an outfit for relatively cheap. They even have pre-made outfits such as the NXT, which starts at $240. All you have to do is tie on a fly, and you’re fishing!

TFO also offers affordable reels. Their NXT reels are a great starter reel, which go for about $120.

Pro: TFO Has An Amazing Warranty

Higher end rod companies tend to have longer wait times for rod repair. You have to send the entire rod back, and they will build you a new rod section. They are often backed up, and your rod may sit in their warehouse for awhile.

TFO has extra sections pre-made. When you break your rod, simply go on their website and select the section which broke. You’ll pay for the rod section and they will ship it out. This is a very streamlined process, and it has made TFO the leader in fly rod warranty.

This is also nice because you don’t have to ship your rod back to them. Just order a section, and you’ll be fishing again within a week.

Pro: TFO Is Great For Beginners

Beginners often won’t know the difference between a cheaper rod and a premium rod. For this reason, beginners are often satisfied with a TFO, and it will provide them with years of use. If they do get really into fly fishing, they can always upgrade to a nicer rod later on.

Fly shops also love this, because they can sell beginners on a TFO. It is a much smaller investment than a premium rod, but the customer will still be happy. Many fly shops have started carrying TFO to appeal to newer fly anglers.

Pro: Great For Guides

Fly fishing guides love TFO for several reasons. First of all, they are affordable and they can take a beating. When clients fish TFO, guides aren’t too worried about the rods getting damaged. If clients do break a section, guides can just order a new one.

Second, TFO rods cast quite well, while remaining at a lower price point. Clients can have success with these rods, and guides don’t have to lend over their $1000 rods for a day of fishing. This way, guides can keep their favorite rods safe at home while their clients fish TFO.

Con: Made Overseas

Affordability is a great plus, but it comes with a cost. Temple Fork Outfitters rods are made in Korea to keep costs down. They do have a wonderful factory and treat their employees well, but the rods aren’t USA made quality. They use lower end graphite and components, which keeps their costs low.

With this being said, the rods are still quality and their factory is very professional. They just aren’t up to the standards of Sage, Orvis or Scott.

Con: Less Performance Than Premium Rods

TFO fly rods simply don’t cast as well as nicer fly rods. They are more sluggish, and not as responsive. For anglers looking for maximum casting performance, TFO is not the best choice. They aren’t as accurate, and simply don’t fish as well.

However, their nicer rods like the Legacy or Axiom cast very well. These are on par with premium rods, and they only cost a fraction of a nicer rod. The LK Legacy comes in at $300, and the Axiom 2x comes in at $400. If you decide to jump up into these price points, you will get much better casting performance. Most guides I know opt for the LK Legacy for their clients. It casts like a premium rod, but it’s only $300.

Conclusion

Overall, TFO is the #1 budget fly rod brand. They aren’t too cheap, and they aren’t too expensive. However, they make awesome rods that fish very well. For frugal anglers, beginners and guides – it is really hard to beat Temple Fork Outfitters.

I have found that their best rods are the Legacy and the Axiom. The Pro II and Pro III series simply doesn’t cast that great, I find them to be sluggish. The Signature II also doesn’t fish that well in my opinion. Opting for the Legacy or Axiom 2x will offer a more satisfying fishing experience. The graphite is much better, and the components are high quality. These rods cross the line between low end and higher end.