The only comment I will make is that some rods are made for casting, some for fishing. I prefer a softer rod aimed at fishing and getting the most out of fish in the size range we normally catch. I tend to follow European anglers in this respect, their rods are in a world of their own with a price to match.
My favourite rod by far is an Okuma and when purchased I extended the butt by a few centimeters, it is now fifteen foot long. Sad to say this is a model no longer available, I know because I have just tried to buy another one.
I have just purchased another rod but I will say nothing about it as I have not really had time to put it through a true test.
If you are serious about a tripod then look on Trademe, there are some great bargains to be found there. Just recently I saw the ideal tripod for the beach angler, it went for three dollars.
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