This review of the TFO Impact is the first in what will be a series of semi-weekly gear reviews. The target audience for most of these posts will be the anglers that are just getting into fly fishing or are at least fly curious. Although tailored for the beginner, there is a place for more experienced anglers, fly fishing outfitters, and outdoor equipment companies to post gear reviews as well (see the left side of the screen on desktop or the bottom on mobile) – we invite any and all to do so. Here it goes…
The Temple Fork Outfitters “Impact” Series Fly Rods: In my early years of fly fishing, I poured ridiculous sums of money into gear – especially rods and reels. That was a mistake – I had a bad habit of purchasing items of perceived high quality in the hopes that they would make me a better angler. What I learned over time is that price isn’t always an adequate measurement of quality. I also learned that the definition of “quality” is almost purely in the eye of the beholder. My definition of the word combines craftsmanship, functionality/performance, and price combined with the responsiveness of the supply chain and the character of the company producing the item. The TFO Impact receives the highest grade on all counts.
Over the years, I have casted rods from all the big rod companies. I wouldn’t say I am the best caster out there but I can get the fly where it needs to go and I’ve never casted a production rod that didn’t enable me to do just that. Sure – glass and bamboo rods are better suited than their graphite counterparts for feeling every headshake a fish makes in a fight or for making delicate presentations (flip the script when you start talking about fishing the flats or bombing lots of line and huge flies for musky) BUT in the end, it still comes down to preference. I considered all this when purchasing the rods for our guide service and quickly found that TFO had the best line-up (remember the definition of quality) for our clients. So, I made my initial purchase of rods going up from 4WT – 12WT (and 450 grain ESOX). Regrettably, the Impact series debuted AFTER I made my initial purchase.
I had the pleasure of casting the Impact Series rods (6WT and 8WT specifically) for the first time at the Virginia Fly Fishing and Wine Festival back in April. After making my rounds from booth to booth, casting everything I could get my hands on, I can say with confidence that it is the best tool for the job in my neck of the woods and beyond for carp, bass, steelhead, and more (I’ll save a review of the TFO Esox for a later date – that’s our go to for muskies). Although I have more than enough rods to run the business (and then some), within a week of the festival I purchased a 6WT and an 8WT – I just had to have them in my quiver. Visit the TFO site for more details – they can tell it better than me (http://www.tforods.com/fly-fishing/rods/impact-series.html)