Being a student on a budget i am somewhat "limited" when buying gear- especially rods,reels, and line.In January i planned to start my winter steelhead season but i didn't have a rod, and i had 80 bucks to work with.I was very doubtful i would find a rod that works even halfway decent for that price.Reluctantly i picked up the 9 ft 8 wt 4 pc cabelas three forks rod,with a prestige plus reel and a prestige plus floating line. The setup was on sale, and i figured "this sucks but it's what i have to work with" not being able to rely on the usual echo or redington which i am accustomed to fishing had me down a bit.The reel, to me was the best part of the setup at first sight.
The rod actually looked halfway decent aesthetically, but the real test was a trip to the north oregon coast for some wild steelhead.Big heavy water absorbent nymphs ,giant thingamambobbers, and fast water nymphing. Very challenging technical fishing and can really ask a lot from both rod and angler. Overall i was very impressed with the rod, it was a little on the stiff side, but it was actually a good thing for the application, allowing for long hauls with heavy flies. It loaded well on roll casts and double halls far better than expected, though not "up to par" with similar rods by both echo and redington, it preforms well for the price.The reel is the high point of the setup being very well put together, durable, smooth, and okay looking as well. THe first trip with the setup i ended up hooking a strong wild fish, that unfortunately came off.
The line was not up to par at all, and was the most dissatisfying part of the outfit. It commonly sunk mid drift even in soft water, and caught dirt and grim quicker than most fly lines ive used, which is common of scientific anglers fly lines in my experience (cabela's line are made by scientific anglers) i would have to say, it impressed me for sure, but i would consider it a good backup setup or beginners setup at best. If you have the money get a better setup, go for it. if not, this setup will save you until you can get one.I feel the smaller sizes of this outfit preform better for their respective purposes, like the 4 and 5wt models, which in my opinion would be great back up rods, or a second to bring with rigged up with a different fly. In general they are a good value, but not too good to pass up.