Expert Review: Temple Fork Outfitters Pro 2 Fly RodPublished on 11/22/2022 · 5 min readThis review is my honest opinion of the rod which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.
All photos courtesy of Rylyn S.
About this Review: This review is my honest opinion of the rod which I purchased with my own money in May of 2021.
The Temple Fork Outfitter Pro II Fly Rod is an unembellished, back-to-the-basics fly rod that doesn’t look like a high-end rod but definitely performs like one. If looking for an affordable, all-around rod, this is it.
About this rod
- Model: 2021 Temple Fork Outfitters Pro II
- Rod Length: 9’
- Rod Weight: 5WT
- Rod Pieces: 4 Piece
- Rod Material: Graphite
- Preferred fishing style(s): Nymphing, Dry flies, and Streamers.
- Experience: 20+ years of fly fishing
- When I bought this: May 2021
- Reel Paired with Rod: Temple Fork Outfitter BVK SD II
- Line Paired Rod: Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Trout
- Days tested: 40+ days
- Waters I’ve used it on: Small Streams and Large Rivers
- Species targeted with rod: Trout and Smallmouth Bass
How it performs
What I was looking for
I was looking for an affordable rod that I could keep as a backup in my raft that could handle the elements and the wear and tear from float trips. I also use this rod along with others as a guide rod.
Why I chose this gear
I chose to go with this option simply because it is beginner-friendly for my clients. This is a rod that anyone can pick up and cast if paired with the right fly line. I also needed something that could take a beating on the river without the worry of having to replace it if broken since TFO also has a Lifetime No-Fault Warranty, which made my decision easy. When comparing this rod, I cast the Redington Path 590-4 and the Echo Lift 590-4. Out of the three, the Pro II outperformed as an all-around, multi-application rod, which is exactly what I was looking for.
What I love about it
- Quality: Overall, the build of this rod is excellent and super durable for the price. There isn’t anything fancy about this rod, but the workmanship is exactly what one would also see in higher-end rods.
- Versatility: This rod proves itself on the river. I can easily switch a client from a dry-dropper setup, indicator rig, dry flies, and even small to medium streamer all in one outing. This rod is built to be a work-horse and can be used for most situations.
- Grip: On the 590-4 (5WT 9’0”), it has a half-wells grip, which is perfect for what I need. If looking for the full-wells grip, or a fighting butt, the Pro II has that covered as well in other models.
- Ease of casting: Anyone can pick this rod up and cast, which is great for my fly fishing clients in my work as a guide. As one of TFO’s rod designers said, “Fly fishing is the easiest form of fishing to teach a child.” - Lefty Kreh. This is probably because Lefty only taught the future fly fishers with TFO Rods ;)
- Ideal casting distance: The ideal casting range is 30 - 60ft, although there are no problems with making an 80ft cast. After the 60ft mark, the rod loses power and it becomes less accurate.
- The delicacy of presentation: I wouldn’t say that this rod is multi for delicacy in the 5wt 9’, although there are other models in the lineup that would be. This rod is a multi-application rod built for various situations. It is a “do it all” kind of rod.
- Weight: The Pro II is a little on the heavier side compared to other rods in its class, but doesn’t have one feeling fatigued at the end of the day. I actually prefer a heavier rod for beginners as they can easily feel their backcast, making it easier to cast.
- Build: All TFO Fly rods are mass-manufactured in Korea. Just because it is made overseas does not mean it is lesser in quality and performance. Fly fishing legends like Flip Pallet, Lefty Kreh, and Blane Chocklett all put in their work and knowledge for designing these fly rods.
- Aesthetics: The rod has a super simple Matte Black with Black Thread Wraps design that isn’t really catchy to the eye. I will say, I really like the looks of the carbon fiber reel seat and insert. This isn’t the fly rod for someone who is looking for a flashy look.
- Warranty: Temple Fork Outfitters has one of the best warranties on the market with their Lifetime No-Fault warranty. If the rod breaks, I’d send TFO $35 and they would fix it and/or send replacement pieces for the rod.
Issues I’ve encountered
- Grip Durability: This is one of my only cons for the Pro II. The grip over time wears easily and actually splits in some places. This section can easily be replaced through TFO, but it would be nice if it held up a little better in the elements.
- No Rod Tube: This rod only comes with a rod sock and no rod tube. I do hear of a Pro III on the horizon though that does come with a rod sock and rod tube!
Favorite moment with this gear
My favorite moment with this rod is seeing someone make the connection with a fish of their lifetime or teaching someone to cast for the first time. This rod is the best all-around workhorse out there and I would put this rod up next to many other less affordable rods.
Value for the money vs. other options
This is by far the best fly rod for the price when compared to other brands in its price category due to its durability, lifetime warranty, and versatility.
The TFO Pro II fly rod is a great multi-application rod that can be used in a large range of situations due to its various range of available models. It excels in distance and accuracy all while being a great fit for any beginner or avid angler.