TFO Impact Rod Review

Guest Blogger: Paul Beel, FrankenFly

I recently had a chance to get my hands on the new Impact fly rod from Temple Fork Outfitters. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. From what I read, part of this rod’s origin consisted of test rods being sent out to many casting and fishing experts, like Bob Clouser, Lefty Kreh, Flip Pallot, and Larry Dahlberg, to give you some examples. TFO then made adjustments to the rods according to the feedback they received. Granted, a fly rod is a personal preference and even the experts have their own preferences. However, it seems they were after something really special with this fly rod. So I was definitely excited to try one.

When I first took the butt section out of the sleeve, I noticed how light the rod felt, even if I was only holding one section. Then what attracted my attention was the modern looking reel seat and the emerald highlights around the thread wraps near the guides. It’s a very nice looking rod. NOTE: With a little research I noticed the larger sized rods have the modern looking reel seats and the smaller sized rods have rosewood inserts.

So I went out to test cast this new rod using a 250 grain sinking line with a single hook streamer tied on the end. Now, with the full rod in my hand, I could more closely feel how light weight this rod is. It felt great in my hand. With that first casting stroke, it felt effortless to cast. Having just fished with my 6wt Clouser rod, the softness of the Impact showed instantly. Of course, the Clouser is a stiff action rod after all.

I then tied on an articulated streamer with lead dumbbell eyes to see how it would throw something with some more weight. I have to say, more than any rod I’ve casted, even with the flexibility of the Impact, it had enough power to shoot the streamer extremely well. Usually when a rod has that kind of flexibility, I have to use the sling shot and flick of the wrist technique to wing the streamer out there. I didn’t have to do that with the Impact.

I spoke to Captain Austin Auducci and asked him to give me his opinion of the TFO Impact. Austin is the owner and head guide of Grab Your Fly Charters located in the Chicago area.

“I’ve used it as a streamer rod and also to throw top water flies like the BoogleBug. It performs well at both applications. It has the power to throw streamers and it provides a more delicate presentation when throwing top water flies. I do not hesitate to give them to my clients to use.”

What I plan to do in the future is grab a smaller weight Impact for a dedicated dry fly rod. I believe the Impact would make a terrific trout rod. Actually, Austin mentioned the same thing to me.

I’m starting to get the feeling the Impact would be good at many applications. I even read a post from a saltwater fisher stating how much he uses Impacts for salt.

The price point is a little higher than the other TFO rods, but not by much. One of the most attractive features that I love about TFO rods in general is that you get a quality rod at a good price. Even at this price, the Impact is still a bargain in my book.

I was completely happy using my Clouser and my BVK. To be honest, I wasn’t looking for another rod. But after casting the Impact, I plan to use this rod much more. I think it has the ability to become my go-to rod.

6 thoughts on “TFO Impact Rod Review

  1. Bruce Bordelon

    I notice that you have a small butt on the rod and there is no description of the rod ERN nor length; so I assume perhaps an 8 wt. with the 350 line.

    then scroll down to the final pic and see that it is a 4-piece, 9′-0″ 7 wt.

    I have a couple of questions.
    Is the pic of the rod discussed?
    Just an experiment with the heavy line on the 7 wt.?
    Were you casting flys typical of 7-9 wt rods, or were you testing with flys that you typically use with your 6 wt Clouser, which might require heavier flies due to your description?

    The rod is beautiful and hope you report on your lighter application.

    Thank you,
    Bruce

    Reply
    1. Paul Beel

      Bruce, I was testing some streamers that I would normally throw to bass using a 7wt. rod or the Clouser. I think the rod handled the single hook streamers much better than the articulated streamer. It is a softer rod and while it can throw larger streamers, it isn’t as nice as when it throws something a bit smaller.

      I hope that helps.

      -Paul

      Reply
  2. Mike Cline

    I have never fished the TFO rods, but understand their price/quality ratio is pretty good. It would have been interesting to try the 7wgt with both a 200 grain and 250 grain line to feel the difference. The 200 grain line should have resulted in a “Faster” feel and is the typical 7wgt line. The heavier flies might actually have performed better with the lighter line. However, good review. Always good to hear about different rod performance.

    Reply
    1. Paul Beel

      Thanks Mike. Yes, there is definitely a lot more to test, that is for sure and I completely agree with what you are saying.
      I think it is a well made rod and could be used for several applications.
      You should give a TFO rod a try some time, I really like them.

      Reply

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