If you’re around any fly shop long enough, you get to know the local gear junkies – the guys who really know (or want to know) everything about the latest and greatest tackle. These are the guys who hid paychecks from their wives to pick up the Hardy Zenith last spring.
And when it comes to saltwater – bonefish, stripers, redfish and so on – you hear all about the Sage Xi3, and the Hardy Proaxis. It’s not often that you hear them talking about a rod that costs 1/3 of the other rods. So, what did we do? Try it for ourselves!
Here’s the outfit we were using:
This is definitely the weakest part of the rod. The green blank is charming enough, but the finish certainly doesn’t remind me of a Winston. It comes with a green carbon fiber reel seat and a full wells grip, with a fighting butt. The cork isn’t AAAA, but definitely nice enough (you almost never see bad cork these days). TFO’s tactical guides seem like a good match and are rock solid.
No rod tube…
The 9’ 8-weight BVK weighs 3.2 ounces – which makes it around half an ounce lighter than the Sage Xi3 and an ounce lighter than the G Loomis NRX. It also feels extremely light in hand – definitely a rod that you can cast all day.
I’m honestly able to cast this rod as far as any rod out there. Sure, there are cannons like the BII-MX that make it easier with lots of line out, but in general the BVK has plenty of muscle.
Need to hit a dinner plate? No problem with the TFO BVK. I was able to hit targets with nice tight loops even out to 100’!
Like all saltwater rods these days, it’s a fast rod. In the 8-weight spectrum, it’s probably right in the middle (The Winston B2-MX being about as fast as they get). Plainly put, it’s a pleasure to cast.
The tip is soft enough for short, delicate, casts to tailing bonefish, while the mid-section stiffens up to allow you to “put your shoulder” into longer casts. Finally, the butt section has enough muscle for a 30 lb. tarpon.
TFO has the best warranty in the business. It’s got an unconditional lifetime warranty and a mere $25 for any returns. Better yet, they turn them around lightning fast.
Price: $249.95 – cheap!
BVK. It stands for Bernard Victor Kreh. Most of us know him as “Lefty”. He’s finally built a rod that is worthy of his name. Plainly put, it’s a great saltwater rod at any price. It’s an UNBELIEVABLE rod for $250. I’d take this rod anywhere – bonefish in the Bahamas, Silvers in Alaska, or redfish in Louisiana. Who won’t like this rod? Maybe those with very slow or very fast casting strokes.
It balances well with lighter reels, but could easily take a Hatch or Tibor reel as well.