TFO Mangrove Coast Fly Rod Review
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When Temple Fork Outfitters announced the Mangrove Coast, it grabbed our attention immediately. The Mangrove Coast is legendary saltwater fly angler Flip Pallot's new signature model and the Walker's Cay Chronicles star designed the Mangrove Coast with the intermediate angler in mind. At $289.95, the rod certainly is affordable compared to high-end options out there, but how does it perform? With Flip's name behind the Mangrove Coast, we were curious to see if the rod had anything to offer the advanced saltwater fly angler. If you are interested in learning the results, you are going to want to read on.
Fit & Finish
A rod designed for saltwater fly fishing should have the components needed to stand up to the abuse salt can dish out. We are happy to report the Mangrove Coast passes this part of the test. The rod features a solid fighting butt connected to a black-anodized aluminum, double up-locking reel seat. Nothing fancy here, but good enough to keep the reel secured when fighting fish. The cork on the half-wells grip is hardly premium, but it suffices. We were impressed by the blank's royal blue colorway. Not only does it look pretty darn cool, but it feels appropriate on a saltwater-specific rod. We like that TFO opted to place alignment dots on the blank. Although the rod may lack the bells and whistles found on higher-end rods, we were impressed by the Mangrove Coast's looks and overall build quality.
With a swing weight of 84 gm^2, the Mangrove Coast is not the lightest 8wt on the market but hardly the worst offender.
The Mangrove Coast is not exactly a home run hitter, but that's ok. Not every saltwater fly rod needs to be a cannon. Most saltwater shots are under 60-feet, and asking a casual angler to punch a line past this distance is pretty unrealistic. With that said, the experienced angler should be able to push the Mangrove Coast reasonably far.
- 40-feet: Making short, quick, and accurate shots at close distances is critical for success in the world of saltwater fly fishing. We are happy to report the Mangrove Coast delivers on this front. Overall, the Mangrove Coast is one of the more accurate 'chip shot' rods out there.
- 60-feet: At 60 feet, the Mangrove Coast loses a little stream, but it is still a solid performer. Slow the timing of your cast down, and you should start to see positive results!
- 80-feet: The further we pushed the Mangrove Coast, the less accurate it became. The rod still performed well enough to get the fly reasonably close to the target. If you are after a pure distance sniper, there are better options out there.
Flex & Feel
The Mangrove Coast features a smooth, medium-fast action. This makes the rod more receptive to the caster’s feedback and offers great feel. Being able to feel the rod load is incredibly beneficial to the beginner-intermediate angler out there. The experienced angler will find the moderate action and slightly softer tip helpful, especially when dropping a fly delicately at shorter distances. The downside to the Mangrove Coast's softer flex is it struggles in windy conditions, throwing large flies and lifting sinking lines. As for line pairings, Scientific Anglers' Amplitude Bonefish or Rio's Technical Bonefish compliments the smooth action wonderfully.
There have not been many options for sub-300 dollar saltwater fly rods that are actually fun to fish until now. TFO is marketing the Mangrove Coast to the beginner-intermediate angler by giving the rod a moderate-fast action and making the price attractive. The Mangrove Coast certainly delivers on this front. However, the experienced angler looking for an affordable option or simply looking for a slightly softer rod will also enjoy the Mangrove Coast.
Watch Our Review
- Accurate at distances under 60-feet
- Intermediate friendly design
- Exceptional Value
- Loses steam at longer distances
- Wind and bulky flies are the Mangrove Coast’s kryptonite