TFO Pro III Fly Rod Review
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The TFO Pro II was one of our all-time best-selling TFO rod series, and we loved its versatility and wide range of models. The Pro II offered something for everyone and was designed by the legendary angler Lefty Krey to provide the best bang for your buck regarding value and performance. TFO has decided to replace the Pro II with, you guessed it, the Pro III. If you are in the market for a new 5wt, but funds are limited, you will want to read on to see if the rod lives up to TFO's reputation of providing great performing rods at an exceptional value.
Scientific Anglers Amplitude MPX Fly Line
Fit & Finish
Like most TFO rods, the Pro III feels solid, durable, and fully functional. Some standout features include the blue composite checkerboard insert on the reel seat, and the half-wells grip features pretty nice cork, considering the rod's price. The matte-black blank with blue wraps and white lettering brings out a distinct look and stands out amongst its similarly priced competitors. Don’t expect T&T quality on a TFO budget, but the Pro III is a good-looking rod that you’ll be stoked to fish.
The Pro III is a fast-action rod, and experienced anglers should have little issues casting it as far as needed for trout fishing. It definitely packs a harder punch than most rods in its class and is an improvement over the Pro II.
- 30-feet: At our closest distance, we struggled to feel the rod load, and subsequently, our accuracy suffered. This isn’t the rod to take to a spring creek or technical tailwater where accurate and delicate casts are key.
- 45-feet: Stepping back to a vital trout fishing distance, the Pro III's performance jumped substantially, but pin-point accuracy was slightly off. Still, for the general situations most anglers face on their average river, the rod more than suffices.
- 60-feet: At longer distances, the Pro III was enjoyable to cast, and accurate casts fell with surprising consistency. We cannot think of too many other rods in its bracket that have this amount of backbone.
Flex & Feel
The Pro III is undoubtedly a stiffer, faster-action rod. While its taper aided its performance at longer distances, it hindered its accuracy at shorter ranges. The rod may lack the subtle touch needed for technical fisheries, but the added backbone will help turn over a bulky indicator rig, smaller streamers, and the general patterns most trout anglers fish on their local trout streams.
If you are looking for a line pairing, look no further than Scientific Angler’s Amplitude MPX. The line’s shorter, heavier head helps load the rod at shorter distances, as well as helps deliver heavier flies.
While we were slightly disappointed with its performance at shorter distances, the Pro III proved to be a solid all-around performer. We expect versatility from our 5wts, and the Pro III is a do-everything rod that delivers on most fronts. While priced as a beginner rod, the Pro III performs like a rod more suitable for average and above anglers thanks to its fast action and narrower timing window. We highly recommend the Pro III to the intermediate fly fisher with a solid foundation built and is looking to take their casting to the next level.
- Solid Componentry and attractive looks
- Excellent performance at extended range
- TFO's industry-leading warranty
- Great value
- Lacks feel in close
- Challenging for beginner anglers
I still have a first generation TFO Professional series rod and it's in very good condition with exception to the cork on the handle. I purchased this rod at the International fly fishing show back in the 80's. At the time i paid about $200.00 for just the rod and sack; No Tube . I will end my comments by saying that TFO does a very good job overall in providing a quality product at an affordable and competitive price.