Rambling Review – TFO Finesse Series 7’9” 3 weight

Rambling Review – Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Kreh Finesse Series 7’9” 3 weight

Temple Fork Outfitters - Finesse Series 7'9" 3 weight

Why?

I first fell into fly fishing through a bubble and a fly, but shortly after, I inherited my grandfather’s old 5 weight Fenwick. After 6 months or so on Arizona’s small streams, I started looking for a small stream rod that would be up to the task of delicately presenting dry flies to hungry wild trout. With a tight budget, I read review after review looking for that perfect rod. After many suggestions, I realized that I needed to start actually picking up a different rods and trying them before buying. So, having said that, my recommendation before buying any rod is to go cast several in the same category and come to your own decision. I settled on the Temple Fork Outfitters Lefty Krehl Finesse Series 7’9” 3 weight. Here is why…

First impressions and notable features:

At 7’9” the rod is relatively short and therefore makes for a great small stream rod when overhead limbs are low and tight. It does break down into four pieces and is convenient when packing for an overnighter into the wilderness or planning on taking it on a flight back to New York.  The rod comes with a TFO sock but no tube. This unfortunately forces the buyer to purchase an additional piece of equipment.

Cosmetically, I feel that the rod has a nicer finish then some of the lower end TFO rods. Although this has nothing to its fishability, I like to think that someday I can pass it on to a son or someone else who would also get enjoyment out of it and to have an appealing finish on the rod makes it a nice heirloom or gift. Having fished with it for a year now, the cork is not of the highest quality which again does not matter too much to me, but if you are looking for a work of art, keep looking.

Probably the deciding factor for me as a small stream fisherman was the lifetime warranty that accompanied the rod. Knowing how clumsy I am and the nature of the small stream, it is inevitable that an accident will occur and a quality warranty leaves me one less thing to worry about. From everything I have heard, TFO is a great company to do business with and stands by that warranty 100%.

TFO Finesse

Field use:

The Temple Fork Outfitters Finesse rod is my go-to-rod and has brought countless fish to hand. I truly enjoy fishing my TFO and believe I made the best decision in my purchase. It has a nice slow action and makes presenting a dry fly a breeze. I generally fish with a 10 to 12 foot leader for those spooky wild trout and presentations with this rod are gorgeous and delicate. This rod handles a hopper dropper set up well, but weighted buggers or bulky indicators can become cumbersome and casting is not as fun although the job will get done.

The rod bends well to small stream fish and although I have landed several fish pushing 20 inches, I gave thanks to heaven when that fish finally entered the net. I have put this fly rod through the ringer and been pleased with the results. I would not hesitate to encourage a friend to cast this rod if they were looking for a small stream dream to cast.

Cork, Reel Seat, and Brookie...

Pros:

Slow action = delicate dry fly presentations

Short length for low overhead

Lightweight

Appealing finish and reel seat

Lifetime Warranty

Cons:

Not the greatest quality cork

Difficult to throw heavily weighted streamers

No rod tube with purchase

Prognosis – Quality rod at a fantastic price that will not let you down…

These feisty wild trout put a nice bend in the TFO 3 weight...

Disclaimer:

The reviews at Arizona Wanderings are my honest opinion. Arizona Wanderings is not sponsored by or associated with any of the stated companies and is accepting no compensation, monetary or otherwise, in exchange for this review.  My independent status may change in the future but, as of the date of publication, no relationship other than described above has been pursued or established.

16 Responses to “Rambling Review – TFO Finesse Series 7’9” 3 weight”

  1. Matt K @ GearGuide

    Great review. I’ve been considering purchasing this exact rod from TFO. I currently fish their 2-piece 3 weight and like it quite a bit. My review of that product is at GearGuide. I’ll have to seriously consider a little upgrade based on your review. Great photos too, btw.

    Reply
  2. azwanderings

    Thanks Matt. Glad this review was a help. I fished this rod hard for the past year and have been very pleased. I really like your site and look forward to checking out all those reviews. Looks like I have my work cut out for me. Thanks again.

    Ben

    Reply
  3. Brandon

    Great review and photos. I bought an Albright 7.5′ 3 weight this time last year, and like using that type of rod enough that I am looking to upgrade.

    Reply
  4. azwanderings

    That length and weight in Arizona is just dynamite for our trout waters. I don’t know how much you’re looking to spend but the TFO is a great buy. Good luck and let me know what you decide.

    Ben

    Reply
  5. Stephanie

    With our new stomping grounds, we need to add some new rods to our arsenal. Since I am back to school, Dustin’s pulling the financial weight so it is good to hear an affordable rod perform well. He just purchased a TFO last year after trying out a lot of rods. He was impressed with how it performed for the price tag. Based on your review it sounds like we need to check out the small sticks as well.

    -stephanie

    Reply
  6. azwanderings

    Hope the review helps. I have been real happy with the way the rod performs. Let me know how it works for you.

    Ben

    Reply
  7. The River Damsel

    Well, I needed a back up rod in my 5 wt and selected the TFO…had a pretty nice feel to it. Then one day, SNAP!! $25 and one week later, I had a new rod sent to me. Can’t complain about the unconditional warranty at all!

    Reply
  8. Brandon

    I’m going to buy the same rod. I was just wondering how you’ve liked the Okuma SLV reel. Also, what length leader do you use with that outfit when you’re fishing the small streams of AZ (Tonto Creek, Oak Creek, etc.)?

    Reply
  9. Brandon

    Nevermind, looks like you answered the leader question in the review! 😉 I’m still curious about the reel though. I think I might get it.

    Reply
  10. Brandon

    I was checking the review on the BBS II. Looks like the Okuma didn’t make it through the first season? I guess I found the answer to that question too! Looks I need to read more thoroughly before I ask, eh? 🙂 Thanks for the awesome blog, by the way!

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Brandon,

      Thanks for the kind words on the site. Glad you have found it informative. I am not crazy about the Okuma reel. To be honest, I fish hard and my gear does get beat up. I actually broke the Okuma reel during that first summer. (One of those things that happens while scrambling up a small stream.)

      I limped along with it for a little while and my wife bought me the BBS for Christmas last year. I really like the reel and it too has taken a beating as well. It is well made and performs flawlessly. You would be better served to spend the extra money on the BBS in my opinion.

      As I said in my review, I usually fish a 10-12 foot leader when the water is clear and the creek is open. On smaller tighter creeks or when the water is off color, I sometimes choose a shorter leader just to cut down on the tangles. If I am not picking up that many fish, I always change out for a longer leader and possibly smaller tippet. Just depends on the situation. Hope this helps. Sorry about being longwinded. Tight lines.

      Ben

      Reply
  11. Eric Thiessen

    Ben,
    Thank you for the review of this rod. I am seriously considering it in a 3 or 4 wt. Even though I am in a very different part of the country, the fishing style would likely be the same — mostly tighter creeks with a focus on presentation.
    You have very nice website, very well put together. Great photography integrated into the articles as well.
    Regards,
    Eric Thiessen

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Eric,

      You’re very welcome and thank you for your very kind words. I am glad that you found the review helpful. This is a very fun rod to tote around those smaller, tighter creeks and it sure does lay down a soft fly. Best of luck. I really like your site as well. I look forward to following it in the future. Tight lines.

      Ben

      Reply
  12. Tim Johnston

    Enjoyed your review. One thing I’d point out is the weight advantage the Orvis BBS reels possess, especially when using such a light rod.

    Another point concerning Orvis. Just picked up a Orvis mid arbor, BBS at a yard sale. Sent it to them for cleaning, as I wasn’t able to remove the spool.

    They sent me a new Access ( $ 175) reel, at no charge. I called, thinking there was a mistake, they said the reel wasn’t repairable and they wanted to make me happy.

    Now I’ve been a loyal Orvis guy way before this, but…

    Reply
    • azwanderings

      Tim,

      I couldn’t agree more. I really like the BBS for that reason. I’ve been really impressed with Orvis’s customer service lately. They treated me really well on a pair of waders that I have. Thanks for the comment.

      Ben

      Reply

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