While I've been fishing for decades and have progressed from bamboo to glass and now to graphite the main thing I notice is the increase in stiffness (modulus) that allow me to put more power into a cast.
Being a cheapskate and minimalist my graphite rods are the lower cost varieties. I have never used a "premium brand name" rod. Regardless, I frequently read comments in the forums that you haven't really lived until you buy one of these so-called "good" rods. Can someone explain to me what benefit I would get from a $400 rod versus the $100-$150 brands (Cabela's, Scientific Anglers, Pfleuger) thatI have?
The same sort of question also applies to reels. To me they merely store line. I can't recall any situation where I ever had to play a fish "on-the-reel". So what's with the emphasis on drag systems?
Maybe I just don't fish where the big fish live. Thanks for enlightening me.