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Rod Review

The Search For One... Temple Fork Outfitters Enters the Bass Market


Date: 9/1/10
Tackle type: Rod
Manufacturer: Temple Fork Outfitters
Reviewer: Cal

Total Score: 7.17 - GOOD

The consumer market for rods is all abuzz again in 2010 with the reappearance of long time rod designing and building legend, Gary Loomis. Early experiences here at TackleTour fishing prototype Kistler Custom Rod builds on top of North Fork Composite blanks pretty much confirm that Gary Loomis is back to form with his new company and their rod blank products.


Introducing Temple Fork Outfitter's SWC 664-1


Even more curious though, is a company leveraging Loomis’s expertise in blank design, but taking those specifications and manufacturing complete rods overseas for sale here in the States. Yes, Temple Fork Outfitters out of Texas, makes no secret about the fact Gary Loomis helped with the rod specifications of their new, complete, Gary Loomis Signature series bass rods. Here now is our first look at these affordable bass rods from Temple Fork Outfitters.


Temple Fork Outfitters SWC 664-1 Specifications

Length 6'6"
Line Wt. 6 - 12lb
Lure Wt. 1/4 - 3/4oz
Pieces 1
Guides 9 + Tip (SS Frames/SiC Inserts, brand unknown)
Power Rating Medium
Taper Fast
Rod Weight 4.7oz
Manufacturing Country Korea
MSRP $99


Impressions: The first thing that struck us with our review specimen, the SWC 664-1 was the use of color at the exposed blank portion of the rod’s split rear grip. Not that the color was unattractive but the fact it seemed totally arbitrary. Not until we visited the manufacturer’s website did we realize that the color at the split rear grip is representative of the rod’s specified power.

The SWC 664-1 features a spit rear grip design...

Temple Fork Outfitters makes use of six different colors to indicate what power each stick is. The color our sample came with (a sort of olive green/yellow) is demonstrative of a four power or “medium” in Temple Fork Outfitter’s vernacular.

... with a color coded rear helping to denote the power of the rod at quick glance.

The rod itself, as one might expect for a $99 rod is unimpressive. The split rear grip motif is finally, and all at once, getting really old and tired looking or perhaps it is just this implementation. Temple Fork Outfitters does nothing really special to dress it up. Further, while the rod’s guides are specified with an SiC insert, there’s no mention of the manufacturer for the guides although the frames do look very similar to the Kigan product we’ve seen on Dobyns Rods. The reel seat features a non-exposed blank thru design and the rod does have a small foregrip. Granted, it’s tough to make a good impression on me when I’m back in enthusiast mode .


Detailing on this rod is as we would expect from anything in this price point - rather simple


Lab Tests: All that aside, off to the lab we went with the SWC 664-1 to see how it deflects in comparison to our 2010 baseline rod, the MBR783C GLX2000. Interesting thing here is while the baseline rod is essentially a “3” power in the G.Loomis line and classified as a “medium-heavy”, the Temple Fork Outfitters rod, specified by Gary Loomis is a “4” power rod and classified as a “medium”. End result? They both have almost the same deflection curve on our RoD WRACK demonstrating that even blanks designed by the same person can end up having different words and nomenclatures to describe their “power”. Is it any wonder consumers get confused when trying rods from one manufacturer to the next?


Fig 1: This chart illustrates the deflection characteristics of our SWC 664-1 as compared to that of our 2010 TSFO baseline rod, an MBR783C GLX2000. Note that while the SWC 664-1 is spec'd out as a "medium" powered rod, it really behaves similarly to the GLX2000 which is a prototypical "medium heavy" rod.


RoD WRACK statistics aside, we see that the SWC 664-1 compares favorably to the GLX2000 in weight but that its balancing point and also its balancing torque numbers are higher than the rod that retailed for over six hundred percent more when it was first available ten years ago. Probably a good compromise if you think about it


Lab Results for Temple Fork Outfitters SWC 664-1

Avg RoD (2-32 oz)
Measured Weight (oz)
Balance Point (inches)
Balancing Torque (ftlbs)
Temple Fork SWC 664-1
MBR783C GLX2000

Field Tests: Out on the water we took with the SWC 664-1 and up to Clear Lake, California where we traveled to see what this stick had to offer in the field. I paired it up with a Shimano Aldebaran spooled with 55lb Daiwa Samurai braid tipped with a 14lb Seaguar Tatsu fluorocarbon leader.

The SWC 664-1 comes spec'd with guides featuring SiC inserts! ...

Casting: For starters, I tied on a Sebile Magic Swimmer Soft Pro with two of the bait’s supplied tungsten weights on the hook (total lure weight 22 grams or roughly 0.77 oz ) and had at it. The SWC 664-1 handles this bait extremely well almost to the point you’d think it was designed for it!

... all this in a rod that retails for only $99.

Granted the SWC 664-1 is not the most crisp or precise rod I’ve fished, but given its price point, this lack of refinement is understandable. With that in mind, this stick handles baits throughout its rated range quite well loading predictably on both the cast and the pitch. Thanks to its overall length of only six feet, six inches, this stick handles easily in any manner of delivery be that overhead cast, a pitch, roll cast, and even low trajectory casts along the surface of the water like skipping.

Unfortunately, the rod's reel seat looks and feels very substandard.

Next Section: Sensitivity, Power and Ratings









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