Okay, so maybe I've gone a little overboard. Obsession is okay in small degrees, right?
So a little while back I jumped at an opportunity to buy an older ('97) Ultrafine 7'9" 2 weight. I fell in love. Then I found an older ('88) Superfine 7'6" 1 weight. It's perfect. Then I won an auction for a '00 Superfine 7'6" 3 weight. It's sweet and exactly what I was looking for in a 3 weight. This past week I was offered a 6'6" 2 weight Superfine for a good price and I sent the payment off yesterday.
I'm especially delighted to say that all these purchases were covered by prior sales of equipment so no new $$ was put into these purchases.
Up 'til recently I've always had this back of my mind thought that Orvis is waaay over the top and lousy quality for lots of money and have lost touch with their fly fishing roots. I've since repented of that way of thinking and have become very impressed with their way of business and customer service. With the reports of others' experience with getting custom builds in 2 weeks and getting repairs back in a reasonable amount of time and general communication from them when I've had techno-weenie questions about their older rods. I've learned that they have certainly NOT sacrificed their fly fishing quality for expanding all their other 'lifestyle' lines. I find that very respectable.
These older Superfines really click with how I like to fish. They certainly aren't for everyone. But when my friend and main 'fishing buddy' (as my daughter calls him) Will - who accused me of 'going Orvis' - cast my 2 weight Ultrafine he said he would never make fun of me ever again (on this issue). He had the same prejudices as me pre-enlightenment and has now changed his tune as well.
I have no idea where my preferences will lie in the future but for now I like where I am - besides, it's only a recreation and meant to be fun and restful.
This got me to thinking more about how snooty all of us fly fishers can be when proclaiming what we like and don't like when it comes to equipment on down to the fish we pursue. I've often said (somewhat pridefully) that I'm a 'warmwater only' fly fisher but will occasionally fish for coldwater species if I have to. Well, I've been humbled by learning that fishing for coldwater species is just as fun and challenging as warmwater. They are each very different and present different challenges and enjoyment.