TFO BVK     9’ 5-weight         $259.95

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

George's Notes:

If you have been reading our 8-weight Shootouts, you know how well the BVK has performed, mainly because it is a powerful rod with a nice action.  It is heavy but you won’t mind that as much in an 8-weight.  But the BVK 5-weight is not nearly as good.    I liked the medium fast action but the extremely heavy swing weight killed the performance for me.  This is much more like a 6-weight rod than a 5-weight!  

With a swing weight of 11.2 oz., this was by far the heaviest in our Shootout by a wide margin.  If you take a look at our deflection chart you’ll see how stiff the BVK is compared to the other rods.  You can definitely up line this rod one size and get it to perform better, especially at short to mid distance.  At 70 feet, and a lot of line in the air, it felt OK with the WF-5-F, and the scores were a lot better. 

Lefty Kreh helped design these rods.  This rod has a very dark green blank with lighter but still dark green wraps.  The grip is a half wells, western style with a nice swell in the middle and feels comfortable. The quality of the cork is pretty good too.  The reel seat is a gray anodized, double uplocking skeleton seat with a green graphite insert that complements the blank.  One gripe I have is that the rings are small in width and hard to grip to tighten down the band to secure your reel.  

Another minor gripe that I’ve voiced in the past is the lack of a hard case.  If you want one, TFO has them but it will cost you another $30.  At least you do have the option of getting their larger triangular travel case that holds up to five 4-pc. Rods.  I love these and they are only $49.95.     


The perfect line: S.A. Amplitude MPX in WF-6-F.

Performance at 25 feet:  17.1 points out of 20.

Not totally horrible, but the worst score in our Shootout at 25 feet.  The heavy swing weight didn’t allow for any feel whatsoever and it was tough to get much accuracy.     

Performance at 45 feet:  18.2 points out of 20

Much better with more line in the air.  Now I got pretty good accuracy but I could still feel that heavy swing weight. With a WF-6-F the score would be 9 or better.  

Performance at 70 feet: 9.2 points out of 10

At long range I got some pretty good performance. It loads well and tracked nicely with good tight loops.  Better than all the mid-priced rods at this distance and nearly as good as the Sage X.



Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK 

James' Notes:

Normally this is the part where we tell you that every Shootout has a loser, and you’re looking at it. But in this case we actually like (and recommend) the BVK as a guide rod for nymph fishing out of a drift boat. 

Sure, it’s heavy, and yes it’s stiff, but the BVK has a ton of power which is great for setting the hook, casting into the wind, turning over a large indicator with two heavy nymphs, and throwing streamers.  

If you are planning on fishing small dries and spring creeks, then avoid this rod like the plague.  But if you like to nymph for large trout in big rivers I’d say go for it.  Ditto if you like fishing streamers or need a rod that will handle a lot of wind.

Temple Fork Outfitters has one of the least expensive warranty fees, ($35) as well as one of the fastest turn-around times, (usually back to you in a week).  The fact that you can break your rod and have it back in a week or so at a very low repair fee is priceless.

The other thing that really impresses me about the BVK is how well it will throw long.  If your fishing requires longer casts from 50-100 feet (maybe you love high mountain lakes and the fish cruise by the a ledge that is 60 plus feet away from the shore) then the BVK is a great weapon.  Sure, if you can afford a Hardy Wraith or T&T Avantt, definitely go that route. But if you have a strict budget, and need a rod with a ton of power, give the BVK a look.


Performance at 25 feet: 16.4 points out of 20

The BVK felt much heavier than all other rods, and it is really stiff.  This made it nearly impossible to be accurate and still have any kind of delicate delivery.  If you were casting a hopper or chubby, where a little splash might look good, you’re set.  But if you want a nice rod for fishing small dries, this isn’t it.

Performance at 45 feet:  18.2 points out of 20

Tons of power, but I can feel all that weight in my hand.  Most rods were more accurate and had a lot more feel. Guides love it for nymphing the Yellowstone River, since you are doing less casting and more mending, and the BVK has plenty of power to set the hook.

Performance at 70 feet:  9.8 points out of 10

A solid comeback in the bottom of the ninth!  The BVK has a ton of power at long range, and really launches.  When casting 70 and beyond the BVK’s heavier swing weight didn’t really bother me, although you might want to bring along some Advil for the end of the day!  Truly awesome power and great accuracy. I would have given the BVK a perfect score but the Orvis Helios 2 Covert, Thomas & Thomas Avantt, and Hardy Wraith were better as well as a lot lighter.



 Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

 Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Logan's Notes:

The BVK dropped several spots for me this year based on the change of our point scale, (since we now score 70 feet 10 points instead of 20).  This is a very stiff, heavy rod, and as such not good at short distances. It is far better however, at longer distances, for fishing heavier nymph rigs, and fishing streamers.  The BVK was best for me at 70 feet because of its fast action and stiffness.  If you want a powerful 5-weight that won’t break the bank, the TFO is a good rod to consider.


Logan’s Casting Notes:

Performance at 25 feet:  15.5 out of 20

The BVK’s stiffness does not lend itself to closer distances.  It’s almost impossible to make delicate presentations, and I had very little feel.   To get any accuracy at 25 feet you have to force it, and then you sacrifice all of your presentation. 

Performance at 45 feet:  17.5 out of 20

Increasing the distance really helped the BVK’s performance.  Now I was able to load the rod much more easily, and found a better balance of accuracy and presentation.

Performance at 70 feet:  8 out of 10

This is where the BVK was getting it done.  Its faster action and stiffness really helped its performance at longer distances.  



Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK

Temple Fork Outfitters BVK 

JG's Notes:

The BVK is a great rod in its higher weight designations.  I particularly like the 7 and 8wts and think they are great performers, especially considering their price.   The 5-weight, however, misses the mark that the others hit very well.


25 Feet – 15 points out of 20
At 25 feet the BVK felt like a broomstick.  It was heavy and very stiff.  Accuracy was way down and delicacy was out the window.


45 Feet – 16.5 points out of 20
The BVK casts better at 45 feet but is still clunky and there wasn’t much feel or sensation of control from the rod.


70 Feet - 17.1 points out of 20 
I thought the BVK was better at long distance but I had to dock points because of the weight and lack of feel.  It had enough power to reach 70 feet but accuracy was poor.