#16  TFO Impact          9 foot #8             $349.95

TFO Impact

buy now TFO Impact

In every Shootout, there is going to be one rod that is dead last and you are looking at it.  TFO has given us some great rods like the BVK but they have also given us some below average rods.  After reading all the prose in Flip Pallot’s blog, and the TFO website a about this wonderful new rod, we were excited to see it.  Here’s what the TFO website says:  “Impact rods are designed to exceed every angler’s expectations with a level of excellence that will set new industry standards.”  Well ladies and gentlemen, this is a good example why we started doing these Shootouts – to cut through all this kind of BS from the manufacturers and give you our honest opinion and evaluation of these products.  Here is a rod that is slow in action, heavy in swing weight, and performs badly at all distances.  


This rod is smaller in diameter than all the other rods we tested.  Maybe this is one reason it was so gutless.  It is finished in matte black, with black wraps and emerald trim.  The 8-weight comes with a smoke gray aluminum, double lock uplock seat with a short extension butt.  The full wells handle is what they call “reduced profile burl cork” but I call it weird.  They are using two SiC stripping guides followed up with hard chrome snake guides.  And as far as we can tell, like the other TFO rods, it doesn’t come with a hard case.  Sure, we can sell you one for an extra $29.95 but why not include it to begin with?


George’s casting notes:


Performance at 35 feet:  17 points out of 20

This rod is heavy in swing weight, with almost no feel and very little accuracy.


Performance at 60 feet:  16 points out of 20

After casting fast action rods like TFO’s BVK, this rod just feels awful.   If there is any wind, you are done. 


Performance at 80 feet: 15 points out of 20

The cast timing is so slow that you could smoke a cigarette between your back cast and forward cast. Loop control is getting ugly.


Performance at 100 feet: 12 points out of 20

Are you serious?  No way.




James Anderson:

#13  TFO Impact       9’#8        $349.95        58/80

TFO Impact

buy now

The TFO Impact was the biggest surprise of the test for me, or should I say biggest puzzle… I just cannot figure out why this rod was made, or what it was designed to do.  Just look at the deflection board and you can clearly see how off this rod is.  It was softer than a Helios H2 6 weight and nearly identical to a Hardy Wraith 5 weight (with the Wraith having a softer, faster tip).  


To be fair, we didn’t get to test any other models other the than Impact 9’#8 weight.  Perhaps the other rods in the line up are different, or perhaps there is some trick we don’t know about to get better performance out of this rod.  (If there is please let us know and we’ll try it).  For now, steer clear of this rod and go with the BVK.


Performance at 35 feet:  17 points out of 20 The tip feels sloppy since the WF-8-F Bonefish line is overloading the rod by about 3 line weights.  Maybe we should have tried this rod with a WF-5-F GPX, except they don’t make a tropical version…

Performance at 60 feet:  16 points out of 20 With a mushy mid-section this rod is a nightmare to control.  Double hauling doesn’t help, neither does gingerly babying the rod. I can imagine what this rod would be like playing big fish and it isn’t good.   

Performance at 80 feet:  15 points out of 20 Compared to the BVK this rod from a different planet.  I’m seriously wondering why TFO brought this rod to the market.  Did they not put this rod to the test and take it to the salt before starting the manufacturing process? 

Hit the Hun?  10 points out of 20  The worst performance score I have ever given.  This rod deserves a re-do.   Maybe start with an 8 weight blank instead of a 5?



Capt. Jamie Allen:

#15 Temple Fork Outfitters Impact

TFO Impact

buy now

Well, I guess someone has to be last. One thing I did like was the cool looking cork design. It looked like snake skin.  Other than that this rod struggled.





Capt. Skip Zink:

#11 (tie) Temple Fork  Outfitters  Impact      52/60  

TFO Impact

 buy now                                

Softer mid and tip than other rods.   Better value in ATEOS and HMG rods.