The TFO Pro-S Series Spinning Rod is for the versatile angler who needs fishing rods that can serve both a bass angler in freshwater or ensure angler success for your inshore fishing experience.
This pole provides the ability to perform finesse actions with performance maximizing componentry at a sound price.
However, the Temple Fork Outfitters spinning series rods make some unexpected build choices that may not be right for the average angler used to a standard spin casting rod.
That’s why this TFO Pro-S Spinning Rod Review examines the lineup in detail to help figure out if you’re the kind of angler in mind for a pole that demands a baseline skill level.
- Wide variety of spec configs
- Good for versatile anglers
- Fuji Concept O-ring guides
- Not a bargain price range
- Minimum skill level required
- Not a specialist
Construction (craftsmanship, make quality)
On the surface, there doesn’t seem to be too much about the construction of this rod’s blank that stands out as it doesn’t employ any of the proprietary and exclusive technologies found on many other comparably-priced rods.
However, this series of rods comes to you by way of Gary Loomis and his decades of fishing industry-leading rod designing and building experience.
That said, due to the manufacturing and materials used, these blanks are potentially some of the most powerful casting tools on the market with the ability to load up more power than your average competitor.
Still, there’s a reasonable chance that even versatile anglers trying to catch a wide variety of species may not like how spongey the blank can feel sometimes.
Depending on the model from the range of lengths chosen, this spin casting model comes with either premium split cork grips or a full-length grip.
While this approach is solid in its own right, these spinning poles go a step further by also offering a staunch butt for the butt sections to provide far more leverage than your average foam butt.
The reel seat doesn’t blow doors off of the barn or anything, but it still comes with a couple of quality-of-life features to make it more comfortable and convenient.
For instance, the down-locking reel seat design ensures that you won’t loosen the reel seat’s hood and keeps your reel firmly locked in place without any slop wiggling around and throwing off your touch.
As an almost added bonus, this reel seat also features hidden threads to prevent your fingers from rubbing against the thread and wearing raw after an all-day fishing trip.
The Temple Fork Outfitters comes with a rod blank made of intermediate modulus carbon fiber which carries with it some uncommon characteristics.
Depending on your skill level, even a versatile angler can find this blank material presents a challenge for angler experiences. Specifically, this approach forces a tradeoff between durability and sensitivity.
On the plus side, a standard modulus graphite carbon fiber increases the overall durability of the rod by preventing the blank from being too brittle and breaking due to accidental rough handling.
On the flip side to this, the standard modulus carbon fiber graphite is not nearly as sensitive or stiff as a higher modulus carbon fiber would be.
These spin casting rods come with aluminum oxide guides that afford the pole some advantages but also present some challenges– especially with saltwater applications.
Specifically, the aluminum oxide rings won’t be able to handle braided fishing lines in saltwater as well once the line accumulates some of the salt’s grittiness.
Manufactured with a cork handle, these spinning models feel comfortable in your hands, helping reduce hand fatigue after a full day of fishing.
Also, the rod butt utilizes compressed cork, allowing you to really sink the handle into your waist when bracing against a large fish.
The moderate-fast action blank allows these spinner rods to serve as some impressively powerful casting tools with surprising rod action consistency.
That said, it’s worth noting that the moderate-fast design of the rod action favors some elements of the casting process over others and can be seen as a bit of a mixed bag.
Though high-quality rods, this rod action can present challenges to angler success if you don’t pair these high-level fishing tools with a high-level skill set.
Even though it provides a nearly effortless action, this pole’s rod action will decrease your casting accuracy a bit but try to make up for it by boosting your casting distance.
These spinning poles come in a broad spectrum of different rod power ratings that run the gamut from light power to heavy power and everything in between.
The color-coded power system tells you what power ratings your TFO Pro-S Series Spinning Rod, making it much easier to figure out which model to bring compared to conventional gear.
Even better, you shouldn’t have to worry about pitching crabs at tarpon when doing some light offshore fishing or throwing artificial lures for bass fishing.
Even though all of the models in this series of rods are moderate-fast action rods, they still provide a bit of action at the tip that allows for finesse actions with your artificial lure presentation.
As one of the top-tier components, this spin caster comes with Fuji Concept O-ring guides that feature a deep-pressed design which provides much better protection from impacts or other accidents than many other styles.
On top of that, this pole employs the single-footed ring design which reduces the impact of the guides on the action.
Outside of the design, the use of aluminum oxide for the inserts gives the Pro Spinning pole an extremely smooth cast that limits how much the line slaps against blank and increases casting distance.
Even better, these guide system inserts help prevent tangles, so you can spend less time fiddling and more time fishing.
Handle (material, shape, etc)
The PRO-S series of spin fishing rods come with premium split cork grips with a staunch butt that provides far more leverage than your average foam butt. However, the correct butt is only part of what makes these handles nice with the option of a full-length grip available on the longer models in the series.
One thing to look out for is burl cork grips which come with some of the older versions of this series. While even the older grips provide a staunch butt, they use a compressed cork material that, while extremely durable (especially compared to many other grades of cork), may not feel quite as comfortable.
Uses (Who is this good for)
An advanced angler will appreciate this pole’s high-quality standards and consistent performance for different fishing techniques, whether using bait fish or artificial bait.
The versatile angler will appreciate these professional-quality rods’ effortless action and staunch butt, suitable for most types of techniques in the fishing industry.
Keep in mind that inshore saltwater rods need protection from corrosive saltwater elements for inshore fishing while simultaneously being able to handle light offshore fishing.
Thankfully, the PRO-S spinning rod works with a wide range of techniques for a wide variety of species– whether fishing in a creek for snook or tossing crabs at tarpon from your local fishing pier.
But regardless of the high-quality standards or consistent performance, the high-level fishing tools need to match the level of the fisherman using them.
Precision fishing tools and high-quality rods are potentially wasted on novices who don’t know how to properly present artificial lures– and a mid-market price tag doesn’t make that any better.
Reel and Real Seat Compatibility
Outside of the hidden threads and the locking alignment preventing you from undoing the seat’s hold on your reel, there’s really not that much to say about these reel seats.
However, the lack of information provided means you should probably be aware that the reel seats likely contain some nylon plastic.
While many manufacturers have started to scale back the amount and degree of post-purchase obligation, Temple Fork Outfitters seems to be heading in the opposite direction.
This comes from the company’s no-fault lifetime replacement warranty– though it’s worth noting that that designation of “no-fault” is more window dressing than anything else.
Aside from the fact that you have to pay serious shipping and handling costs to execute the warranty, the company may still deny your claim if they find you to be at fault with the damage.
As opposed to an over-the-counter lifetime warranty, TFO’s “no-fault lifetime replacement warranty” has been known to be a bit hit or miss in redemption.
Conclusion (Wrap Up)
While technically considered conventional gear, the TFO Pro-S Series Spinning Rod are high-quality rods for the versatile angler with a decent skill level who wants the freedom to use their inshore saltwater rods to catch a wide variety of species.
Thanks to smooth actions with performance maximizing components, this rod provides an inshore angler with an efficient tool to take from the fishing pier to the lake.
With a surprisingly wide variety of different spec configs to choose from, this series of rods offer competitive anglers precision fishing tools to use a wide variety of fishing techniques.
That said, with a mid-market price range and a rod action consistency best suited for advanced anglers, these Gary Loomis signature rods can present a challenge for anglers just starting out.