I had the chance to cast the new TFO Mangrove Coast rod yesterday. Personally, I fell in love with it. Now, I have to admit that I find very few bad fly rods in the world and I have the ability to adapt my casting style to meet the rod action. However, this rod felt wonderful from the start.
First, this rod was developed by my good friend Flip Pallot. He wanted a rod that was moderately fast, but allowed the caster to feel the rod load and unload. This is important, as it allows the caster to actually feel the cast and become a better caster. The rod is designed for a longer casting stroke, not those short, quick strokes that many of today's super-fast rods are designed for. The slower speed and longer casting arc also enables new casters to have some room for error, while allowing expert casters to use the rod to its full potential.
The Mangrove Coast is a re-design of the original Mangrove series It is lighter, absolutely stunning to look at, and has the TFO designed handle marks that tell you the rod weight. While it doesn't have Recoil stripper guides, it does have better stripper guides than the original TFO rods.
These rods also have a lot of power in the butt section. This will enable anglers to put the pressure on fish and end battles quickly. It will also enable you to put enough pressure on fish to pull them away from mangroves, docks, oysters, or other structure they may try to get to. The trick here is to use the rod as it is designed and really put that bend at a low angle, getting it back into the butt section; this is not a rod to "tip" fight with.
As far as fly lines go, I would suggest a longer taper than many of the "newer" short, over-weighted tapers. Look for a conventional saltwater taper, bonefish taper or similar fly line. Also, make sure it is a true to weight fly line and DO NOT overline this rod. If you want something that will handle that, look at the Axiom II-X; this is not the rod for that.
This rod is smooth and relaxing to cast. It will definitely be a rod that you can comfortably cast all day without wearing yourself out. Whether you are chasing redfish, bonefish, snook, tarpon, permit, or seatrout, this rod will allow you to fish all day and enjoy it. They are made from a 6-weight to a 12-weight, so there is a rod in this family for the majority of your fishing needs.
While I love my Axiom II-X rods, I will definitely be adding these rods to my quiver too. Honestly, you can never have too many rods. Check one out at your local TFO dealer and I think you will be as impressed as I was.