TFO Bug Launcher Kids' Rods

Temple Fork Outfitters took a page out of Echo Fly Rods‘ book from last year, introducing a new lineup of kids’ rods called the “Bug Launcher” series. Available in a seven foot four/five weight and an eight foot five/six weight, these rods retail for only $80 and sport small, composite grips (meant for young hands).
The thing is, these rods really don’t need to be classified as just a children’s rod. Unlike Echo’s Gecko kids’ rods, which are great but intentionally child-like in their design, using multi-colored foam grips, yellow blanks, and with a fighting butt (for really small kids to get a second hand grip on the rod), the new TFO Bug Launchers are more appropriately knocked-down adult rods. They are also well-named; the 7′ 4/5 weight is capable of eighty foot casts and is a suprisingly fine roll-casting rod.
I could see a parent buying an Echo Gecko for a truly young child, say 5-8 years old. Then, when the kid gets old enough to handle a fly rod with one hand, and maybe progresses past the bluegill pond, he or she could move up to a Bug Launcher (which frankly would serve mom or dad perfectly well as a light traveling backup rod). Either way, it’s nice to see two cost-sensitive options for getting kids fishing, which as we all know is more critical than ever.
Have you taken a kid fishing lately? Let us know in the Comments section!

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  • M

    Great advice to think about using this as a backup rod for mom or dad. Each of my kids (12 and 9) landed his/her first trout on a fly this summer using the Ross Journey, a 7′ 6″ 4wt that is sold as a kid’s first rod but is no toy. I borrowed it several times when they weren’t using it and landed many trout on dries, nymphs, even streamers. And words can’t describe the thrill each of my children (and I) felt as they held their first trout for a photo before releasing it — take a kid fishing!