All of the Lew's rods I've handled were ok. I moved to Texas just over a year ago and realized the thousands of dollars of salmon and steelhead rods I own are not a good fit for the fishing here. I don't mind spending money on good equipment. Life is too short to play with cheap toys. I've got a Edge mooching rod and several Lamiglas Pro salmon rods. The Edge was north of $500 and the Lamiglas were $250 or higher.
Once here I set out to find the best bang for the buck in rods for fishing in this area. Went to Cabela's, Bass Pro and everywhere else that had a decent selection of rods. Spent around 40 hours shopping around handling LOTS of rods. Kept coming back to the TFO rods. For the money they are impossible to beat. Cork grips on a $100 rod that feels great. Also I like longer rods and TFO has them, I also like a more classic action and TFO delivers that. I'm fishing 7'3" Tactical rods and 7'6" Signature rods because they don't offer anything longer. If they made them 7'9" or 8' I'd be a very happy guy. Longer rods have a lot of advantages. If you're used to fishing shorter rods you're going to have to be careful fishing the longer rods. Don't use your rods as a derrick to hoist fish into the boat, be careful of high sticking when fish are close to the boat. But put a 3/4 ounce blade bait on there and you can cast it 70+ yards with practice.
I do realize that fishing rods are very personal. Everyone has different tastes. I sold fishing and hunting equipment for 13 years. I like to think I know my way around a tackle store.
If I had access to unlimited money I'd be fishing G. Loomis or Edge rods. But building a stable of either one might make SWMBO a little pizzed. IMHO you would have to spend 2-3 times more money to make the next step above a TFO rod.
BTW, if you want some 30+ year old Lew's pistol grip rods I've got a bunch sitting in the corner.
This Veteran heavily medicated for your safety. Keep me fishing and all will be well.