Here's my brother Johnny landing a nice cutty on his new old Sage XP 590. It's old, but new to him because I gave it to him last season after I traded up to a Zed. He's been fishing a old Fenwick HMG he built about twentyfive years ago. A great rod in its time, but compared to the mighty XP it's, well, a good rod. Johnny's no snob, unless you're talking about who's the greatest country singer of all time (hint: it's either George or Tammy, OK?), but he saw the difference in that little XP right off. We might be hard put to describe what difference a really good fly rod makes to a day on the water, but it's real.
Johnny's still won't give up on his cranky old Hardy Princess though. Even though it makes sounds like a beer bottle in a blender. Now that's snob value, for sure.