Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Series Spinning Rod Review [Top Pros & Cons]

By: Luke Simonds on November 7, 2018
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Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Spinning Rod Review

The Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Series Spinning Rod is a rod I’ve been using for a good amount of time.

This a high-quality rod that I like to use for a little bit more powerful inshore gamefish such as tarpon and big snook.

After using this rod to target some big fish and getting a good feel for it, I wanted to give you my unbiased and honest review of it.

In this review, I tell you my top pros and cons for the Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Series Spinning Rod. I also show you this rod in action catching fish in the video review at the bottom of the article.

Note: All our reviews are unbiased and independent. We are not affiliated with TFO in any way. If you’ve used the GIS Series Spinning Rod, let us know your honest feedback in the comments section!

Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Series Spinning Rod Specs

Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Specs

My TFO GIS rod is 7’9″ and is medium power, but these rods come in multiple lengths and powers.

The lengths of these rods range from 6’9″ to 7’11”.

You can find this model rod in both spinning and baitcasting models.

Click here to see the 7′ model of this rod on Amazon. 

Pros Of The TFO GIS Series Spinning Rod

Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Pros

In this section, I go over my top pros for the Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Series Spinning rod, which are:

1. Light Weight

This a high-quality blank that is much lighter than most inshore spinning rods, even the next level down of the TFO spinning rods.

2. Nice Cork

The cork handle on this rod is also high-quality. It’s a great grip and can stand up to the elements well. I’ve used mine quite a bit and it has taken a lot of direct sunlight and saltwater to it, but it’s still in great shape and shows no sign of breaking down.

3. Rod Flex

The TFO GIS has a nice flex to it that really gives you a couple different advantages. I can cast this rod farther than other rods because of the flex it has and I’ve had good success power fishing baits with this rod.

4. Longer Butt

The longer rod butt on this rod gives you a little extra power when you hook into a big fish. I’ve hooked into some big snook and tarpon using this rod and the extra butt length does a make a difference while fighting these fish.

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Cons Of The TFO GIS Series Spinning Rod

Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Cons

1. Price

This is a nice setup but its roughly $180, which is definitely in the expensive range for a spinning rod.

2. Handle

The longer handle makes it more difficult to cast and use artificial lures over and over again. This rod is much better suited for throwing live bait.

3. Hook Keeper

The standard hook keeper works well but is more difficult to use than the TFO Pro Spinning Rod hook keeper– especially when you’re in a hurry and need to get the lure ready for a cast quickly.

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Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Series Spinning Rod Video Review

In this video, I give you my full review of the TFO GIS Series Spinning Rod and show you how it works catching some big fish.

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Conclusion

Temple Fork Outfitters GIS Spinning Rod

This is a high-quality rod that really does have a nice on-the-water performance and feel to it.

However, I do remain concerned about the price of this rod and wonder if it’s worth $80 more than the rod that is one level down.

Remember, all our reviews are independent and objective. We’d love to hear your feedback on this rod as well.

If you have any questions about this rod or review, let us know in the comments!

Tight Lines!

Related Posts: 

1. Temple Fork Outfitter Spinning Rod Independent Review [Video]

2. G Loomis E6X Inshore Rod Review [On-The-Water Performance]

3. All Star Inshore Series Rod Review [Top Pros, Cons and Video]

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William Dozier
1 year ago

Hey Luke! Any experience or thoughts on the TFO Big Fish rods? Not sure what I’m missing but I can’t find an independent review of these anywhere on the web.
Tight Lines!

Anonymous
Anonymous
1 year ago

Thanks for the response I have some medium action redbone rods but big snook seem to be a challenge even in the surf. I hate the 12-14 sticks i use but I guess for surf they are ok. I may look into one of those rods for pier fishing. I sold my boat so shore bound these days

Kenneth caryer
1 year ago

Luke,
I have 5 TFO 7’11” Mag HX mated to Penn Torque 5500 and Accurate 12 twin spins, all with 50 lb Japanese J-Braid. I employee these rods all over the middle grounds and they handle everything I use them for. Sure, I do not use them for Goliath or dropping a live mullet or spadefish for big gags over a 20 foot ledge, but I use them for anything else. These set ups are supremely versatile. Flat lining for kings, throwing at the Mahi or blackfin and my favorite, drift back mango fishing, they excel over conventional gear. I can also cast them a country mile.

Gary Loumis is a perfectionist. He knows how to build a rod.

Ken Caryer
Cobia 296

Michael Edwards
1 year ago

Luke,

I have two of the GIS and I love them. I have the 7’ and 7’9” in ML. FANTASTIC trout rods, and has handled every keeper red that hit it while I was fishing for my primary target with ease. I use the 7’ rod far more often for the exact reason you mention…the longer handle of the 7’9” model is just a bit cumbersome on the jet ski / kayak. I have seriously considered shortening the handle on the 7’9” model by about 3-4 inches…because I do love how far I can cast with that rod.

My next purchase is likely to be a GIS 7’ Medium…I prefer the GIS handle setup to the Pro line. I tend to grip either just above the reel or have one pinky below the reel (which puts my fingers on the threads on the pro)…and the full cork on the GIS is just more comfortable that the abbreviated cork on the pro model. If the pro model had the same cork setup it would be about the perfect rod for the money in my book…so i’d Save a lot of money (or have twice as many rods).

Btw, did you notice the new line of TFO inshore? I wonder if they use the same blank as GIS?
https://tforods.com/inshore-spinning-casting-rods/

Mike

Johnny Elixson
Johnny Elixson
1 year ago

Looks like a nice rod. How would it do in the surf

Dennis La Beur
1 year ago

Luke,
I have been using the T.F.O. GIS SWC 705-1 rod which is the casting model in 7′ MH since the Florida Sportsman show in Tampa, I bought the rod and a reel at the Southeastern Tackle display. I mainly fish in the Indian and Sebastian Rivers for the local cast of characters (trout, reds and snook) . I believe the price difference over the pro model is the guides, blank and seat. I have tried many different brands some a lot more money than this rod others not so much, and I think that I now have a new favorite. This rod is light, strong and very sensitive so much so that when a mullet swims into the line I can feel it. You are spot on about the keeper and another con is trying to find them locally, I live on the East Coast near Sebastian and I do not know of a dealer around here, and since I like to fondle before purchasing , mail order is out of the question.
Great Review.

RICHARD FIORENTINO
1 year ago

So you still think for trout, redfish, and snook the TFO Pro med 7′ or 7’6″ is the go-to rod?

Dean Carter
1 year ago

Luke,
Ever fish the Fenwick HMG spinning rods?

Dean Carter
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

I like the 6’9″ Med power Fast action with the Hybracork like 8″ grips

Dan Shuford
1 year ago

Good Stuff Luke! I bought a Falcon Coastal 8ft medium $89 for the wife, she didn’t like it.… I think this length only has moderate to slow tip… It’s great for really long grass flats casting. I’ve been throwing Johnson weed less spoons. I get some good hang time from it, I’m note confident on the back bone though… I would spend more for a higher quality rod with a little more back bone. I’ll might get the wife a GIS for Xmas… She’s worth 189 bucks all day long… 😉

Stephen
Stephen
1 year ago

LUKE
I live in Colorado. I have many 3 piece travel rods but none of them seem to equal a one piece rod. Do you have any recommendations on travel rods. All them are medium fast even if they say fast. I am looking for a spinning rod,one for tarpon and snook and one for redfish. Can you help

Michael Edwards
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen

TFO has a travel specific rod, I haven’t tried it yet…but I suspect it’s pretty darn good based on the luck I have had w TFO so far.

Michael Edwards
1 year ago
Reply to  Stephen
John Gauntt
1 year ago

Have you had opportunity to take advantage of the lifetime warranty with the TFOs yet? I know that effects their price.
I use Star rods solely because of how great they are with warranty, and i am willing to pay the mark up for that warranty. I have had awesome experience with a few no hassle replacements through them.
I am tempted by your review to try one of these bad boys out! Thanks Luke!

Mark
Mark
1 year ago
Reply to  Luke Simonds

I have used TFO’s warranty service for fly rods (as well a s some of their competitors in the fly rod market) and their service is second to none and far better than most. I would assume that the same quick service and willingness to stand behind a product applies to their spinning rods. Of course with a one-piece spinning rod the shipping logistics are more challenging than with a four-piece fly rod. If you buy one, save the tube they ship it in if at all possible to make it easier to use the warranty if needed.