I'll tell ya all what... It's hard enuff for me to justify $200 to $300 apiece for 6 or 7 rod&reel combos, you can forget $370 to $450 apiece (which is what you get when you throw a $120-$150 reel on a $250-$300 rod)! When I buy, I'm lookin for 3 things; fuctionality, durability, and price.
Given those factors, this is my .02. I have no doubt that Loomis and Shimano are great products. Hell, if price wasn't an issue, I'd prolly have'em too. But since price is an issue (for me), I ain't payin extra for a name just cause "they" say it's supposed to be "the best." I guess it boils down to... I just don't see $50 to $80/reel or $100/rod difference between my current setup and "the best."
I was drunk the day my momma got outta prison.