These rods are marked down to $169.99 because the factory did not make the rod per the approved sample. The finished product doesn’t meet our balance expectations. The rod is even stronger than it was designed and the balance is still better than our competitors 14 footers. We are as upset as you are that the rod is not perfect and we are making the necessary corrections to rods still in production. As a result, we are going to blow out the existing inventory. This rod will not be available in a retail store until we receive corrected inventory and when we do, the price will be $269.99. These imperfect rods will still have the same manufacturer’s limited warranty as the rest of the series.