The rods at Cabelas are very good, and very cheap, especially if you buy a combo with a reel and some line. Sure, they don't have the lifetime warranty, etc., but they work, and work well. If you have the money though, a good St. Croix or an All Star is a nice piece of equipment.
But then, when I was young, I caught an awful lot of fish with my grandpa using a bamboo pole. Of course, HE didn't use a bamboo pole!
All Star and St.Croix are all good rods and I have some of each. But ever since I bought Gloomis I have been sold, I love the action and feel. They are alittle expensive but worth every penny, I am sold on the IMX series, but the G2and G3 are great rods for a little less money.
I have built on St Croix, Loomis and All Star. I have to say that price performance the All Star blanks are fantastic. THeir rods are tough, well built and straight. Something that can not be said about some of the other "high end" rods.
I have owned a couple BPS rods that were packaged as combos with reels. I had a couple Extreme Series rods and the XPS Performance rods. The Extreme series was ok, but, they were pretty heavy IMO. The regular price on these rods is $99 bucks, which is too much IMO, especially considering they only have Hardloy guides. I think you can do much better if you keep your eyes open and search for some deals. The XPS performance rods feel like noodles (at least to me) and flex way too much. There are a lot of rods out there for around (and under) $100 that are great...Croix, All Star, Falcon, and many others. Go spend a day at BPS, Cabelas, Gander Mtn...whichever is closer and pick up as many rods as you can. Don't simply compare price or get into the "IM6, IM7, IM8" argument because some manufacturers' "IM6" rods will simply flat out outperform another manufacturers' "IM8". Look at the components (reel seats, guides, cork, etc). If you are looking for 1 rod to use for all of those applications, I'd look at a 6'6" or 7' MF or MHF...
The lightest and the best feeling rod I ever used was a All Star blank custom built by Gregg M. It is light and very great touch and you feel everything the lure is doing. It is a 7 1/2 foot Mh with a fast tip and very strong backbone.. I can throw most of the baits I use on this one rod. My Two Dollars worth. Bob