John, Jake and others,
Maybe I should have elaborated more on the break tests. Hate long posts, it was long enough as it was, and BPL fans have probably heard enough about that already. Info about the tests has been posted several times on this forum, but suffice to say over 50 CF shafts were break-tested, some repeatedly. Some were marketed for use as tent poles, some for arrows, and some for kites and other applications.
What struck me was that around a quarter of the shafts had little more strength than a cheap plastic rod used in a disposable product. Most of the shafts were a little stronger, but nothing I would want to use to hold up my tent in a storm. A very few of the shafts were outstanding, equivalent or better in break strength to the Easton 'Nanolite' 344 shafts used by TarpTent and others. These were Easton's own Carbon FX tent pole, and two filament wound carbon arrow shafts, one from Victory and one from Gold Tip, both weighing significantly less than the Easton FX, and compared to the weaker ones, requiring over two times the amount of force, measured in pounds, to achieve the break.
What also struck me most was the very broad spectrum of strength, from weakest to strongest, of shafts all sold as made of Carbon Fiber, and appearing much the same. This was a bit analogous to the very broad range of water resistance in coatings used on tarps and tent flies that has been documented on these forums by Richard Nisley and others. Which is why I often comment that attempts to generalize about the waterproofness of silnylon, or the strength of carbon shafts are meaningless. It all depends on how the material was made and the quality of the materials and manufacture.
You are right about much if not most of these products coming from the Far East. That has much to do with tax and trade policy in the US and who has the most influence in these areas. It is no secret that great amounts of manufacturing in the US have become increasingly outsourced to the Far East.
However, that has little to do with my point, which was that I've personally observed that a lot of the carbon fiber shafts coming from China are of inferior quality; that is, junk - a simple, descriptive four letter, but non profane word, I am free to express, and don't intend to let anyone intimidate or bully me from expressing.
It is true that mega-businesses can obtain materials at lower costs, and sell products at lower prices; but at one-third or one fourth the price of the BD product?
And did you look at the incidence of breakage reported early on in the Amazon reviews of the Costco poles, and mentioned in my earlier post on this thread?
IMO, and having observed an abundance of the cheaper carbon fiber on the market, this is not very likely, and that it is much more likely the much cheaper product is made of cheaper materials. That opinion derives from my experience over a lifetime, and will not be abandoned because it is characterized as paranoid, without a clue or guessing in the dark, etc. Most of life's decisions must be made based on probabilities, not certainties, and must be made in gray and uncertain areas.
A final point: There was some suggestion, maybe-maybe not, that my picking on China was based on prejudice. It is difficult to prove a negative, but I will say anyway that it is not so. As alluded to above, there are powerful economic reasons why the world economy has come to function the way it does, and they have nothing to do with the value of the life of each and every one of us.