What rod do you use?

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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by ronr » Sun Apr 26, 2020 9:42 am

I appreciate the great reviews of the high quality rods many of you have mentioned. The advice I was given by my early fly rod mentors was to buy the best rod I could afford. At the beginning, that meant something less than the Sage, Hardy, Scott, etc top of the line models. I know this may be a bit telling, but I settled for less expensive rods and have found I can catch fish with them just fine. A few of these lower priced babies are Cabellas Classic Trout... found in their bargain tent for $75-$115.. I bought a 9' 5wt first... liked it so well I bought a 8'6" 3wt and a 9' 4 wt. I still use them all occasionally. I did luck into a Helios 9' 5wt at a much reduced price, because I broke a Helios predecessor, which Orvis couldn't repair, so they offered me the Helios at 50% off retail... Its a very nice rod. But, it hasn't replaced the others. I was introduced to the Cortland Competition Nymphing rod by a fishing friend. Its 10'5" 3wt and has been the rod I fish with about 80% of the time. I can cast dry flies, swing soft hackles, and obviously it handles all forms of nymphing. At $249.00 that's a steal. I'm now at a place where I could splurge on one of the top rods, and the Hardy Zenith would be lovely, or a bamboo would be nice to own.. but I guess my cheapskate approach has not allowed me to yet pull the trigger on a $800-$3,000 rod....just sayin...

I'm a relative newbie compared to many of you in the fly fishing game. And before its all over, I may have one of those high ticket babies to pass down to my kids... but thought I'd share a view from the dark side...
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Ron Eagle Elk
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by Ron Eagle Elk » Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:46 pm

ronr, I, too, have a few lower priced rods. A couple of Cabelas rods in the sub $100 bracket, including a nice casting little 1 weight, and a couple of their 7 piece travel rods that may go above the $100 bracket. All cast perfectly well and all have caught fish. I must admit, though, that the Hardy's and custom bamboo rods are a joy to cast and catch fish with.
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by Theroe » Wed Apr 29, 2020 2:52 pm

Some of the time I use a 9' 5WT home made rod with SIC Fuji guides (strip to tip) that the master made for me in 1996ish...... The blank came from a prototype factory in Kobe Japan, which was destroyed in the 1995 earthquake, and not rebuilt. Either my Hardy 3 3/8" GEM or Marquis disc 7 fit perfectly.

Smaller waters - 7 1/2' South Bend "Boron Plus" 4WT purchased from the little store in Roscoe during the same time period...A Hardy Flyweight rounds out this outfit.

Yes, I have and use grass, but thats a whole 'nother topic!!

Footnote: I believe the name of the blank is “Impact”.

Last edited by Theroe on Wed Apr 29, 2020 4:05 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by William Anderson » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:17 pm

ForumGhillie wrote: Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:03 am
William Anderson wrote: Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:50 pm For most of the week in Roscoe I fished my 10' 3 wt greys streamflex (first gen). Before leaving I had the pleasure of casting John Shaner's 10' 3 wt Hardy Zenith. I love my rod and don't intend to buy another...but if I were going to, that rod would be a serious want. I can't say if it was John's perfectly balanced reel to the rod (beautiful Hardy Cascapedia) or the long taper of the wulff fly line, but I can say casting his rod was sweet. In a way I was immediately aware that I was unaware of the rod. It was effortless casting and presenting the wet fly cast. The rod simply disappeared. I didn't expect such a difference and love the performance of my streamflex, but it was a nice surprise.

Much thanks, John.

William, how is this?


Almost the same as John's rig, except mine is the Hardy 10 ft. 4wt. with the Cascapedia reel. This trout ran himself into the shallows almost totally out of the water. So i pulled him up onto the grass, dropped my rod, the fly popped out, I sanpped a photo and then helped him get back in the river.

Wow, that's a sweet set up, John. I can only imagine how happy you are with it. A lot has happened since I wrote that in 2013. I believe it was the following year I found myself the proud owner of the Hardy Zenith 9' 5wt, which is a dream to fish and I certainly didn't need anything else, but I did end up with the Hardy Zenith 10' 3wt and the same fly line that John Shaner fished when we were together all those years ago. It's a marvel. In recent years I've found myself trying to simply my gear and I started fishing a Winston B2X 9' 4wt, which is a perfect piece of engineering in my opinion. It's a wet fly dream with a softer tip and medium action mid section than the Winstons that came after. I love that rod and the Wulff TT flyline combo. It's actually about all I've fished for the past three seasons. There are lots of really solid rods that seem to be custom suited to more specialized styles of fishing, but I'm really more interested in the rod that covers the most situations.
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by Tom Smithwick » Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:53 am

Dana, That story about the Japanese factory being destroyed has a familiar ring about it. Any chance the custom rod you have is based on a blank marketed by Dale Clemens Custom Tackle under the name "apogee"? If so, I can add a bit to the story.
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by RickA » Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:13 am

Tom Smithwick wrote: Thu Apr 30, 2020 10:53 am Dana, That story about the Japanese factory being destroyed has a familiar ring about it. Any chance the custom rod you have is based on a blank marketed by Dale Clemens Custom Tackle under the name "apogee"? If so, I can add a bit to the story.
Please DO!
I knew Dick French quite well and have several rods I built with his input.
He turned me on to the fuji SIC guides Theroe mentioned.
I have 2 rods I believe came from Japan that have a mat finish and one is still my go-to steelie rod.
Small world.
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by Tom Smithwick » Thu Apr 30, 2020 2:50 pm

Rick - I was a customer of Dale Clemens for a long time. I got started rod making with glass and graphite, and basically got all the stuff from them, and I was close enough to go there to pick it up. I got to cast a few of those apogee blanks when they started carrying them, and really liked them, as you no doubt recall, they were their premium fly rod blanks, and priced accordingly.
They were a matte black color, and their distinguishing characteristic was a solid, not tubular, cross section in the tip area. I really liked the way they cast, they were quite powerful, but not stiff. They were quite full flexing, but would keep on casting even with what seemed like a lot of line load applied. All the things I like about a rod, in fact. As you no doubt know, they were not available for a long time, and no one that I am aware of has done anything similar. I never got a blank for myself, which I regret.
So that was a long time ago, now I am retired, moved etc, and have fished bamboo for a long time. 2 years ago, a guy moved in just down the street from me, and it turns out he's a graphite rodmaker. So we fish a few times, compare notes, and it turns out he has two rods made from apogee blanks, and I got to cast the stuff again 25 years later. Just like I remembered. Anyone who happens to have one should feel lucky. Regrettably, the man who owned them became ill and passed away, and his widow moved. He did have grandsons that he had taught to fly fish, I hope they appreciate them, and think that they very likely do.
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by Johnno » Thu Apr 30, 2020 3:58 pm

I’ve got well over fifty fly rods, many being vintage glass I’ve collected over the years..

The only high end rods I’ll use are Winston. They just suit me. My regular 6 wgt is a B3X which I just love, along with a 5 wgt version as well. And a 4 wgt Passport which is a cool rod for wet fly fishing.

Down here we are lucky to have CTS which make the finest carbon rod blanks in the world and have a couple of theirs I’ve made up over the years.

Plus Swift Fly Fishing which make the Epic rods and also sell the rod kits. The fastglass is made for them in Asia somewhere but they are the finest glass blanks around... I can thoroughly recommend the kits:

https://swiftflyfishing.com/collections ... lding-kits

I agree with previous posts about Cabelas rods. Some of theirs are very very good indeed......
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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by hankaye » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:01 pm

Johnno, Howdy;

You trying too corner the market on fly rods in that part of the world???

Thanks for the link, nice video in there. That fella looks like he may have
done that stuff once or twice before.

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Re: What rod do you use?

Post by Roadkill » Thu Apr 30, 2020 7:26 pm

Anything from a #3 weight to #10 Wts, never used my 12 weight yet! ;)
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