I have to admit, with not some small degree of humility, I have an advantage
over a few of you. I get to play with almost any fly rod available. Yes, it's true,
I can make a phone call and within a very few days (or less) have rods at
my doorstep. No charge, just send them back after I have fished them, or
tested them or whatever I have in mind. I try hard, (really!) not to abuse
this privilege. It does make it possible for me to give you my opinion, for
what it's worth, on various rods, reels, lines and other gear, and that's
what I try to use it for. I am taking a few rods to the 'Fish-In' though.
It's not as necessary to give the brand name here, as it is to give the sizes
of the rods. I 'procured' two 5 weight medium-progressive action fly rods.
One (a 3pc) is nine feet long, the other (a 5pc) is only eight foot nine inches.
It also comes with a spare tip section, a nice feature. If I'm going to break
any part of a five weight it will probably be the tip.
Our (the Ladyfisher and I) discussion was, "if I could take just one of them,
which would it be?" Having both at hand, it offered some interesting
possibilities. First we went outside and cast each. We agreed, the five
weight would be used mostly for casting to and playing fish under twenty
inches. The distances would be normal, that is, not long casts such as on
bone-fish flats. Therefore, the rod which loaded best at the shorter distance
would get that vote. The 8 ft. 9 inch foot rod won that test.
The nine footer did cast a bit better at longer distances and was smoother,
but that seemed no advantage for the exact conditions we expect to
encounter. That type of action may be preferred in a six weight, but,
for us, not in a five weight. Of course, we used the same line and reel
on both rods, switching it back and forth during the casting tests. I can
say both rods are top of the line, but the five piece (with the spare tip)
costs a hundred bucks more.
We both agreed, for the 'Fish-In,' if we could only take one rod, it would
be the 8 ft. 9 in. We also agreed that since a five weight is normally used
as we are going to be using it, the shorter rod was a better choice as it handled
the line at more ranges better and had the spare tip as well, even though it
cost more. You must remember, this is just our opinion and is based on
how we cast and what we expect and enjoy in a rod. By the way, I will
bring both rods to the 'Fish-In.'
I recall a few years back when most, if not all multiple piece, (pack-type)
manufactured fly rods were terrible things and cast just awful. Now I find
myself picking a 'Pack' rod over a three piece which has always been my
favorite. Time marches on . . . and I have to run these days to keep up
with it. ~ James Castwell