August 11th, 2003

Buttery Smooth
By James Castwell

My first good fly-rod was made by Scientific Anglers, Midland, Michigan. It was a gift, I think bestowed upon yours truly, as I was becoming known regionally as a bit of a fly-fisher, fly-tier and general pest to the trout of the great Au Sable river, and they wanted me to be seen with one. That and I think they also took pity on me. This was when they first introduced the 'System' series of rods and reels, nearly fifty years ago.

Fiberglass, I later found out it was produced by Fisher, it was to become a favorite tool and trusted companion on many outings. Recently I noticed the name Fisher again, this time associated with another name, John E. Tarantino, noted caster and rod developer. Under the company name of Hardy, it got my attention.

It seems he, (J.E.T.) with they, (Hardy) have been busy crafting fiberglass fly rods (1967 to 1975). As J.E.T. worked for Fisher at one time I was even more interested when I found they had in 1998 produced two 'Perfection' glass fly-rods. I made arrangements to get one shipped out here for me to play with and take to a couple of our 'Fish-Ins.'

Due to some screw-ups all around, the rod did not make it in time for the last one in Oregon. I hoped the Cortland rep might have one with him at a 'cane' function we were involved with,(the Hardy rods are distributed in the US by Cortland), and I got lucky, he did, in fact he had one of each of them. Three weight and four weight. I joined the four weight and headed for the practice lawn for the shock of my life, well, almost anyway.

Deep glossy black with red thread, medium action. It did not take even one cast to tell that it was medium, perhaps medium-slow may have been even more accurate. As is my way at these times, I gripped the line under a finger of my right hand and cast without any help from my left. The action of just the rod was what I wanted to see. And 'see' is what I did. The rod has little ability to unload a powerful cast and is not designed to do so. For more distance and line speed a gentle double-haul produces all the additional line speed necessary to cover any distance or wind situation within reason.

This rod was the smoothest fly rod I have ever cast. Later that day one of the fellows who I asked to cast it put the name on it, "buttery smooth" he called it. It seemed like a good description, still does. I understand the rod is made with "E" fiberglass, that may be responsible for the creamy action.

At a reasonable price of $365.00 with a rod sock and aluminum rod tube, this three piece, 7.6 foot four weight rod is a winner in any trout fishers arsenal. For light and delicate presentations where finesse is the name of the game, this rod may have no equal.

Several of our group cast it and one even tried to buy it on the spot but was told he had to wait, that rod was the reps and not for sale. I will try to have one for the remaining 'Fish-Ins' yet this year. My biggest problem is, who gets to fish it. I or the LadyFisher. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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