All our preparation, consideration and decisions regarding our gear come to the test at the moment we begin our first cast. The gear has to perform at the level we demand ... as we expect it to ... as we know it will. That's what this section is all about. Performance and expectation! The products ... rods, reels, lines and the rest of the angler's arsenal ... featured in these articles are evaluated by our staff of anglers. These anglers come from every level of the sport ... novice to expert. Each has a different perspective, and experience level from which they view and evaluate "quality and performance" in the products reviewed. This is good ... it provides you with definite information from the eyes of real anglers fishing their streams, increasing their knowledge and taking this opportunity to share it with you.
FISHING THE WAVE
Recently there has been a string on the Bulletin Board here on FAOL about a new rod design – The Ultra Wave – currently being offered by Global dobeR Group. This is a radical rod design that has not one but two curves built into the blank. I’m told that is very close to a natural sine wave. [I have no idea what that means but it must be important]
My first exposure to this rod was late last summer when the Ladyfisher and I were at home in Montana. Ray Bauer, the designer of this rod, called the Ladyfisher and said that he was sending her a new rod design. My initial reaction was, “Wow, that’s just what we need is another fly rod.” Between the Ladyfisher and me we have a considerable stable of fly rods.
A few days later while the Ladyfisher and I were relaxing in the shade in the side yard of our Montana home the UPS driver stopped and delivered a box. When I pulled the rod out of its case my first reaction was that “this is the funniest looking fly rod that I have ever seen.” The rod was two piece, 9 foot for a 6 weight line, but it looked like somebody had slammed it in a car door or left it out in the hot sun. Intrigued, it didn’t take me long to get out a reel loaded with the proper line weight and get it strung up and ready to cast.
I stripped off about 30 feet of line, made a tentative back cast and shot the line forward. Impressive, the line shot out and jerked a couple more feet off the reel. Time to strip a bit more line off the reel and try again, and in a few minutes I was putting out most of the fly line with relatively little effort. Now I’m not a distance caster, and although I have been known to throw an entire fly line plus some backing on occasion it’s not something that I do on a regular basis. The type of fishing that I do does not require distant casting. The Ladyfisher, with her bad wing, made a few casts and was equally impressed. It was time to take the rod out to the stream. [See the Ladyfisher’s column in this issue]
Perhaps it was the rod or my casting style but I found that I had to stop the rod higher on short casts to keep from slapping the cast down on the water. It did not take me long to make the adjustment and I quickly discovered that the rod would put the fly exactly where I wanted it. It was very effortless to cast 30 feet of line and then shoot out a 50 foot cast just as effortlessly. The rod loaded very smoothly and effortlessly, in short it was a joy to cast.
That having been said, my first question when I test any new piece of equipment is; “What will it do that something that is already on the market will not do?” While the Ultra Wave loads very easily and shoots line like a rocket launcher I’m not certain that it does those things any better than many other conventional rods that are currently on the market.
The Ultra Wave seems to be perfect for the angler that is consistently making long casts. Salt water anglers, certain still water applications, and anglers throwing streamers on big rivers where distance is necessary to reach all the holding water should enjoy the Ultra Wave.
We loaned the rod to my nephew, Tom Travis, who is a full time fly-fishing outfitter and guide and I have asked him to give his opinion on this rod. Look for his product review in the coming months.
|Global dorbeR Group is a sponsor of FAOL, otherwise we have no financial interest or investment in the Ultra Wave.|