Fishing The Fly Forum, based in Aberdeenshire,  Scotland

Euan Innes

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #15 on: June 05, 2018, 19:15:59 PM »
Rob,
It is a five year old Fario 9' #4 4 piece.

Over the years I too have had differing levels of stiffness in my hand. My first proper rod was a Ryobi Masterline Double Top -  a two piece rod that had, you guessed it, two top sections. This made for a 9'6" fast actioned #6 or a 10'6" slower actioned #'6. Two rods, one line covered a lot of bases for me and I loved that rod. Fast wasn't actually that fast in those days, more medium.
Then I started at the shop and a lot of rods went through my hands. The fashion for stiffness started around that time with Sage taking the lead and other manufacturers tried to keep up. Bruce and Walker brought out the JTS (John Tomlinson Special) which, although sold as a stiff rod that could carry a whole DT6, turned out to be particularly horrible, spineless piece of carbon which is why you don't see them these days.
Bob Church, a field leader on the stiffness scale as most of his were like pokers, brought out the Dave Shipman Drifter which Trout Fisherman magazine said was a softer action. Well if that is soft then the others must have had blanks stuffed with Viagra pills. Lifting a #7 sunk line from a boat was easy and a DT6 floater went a bloody long way :z4 :z4 :z4 But all in all it was too much and snapped nylon all too easily. How Mr Shipman could fish his own buzzers on light nylon had me wondering if he ever actually owned one of the rods.... :X2
I was slowly moving away from a rod that actually fished towards casting tools.
Loomis GLX #7 came up next and that gave me tennis elbow and a good lesson in line weights as well as a passion for shorter rods. There was one exception to that passion and that was a Clan 11'3" #5 that had a sweet middle, almost through action that threw a beautiful line and tamed everything from trout to salmon. One of the biggest regrets of my life was selling that rod in what can only have been a fit of utter madness. It did start me back down the softer side of the street though, as far as trout rods go.
Sandy's Scott rods were ace as were short Fulling Mill rods and as the flies became smaller (spiders at Haddo anyone?) the actions became less stiff. Not soft but closer to the middle than previous rods.
I now find my Orvis Access 10' #4 a little too stiff but have Skagit plans for that one. It was "based" on the Helios which it fails to match as the Helios has a much better middle action, a clue as to why it was dearer and more sought after. My bamboo is lovely for the close stuff and plays fish nicely because it bends.
I have tried many, many trout rods over the years (but not as many as Rob!! :z4) and if you were to draw a graph of when the industry told us that we needed a stiffer rod you could pretty much map my ownership of rods! Yes I have been a slave to "fashion" but that "fashion" has come back to usable rods and not something for stirring a fire. Some lines need a stiff rod (Skandi casting works better with one) but actual fishing needs feel and the ability to play a fish. This moment of clarity only comes once you have spent a lot of time and money, definitely money, to reach it. There are many factors that influence, not just the rod makers and it is possibly harder now for a young chap taking up the sport.
Before you all go PC on me I said chap because a girl will just pick up the rod and fish with it. She is not as easily steered as us blokes and will "feel" the rod better rather than trying to hit the far bank with sheer effort and muscle. My favourite fishing phrase, possibly of all time, comes from Jerry French where he states that there  is too much "Casterbation" these days and people don't fish the water, they cast across it.
Adverts that start with "do you need extra yards..." suck in us blokes and have us reaching for our wallets faster than Clint Eastwood could draw a gun. Guideline snuck in the Fario in a market saturated with sticks and quietly changed  a lot of perceptions as to what constituted a "fishing" rod. Now there are more "fishing" rods available than ever before we are officially spoiled. This only really happened when the makers spoke to the users and that is really only a recent thing.

So what have I learned? The same that I have learned with nearly everything - don't listen to a sales pitch. I had a PERFECT Clan rod and sold it looking for the next best thing which didn't happen until the Fario. I still look at rod reviews, still try as many as I can but now I can stop looking. I tried Hamish's FX1 salmon rod and hated it. The action did not really suit me but it does him. Previously I would have just ponied up the £1000 and bought it because it is the latest thing. A guy I know on another forum calls it The Great Equipment Race, the musthavethelatestthingorIwilldie syndrome and I am off that carousel now. It happens in every pastime and I have stopped running.
I have loved nearly all my previous rods and hated the rest but would not change a thing about how, where and when I used them. Grahams of Inverness have reintroduced the Diawa Whisker 11'3" as a #7/8 Sea Trout and #8/9 Grilse Special because of demand. I may have top pop in and buy one of those as I once tried one that an Irish mate of mine had but never did get around to buying one. As this is based on a rod design over twenty years old it is not the latest thing, OK?
Pity you can't get DT Wetcel IIs any more  :z4 :z4 :z4

Plus ca change, plus la meme chose.....

Euan
Living with deep, full breaths is the way of the trout. Fish, it seems, are the ultimate teachers in breathing.
RC Cone

Hamish Young

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #16 on: June 06, 2018, 07:17:41 AM »
You must be on holiday dude.... I think that's more words (on any fishing subject) that I've seen you write on any forum at any time  :cool:
Nearly all makes sense too  :z4 :z7
Some interesting stuff in there, I will have to get the FX 1 single handers into your mitts and see what you think, I believe you will be utterly smitten  :wink
:cool:
“When tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

Dave Robb

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #17 on: June 06, 2018, 08:31:28 AM »
There are much cheaper S-glass rods out there...arguably just as good. :)

That last one I built, the reel seat and handle cost more than the blank, but its a stunner!

Rob, what other glass rods are good?  Asking because I fancy my next rod to be an Epic but don’t have the £600 -£700 at the moment to buy a ready made one (I don’t want to build my own, don’t have time or the space to do it, young kids and all that).

I use an Orvis Recon 10’ #5 at the moment as my main rod, backed up by a 9’ #4 but I want something ‘different’ for my next rod, hence thinking about glass.

I’ve seen all the comments about how good these Epic rods are and love the colours they come in.

Rob Brownfield

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #18 on: June 06, 2018, 09:23:20 AM »
Rob, what other glass rods are good? 

I can highly recommend the Taniwha Rodworks  S-helix blanks. £99.

You mention Epic...well..this quote will give you a clue to the ancestry of the S-helix:

"They are made for me by a designer whose early career included designing high performance fly rods for a well regarded New Zealand brand before establishing his own advanced composites manufacturing facility based in China. "

Remembering that Epic are also now manufactured in the Far East, the S-helix represents amazing value for money but with a top notch action and quality.

https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/537567069/taniwha-premium-s-helix-translucent-s?ref=shop_home_feat_3

Worth looking at Marks self build handle and guide kits too. Pretty good quality for £42.

However, I went for full custom and Mark kindly dyed a maple reel seat to match the olive blank. I love it!! I also used top quality ALPS stripper guide and Snake Brand guides.

With an aluminium tube as well, I think I came in under £200 for an 8 foot 5 weight.

I did buy some glass blanks off another supplier/manufacturer based in Scotland (but imports from the Far East), but quality was hit and miss.
Ok, I admit it, I quite like this salmon fishing lark....

Dave Robb

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #19 on: June 06, 2018, 09:44:41 AM »
 :z16

Not too pricey at all really.

Euan Innes

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #20 on: June 06, 2018, 10:57:10 AM »
You must be on holiday dude.... I think that's more words (on any fishing subject) that I've seen you write on any forum at any time  :cool:
Nearly all makes sense too  :z4 :z7
Some interesting stuff in there, I will have to get the FX 1 single handers into your mitts and see what you think, I believe you will be utterly smitten  :wink
:cool:
Aye well there was me sitting in the cool of the villa with a second gin... :z13
Yes I do want to try a single hander FX1 as there is a 10' #5 or #6 hole in my trout armoury that might have to be filled at some point. I also need to try an Onki in that size too.

Euan
Living with deep, full breaths is the way of the trout. Fish, it seems, are the ultimate teachers in breathing.
RC Cone

Dave Robb

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #21 on: June 06, 2018, 12:39:51 PM »
Those with experience of G Loomis rods, any idea how an NRX green would compare to my Orvis Recon?  Seen one on offer.

After reading the comments on this thread, it’s difficult to trust reviews as so many ‘top’ rods are winning shootouts because they can put out full lines.

I can just about go to the backing on the Recon, but never really need to do so.

Anyway, the G Loomis. Worth looking at?

Rob Brownfield

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #22 on: June 06, 2018, 13:29:11 PM »
Those with experience of G Loomis rods, any idea how an NRX green would compare to my Orvis Recon?  Seen one on offer.

After reading the comments on this thread, it’s difficult to trust reviews as so many ‘top’ rods are winning shootouts because they can put out full lines.

I can just about go to the backing on the Recon, but never really need to do so.

Anyway, the G Loomis. Worth looking at?

I think the marketing bumf gives a clue...."This rod is for advanced casters, or casters that plan to be someday"

Ok, I admit it, I quite like this salmon fishing lark....

Rob Brownfield

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #23 on: June 06, 2018, 13:57:56 PM »

As this is based on a rod design over twenty years old it is not the latest thing, OK?

I have been going through my "box of unloved rods" with the thought of getting rid of some. Its been an eye opening to say the least!

I actually have the predecessor to the Whisker 11'3". It was the Osprey, same length and was rated 7-9. It came with a plug in extension for spey casting.  Possibly one of the forerunners of a modern Switch rod?

Anyway, a waggle had me giggling so off into the field I went. Boy can it put out a long line with ease. Slow everything down and the rod does the work. It loads and "catapults" the line out with very little effort. That rod I am keeping!!

Next out the box was a Normark Norboron 10 foot 7/8 weight.  Now this was a very desirable rod back in the day and I had to wait until a second hand one came up for sale. I remember thinking "WOW".  It was the fastest, most powerful fly rod I had ever used.

What did I think now..."my goodness, this is not a fast rod at all!" It bends..and bends quite deeply. Agin though, it was easy to cast with and just laid out a lone beautifully. That's another keeper!

Next was a Bob Church 10' 3" Chew Valley reservoir rod built on a Daiwa blank.  Rated...wait for it, 8-10...for trout!! Extremely stiff butt and a very soft top. I remember using this at Loriston with a Cortland 444 WF 8 and being able to pick up fish a long way out. That tip, I am sure, came from a different rod, maybe a 7 weight!! I rebuilt this rod a while back as it was looking a bit rough. I use it for light pike, but its not seen daylight for about 8 years. Its getting kept as well.

As a comparison, I then had a cast of my Recon 7.  It really was much harder to get the same easy distance. Might have been partly because it was a foot and a bit shorter than the others, but whilst I could get sexy loops with it, it was hard work in comparison.

And on the issue of 20 year old technology, I am about to build a couple of new carp rods on Harrison Ballista blanks. These are still being sold some 22 years after hitting the market. No updates, no tweaks. They are a progressive action, bending right through to the handle.

They were sold as long range rods back then and could put a lead 150 yards. Harrison also do a range of more "modern" rods, with fancy 1 and 3k weaves, improved resins etc. These rods, at well over twice the price for the blank, will cast 130 yards! This is despite modern materials, fast actions and reduced weight.

When you compare side by side, the Ballista does all the work, it loads easy and just unwinds like a catapult, firing a lead miles! The other blanks, well, you have to really trash them to get them loaded and they just don't have that "feel".

And back to Daiwa. Daiwas latest long range top spec carp rod is 13 foot, and has a test curve of 3.75lbs. This means its optimum casting weight is 4-4.5oz and it will hit 180 yards. Its a bit of a poker!!

However, back in 1982, Daiwa released the legendary Amorphous Whisker AKN 12 H. A 12 foot 2.75tc rod designed to cast 3oz.  It also can cast 180 yards. Some people can cast over 200 yards with it!! they still fetch £250 on ebay, with ones that are in new condition fetching over £300.

So, in 36 years, Daiwa have managed to produce a brand new rod for £400 that can cast as far as its flagship model from 1982, but cannot match the feel, the action or the softness that allows fish to be played quickly and without fear of breaking he line.

Its a funny old world!!

oh..i am definitely keeping my four AKN's!!!!
Ok, I admit it, I quite like this salmon fishing lark....

Euan Innes

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #24 on: June 06, 2018, 19:32:52 PM »
Many a good tune on an old fiddle Rob!
Sandy has written a good piece in Eat Sleep Fish on this very subject so I guess that wisdom does come with age!

Euan
Living with deep, full breaths is the way of the trout. Fish, it seems, are the ultimate teachers in breathing.
RC Cone

Sandy Nelson

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #25 on: June 07, 2018, 08:26:11 AM »
You saying i'm old  :shock :shock

 :z4 :z4 :z4 :z4 I was doing my grumpy old man bit about advertising :z4 :z4 :z4 :z4

Dave, the New Epic blanks are still a Class apart when it comes to Glass  :z16
I have both here, the new ones from Mark and the new Fastglass11 476 and although the Helix is a great fishing rod, the Epic still has it for quality. They are better prices now too, so as an example an Epic will cost you £425 fully built (from me) with your choices including Epic glass tube and UK delivery, the S-Helix will cost you £345 with a Carbon tube and UK delivery. Price the same for any of the sizes. Full range should be available for the start of the building season in October
I should have a new 476 as a demo by the end of the summer if you fancy playing.

Carl still sells the self build kits too, which make thing very easy for a first time builder and if you have the time is  a great idea, much more fun making your own one and there is plenty of help available on here :z16

Sandy

Nb. If its an NRX LP then its a superb fly rod, if its a standard NRX avoid it if you fish dries on the river. :z18
John Geirach 1999 "Millions of trout have died of old age before i could catch them and there's not a damn thing i can do about that"

Dave Robb

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #26 on: June 07, 2018, 09:06:03 AM »
Sandy, pm sent.

 :z18

Vedran Oreskovic

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #27 on: June 09, 2018, 02:06:26 AM »
When I have more time I will add my 2p to the above but right now I have spent a day with  the love of my life and really appreciate the softer things in life! My Guideline Fario 9' #4 is not fast but throws a lovely line. Not very far, but far enough to catch fish and feel the heart beat of the trout that you are attached to. It doesn't like beaded flies, except for short range stuff, but unweighted things are ace.
Maybe it is my age but some things are not as stiff as they used to be! :oops  :z4 :z4 :z4 :z4

Euan

I have Helios 2 5wt 9ft medium action and as you say I can feel the heart beat of the trout that take my fly.  Totaly agree with you! I have two fast action rods, Hardy Zenith 5wt (which I wanted for years but never managed to find one untill this winter) and orvis Recon, but I choose H2 midflex about 95%  when going to river. Also great thing is that H2 cast great in close and far. Now using Mallard flyline, but also before I used rio gold, sa gpx and mpx depending on the situation at water., and time of year..

Euan Innes

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #28 on: June 09, 2018, 17:38:00 PM »
Vedran,
You should try a GT90 on it. My Fario likes the SLX (I could even put on an intermediate poly and still use it!), likes the Mallard DT4 but LOVES the GT90. I haven't tried the poly on the GT90 yet but I am going North next week so might give it a bash.
My love of "fast" rods is fading away but unlike Hamish I will use my Bamboo rod.
Might even take it North.... :z4

Euan :z1
Living with deep, full breaths is the way of the trout. Fish, it seems, are the ultimate teachers in breathing.
RC Cone

Hamish Young

Re: Rod actions.... a personal journey
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2018, 11:27:36 AM »
Might even take it North.... :z4
Good, I need something to tie up my roses with  :wink
“When tired at last, he sat on the bank, while the river still chattered on to him, a babbling procession of the best stories in the world, sent from the heart of the earth to be told at last to the insatiable sea.”

 




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