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Leland Rod Co. Sonoma Lil' Loop, Wine, 2-pc
Fall in love with fly fishing for the first time (or all over again). This 8' 5-weight two-piece fly rod is smartly dressed from butt to tip with features you'd expect from all of today's premium fly rods. From the unique Leland Grip to the stealthy matte finish, consider it a warm invitation to the sport.
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desc::Fall in love with fly fishing for the first time (or all over again). This 8' 5-weight two-piece fly rod is smartly dressed from butt to tip with features you'd expect from all of today's premium fly rods. From the unique Leland Grip to the stealthy matte finish, consider it a warm invitation to the sport.
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detdesc::Leland Rod Co - Sonoma Trout 5 wt 8ft Fly Rod, Wine, Two Piece
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What Makes a Good Fly Rod
Every fly rod can catch a fish...that's for sure. However, not every fly rod is a joy to cast and certainly doesn't celebrate the defining attribute of our sport...fly casting. To learn more about what makes a good fly rod, just click the link.
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desc::Every fly rod can catch a fish...that's for sure. However, not every fly rod is a joy to cast and certainly doesn't celebrate the defining attribute of our sport...fly casting. To learn more about what makes a good fly rod, just click the link.
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What makes a good fly rod?




The fly rod is the defining element in any tackle ensemble as it is responsible for propelling the weighted fly line
and relatively weightless fly out into the river or lake and to the
targeted fish. It is the angler's primary tool, a synthesis of
functionality and art. The very first fly fishing rods were crude
instruments that got the job done, but today's high performance fly rods
come in many shapes and sizes and are constructed of space age
materials like fiberglass and graphite that would no doubt have the
earliest anglers salivating at the advances in the primary tool used in
fly fishing.



Modern fly rods are designed, first and foremost, to cast fly lines
as efficiently as possible. This goal has created a community of
specialized casting specialists and "fly rod taper" designers who focus
on the physics of fly casting and materials science and engineering in
the search for the most effective fly rod ever produced. These advances
in fly rod design have led to parallel advances in fly line
design and construction as well as a general improvement in the casting
ability of anglers of all skill and experience levels. Improved casting
accuracy and distance, both direct results of modern fly rod
advancements, have also opened new horizons in the sport, allowing
anglers to fish new water and harsh conditions that were never
accessible with older fly rod designs.



There
still is a passionate community of more traditional rod builders and
enthusiasts who maintain the art of creating high performing rods of split cane bamboo.
These cane rods are most often found in the deftly skilled hands of
trout anglers on smaller spring creeks, but several of today's best bamboo rod builders
are also constructing highly effective rods in heavier line weights and
in lengths and tapers suitable for Spey casting.





Components of a Fly Rod




Rod Blank



The fly rod blank is simply the physical rod itself. Each rod style has a
unique shape or "taper" throughout its length designed to deliver a
specific fly line weight or fly line style as efficiently as possible.



Grip



Fly
rod grips are a key component to the fly rod itself. Grips are
generally made of Portuguese cork and are shaved and sanded on a lathe
to create an ergonomic handle. A series of classic grip styles are
available; Half Wells grips are popular in many mid-weight trout rods,
Full Wells grips give steelheaders and saltwater anglers a bit more
control when casting heavier rods, Cigar grips are extremely popular on
the lightest fly rods, Spey grips are long and tapered allowing an
angler to easily wield a two-handed rod of 13 feet or more in length.



Guide



Guides are small coils of light, but durable metal that hold the fly
line close to the rod, allowing an angler to actually use the fly line
and fly rod in tandem to successfully complete a fly cast. These coils
are sometimes referred to as "eyes" and the first guide or guides near
the butt end or handle of the rod blank are called the "stripping
guides" and the rest of the guides are called "snake guides." The final
loop-shaped guide at the tip of the rod blank is simply called the "tip
top." Fly rod guides have "feet" and are secured to the rod blank with
tight wraps of thread about the feet. Generally, guides have two feet,
but single-footed guides are becoming more popular with rod designers as
weight considerations become more important for a modern rod's
performance and marketing story. Recoil snake guides -- guides that
retain their original shape even after being bent -- are also finding
their way to mainstream fly rod design for their enhanced durability and
performance.



Reel seat



The reel seat is metal component that holds a fly reel
to the rod. Reel seats can be as simple as two aluminum rings (called
cork-and-ring reel seat), or can be beautifully machined combinations of
aluminum and wood or composite material for larger, heavier reels. The
reel seat is a relatively new addition to fly rod design as anglers used
to hold the fly reel in their free hand as recent as the mid 1800s.





Fly Rod Construction




The best fly rods, whether bamboo,
fiberglass, or graphite are put together with the utmost care.
Construction is the ultimate determinant of how efficiently the rod
transfers the energy of the caster through the rod to fly line and
eventually to the fly. A poorly constructed rod is not efficient and
will not directly transmit the energy generated by the caster to the fly
line, often resulting in a "wobble" at the end of the casting stroke.
This wobbling transfers to the line resulting in a weaker, less accurate
cast. The better and tighter the construction of a rod, the more
efficient it is, and the more accurate and powerful it will be at all
distances.



In modern graphite rods, the quality of construction is directly related
to the type of source graphite used to make it. As a general rule, the
higher the modulus (a term indicating how much graphite is present in
the rod), the better the graphite. Quality rod makers are continually
searching and redefining the right amount and type of graphite to make
their rods even better. Translation: just the right amount of modulus
graphite will make a higher performance rod. Rods that use modern
aerospace grades of graphite will transfer the most energy with the
greatest degree of ease and also allow for the best accuracy.





Fly Rod Performance and Optimization




Fly Rods and Line Weight



Generally speaking, the weight of a fly line is proportionate to the
size of the species you're pursuing. If you are fishing for smaller fish
with smaller flies, a lighter line weight will allow you to present the
fly more accurately. However, if you are going after big fish, a
heavier line is important for turning over larger flies in the wind and
casting greater distances.



Action and Flex



Fly
rods are characterized by where the rod flexes. A "fast action" fly rod
flexes near the tip, and a "slow action" rod flexes near the butt of
the rod with "medium action" somewhere in between. Action determines the
tempo of your casting stroke. It also determines the ability of your
rod to generate line speed, a term for how quickly the loop travels away
from the rod tip. As it takes less effort to cast farther and more
accurately with a fast action rod, beginning casters are often best fit
with this action.



Length



The type of water and fishing determines appropriate fly rod length.
Smaller streams mean tighter casting situations, and a shorter rod is
much more manageable. Big Western rivers and salt water require a longer
rod for increased distance and power. While, anglers fishing for
steelhead and salmon commonly prefer longer rods for large mends and
roll casts. Generally speaking, a nine-foot rod is ideal for the vast
majority of fishing situations. If you are new to the sport, this length
will perform effectively in a variety of waters and will allow for a
solid development of your fly cast.

Check out the best fly rods available today.

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Loop Opti Fly Rod Series Review


COMMITMENT TO RODS WITH A PURPOSE

A purpose-built series of fly rods from the most respected names in international fly fishing.. . . . Read More.
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COMMITMENT TO RODS WITH A PURPOSE

A purpose-built series of fly rods from the most respected names in international fly fishing.. . . . Read More.
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Specifications:

Featured ModelsNymph (590-4)Stillwater (593-4)Stillwater (696-4)Stream (693-4)
Action: Ranges from Medium to Medium-Fast
• Sections: 4 Piece
Guides: Ceramic stripping guides and durable chrome snake guides with double coating
Handle: Premium Cigar Cork Grip
Reel Seat: Triangular, locking reel seat makes it easier to put the reel in place


The Loop Opti Stream 590-4 takes second place in this year's Five-Weight Shootout, courtesy of Yellowstone Angler

December 12, 2013 (Sonoma, CA): Thirty years ago in Sweden, Christer Sjöberg dreamed of creating a company that designed functional fly fishing tools that deserved to exist. Each product was crafted to provide a solution for the an angler, making fly fishing more enjoyable and successful. Loop Tackle was born. Loop was the first company to ever offer a true, large-arbor fly reel. It provided faster fly line retrieve, reduced line coiling and assured a consistent drag setting. Proving Loop's design valid, almost all fly reel manufacturers now offer a large-arbor design. Loop Tackle continues to push design boundaries, creating fly fishing tackle that is worthy of ownership. 

The RundownLoop Tackle's Opti Series of fly rods again shows a commitment to creating fly rods with a purpose. Each rod model is optimized with materials, components and most importantly, action to give you the best fly fishing experience possible. Rather than create a fly rod series numerically (2 to 14 weight), the Loop Opti series approaches things differently. Knowing most fly anglers chase trout, Loop Tackle's Opti seriesfocuses on making the most functional trout fly rod models possible. 

Indicator Nymph FavoriteLoop Opti Nymph 590-4
It's a fact that the majority of a trout's diet is subsurface. Any fly angler focused on catching as many trout as possible already knows this and that's exactly why the Loop Opti Nymph (9' #5 4-piece) fly rod exists. It's well balanced, stable and efficient and transferring your casting energy into the fly line. With added power in the but section this rod can cast larger indicators, weight and several flies with ease, yet still has sensitivity and the ability to protect lighter tippet when needed. This is one popular fly rod for those who want to catch lots of trout in the broadest fishing situations.

Float Tube FavoriteLoop Opti Stillwater 593-4
Stillwater trout fisheries, like lakes and reservoirs are abundant in the United States. Even better, some of the largest trout can be found here. Unlike river trout that burn calories in moving water, trout that inhabit lakes have the luxury of calmly cruising the stillwaters, with little effort, in search of food. The result are robust fish and with the right fly rod, you'll catch them. The Loop Opti Stillwater (9'3” #5 4-piece) is exactly the rod you want. With a little extra length, you can hold your back cast higher above the water, resulting in longer casts. With its optimized action, you can cast just about any fly line (floating, intermediate, high-speed) with ease. It's also quite sensitive, allowing you to perceive the slightest tap on your fly. This is your rod to discover the game of stillwater trout fishing.

Streamer FavoriteLoop Opti Stream 693-4
No doubt about it, the largest trout in your river didn't get that big by just eating insects. They added that extra body weight by eating meat, in the form of smaller fish and crayfish. A fly fisher wanting to hook the biggest trout in the water should definitely throw a streamer. Using a standard five weight fly rod to cast bigger-heavier flies is arduous at best. With the right fly rod, cone-headed buggers and sculpin patterns cast like a dry fly. The Loop Opti Stream (9'3” #6 4-piece) is just the right rod for the job. It's got plenty of power to cast the six wight fly line (floating or sink tip), which will efficiently and accurately carry your big but to the mark. It's got a bit of extra length that makes mending your swing real easy and has plenty of power in the butt for solid hook sets and big fish battles. This is the fly rod to add to your collection. That is...if you like to catch the biggest trout in your waters.

Big Water Streamer FavoriteLoop Opti Stillwater 696-4
Loop originally designed this fly rod to be a heavier-gauge loch rod to cast big streamers to large stillwater trout. With its longer length, powerful taper and fighting butt, we thought it might cast big cone-headed streamers well big rivers. We tested our thinking and found it to be one of the best big water streamer rods we've fished. It's got all the right stuff...plenty of power to boost big flies with efficiency and accuracy as well as butt strength to pull big fish from heavy current. It's surprisingly well-balanced, and incredibly durable. Stop trying to cast streamers on your five weight fly rod. Step up to a Loop Optimized fly rod and you'll understand that some things were meant to exist...and this is one of them.

The Wrap Up: Loop's proven history of designing focused, solution-based fly fishing equipment that provides fly anglers a refreshing and confident purchase is a rarity today. Unfortunately today, too many fly rod  manufacturers produce rod models with no specific or intended purpose...they just make fly rods in varying lengths and weights...lots of them. It's no wonder so many anglers are confused. With Loop Tackle's Opti series, you'll always know what you're getting and when the day comes and you're on the water, using the right tool...the world is a better place. 


Pro Review - Leland's Burke White


Late season trout fishing in the western states might mean many things to many anglers, but to me...it means streamer fishing for some of the largest trout of the season. During fall and early winter most rivers and streams are at their lowest flows of the season. Large trout that once sheltered under heavy flows become more accessible. In headwater fisheries (rivers that flow into larger lakes), big brown trout begin their spawning run upstream and create a trophy angling opportunity for us fly fishers. It's the perfect time to hunt big fish with streamers.

I just returned from the Upper Colorado River where I had a late-season chance to cast large streamers to chunky trout using an exceptional fly rod, Loop Tackle's Opti Stream 693-4. Often overlooked is the important fact that when we are fly casting, we're not casting the fly at all. We're actually casting the fly line. When fishing with larger, heavier, wind-resistant flies, we therefor need a fly line with more mass to efficiently carry our fly accurately to the mark. A well-designed six weight fly rod is a solid bet for this purpose and that's just what Loop has designed in their Opti Stream 693-4 fly rod.

Anyone can grab a six weight fly rod and start chucking streamers in moving water. Heck, you might even catch a trout or two. However, in my opinion, there's far more to the fly fishing experience than just catching a fish. To me, efficient, enjoyable fly casts add value to the overall experience on the water and when you're casting heavy streamers the right fly rod will make all the difference. When you do make a smooth, accurate cast to likely water and a big trout responds, that's an “earned” fish and “earned” fish are far more memorable than just a “caught” fish.

Too often fly rods are quantified by how little they weigh, what outrageous performance they claim to promise or the fact that they use exotic materials or components. To me, a quality fly rod starts with the blank of the rod. Words like efficient, balanced, smooth, stable and accurate get me excited and those are the same words I'd use to describe the Loop Opti Stream 693-4 fly rod. Each cast (even with a heavy streamer) was easy. I didn't have to work hard at all to cover the nooks and crannies of the Upper Colorado and the fish responded well.

The 9'3” length of this rod might sound a bit odd, but I actually found it both pleasant in balance (for a slightly longer rod) and very functional at roll casts and line mends. Three inches doesn't sound like much, and it's not on paper, but it was pleasantly noticeable on the water. As stated before, I'm a big fan of six weight fly rods for streamer fishing and this Loop Opti is a true six weight. It's still an enjoyable trout rod, but it generates enough power to smoothly cast my six weight fly line and efficiently carry the larger streamers I was casting. Put another way, it's a happy balance between power and grace.

As far as the rest of the rod goes, it's well-appointed with solid components, including quality cork and a bomb-proof reel seat. Thread wraps are tight, epoxy work clean and I can't complain about the color. Of course it comes with a rod sock and a nylon-covered hard tube for protection while traveling.

I've fished many rods during my career in fly fishing, but there's something special about Loop fly rods. The action is not overly fast (like many “performance” rods seem to be today), yet this Loop Opti Stream has the ability to generate ample power, which efficiently transfers into every cast. Best way to put it, you won't have to work hard when casting larger streamers with this rod and you'll smile on every cast.

Oh, and the fishing...well, not too shabby. If told you the actual number and size of fish I caught on this rod, you wouldn't believe anything I've written. 

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Choosing the right fly line
Choosing the right fly line makes all the difference in casting and fishing performance, not to mention your overall experience when fly fishing. Learn more about how important the correct fly line is.
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The Important Role Of Fly Lines




If you think about it, the art of fly casting is actually misnamed. We
are not, in fact, casting the fly, we are casting the fly line. The mass
of the fly line is replacing the weight of the lure used in
conventional fishing and is necessary to deliver the almost-weightless
flies we use when fly fishing. Therefore, fly casting should actually be
named, “Fly Line Casting.”



 



With this truth in mind, it’s worthy of revisiting the important role of
the fly line. Regardless of your fly rod’s performance level, a
smooth-casting, quality fly line will elevate your overall casting
experience. Your fly line is in use all day when fishing. Your line is
not only the delivery vehicle for your leader and fly, it’s also the
contact point between you and the fish. Furthermore, the correct fly
line will catch you more fish. With specialized tapers and sink rates,
an avid angler can select from an offering of fly lines that not only
deliver a specific fly or rig with ease, but also present your offering
in a subtle manner, at the perfect feeding level.

 





If you’ve been using an older, outdated fly line, or just casually
purchasing fly lines that offer fish-catching function, we, at Leland,
recommend that you elevate your cast with the perfect fly line for your
specific fishing needs. You’ll not only enjoy every cast, you’ll catch
more fish, too.

 

At Leland, we've spent decades perfecting the science of pairing fly
lines with fly rods. We do the work, you feel the difference. If you
have questions about fly lines, don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll get
you the perfect fly line for your fishing needs, ensuring that every
cast (and every fish) is memorable.







You wouldn’t buy a new car and then request the dealer to install your
tires, or put dry tires on your new ride, would you? So why would you
buy a new fly rod and keep using your cracked, outdated fly line? If you
agree with us at Leland, that casting is the key attribute to our
chosen sport of fly fishing, then do yourself a favor and get a new fly
line. Just like new tires on a sports car give you a better driving
experience, a quality fly line can elevate your casting enjoyment.

 

Today’s fly lines come in many specific tapers, finishes, densities and
grains. Choosing the perfect fly line for your rod and specific fishing
needs can be confusing. That’s why we at Leland took the time to save
you time. Our “Gear Guides” did the math for you, recommending the
perfect line pairing for your new fly rod. Start enjoying every cast
with a well-balanced outfit. When good casting skills meet an efficient,
well-designed fly rod and the correct fly line, great things happen.

Click here to visit our fly line solutions.

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Leland Rod Co. New Zealand Trout Fly Line


THE LINE THAT WILL CHANGE HOW YOU FISH.

When fly fishing, casting with efficiency, control and accuracy are the keys to enjoyment and fishing success. Our fly lines will change your fly fishing world...Read more.
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THE LINE THAT WILL CHANGE HOW YOU FISH.

When fly fishing, casting with efficiency, control and accuracy are the keys to enjoyment and fishing success. Our fly lines will change your fly fishing world...Read more.
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Leland's Pliny fly line will change your fly fishing world.

  • Efficient loops
  • Effortless fly line control
  • Easy distance, when you need it
  • Accurate and subtle presentations
  • Super stealthy line color
  • Welded loops for easy rigging

In the good old days, the famous R.L. Winston fly rod company of Twin Bridges, Montana claimed you'd catch 90% of your trout within an efficient, elegant and accurate forty foot (or shorter) fly cast. You know what? R.L. Winston fly rod company was right! So why are today's fly lines designed for ultra distance?

Performance my friends, performance! Come on, who doesn't like performance? Performance cars, performance running shoes and performance snow skis are just plain cool. It's why we race belt sanders and riding lawn mowers...performance, competition and bragging rights! But when it comes to fly lines, is performance truly necessary? It is if you have an ultra-fast, performance fly rod and you think distance alone is the end goal and that this distance alone will catch you more trout.

Today's performance fly lines now come with harder coatings, textured finishes, low-stretch cores and insanely long bellies (the weight forward part), all claiming uber-performance from some new technology with the single goal of ultra distance. These newfangled, performance fly lines were designed to compliment (or tame) today's far-casting, ultra-fast fly rods. Still think you want a performance fly line?

If you're an industry junky or skilled double-hauling tournament distance caster, all this performance fly line stuff is fine, but what if you just really like to fly fish for trout? What if you're tired of attempting to hold the 47 foot head of the popular Rio Gold fly line in the air before you can efficiently shoot the running line? What if the resulting cast from this line is inaccurate and far beyond forty feet? What if after this long cast, it's near impossible to control the drift of your fly and set your hook? You might want a different fly line.

After 30 years of fly casting instruction and selling all the latest and greatest fly lines we finally noticed a thing or two. Mainly, we noticed that our customers were confused with the overwhelming and ever-changing selection of performance fly lines and specialty profiles. We also noticed that our customers were tired of struggling to control the exceedingly long heads (the weight forward part) of today's performance fly lines to then attempt to shoot the thinner running line. Bottom line...today's fly lines are are not designed for fly fishing...they're designed for performance distance casting.


Our Leland Pliny fly line, on the other hand, was designed for celebrating the defining attribute of our sport (the cast) and for responsible trout fishing...forty feet or less. Sure, you can easily and efficiently cast our fly line much, much further, should the fishing situation demand. But in most cases (as the R.L. Winston fly rod company once knew) 90% of your trout will be caught within the combined length of a fly rod, our fly line's head and a tapered leader...forty feet! This is the very same fly line that is included with our Leland New Zealand Trout Fly Fishing Outfit as well as our Sonoma Trout Traveler Fly Fishing Outfit.

But there's more to our fly line. The Pliny fly line's supple finish makes for smoother shaped loops, which are far more efficient in the air. The unique profile of our line was designed with efficiency and control in mind, making for easier and more accurate casts. Our fly line's head is a dark olive green which blends perfectly with the common foliage found along trout streams. The dark olive green head then transitions to a noticeably-thinner, bright red running line, not only making identification of the weight-forward portion of our line super easy, but it also makes for efficient “shooting” of the line, adding easy (as in free) distance to any cast. Add a thin, welded loop on both ends of our Pliny line and you've got easy rigging, too.

It's pretty simple, if you're a tournament distance fly caster, keep buying long-bellied, hard-coated, performance fly lines to cast on your super fast-action fly rod...cast for ultra distance and win yourself a trophy. If however, you actually like to fly fish for trout, get yourself a Leland Pliny fly line and start enjoying every cast. Become efficient, accurate and intimate with your sport. Stop just catching trout and start earning them with a fly cast that your grandfather would be proud of. Oh, and our Leland Pliny fly line comes with a 100% money-back guarantee. The way we see it, if you aren't thrilled with our work, then you shouldn't have to pay for it. Send it back and we'll return all your hard-earned money.

The Leland Pliny fly line...

  • Laser-etched micro-textured finish? No.
  • Hard-coated, super-performance technology? What?
  • Super low-stretch, performance core material? Umm...Negative.
  • Agent Y, superior lubrication mechanization? Sorry.
  • Uber-distance-casting-tech-automation (UDCTA)? Please stop!

The Leland Pliny fly line is just one heck of an efficient casting fly line that will make you smile on every cast and help you enjoy the sport that you love. We promise.

And the name? Our Pliny fly line was named after our favorite local Sonoma beer...Pliny the Elder. For those of you fly fishers who know beer, you probably already know what a Pliny is. For those of you who don't, here's a link for more information. Be sure to put this one on your beer “bucket list.” You can thank us later.

Got a question about the best-casting fly line, or the best-tasting beer for that matter, give us a toll-free call at 866-672-1959.



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Leland Reel Company Vintage Fly Reel Review


ANCHORING YOU IN THE THE TRADITIONS OF FLY FISHING

Conceived for fly anglers who find that today's loudly colored, tech-ed out fly reels don't match the greater feel of their day on the water. . . Read More.
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ANCHORING YOU IN THE THE TRADITIONS OF FLY FISHING

Conceived for fly anglers who find that today's loudly colored, tech-ed out fly reels don't match the greater feel of their day on the water. . . Read More.
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Name::Leland Reel Company Vintage Fly Reel Review
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detdesc::Leland Reel Co. Vintage Series Fly Reels

Specifications:

 
• Models: Sierra Nevada Golden Trout, New Zealand Brown Trout, British Columbia Sea Run, British Columbia Steelhead
• Time-Honored Click and Pawl Drag System
• Machined and Anodized Bar Stock Aluminum
• Full Cage Reel Frame with Inside Palming Access
• Brass Fittings, Reel Foot and Line Guard
• Agatine Handle
• Laser Engraved
 


Leland Reel Company Vintage Brass Reels debut in San Francisco and Sonoma, and online.

 
October 20, 2011 (San Francisco, CA): In keeping with Leland Reel Company's commitment to timeless aesthetics and contemporary fishing performance, we announce the arrival of the new Leland Reel Co. Vintage Series Fly Reels.

Taking a Step Back: Conceived for fly anglers who find that today's loudly colored, tech-ed out fly reels don't match the greater feel of their day on the water, Leland Vintage Series have engineered the fishing function you need into the traditional aesthetic that brought you to the sport in the first place. Fully-machined from solid blocks of cold-finished aluminum, then teflon-anodized for generations of reliable companionship, the Vintage Brass Series of fly reels represents Leland Reel Company's determination to fuse the rich aesthetic of bygone times to the functional advantages of modern reel technology.

The Line-Up: Recognizing that tradition-minded anglers exist in more than one of fly fishing's sub-disciplines, the Leland Vintage Series of reels features three sizes: the Sierra Nevada Golden Trout, appropriate for small stream dry fly fishing and line sizes 2 to 4; the New Zealand Brown Trout, sized for all-around trout fishing with lines 4 to 6; and the British Columbia Sea Run, our take on a traditional Spey reel, appropriate for mid- or long-belly lines up to line weight 7/8 and Skagit or Scandi shooting heads to 450 grains. Finally, our British Columbia Steelhead Spey reel will suck up all your big Skagit lines for two-handed lines in weights 8/9.

Click-Pawl Drag: As the most time-honored and fool-proof type of drag design, the click-pawl is built to perform for decades, not years. With a base level of care, the stainless steel components of the drag can function admirably for generations. Did we mention the sound this reel makes? It's enough to make you reflect on our sport's long and distinguished history.

Meant for Palming: We've designed every Leland Vintage Fly Reel to allow finger tips through the bottom of the reel cage when additional braking power is required. For centuries, such palming was an essential skill in fly fishing, just like casting and fly selection, but it's fallen away in recent years. We feel it provides a more intimate experience for the angler who is connected to a fish, and we want to bring it back. That said, the British Columbia Sea Run reel, designed for pursuing powerful anadromous fish, has dual pawls and an adjustable drag knob to provide the considerable braking power that this application requires.

Brass Hardware: The machined brass line guard, reel foot and screws are another deliberate touch. Selected because they develop a subtle patina over many hard seasons of fishing, these components -- unlike the impervious components of the drag -- are meant to show the distinction that comes with age. The same is true with the hand-sewn leather case that houses each Leland Reel Co. Vintage Reels: each fishing trip further enhances its appearance, each blemish becomes a reminder of a day well spent. We are confident that you will treasure your Leland Vintage Reel more with each season you own it.

Superior Fishing Tools: Built with a standard arbor and a narrow and tall geometry to maximize line pick-up while also maximizing line capacity, Leland Vintage Fly Reels are performance fishing tools -- make no mistake about that. With high-end materials, peerless machining and top-notch anodizing, they are built to provide the on-the-water fishing function you need, for seasons to come. But we feel the Leland Vintage Reels are more than tools. They are a reminder of a simpler time, a physical connection to a past when anglers could access nature's majesty and mystery whenever they set foot in moving water.
 

pro review - leland's josh frazier


What's the Word...


As the latest addition to the Leland Reel Company line-up, the Vintage Brass Series of fly reels offer anglers everywhere what many reel manufacturers believe you no longer want: well-built, traditionally styled fly reels.

Fit and Finish...

 
With the Vintage Brass Series, we wanted to build genuine fly fishing artifacts, reels that fished great and stood the test of time, both functionally and aesthetically. By scrutinizing the classics in our personal reel collections, by using a carefully selected roster of materials and the most advanced manufacturing methods, and by revising over and over, we've created three very unique reels. Functionally, they balance well with a variety of the premium fly rods we sell, and aesthetically, they enrich any rod, whether graphite, fiberglass, or bamboo.

Why We Did It...


When we go fly fishing, it's sometimes as though we're trying to connect with the past. For those of us who were fortunate enough to have a grandfather or other elder introduce us to the sport, fly fishing can be a way of remembering or honoring them, especially after their passing. For others among us, going fishing in fertile, pristine places is a way of imagining a time when more of the world was that way. With Leland Vintage Brass, we wanted to build reels that enhanced this feeling of return, that took their cues from our sport's long history, that consecrated your time on the water by anchoring you in the traditions of fly fishing.

Rundown...

 
Pros: We knew that if we designed a reel that you'd want to give to your grandchildren, we'd better build it tough enough to last that long. So we did. Like the most legendary reels of old, the Leland Reel Co. Vintage Fly Reels are tanks.

Cons: To stay true to our vision of a fly reel that any creel-toting fisherman from the 19th century would be proud to fish, we elected to go with the full reel cage and screw-operated spool release that held sway for so long. If you're looking for a classically styled reel that offers tool-free spool release and features a half-cage frame, check out the Leland Classic Reels.

Bottom Line: Extraordinarily well-made reels with a timeless aesthetic.

A Final Thought...


In our rapidly changing and always-distracting world, it's easy to lose sight of all our connections to the past. We forget, for example, that the water moving down spring creeks and glacial freestones today fell as snow thousands and thousands of years ago. And that the native trout of the Sierra and the steelhead of coastal BC were spawning in those waters thousands of generations before that. To be sure, the Leland Vintage Fly Reels are nothing more than what they are: fly reels. Fishing with one isn't going to make you a better angler or a wiser person. But it might make you reflect just a little bit more. About our world. About ourselves and our history. About why we do the things we do. At least, it's done that for me. Tight lines, Josh Frazier
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Tips & Techniques Fly Casting - Forming a Loop
The most basic motion in fly casting is a "smooth acceleration to a stop" of the fly rod's handle. This lets the rod and the fly line form a loop.
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desc::The most basic motion in fly casting is a "smooth acceleration to a stop" of the fly rod's handle. This lets the rod and the fly line form a loop.
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The Casting in Fly Casting
Bringing the rod handle to a "stop" after it has been smoothly accelerated.
That is all there is to it.


This "smooth acceleration to a stop," happens in two opposite directions for the basic overhead cast. The basic overhead cast results in the casting loop going away from the target and towards the target in the air.

Smooth Acceleration

This smooth acceleration of the handle results in the fly line, in the air, being pulled straight into a line behind the rod tips path. This smooth acceleration also results in the weight of the line resisting the rods patch and thus storing energy in the form of a bent rod. A bent rod is a expensive spring and a springs only job is to store and release energy. Now we have stored stored energy in a bent rod, we now must release it.


The Stop
The “stop” releases the bent rods stored energy into the fly line. This bend of the rod is transferred in into the line in the same shape that the path of the rod tip takes while unbending, this rod tip path creates the formation of the recognizable, classic casting loop.


The Loop

The Loops direction, that looks like a U shape or elongated candy-cane unrolling in the air, dictates where the fly is carried. The tighter the loop the more accurate the fly is carried. 


Summary

Pull the line straight in the air with the rod. Stop the Rod. Watch the Rod release the energy into the fly-line. Watch the fly line loop drag your fly to the target.  Enjoy.

Want to get started casting Master Casts today? You can, and you don't even need to a "real" fly fishing outfit. In every one of our beginning fly casting classes, we always start with our Master Cast Practice Rod. Although it might look like a cat toy (and it is the greatest cat toy, by the way) our Master Cast Practice Rod is truly the best tool to initially learn how to "pull fly line to a stop" and efficiently form controlled loops. You can even learn in the comfort of your office or home any time you wish. Check out our Master Cast Practice Fly Rod.


Through a hands-on demonstration of fly rod mechanics, fly line construction and the tapering of the leader you will understand the energy transference of your equipment and how it leads to a perfect fly cast. You’ll also learn how proper stance, grip and arm position can increase your casting efficiency and relieve potential fatigue.

As the lesson progresses, we’ll teach you to adjust the shape of your casting loops, as well as their angle and direction, to accommodate varying conditions you may encounter astream. You’ll practice adding and stripping line to increase your casting distance and control slack, and how to “gently alight” your fly on the water.

First Steps of Learning to Fly Cast
• Equipment language and assembly
• The theory of tapered equipment
• Body position, stance, and grip
• "The power of the stop"
• Smooth acceleration of the casting stroke
• Forming Loops, open and tight by having the tip of the rod unbend in a open or tight path.
• Aiming loops, changing direction and plane
• Adding line to the system
• Stop and Drop
• “Gently alight” your fly on the water
• Enjoy


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Sage Z-Axis 7136-4 Spey Fly Fishing Rod Review
Arguably one of the best all-around two-handers that Sage has ever built. If you can only have one two-handed fly rod this is it, from summer to winter steelhead...this rod can do it all. Read more!
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desc::Arguably one of the best all-around two-handers that Sage has ever built. If you can only have one two-handed fly rod this is it, from summer to winter steelhead...this rod can do it all. Read more!
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Sage Z-Axis 7136-4 Spey Fly Fishing Rod Review


Specifications

• Line Size: 7

• Rod Length: 13' 6”

• Sections: 4

• Weight: 7 1/8 oz.

• Handles: Premium Portuguese Cork - Two Handed

• Reel Seat: Uplocking Black Aluminum

• Tube Size: 44 ½”

• Action: Fast and Smooth

• Price: $800





What’s the word . . .



Being one of Sage’s top dealers, I was able to borrow one of Jerry
Siem’s new Z-Axis Spey rods before it was unveiled at the Fly Fishing
Retailer. For my trip to the North Umpqua, the choice was easy; the Sage
Z-Axis 7136-4 Spey Rod. This was over a year ago and the trip was
magical. The history, the scenery and catching steelhead on dries
overwhelmed my senses. This year I was lucky enough to return to the
Umpqua. This time, I brought my own Sage Z-Axis 7136-4 Spey Rod . . .
and it was the only rod I brought.



People who know me and my love of gear have never seen me show up for a trip, no matter what the destination, with less
than half a dozen rods. In fact, I am constantly made fun of for having
“too much gear to fit in the car.” This Z-Axis Spey rod has stopped my
quest to find the perfect rod for every situation, for every pool and
every fly line. The Sage Z-Axis 7136-4 Spey rod is that ‘perfect rod’
for me. I expect it to be the only rod I use on my next trip to British
Columbia, too. Keep in mind, I do not say this lightly. . . in fact, it
hurts the total gear-head in me to think I may not have a full quiver of
rods with me on my next steelhead trip. Maybe I’ll just have three
7136-4 Z-Axis rods rigged and ready to fish . . . one with a floating
line, one with a type three sink tip and one with 10 feet of T-14?





Features. . .



The Sage 7136-4 Z-Axis Spey rod is rated for a 7 weight spey fly line.
This can be confusing because a 7 weight Spey line doesn’t weigh the 185
grains that a single handed 7 weight fly line does. In fact, the
perfect line for this rod is the Rio Skagit Shooting Head for
interchangeable tips, which weighs 450 grains, that is, before the
addition of a 140 grain tip. So this ‘seven weight’ rod balances with a
line closer to 600 grains than the 7 weight designation might indicate.
Despite the rumors, fly fishers don’t make it confusing just for fun. It
is my observation (I may be tarred and feathered for saying this) that
this Spey ‘thing’ is relatively new for most of us, and those designing
and manufacturing the gear are just starting to figure some of it out.
We at Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters take it to be our mission to educate
ourselves, and you, on how to wade through this confusion so you can
just enjoy the fishing!



This amazingly efficient rod casts floating heads, sinking tips, extreme
sink tips, heavy flies, and dry flies, all with effortless precision
that I have not experienced before. The 13’6” length, weighing in at
only 7 1/8 oz., gives you the length you need to precisely control your
swing without tiring. The rod breaks down into four pieces, is protected
by a cloth rod sock and fits into an aluminum rod tube 44 ½ inches in
length, allowing you to fit it safely in most overhead compartments. This
insures the rod will make it safely to British Columbia, Alaska, Russia
or the Great Lakes. The 21” cork handle provides enough room to
accommodate any style grip. The 7136-4 comes with an uplocking
saltwater-safe black aluminum reel seat that resists corrosion when
you’re fishing the tidewater on the Dean. The fast, smooth action of
this rod generates line speeds I have never before experienced in any
spey rod, which translates directly into accurate, precise and easy
fishing. What a rod!





Action. . . .



The first impression when I opened the tube is that the rod blank was
thinner than a traditionally-built 13’6” rod. As I put the rod sections
together, my observation turned into the physical conclusion that this
rod was light! I wiggled the rod and it did indeed feel light in the
hand, and fast! (Wiggling rods is a fantastic pass time, and is done the
world over in fly shops. This is a poor way to determine a rod’s
action, but until every shop has a river running through it, we are left
to wiggle.) I strung up the recommended 450 Grain Rio Skagit line, with
a floating tip, and started to fish the North Umpqua. This is really
the only way to determine a rod’s action. If a rod Only feels good in
the store, it should stay there. After numerous casts, I could confirm
that this rod was “fast”; not in the tainted meaning of the word, which
means “stiff”. “Fast”, as in the awesome meaning that it transferred a
magical amount of energy to the fly line and created loops with
tremendous line speed. Line speed in this situation means easy casting
and accuracy!! The last attribute that I look for in a rod is tracking.
Does the tip follow the butt of the rod and, therefore, the casting
stroke? If it does, you get accurate loops and a versatile rod that
accommodates many types of casting styles. This rod has a thin blank for
low windless drag, is lightweight for tireless fishing, generates amazing
line speed, tracks like it’s on rails, and handles all types of lines,
flies and all my different casting styles. Jerry Siem, the rod designer
at Sage, has built into this rod the potential for it to be a seamless
part of your fishing; where you no longer feel the rod as a fly fishing
rod, but, as an extension of yourself to land your fly exactly as you
pictured it.





Materials. . .



The Sage 7136-4 Z-Axis is built with the Generation 5 Technology
process, a significantly different and improved method used in building
rod blanks. Instead of a typical fiberglass “scrim” or mesh that is
rolled around the steel mandrel to bind the longitudinal graphite fibers
together, the Z-Axis Series has this scrim replaced by a lighter layer
of graphite cloth. This cloth is rolled at a 90º angle to the
longitudinal power fibers, resulting in a rod with greater “hoop”
strength, more power, a thinner wall and less weight. A more efficient
rod with less weight?! Sage wins this one!





Fit and Finish. . . 



The Z-Axis rods are also attractive, with a rich, olive green blank and
contrasting brown thread wraps over English Hopkins and Holloway guides
and tip top. The finish over the wraps is a medium build and has very
professional, near flawless appearance as you would expect. The reel
seat is a black aluminum, giving the rod a solid look. The handle is top
quality Portuguese cork which is a beautiful tan and natural to the
touch. It’s all organized in a custom tan rod sock and fits into a
handsome aluminum brown Sage rod tube. Sage’s fit and finish is equal to
their reputation of making the finest fly fishing rods in the world.





Reliability and Durability. . .



When a fly fishing rod bends, its circular cross section becomes an
oval, with the greatest stress occurring in the compression element at
the inside of the bend. This phenomenon is typically what causes
graphite rods to shatter when they’re overstressed (aside from car
doors, dog teeth, and nicks from weighted flies). In addition, when the
G5 layers are compressed with tape and baked in an oven, as all
synthetic rods are, the epoxy resin fuses the layers together more
effectively than it would with scrim, and uses less resin in the
process. G5 tech has already been proven over several years within the
existing Sage line of tough Xi2 Salt Water rods, and one might assume
this durability will carry over to the Z-Axis line, as well. Time will
tell, but I have no concerns in this department.





Company Profile and Customer Support. . .



Sage was founded in 1979 by Don Green, an experienced rod blank builder
and one of the architects of the modern fishing rod, as owner of the
Grizzly Fiberglass Company, which later partnered with Fenwick. It was
originally called Winslow Manufacturing (after the city of Winslow on
Bainbridge Island, Washington) but within a year had changed its name to
Sage. Emphasizing high quality fly rods sold only through specialty
stores, Sage rode the crest of the fly-fishing boom in the post “A River
Runs Through It” years. Today, although there is no industry repository
for exact numbers, Sage is probably the world’s largest producer of
premium fly rods and employs over 100 workers in their manufacturing
facility.



So, has being the 800-pound gorilla affected the quality of their
product as it has with so many other companies in the outdoor industry?
Although challenged by industry wide flat sales, the growth of the
Internet, and increasingly higher quality Asian imports, my impression
is no, for several reasons. Sage has continued to retain talented people
and spend money on research and development. The proximity of
Bainbridge to the Boeing Aircraft manufacturing plants near Seattle and
Toray Composites in Tacoma provides access to a wealth of knowledge from
the aerospace industry, the primary end users of graphite fiber. More
importantly, aside from a few casting and spinning rod models over the
years, Sage has pretty much stuck to their original intention, building
very good fly rods.



The Z-Axis has a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner. If
you damage or break your rod, you are responsible for the shipping
charges and insurance to send ALL of the pieces to Sage, plus a $40
handling fee, to cover return shipping and insurance within the U. S.
International owners are charged the actual shipping and insurance fees.
Not a bad deal for an expensive, relatively fragile tool. The other
five or six top US makers offer similar rod warranties, but not all
provide the same level of service. I’ve seen some customers wait 3 or 4
months, or longer, to get their rods back. Sort of puts the damper on
the fishing season. Sage’s lead time for repairs is currently about 2 to
2 ½ weeks during their busy summer, and shortens to about 1 ½ weeks in
the winter.





Overall Rating. . . 



Scott Howell is one of the finest guides I have ever fished with. His
passion for steelhead fishing is only rivaled by his intensity for
having his clients catch
one on a dry fly. He was one of the pioneers of Skagit-style spey lines
and was perfecting his cast before most of us knew what Spey fishing
was. His belief is that this rod has put Sage back in front in spey fly
fishing.



“There were, until now, independent boutique manufactures that
produced better rods. The Sage Z-Axis Spey Series and, specifically, the
7136-4 Z-Axis Spey rod changed all that.”




I feel them same way. After fishing this rod for a full year, I can say
that this beautiful spey rod has halted my search for different rods for
specific situations. On a trip last year, I brought six rods to fish.
This year, I brought only two; both 7136-4 Z-Axis Spey rods, one for me,
and one for my fishing buddy, Thys. These were the only rods we used
all weekend and we never felt under or over-gunned. This has never
happened to me before. I’m sold, and I have a lot of boutique Spey rods
that are going to very lonely in the closet.





Reviewer. . .



I’m the owner of Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters by no mistake. I’m,
admittedly, a gear head, and there is nothing better each day than to be
surrounded by fly fishing equipment. I personally have 50+ fly rods,
maybe twice as many reels, 12 cameras, 8 guitars (I can barely play),
1,800 bottles of wine (I barely drink), and four boats. I love the
stuff. I enjoy spending hours trying figuring out what rod matches best
with what line, leader, and fly on a specific river, in variable
conditions. I keep hundreds of lists, and on most trips will be greeted
by groans from the guides on the number of rods I have brought that day
to test. I was introduced to Spey casting about ten year ago, and it
resonated deeply with my love of steelhead fishing. There is nothing I
would rather do than to work a run in the cold autumn of a British
Columbia morning with a Two-Handed Rod. Spey rods and spey lines make up
the focus of many of my current lists. I hope my above review was as
helpful to you as it was fun for me to test the gear and write about it.
Please, if you have any questions, call the shop, as I would much
rather be talking about steelheading than doing the paperwork I find
myself confronted with more and more as a store owner!



Tight Lines – Josh Leland Frazier





PROS    This is the one steelhead spey rod I’ll bring on my next
trip, regardless of where it is. . . B. C., the Pacific Northwest, Idaho
or the Great Lakes. It does it all!



CONS    Being a gear head, I’ve been used to having a few rods with me. This limits my need for a quiver.



BOTTOM LINE    Light, powerful, and strong; I don’t think I’ve
ever said this before, “This rod is a ‘must-have’ for every steelhead
fisherman.”

Sage no longer makes this fine rod. Click here to view Sage's latest work, the Sage ONE 7126-4 Spey Rod. She's a doll!

Click here to see Sage's best steelhead Spey outfit.

Click here to return to equipment reviews.


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Red Truck Diesel Fly Reel Review


A REEL THAT LOOKS AND SOUNDS LIKE A FLY REEL

Somewhere along the way, we feel some reel manufacturers have lost a connection to the past, instead focusing on over engineering a fly reel to justify its price. . . . Read More.
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A REEL THAT LOOKS AND SOUNDS LIKE A FLY REEL

Somewhere along the way, we feel some reel manufacturers have lost a connection to the past, instead focusing on over engineering a fly reel to justify its price. . . . Read More.
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Old-school anglers take note.  With the growing popularity of Red Truck’s proven Diesel Series of fly rods, Red Truck raises the bar again with its traditional series of Red Truck Diesel fly reels. 

Old meets new: Fully-machined from bar-stock, aircraft-grade aluminum, then anodized for a long life of use, these traditionally-styled fly reels are anticipating your next fishing trip. The rim-mounted drag adjustment knob awaits your fingers to fine tune the “click and pawl” drag system. The exposed palming rim is there for you when added drag pressure becomes necessary. Classic porting reduces reel weight and provides that vintage look. The sweet sound of the click and pawl drag will announce “fish on.” A removable brass line guard reduces line wear, while adding to that classic look. Each reel comes in a handsome leather-capped, padded reel pouch.
  
When did fly reels stop looking and sounding like fly reels? It’s not to say that we at Red Truck don’t like or respect the progression of fly reel design. It’s just that somewhere along the way, we feel some reel manufacturers have lost a connection to the past, instead focusing on over engineering a fly reel to justify its price. Fishing a fly reel – one that looks and sounds like your grand daddy’s reel – connects you, as an angler, to a more carefree time when fly fishing was simple and fun. At Red Truck, our goal is to make fly fishing fun again. 

The Red Truck Diesel fly reel was born from a straightforward concept, “combine vintage cosmetics with contemporary performance.” We started our design process by searching for our favorite fly reel from the past. We reviewed reels by manufacturers from around the world, some no longer in business and some from present-day brands. Our search resulted in two favorite fly reel models. Each had design and functional qualities we at Red Truck liked. Our decision at that point was to combine the best characteristics from these two reels into one great fly fishing reel. The Red Truck Diesel was born.



For the Diesel fly reels to reflect our vision of a traditional fly reel, it first had to look like one. For this, we focused on two aspects, the porting pattern of the spool and the matte anodized finish of the reel. We designed our porting pattern (the arrangement of holes in the spool) after reviewing many vintage fly reel samples. Our porting design is visually simple, but still very classic. Of course, our porting also reduces the weight of the fly reel and allows for the fly line and backing to dry faster after a day on the water.

For our Diesel fly reel’s finish, we settled on an anodized matte gray finish with polished silver accents. The resulting Diesel fly reel’s finish speaks to the fact that a fly reel should first and foremost be a functional tool, nothing too flashy…but it still should have enough flair for that occasional admiring glance while fishing. On the water, our Diesel’s matte finish also keeps reel-flash to a minimum, which is always important when chasing wily fish. Not only do our Diesel fly reels perfectly complement our Red Truck Diesel fly rods, they look great on just about every other brand, too.

By reviewing traditional fly reel dimensions and line capacities, we found that it was time for an update. You’ll notice that our Diesel fly reels are larger in diameter and thinner in width than vintage fly reels. The result of our efforts is a classic appearing fly reel with large-arbor benefits. Although our fly reels are standard arbor, in effect they are actually large arbor in function. Instead of removing crucial backing capacity from the center of the spool, we just build up the “arbor” with backing. Now you have the best of all worlds…large-arbor performance (faster line pickup, less line coiling and a more consistent drag setting) with more than ample backing, in a traditional-looking reel.

Click, acoustics, noise…however you define it, the sound created by a fly reel with a running fish is music to Red Truck’s ears. We felt it so important that we struggled to finely tune the sound of our Diesel’s click and pawl drag system. We all knew we had the right configuration when the Red Truck gang smiled during a sound test. Truth is, we were all imagining the silence of a trout stream being awakened by our Diesel reel announcing, “fish on.”  This sweet music is created by our adjustable click and pawl drag system, which unlike many classic fly reels is easily converted to left or right hand retrieve. The drag control knob is classically positioned on the reel's frame for easy access, ensuring you always have the proper drag setting. But we didn’t overlook contemporary advancements, like an exposed palming rim, used to add more drag pressure during a grand fish fight.

Next we searched the world for the best reel manufacturer. A company who already crafts fly reels for some of the biggest names in the fly fishing industry. We desired a facility with talented engineers and craftsmen who know how to leverage current technology, advanced materials and machines which result in the best fly reels presently available. We found them in South Korea and after much romancing they agreed to partner with us on our fly reel project.

Of course our Diesel fly reel is fully machined from aircraft-grade aluminum. Unlike cast or molded fly reels, a machined fly reel has a higher tolerance to abuse, allowing for an extended life of fishing. Machining also creates greater structural integrity. With this stronger reel, we can remove more material from the reel, reducing weight and offering even greater fishing function. Unlike classic fly reels, we removed the reel frame’s cage. This contemporary frame modification not only results in a lighter reel, it also makes for easier spool changes or line/leader wrangling, when the need arises. Changing spools and accessing your line is a snap.

Of course we didn’t neglect the extra design features too. We even added a line guard at the base of the reel frame, which reduces line wear and can be easily repositioned for either right or left hand retrieve. A polished silver counter-balance weight (opposite the handle) ensures smooth operation when reeling line in or on a hot fish run. And of course you’ll be proud to place your Diesel fly reel back into its classic reel pouch for safe storage.

The word. . .


The new Red Truck Diesel Series reels were born straight from the honest, function-forward design philosophy we have come to expect from the boys at Red Truck. With a classic look reminiscent of the trusty click-and-pawls of yesteryear, these reels are built to stand the test of decades on the water. The Diesel Series reels have all of the aesthetic and functional features that one could want in a freshwater reel, without any of the hyped up finishes and Formula-1 drag systems that are, simply, overkill for trout and steelhead. Now, anglers looking for a classic style reel will no longer have to empty their bank accounts for a vintage Hardy. The Diesel reels allow anyone to enjoy that same screaming sound and timeless style, all on a guide’s budget.  Red Truck’s Diesel Series reels show respect for the past while creating a legacy of their own.

Features. . .


The Diesel Series reels are equipped with a proven, click-and-pawl drag system that has a nice and loud in and out-going click, and easily converts from left to right hand retrieve. They also have a palming rim to apply added pressure when that hot summer steelhead takes off on a screaming run. Precision-machined from anodized aluminum, the Diesel Series reels are built to resist both scratches and corrosion, so they will look just as pretty in 20 years as they do today. 

Fit and Finish. . .


•    Fully machined anodized aluminum construction
•    Machined brass line guard
•    Click and pawl drag system with exposed palming rim
•    Tight, solid, and lightweight
•    Leather and cotton-weave zippered reel case
•    Limited lifetime warranty

Reliability and Durability. . .


All Red Truck rods and reels are built to withstand the test of time in the field, and the Diesel Series Reels are just about as bullet-proof as freshwater reels come.  The proven, click-and-pawl drag system is super low maintenance, and will still sing loud and clear when you hand it down to your grandchildren.  Plus, should an issue arise, all Diesel reels are backed by Red Truck’s Limited Lifetime Warranty.

Overall Rating. . .


PROS – Built with a loud outgoing and incoming click-and-pawl drag, and machined to ultra-tight tolerances in a timeless, classic aesthetic that will endure decades fishing abuse.

BOTTOM LINE – If you’re looking for a series of reels that will perform day in and day out, whether you are facing feisty golden trout, summer steelhead, or anything in between, the Red Truck Diesel Series is it.  



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Loop Tackle Opti Fly Reel Review


IN 1984 LOOP MADE THE FIRST LARGE ARBOR REEL

Thirty years after this revolutionary design, the Opti Fly Reel Series continues Loop's quest to challenge industry conceptions about what fly fishing gear is capable of. . . .Read More.
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IN 1984 LOOP MADE THE FIRST LARGE ARBOR REEL

Thirty years after this revolutionary design, the Opti Fly Reel Series continues Loop's quest to challenge industry conceptions about what fly fishing gear is capable of. . . .Read More.
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Specifications


•  Models: Opti Creek Fly Reel, Opti Dry Fly Reel, Opti Runner Fly Reel, Opti Speedrunner Fly Reel, Opti Megaloop Fly Reel, Opti Big Fly Reel
•  Machined and Anodized Bar Stock, Aircraft Aluminum
•  Fully Sealed Power Matrix Drag System
•  Simple, quick spool-change
•  Precisely counterbalanced




October 5, 2011 (San Francisco, CA): In 1984, Swedish tackle manufacturer Loop produced the first large arbor fly reel—it would be another decade before the rest of the industry caught on and virtually every fly reel was built to the Loop standard. Nearly thirty years after this revolutionary design, the Opti Fly Reel Series continues Loop's quest to challenge industry conceptions about what fly fishing gear is capable of.

Not just another large arbor reel: Loop's groundbreaking Opti Fly Reels illustrate what's possible when tradition takes backseat to innovation and the boundaries of conventional design give way to cutting-edge thinking. Simply put, the Loop Opti doesn't look like your typical fly reel because it's anything but your typical fly reel. Utilizing input from fly fishers around the world, Loop developed their Opti Fly Reels to satisfy the demands of top anglers in tough environments. Each of the six models of the Loop Opti Series features an expert combination of ergonomic, efficient power integrated into a striking and seamless exterior. Sporting a super-large arbor and lightweight design, the Loop Opti Reels represent a new generation of fly reels built to change the way you fish. Whether you are playing wily trout with the Opti Creek or conquering saltwater locomotives with the Opti Big, the Loop Opti Fly Reels are guaranteed to look and feel unlike any other reel on the water

Series Overview...


Construction: Loop Opti Fly Reels are machined from bar stock, aircraft-grade aluminum for uncompromising strength and an exceptionally lightweight frame. As a result, the Opti Series features an increased spool diameter optimized for accelerated line retrieve without weighing down your rig. This super-large arbor design is a radically effective way to maximize line recovery and minimize line memory, thus reducing arm fatigue and making every revolution more efficient. Working in concert with this revolutionary arbor design, Loop Opti Reels also feature a V-shaped spool that directs fly line into place with little help from your fingers. The result is a fly reel that does not just boast blazing line retrieve, but that does it all with an effortless dependability that's characteristic of Loop's comprehensive design process.

Form & Function: The Loop Opti Series is constructed with an emphasis on durable power and sleek, Scandinavian aesthetics; think of it as a workhorse with the body of a thoroughbred. Under the hood, the Loop Opti Reel's fully sealed, fully adjustable Power Matrix Drag System is the latest in braking system technology, delivering huge stopping power for reduced fatigue and fight times. The Power Matrix is especially evident in the larger models like the Opti Megaloop, where dual braking plates dish out serious resistance against formidable saltwater trophies.



Of course Loop Opti Fly Reels are entirely waterproof and saltwater ready, featuring stainless steel and anodized aluminum components, as well as screws secured with Loc-Tite to provide an extra layer of defense against the elements. Every Opti Fly Reel can accommodate left or right hand retrieve and the quick spool change greatly enhances versatility when you need multiple lines for varied action. Opti Fly Reels are also precisely counterbalanced to ensure that whether you are taking trout on the Opti Dryfly or warring with a King on an Opti Megaloop, every revolution is consistent and smooth. On the exterior, Loop aesthetics contribute to a distinctive look that reaffirm the Opti Fly Reel's cutting-edge design. The Opti porting is as visually striking as it is functional, optimizing the reel's lightweight performance and contributing to a prominent profile. The Loop Opti Fly Reel frame features a distinguished L insignia on the side, an understated signature of Loop's immaculate style.
 

The Lineup...


Optimized for trout anglers, the Loop Opti Creek (WF3+140yd/20lb) and Opti Dryfly (WF5+190yd/20lb) are aptly named and excel in trout environments. Each features a silky-smooth drag for fine leaders and partners with a model in the Opti Fly Rod and Opti Line series for a complete package.

The Opti Runner (WF7+150yd/30lb) and Opti Speedrunner (WF8+185yd/30lb) are ideal for single or double-hand rods. They feature an inset handle that reduces the circumference of your rotation, combining the power of super-large arbor with the rapid rotation of a much smaller reel. This makes the Opti Speedrunner a perfect contender for fast moving bonefish that demand speed over torque.

And then there are the Opti Megaloop (WF12+230yd/50lb) and Opti Big (WF12+500yd/50lb): these are the heavy-hitters of the Opti series, delivering huge power for everything from salmon and permit to tarpon and tuna. The Opti Megaloop and Big would pair well with the appropriately named Opti Power Fly Rods.


Loop Opti Fly Reels – Pro Review by Leland's Burke White


What's the word...


The Opti Fly Reel evolved from Loop’s endless quest to design and create revolutionary fly fishing gear that increases function and performance. Inside and out, the Loop Opti Series is unlike anything else available. We had the opportunity to fish the Dryfly for trout and the Speedrunner for steelhead, and both performed incredibly.

Features...


Pick up a Loop Opti and the first thing you'll notice is it's size, but it's all in the name of performance. The Loop Opti Reels feature a larger diameter spool that provides a far more consistent drag setting and rapid line retrieve; Loop calls it a “super-large arbor.” This results in a more efficient reel where each rotation of the handle returns more line, making the Opti Fly Reels hugely efficient at reducing fatigue and speeding up the fight. Translation: when a bonefish turns and charges back, you’ll be with it every crank of the way.  A long fish run on a standard arbor fly reel greatly reduces the diameter of the backing.  This reduction in backing diameter increases drag resistance at exactly the wrong time. With a super-large arbor Loop Opti fly reel, this increase in drag is negligible.

The super-large arbor also reduces line memory. When fly line is stored at a larger diameter, “line memory” is greatly reduced and the line remains straighter.  A straighter fly line glides more efficiently through your fly rod’s guides, resulting in more efficient casts.

Fit and Finish...


At first glance, the Opti fly reel might look a bit out of place in the fly fishing world. With its unique design and ultra-large diameter, it’s part garden hose winder and fly reel all in one. But the meticulous engineering that contributes to its large size provides some of the best retrieval efficiency on the market. The anodized finish and intricate porting also give the Opti Fly Reel a technical look that speaks to its advanced performance.


Rundown...


Pros: Huge power on the heavy-duty models, superb finesse on the lighter ones, and balanced performance the whole series through. The Loop Optis are a whole new breed of fly reel.

Cons: There's no way around it: the Loop Opti Reels are bigger than your traditional reel. But that's also what the skeptics said about Loop's first large arbor reel, and look how that turned out.

Bottom Line: The Loop Opti series of fly reels might not be for every fly angler…especially the more traditional type. However, for those of us who are looking for every edge to increase our enjoyment and catch, the Loop Opti is your new fly reel. 
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How to Choose a Fly Rod for Trout
The vast majority of time, trout anglers are fly fishing with rods in line weights 3 through 6. Though you might use a two weight on a small Appalachian creek, or a seven weight on a large Montana river, these situations are rarer and will be treated as outliers.
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desc::The vast majority of time, trout anglers are fly fishing with rods in line weights 3 through 6. Though you might use a two weight on a small Appalachian creek, or a seven weight on a large Montana river, these situations are rarer and will be treated as outliers.
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detdesc:: Choosing a Fly Rod



Choosing a Fly Rod for trout

Which length and weight of trout fly rod is best for you and your fishing needs?



Selecting a trout fly rod is not as complex as it may seem. What follows is a generalized discussion that will help you make good choices when selecting fly rods for trout fishing.



The vast majority of time, trout anglers are fly fishing with rods in line weights 3 through 6. Though you might use a two weight on a small Appalachian creek, or a seven weight on a large Montana river, these situations are rarer and will be treated as outliers.



Each rod weight has an ideal length and ideal application, more or less regardless of manufacturer or brand. Of course, some extremely specialized fly rods exist at every line weight, but we believe our clients are best served by this concise selection of trout fly rods.



Choosing a Fly Rod



The Three Weight Fly Rod



Three weights are the rods to choose for fishing spring creeks. For this application, a fly rod around 8ft 9in is ideal. It gives you the right balance of accuracy and control because it's a little shorter than the standard nine feet, but also has the length you'll need for precise mends and line control on the water.



You should buy an 8ft 9in three weight fly rod if:



1. You're targeting seriously educated trout, as you would find in spring creeks



2. Flies used are small, like size 14 and smaller



Choosing a Fly Rod



The Four Weight Fly Rod



To our thinking, there are two types of four weights. For fishing small water with a variety of flies, a four weight fly rod around 7ft 6in is ideal. This compact length allows you to work in tight amongst the brush that can line small streams, while a four weight line has the guts to carry some of the larger, bushier dry flies, like size 8 Stimmies, that are so fun to fish.



You should buy a 7ft 6in four weight fly rod if:

1. You're planning to fish small streams and creeks or fly fishing the backcountry with a variety of flies



Meanwhile, for fishing dry flies on rivers, a four weight trout rod around 8ft 6in is ideal. Much like the spring creek 3 weight discussed above, this four weight has the right balance of accuracy and reach, and it's got a little more oomph for distance, larger flies, or a stiff breeze.

 



You should buy an 8ft 6in four weight fly rod if:



1. You're looking for a dry fly specialty rod



2. The dry flies you want to fish are normal-sized, ie size 6 to 18





Choosing a Fly Rod



The Five Weight Fly Rod



Five weights are arguably the most versatile trout fly rods. They can place small flies with delicacy, but have the guts to handle larger flies, and longer casts in wind. In our opinion, the 9ft five weight fly rod is the rod that will serve anglers well in the broadest range of angling situations.



You should buy a 9ft five weight fly rod if:

1. You're looking for the all-around trout rod

2. You're not sure what trout rod you should get



six weight



The Six Weight Fly Rod



To us, six weights are streamer rods. They are more powerful than five weights and can better control bulky and/or heavy flies in the air. So if you love to fish streamers or out-sized dry flies like mouse patterns, reach for a six weight.



You should buy a 9ft six weight fly rod if:

1. You're looking for a streamer specialty rod



So as you can see, the two primary factors that determine trout fly rod selection are: (1) type and size of fly you'll be using and (2) the type of water you'll be fishing.



Now, there are two other considerations that may push your choice up a line weight: (a) if the place you'll be fishing is known for consistently strong winds, you might consider going up a line weight; (b) likewise, if the trout you'll be fishing for are known for being consistently large or being very powerful fighters, you might consider going up a line weight. As an example, if you were looking for a dry fly specialty rod to use in a very windy place like Patagonia, you might be better served by a 9ft 5wt than an 8ft 6in 4wt.



Hopefully this helped resolve some of the uncertainty regarding fly rod selection. Based on our collective experience, these are the specific models of trout fly rods that serve our clients best. If you follow the guidelines laid out above, you can't go wrong, but if you have any questions at all, just give us a call or livechat us.


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What is a  fly line?
Understanding the importance and function of a proper fly line will increase your enjoyment of fly fishing ten fold.
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detdesc::Unlike standard “fishing line,” whether lightweight mon-ofilament nylon or braid, a fly line is actually designed with increased mass or weight. This extra mass is very important, as the weight of the fly line is what we are casting (or moving) during a fly cast. It's also the vehicle for delivering our near-weightless lure (we call a fly) to the intended target.

The truth is, there is no such thing as “fly casting,” as the weight of an average trout fly is almost nothing. It cannot be cast by itself using a standard spinning rod. It simply doesn't have enough weight to be propelled and then carry the fishing line. When we are “fly casting” we are actually “fly line casting.” Once we efficiently move the weighted fly line in an intended direction, this mass in motion creates inertia. With inertia, we can then attach our near-weightless fly to our weighted fly line...and off our fly goes.

The secret to fly fishing and the result of this approach to delivering a lure is a very light presentation. Our fly lands on the water like a feather, without a splash and the fish has no clue we're after it. Without a weighted fly line, none of this would be possible and fly fishing would not exist. In fact, the defining attribute of fly fishing is the unique way we deliver our lure, called a fly.

Of all the necessary components required to fly fish, the fly line is often casually overlooked. That's understandable, as graphite fly rods and machined fly reels are much cooler to consider. The truth is, the correct fly line is more important than you think. With the right fly line, you'll be able to efficiently deliver your fly accurately and with a subtle presentation.

featdesc::Today, there are many fly lines on the market. They come from a long list of competing brands. Within these brands are tapers and specialty profiles, all offering some focused, intended use. For us at Leland, we've learned  thing or two over our thirty years in fly fishing. What matters most, is that we've learned that a fly line should be very efficient at delivering your fly with accuracy and a subtle presentation at about forty feet. That's the magic distance for all things trout.

Put another way, if you can deliver your fly accurately to about forty feet, you can catch about 90% of the trout on planet earth.



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