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Sonoma Traveler Fly Rod 580-4 8' 5wt
Designed purposefully to take greats casts with you anywhere you go.
271
id::271
thumbnail::Leland Sonoma Traveler.jpg
desc::Designed purposefully to take greats casts with you anywhere you go.
itemprice::$299.95
Price::$299.95
pricelevel::$299.95
baseprice::$299.95
Name::Sonoma Traveler Fly Rod 580-4 8' 5wt
Rod Weight::5 Weight
Rod Length::8-9 Feet
Reel Line Weight::
Rod Action::Adaptive
Series::Sonoma
Featured::Leland Favorite
Category::Rod
Fishing::Trout
Brand::Leland Rod Company
Rod Type::Freshwater
Primary Color::
Size::
Line Weight::
type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/core/media/media.nl?id=732817&c=3316021&h=e9c8d89965c82c188d61
url::http://www.lelandfly.com/Leland-Fly-Rods/Traveler/Sonoma-Traveler-Fly-Rod-580-4-8-5wt.html
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detdesc::


Leland Sonoma Traveler 8ft 5 Weight 4-piece Fly Rod:



This is the very same fly rod that our instructors use to teach casting classes at the Leland Ranch!



Designed to reward an efficient, compact casting stroke with tight, effortless loops, the Sonoma Traveler can deliver any size dry fly with accuracy and subtlety. Slightly shorter than the more common nine feet, this light and spry eight footer is right at home in tight, intimate small stream environments.



Unlike the common nine foot length of most fly rods, our years of experience guided us to a fly rod of only eight feet. The results of this reduced rod length are quite positive. Regardless of actual fly rod weight, the reduction of “swing weight” created by shortening the rod is very noticeable. Combined with better fly rod balance, you'll believe you're holding the wold's lightest fly rod. You'll also notice more accurate casts, as an eight foot fly rod makes much tighter, more efficient, more accurate loops than any nine foot fly rod ever could.



You'll also notice the unique Leland grip on our Sonoma Traveler fly rod. As form definitely follows function, we began a lengthy process to recreate the fly rod grip. The result is a grip that, at first glance, is new to the eye, but once in your hand it will quickly make sense. Most of our customers claim our grip fits them like a glove. You'll probably say the same. Of course our grip is shaped from the finest available Korean cork. This particular material is the same used on fly rods costing close to $1,000.



Our four-piece Sonoma Traveler comes complete with a nylon covered hard tube for easy travel and protection of your new rod. This tube also has an integrated, padded fly reel pouch. This allows you to keep your fly reel attached to you fly rod and still keep your gear safe when traveling or storing.



The bottom line is that this little rod will become your new favorite trout rod. It's balanced, efficient, stable, true-tracking and accurate. You'll smile on every cast and you'll hook more fish with controlled distance, accuracy and a subtle presentation. Celebrate the sport by celebrating the cast!








featdesc::
  • Line Size: 5
  • Length: 8 feet
  • Sections: 4
  • Blank color: Wine
  • Reel Seat: Double-Uplocking Gunsmoke Anodized Aluminum
  • Guides: Blued chrome light steel wire
  • Handle: Proprietary Leland Grip
  • Action: Adaptive, Fast
video::
sku::Sonoma Traveler Rod
rating::95.0%
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::84
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Red Truck Diesel 5 wt 9ft Fly Rod, 4 Piece, 590-4
Featuring the easiest action you'll ever cast. This rod is delicate enough to handle dries and the power to cast indicators.
2286
id::2286
thumbnail::220x220ROD-LRT-DIES-590-4PIE-GREY.jpg
desc::Featuring the easiest action you'll ever cast. This rod is delicate enough to handle dries and the power to cast indicators.
itemprice::$349.00
Price::$349.00
pricelevel::$349.00
baseprice::$349.00
Name::Red Truck Diesel 5 wt 9ft Fly Rod, 4 Piece, 590-4
Rod Weight::5 Weight
Rod Length::9 Foot
Reel Line Weight::
Rod Action::Tip-Curve
Series::Diesel
Featured::
Category::Rod
Fishing::Trout
Brand::Red Truck Fly Fishing
Rod Type::Freshwater
Primary Color::Grey
Size::
Line Weight::
type::item
mediaimg::http://www.lelandfly.com/Red-Truck-Diesel-5-wt-9ft-Fly-Rod-4-Piece-590-4-image.jpg
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detdesc::


All Purpose Trout Fishing Fly Rod:



Trout on your mind? Camping, campfires, casting dries, streamside lunches, cool mornings, and warm days... What’s not to love?



The 9ft 5wt is your all round trout solution, the one best answer for fishing for trout anywhere. From the emerald green waters of the McCloud River to The Lower Yuba River the Red Truck Balanced All Purpose Outfit is your do-it-all solution. In one day of trout fishing an angler can use multiple techniques. A day on the McCloud River can start with fishing dries during the morning hatch, an indicator nymph rig during the heat of the day, a hopper dropper rig as it cools off, and finally streamers for big browns at dusk. You could certainly carry a dry fly outfit, a nymph outfit, and streamer outfit or you can take one outfit designed to excel in all of these situations.





The Red Truck Diesel “All Purpose Trout” Fly Rod: Our most versatile trout rod, 9 foot 5 weight, this rod is your one answer to trout fishing anywhere. Built, designed, and balanced by avid trout fisherman for any situation.


   
·A great rod starts with the grip. Red Trucks full wells grip is not only ergonomic but enhances feel and efficiency of casting and fishing. Built with top quality cork.


   
·Matte finished reducing rod glare, Reflection on the water caused from shiny rods, which can spook fish.


   
·Sanded and precision fit ferules, where the rod pieces come together, allow for repairs in just 3 days and eliminates the need for you to ship the entire rod back to us.


   
·Effortlessly present dry flies on long leaders to rising trout.


   
·Mend and roll cast indicator rigs using the rods powerful mid-section.


   
·Hand made with incredible craftsmanship and premium components.





Recommended Reel: A perfect match for the Red Truck All Purpose Trout fly rod is our Red Truck Diesel Fly Reel. Taking notes from the reels our grandfathers used this reel is durable, simple, and elegant.


   
·The click and pawl drag system provides perfect amount of tension to protect light tippet and fight fish.


   
·Machined from solid bar stock aluminum this reel will be appreciated for generations to come.


   
·Whether you are pulling off line or hooked up on a fish this reel screams fly fishing.





The Recommended Fly Line:  This outfit comes balanced with a weight forward 5wt. This line enhances the feel and performance of your outfit.


   
·No stretch design allows for efficient casting and hook sets.


   
·Made out of Polyurethane which is incredibly durable and can withstand exposure to sunscreen, gas and diesel. All other fly lines are made from PVC which horrible for the environment.


   
·Designed in a natural color to avoid spooking fish in clear water.  


   
·Versatile taper that excels when fishing with dry flies, indicator nymph rigs, streamer rigs, and hopper dropper rigs.





When you put this all together you have an outfit that is incredibly easy to fish, mend, and cast. This outfit comes fully rigged, ready to fish, and includes an extra tip. If you are purchasing your first trout rod or looking to experience a truly balanced outfit the Red Truck All Purpose Outfit is the perfect choice.





featdesc::
  • Line Size: 5 wt
  • Rod Length: 9'
  • Sections: 4
  • Weight: 3 oz.
  • Handle: Modified Western Grip
  • Cork: Hand selected premium cork
  • Reel Seat: Double Uplocking Gunsmoke Anodized Machined Aluminumn
  • Reel Seat Spacer: Maple Burl
  • Action: Fast
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sku::Diesel 590-4 Rod
rating::96.0%
Fly Category::
Fly Stage::
Fly Tying::
quantity::18
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S.A. Sharkskin Fly Line Review
273
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Scientific Anglers Sharkskin
Fly Fishing Line Review


The Next Generation of Fly Line Performance


Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Fly Fishing Line
Ultimate Trout Taper


Specifications
• Fly Line Density: Floating
• Fly Line Taper: Long belly, weight forward with welded front loop
• Total Head Length: 51 feet (for 5 weight line - varies by line weight)
• Running Line Length: 49 feet (for 5 weight line- varies by line weight)
• Total Line Length: 100 feet
• Core: Braided multifilament for cold water use
• Coating: Sharkskin Micro-textured surface on 3M PVC
• Line Weights: 3 through 8 weight
• Colors: Blue Heron (gray) or Chartreuse


PROS- Technological
breakthrough greatly improves overall fly line and fly fishing
performance; less friction, greater casting distance, higher floatation,
easier mending, better presentation, more stealth, less line memory,
improved potential durability, with less effort from the caster.

CONS-
$100 price is about $40 more than other premium fly lines.  Creates
much more noise going through fly rod guides than smooth fly lines.
 
BOTTOM LINE –
One of our basic fly fishing tools has experienced significant
improvement! If the durability claims hold up, there’s no reason not to
buy this line if you dry fly or nymph fish in moving water. The
Sharkskin should be economical to use in the long run.


What’s the word?



Fly Fishing, as popular as it may seem from its
prominence in television ads, is still a very, very tiny industry. The
total money spent on our several hundred year old art form pales in
comparison to even recent phenomena like Pilates, for example.

Yet,
because fly fishing holds a fascination for a dedicated following,
there are intelligent people in our world who devote themselves to
finding ways to improve the fly fishing tackle that we all use. Almost
all of these improvements are small ones. As manufacturers learn
technologies from one another, product categories are slowly refined;
Rods get lighter, faster, and more powerful. Reels become smoother, more
rigid, with better drag performance. But rarely does a piece of new
equipment come along with multiple attributes that clearly sets it apart
from others.
 
Well, that’s just what’s happened with the
introduction of the new Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Fly Fishing Line.
And I’m going to tell you why you’ll probably want to spend $100 to get a
Sharkskin, if you can find one. Even if you’ve just bought a new fly
line.


Features



The new Scientific Anglers Sharkskin Floating Fly
Line features a remarkable, patented micro-replication embossed surface
that greatly improves overall fly line performance in virtually every
category; higher flotation, less friction, less line flash, less line
spray, less line coil and, purportedly, greater durability. The result
is enhanced fishing performance with increased casting distance, easier
mending, easier line pick up, greater stealth and better drifts.

• Patented, micro-textured fly line surface greatly enhances overall fly line performance
• Superior shoot-ability with greatly reduced friction through the guides for easier casting and greater distance
• Higher flotation reduces drag and greatly increases line mend-ability
• Greater pliability significantly reduces fly line drag component in moving water
• Fly line surface sheds water more effectively – less line spray
• Line is purported by manufacturer to be up to 3 times more durable than other fly lines.
• Textured surface eliminates line glare or flash—more stealth
• Line lifts off water and roll casts with ease


Enter the Shark



The Sharkskin Fly Line made its official debut at
the recent 2008 American Fly Fishing Trade Association Show in Denver,
CO, where retailers gather every year to see the new gear and decide on
their inventory for the following season. Of all the new products, the
conversational buzz I most often overheard in the aisles was, “Have you
cast the new Sharkskin Line from S.A.!?”, or, “It makes a lot of noise
when you haul, but I’ve never cast that far!”, or, “I swear it was floating
above the water!” I didn’t get to cast one at the Show ponds; I was too
busy trying to see all the other new stuff, and besides, I’d heard
sales hype so often in the past that my expectations, honestly, weren’t
that great. But I was handed a new Sharkskin line at the Scientific
Anglers booth, as were hundreds of other trades people, and I put it in
my bag as I left.

I took the line out in my hotel room that
night, as I read the information on the 3M box cover. My floating 6
weight Sharkskin line was called “Blue Heron” but appeared a very dull
gray with a texture similar to cloth. The line was very supple in my
hand and felt like dry snakeskin. The box explained that the surface of
the Sharkskin Line was modified with “micro-repeating structures” that
“achieve surface interface properties that mimic nature, such as the
ability of insects to walk on water, the shedding and self-cleaning
ability of Lotus leaves, or the adhesion that allows a gecko to walk up
vertical surfaces.” Wow! That sure sounded impressive. I made a mental
note to read up on Lotus leaves later. Although I didn’t have a
magnifying glass handy, the close-up photo of the line surface looked
like fuzzy fish scales. The performance claims were equally grand, but,
like rods or reels, you never really know until you fish them hard.


Casting Performance



A couple of weeks later, I was on one of my
favorite Northern California freestone streams. The nymphing was
outstanding after a recent rain. I could see big Rainbow trout in
exposed positions, feeding comfortably in the stained current. My
relatively new long belly floating fly line, however, felt a little
sticky, and was causing me to labor as I forced it through the guides.
The front eight feet of the line was sinking. Even after I polished it
to remove accumulated dirt and algae, I still felt I was working too
hard. That night in camp I remembered I had the Sharkskin Line with me,
and I mounted it on a spare reel to use the next day.

In the
morning, my first cast sailed ten feet past the fish I had spotted! In
fact, the Sharkskin Line had so little friction going through the
guides, I had to adjust my casting and mending over the next couple of
hours to accommodate this phenomena. I was used to using far more power
to accomplish these tasks with other fly lines. Now, it seemed I needed
only half the energy to extend or shoot line. Single and double hauling
was easier with fewer false casts.

Texturing a fly line surface
to reduce friction is not a new concept. Original silk fly lines were
naturally uneven. The old Chancellor Chalkstream lines from England, and
to a lesser degree, the old Sunset lines, had a dimpled surface, not
unlike a golf ball, to reduce the amount of surface area making contact
with the guides. Airflo, England’s premier fly line maker, recently
introduced their bumpy surfaced Ridge fly line series in 2006.
Scientific Anglers claims the patterning of the Sharkskin process
reduces the contact surface area of the line up to 70%. Whatever it is,
the Sharkskin, at least when new, has far less friction than any fly
line I’ve ever used. I should mention that casting textured fly lines
through fly rod guides creates more of a rasping noise than smooth
lines, and with the Sharkskin, quite a bit more noise. It doesn’t bother
me at all, any more than my click-pawl reel drag.

So is the
Sharkskin the ultimate distance full-length floating line? Well, that’s
hard to say at the moment. Aside from texturing, fly lines in the past
have either been stiffer and/or smaller in diameter to increase casting
distance. The Sharkskin is much more flexible and softer, than other
lines, bending more like a bicycle chain. Fly line taper comes into play
for distance as well. The Sharkskin currently is offered in only one
taper configuration, called the “Ultimate Trout Taper” in line weights 3
to 8. (note: after this review was published, SA has since
introduced several new Sharkskin fly lines; Ultimate Trout Double Taper,
GPX, Magnum indicator line, Steelhead Taper, Shooting Line for heads,
and an ideal general purpose Saltwater Line - DS 4/09)
This long
belly, weight forward profile has a head length of about 45 for the 3
weight, ranging to 55 feet for the 8 weight, with a thinner, running
line adding to the 100 foot overall length. This taper in a 6 weight
performed extremely well for me, fishing at short to fairly long
distances (70+ feet), both roll casting and overhead casting. I didn’t
test the Sharkskin in a raw distance competition with my other high
performance lines as I was mainly interested in assessing the
Sharkskin’s fish-ability. The Sharkskin technology, either in the
current Ultimate Trout Taper, or a future configuration, may very well
prove to cast further than any other line. However, what I can tell you,
from a practical standpoint, is that the Sharkskin Ultimate Trout will
probably cast further, with less effort, than any other fly line for
most casters in typical trout fishing situations. Note: This line is
designed for mainly cold water use. Tropical saltwater fly lines
typically have stiffer cores, so if that’s what you need, wait until
S.A. comes out with a Sharkskin model suitable for that purpose (they have - see note above).


Fish-Ability and the Holy Grail


The most impressive, and important feature, by my
reckoning, of 3M’s micro-replication process is its awesome flotation
properties. I couldn’t believe how high my new Sharkskin line floated on
the water, even the line tip! Fly line manufacturers have been
struggling to improve line floatability for decades with decidedly mixed
results. There’s only so much that you can do with a given mass of PVC
with internal micro spheres to reduce specific gravity. Not many years
ago, one could expect the best distance floating lines to start sinking
immediately, and even most recently, the first six to eight feet of my
dry lines will sink unless they were cleaned that morning, and they’ll
still sink by the end of the day. Sinking fly lines increase drag and
make line mending much more difficult and far less effective. The
coatings on most floating fly line tips are barely capable of keeping
them on the surface at all.

According to Scientific Anglers, the
micro-texturing of the Sharkskin Fly Line “Greatly increases the upward
meniscus force (surface tension) through a combination of the water’s
interaction with the new surface and the trapping of air into the
valleys of the texture. The result is an over 200% improvement in
resistance of the line to be forced into the water….effectively
improving “floatation” of the line significantly beyond anything that
can be achieved through the addition of glass bubbles or surface
chemistries.”

The incredible flotation of the Sharkskin had a
profound effect on my ability to make drag free presentations. Firstly,
the high floating fly line better supported the floating portion of my
leader, keeping it up near the surface in rougher water. Secondly, the
Sharkskin lifted so damned easily off the water that mending, stack
mending, and roll casting could be accomplished with a fraction of the
energy of my other lines, particularly at distance across disparate
currents. Thirdly, the Sharkskin line itself has less drag in moving
water due to its high flotation, but it also has less drag due to its
suppleness, compared to other fly lines. Softer material, be it line,
leader or tippet, will create less drag in current. Most trout anglers
stake their fish catching success on their ability to present dry flies
or nymphs in the most natural manner, which usually means as close to
dead-drift as possible. Veteran anglers will understand
the import of what I’m saying here, but let me re-emphasize for the
less experienced; the new Sharkskin line does everything so much better
that it will improve your fly fishing, improve your casting and
strengthen your learning curve.

The fly fishing line is,
arguably, the most important functional piece of tackle you own, so
we’re talking about something approaching the Holy Grail of desirability
here. With this technology, fly lines won’t have to be so closely
matched to rods, guide sizes on rods could conceivably be smaller and
lighter, improving rod performance, sinking lines (when available)
fished under tension would have greater tactile sensitivity. Not only
that, the Sharkskin’s dull surface has virtually no line flash to scare
wary fish, making it the most stealthy line available and a no-brainer
for fishing spring creeks and hunting New Zealand brown trout. I’d
strongly recommend the Blue Heron (gray) color for subtlety in most
trout fishing situations. The alternative color, Chartreuse, while
having low flash, is day-glo bright, suitable for anglers who have
difficulty seeing their line or for fishing in very low-light
conditions.


Company Profile


Scientific Anglers was founded in 1945 by fellow anglers
Leon Martuch, Clare Harris, and Paul Rottiers in Midland, Michigan.
They developed the first modern, plastic coated fly line in 1952,
replacing silk fly lines which had been in use for well over 100 years.
In 1954, SA introduced the Air Cel, widely considered the first modern
floating fly lines. The development of 3M Microballoons in 1959
revolutionized the way that fly lines float and is the standard
technology by which all manufacturers float their lines today. 3M, then
known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, acquired
Scientific Anglers in 1973.

Today, 3M is one of 30 companies
comprising the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is ranked about 100 in
the Fortune 500 listing with over $23 billion in annual sales, operating
in over 60 countries with 29 international companies and 35
laboratories. It’s probably the largest company in the world directly
involved in the fly fishing industry. No wonder these guys can make fly
lines float! They obviously wrote the book on early modern fly line
development and it’s not surprising that they have research and
development resources way beyond the means of the handful of other major
fly line makers that we usually see on the shelves, which include Rio
and Cortland in the U.S. and Airflo in the U.K. Most other brands you
buy are actually made by one of these few companies or in Asia. Machines
to build modern fly lines are very sophisticated, very expensive, and
take up a lot of space, to satisfy a very small potential market. Hence
the dearth of players.

So, why hasn’t Scientific Anglers simply
rolled over their competition? Well, the other companies may be small by
comparison, but they too, have been innovative at times, particularly
in coming up with specialized tapers for different fishing situations.
These tapers are designed by knowledgeable fishermen, not scientists, so
sometimes the little guy gets the jump on the big guy. Rio Products,
recently purchased by the Sage rod company, has been particularly
active, and successful, pioneering whole new categories of Spey and
single handed fly lines.
 
I’m not a patent lawyer, but I’m
guessing that the 3M micro-replication process might pose a difficult
challenge for all other fly line companies seeking to mimic the
advantageous properties of the new Scientific Anglers technology.
Certainly expect S.A. to capitalize on Sharkskin with an expansion of
the product line in the near future.


Overall Rating - FIVE STARS


Out of the box, the Sharkskin certainly functions better than any other floating fly line I’ve fished, but the remaining question
for all of us is, “How long does this party last?” Scientific Anglers
testing indicates, by their accord, that Sharkskin Lines can last up to 3
times longer, overall, than their previous most durable lines. The
micro-texturing that increases suppleness allows the line to bend with
less cracking over time. S.A. has made some pretty durable lines in the
past, so that’s encouraging. They also claim that used Sharkskin lines
returned to their lab for re-testing actually exhibited improved
flotation properties.

Frankly, we won’t really know the true
durability of Sharkskin until enough of us go out and thrash the water
for a while. Lines that last a year for a fishing guide might last ten
years for a casual angler. My feeling is, even in the worst case
scenario (that being Sharkskin isn’t any more durable than other modern
fly lines), the $100 price would still be a bargain based simply on its
performance advantages. When you think about the money that you spend on
rods, reels, other tackle, and the gas just to get to where you fish,
forty extra bucks is a small price to pay.

Check out the best fly fishing lines.

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Abel Super 5N Fly Reel Review
250
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Specifications
• Weight: 5.7 ounces
• Spool diameter: 3.500 inches
• Spool width: .750 inches
• Capacity: Standard WF 5 line plus 125 yards of 20 lb. Dacron backing or WF 6 plus 100 yards of backing
• Material: Spool, frame and foot machined from 6061-T6 cold finished
aluminum bar stock
• Drag system: Draw bar actuated cork disk
• Finish: Corrosion-resistant anodized
• Colors: High gloss black coral or non-reflective matte black, other custom colors available at an additional charge



A little history…

 
So, what’s this?? A beefy, brawny saltwater tough guy posing as a trout reel? Isn’t that a bit …well, overkill?
After all, in fly fishing, unlike conventional spinning or bait casting, we don’t actually use the reel to make the cast. In the old genteel days of trout fishing, the reel simply stored line until we’re lucky enough to hook something that took out more line than we had in our hand. I grew up using a stamped, Japanese import, then a stamped Pflueger Medalist, and finally graduated to a variety of die cast Hardy reels, the gold standard of trout reels in the early 1980’s. I treasured all of them in their time. Maybe it was the insistent buzz made by the clicker as a trout peeled off line, or maybe I felt the reel was my fishing companion, sharing in each new adventure.

Fast forward to 2007. Our “genteel” art has become, on many fronts, a slugfest. No longer are we satisfied plying our trade in bucolic settings fishing for small trout. Today, many of us travel the world seeking larger trout in New Zealand, Patagonia, and Chile. We fish the salt water flats for species such as bonefish and permit that swim much faster and pull much harder than their similarly sized freshwater cousins. Consequently, we’re harder on our tackle and have come to expect greater performance from our fly reels.

You’d think it wouldn’t take rocket science to come up with a little metal wheel with a brake that was dependable. But I’ve seen just about every brand of reel fail at one time or another. Whether it’s grit or grime, extreme heat or cold, component wear, or impact from a hard fall, if there’s a weakness, we usually find out about it exactly at the wrong time.

Enter Steve Abel. Although not a rocket scientist, he is an experienced aerospace machinist, who started selling his fly fishing reels in 1987. His motto then, and the company’s motto today is “to design and build the best, most dependable gear in the world and give world class customer service.” In the ensuing twenty years, Abel Quality Products has succeeded in carving out a niche in the increasingly competitive arena of high quality fly fishing reels and built a devoted following of end users. The latest offering from Abel is the Super 5 Narrow Large Arbor, a trout sized reel that boasts a robustness usually found only in its larger, saltwater brethren.

Features

The Abel Super 5N Fly Fishing Reel is the newest addition to the Abel Super Series, which have a large arbor design for faster line retrieve, reduced line coiling, and better drag continuity. The 5N spool, frame, and foot are cut from a solid block of 6061-T6 cold finished high molecular density aluminum. The spool and frame are aggressively ported (ventilated) to reduce weight, while maintaining great strength and rigidity. The draw bar, main shaft, pawls, and screws are machined 303 stainless steel. The drag is comprised of a large surface area, cork composite covered drag plate tightened against the inside of the aluminum spool by the draw bar. All aluminum surfaces are protected against corrosion by Abel’s proprietary hard anodizing process. The 5N is convertible to left or right hand retrieve. At 5.7 ounces, it’s relatively light considering its bombproof strength. The drag system is silky smooth, with low start up inertia, and based on a simple design that has proven itself over two decades. The spool capacity is suitable for 5 or 6 weight lines, making it ideal for large trout and small steelhead. Substituting smaller diameter gel spun backing in place of Dacron, one could pump up the backing capacity to over 150 yards for medium steelies, smaller bonefish, specks and reds. Overall, a nearly flawless, extremely rugged and reliable fly fishing reel for taking fresh and smaller saltwater species on light tackle.

• Large arbor, narrow spool design for quick line pick up

• Machined from 6061-T6 cold finished aluminum bar stock

• Impact resistant spool rim and frame

• Smooth, reliable cork-draw bar drag system

• Durable, hard anodized finish

• Custom colors, handles, and engraving available at additional charge

Materials, Fit, and Finish

Fly fishing reels machined from a solid bar of metal have the greatest rigidity and strength per weight, but in the long run, are more costly to produce than stamped, or die cast reels. Over thirty years ago, American companies such as Seamaster and Fin Nor pioneered the construction of machined fly reels, primarily for a small following of hard core salmon and saltwater fly enthusiasts. The increased popularity of fly fishing, coupled with political and economic expansion of the Far East in recent years, has led to an influx of many reasonable quality, less expensive machined imports primarily targeting entry and mid level customers. Many U.S. makers of good reels have folded under this pressure, and the majority that have remained, like Abel and Tibor, have done so by directing there efforts at top of the line products.

Although you may find some custom $2000-$10,000 titanium reel models on the Internet, aluminum is the choice for mere mortals. Abel uses 6061-T6 cold finished bar stock in all of their reels, which is the strongest, densest, most corrosion resistant aluminum for this purpose. The spool, frame and foot of the 5N Super are cut from this, and the mainshaft and drawbar from 303 stainless steel, on Computer Numerical Control lathes and mills. In fact, every machinable part in the reel is made in the Abel factory to insure utmost quality control, right down to the stainless steel screws. The only non-metal parts are the cork drag washer, a neoprene o-ring, and the laminated, sealed wood handle.

The overall weight of the reel is significantly reduced, while retaining structural integrity, by precise, aggressive porting throughout the spool and frame. All parts are hand de-burred, hand polished, cleaned and inspected and aluminum parts are protected from wear and corrosion (and colored) by Abel’s unique hard anodizing process, which penetrates and bonds to the metal. Two sealed waterproof ball bearings on the spool and one on the drag plate provide near frictionless rotation.

Abel currently employs 28 production workers and 7 support staff in their Camarillo, California facility. They offer a lifetime warranty on manufacturing defects for all their reels. Although you’re not likely to need that warranty, it’s nice to know that Abel, due to their success, will probably be around to back it up if you do.

What a drag

In a nutshell, there are two basic types of fly reel drags; the classic spring and pawl, popularized by Hardy Brothers of England well over a century ago, or one of many variations of the more modern disk drag. Most anglers, and manufacturers today overlook the click pawl, unfairly in my opinion, in favor of disks for all fly fishing. Actually, the click pawl, if well constructed, is very reliable for smaller trout and is the lightest, simplest, and least expensive to build. And as it works, it creates that sweet sound that many of us find synonymous with fly fishing.

As we seek fish that pull harder and faster and fight longer, our fly reels are progressively subjected to greater amounts of what most often kills them; heat. A disc drag slows the spool by friction, applying pressure between two or more discs, usually one on the spool and one on the frame, or within a hub mounted on the frame. A great number of variations of this seemingly simple concept are available today, each one claiming superior performance.

However, the big game fly reels that have been the most successful in landing fish over 100 pounds, and, therefore, operate smoothly and survive the greatest amounts of stress, have draw bar drags. This simple system has two center mounted disk shaped brake surfaces that meet when the spool is attached, and drag is increased as the draw bar tightens the frame against the spool through the central shaft.

Although most newer disk drag systems use synthetics such as Rulon, Delrin or carbon fiber, as the brake material, natural cork (ground and mixed with a polymer), is still considered by many to offer the best balance of durability, low start up inertia, stopping power, and adjustability. This cork composite, unlike the synthetics, is compressible, providing for its smoothness. The Abel 5N Super has the largest drag of this type of any 5 or 6 weight reel I’ve seen, and the “open” design dissipates heat rapidly into the rear of the spool and throughout the reel frame. “Closed” or completely sealed drag systems offer the advantage of low maintenance, but generally can not cool as effectively.

Cork must be lubricated occasionally to replenish its natural moisture, usually with pure neatsfoot oil. Make sure to follow the manufacturer’s directions, as petroleum products or solvents may harm the cork, and back off the drag tension when not in use. Perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the draw bar drag is that it does not allow for quick change spools, as some disassembly is required. Choose another design if this is a priority for you.

According to the International Game Fish Association, Abel reels where used in setting the greatest number of new world records for 2006. Though you may not land a world record, you will at some point encounter that fish of a lifetime. The Abel 5N Super Large Arbor Fly Fishing Reel, with its impeccably machined strength and superb drag, is as likely as any to get the job done. 

Pros

Rugged, beautifully machined and finished trout-size reel with a very smooth and reliable drag system usually found only in larger, saltwater fly reels.

Cons

At $550, the Abel 5N Super is much more expensive than some other very serviceable trout reels and is an ounce or more heavier than others with lighter drag designs and frames. The draw bar does not allow for the convenience of quick-change spools. Open design requires occasional cleaning and lubrication.

Bottom Line

The Abel 5N Super, compared to other reels of its size, is most likely to withstand extreme conditions, and the one you’ll probably hand down to your grandchildren.

Reviewer. . .

Having been in the fly fishing industry for over 25 years as a professional guide, fly fishing school director, writer, and manufacturers sales representative, I’ve been fortunate to fish with a wide array of equipment from almost all of the top makers.

Check out the Abel Super 5N Fly Reel

Back to Reviews

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Scott Radian Fly Rod Review


THE GOLD-STANDARD OF TROUT RODS...


In keeping with Scott's reputation for excellence, the Radian Series is an achievement in performance and feel... Read More
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THE GOLD-STANDARD OF TROUT RODS...


In keeping with Scott's reputation for excellence, the Radian Series is an achievement in performance and feel... Read More
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Specifications:

 Sections: 4
• Reel Seat: Custom reel seats
• Spacer: Burled box elder spacers
• Guides: Titanium framed SiC stripping guides
• Handle: Top-grade Portuguese Cork
• Action: Adaptive, Fast
• Rod Tube: Aluminum

Leland's Select Models:


June 20, 2014 (Sonoma, CA):  Scott has built its brand around uncompromising quality and authenticity. Every handcrafted fly rod comes straight from the heart of Colorado trout country and is a testament to the finest gear that fly fishing has to offer. With their Radian Series, Scott has once again outdone themselves and proven that obsession is at the heart of innovation.

Back to Basics:Since its release, Scott's Radian Series has received accolades across the board. It's slogan, “Where Fast Meets Feel,” is at the heart of this praise. Since the introduction of fast action fly rods, anglers have enjoyed higher line speed and efficiency, but at the expense of the nuanced feel of slower, more traditional rods. The Radian Series succeeds on both fronts: it's fun as hell to fish, with plenty of subtle touch, and it's as powerful and accurate as anything on the market. The best of both worlds, sure, but it stands in a class all its own.

The Rod: The proprietary blank technology is behind this breakthrough, but really it comes down to performance. The ReAct technology is billed as increasing recovery speed by “minimizing energy-sapping vibrations,” and in hand it feels wildly versatile. But until you've cast this rod, you can't appreciate how fun it can be, and you're better off skipping the hype and hitting the river.

Sierra Nevada Reel & Fly Line: And as for the components? Top-notch from tip to butt, featuring premium materials assembled by true professionals. Titanium framed stripping guides, top-grade Portuguese cork, custom reel seats with burled box elder spacers, and patented snake guides.

The Rundown:  Overall, Scott's Radian Series is a new level of performance with the same 40 year old promise of the “Scott Difference.” The guarantee that every one of their fly rods is meticulously crafted and tested by people who love to fish, and backed by a company that produces the best fly rods in the world.

Pro Review - Leland's Casey Rolig

We've all heard of Konnetic technology by now or how about Proprioception from Simms in their new wading boots? Well Scott Fly Rods is guilty of these words and phrases that make one scratch their head in wonder... X-Core, ReAct and ARC are a few technologies put into today's Scott fly rods. Then there are slogan's. Every brand has a few. Some are true and some borderline false advertising. However, Scott has nailed their current slogan right on the head with the new Radian series... "Putting the FEEL in FAST". With these rods you actually get a versatile fly rod to cast a wide range of flies sizes, in varying wind conditions all while getting the sensitivity we as fly fisherman expect. Not only while casting will you feel the weight of the line load the rod without bogging it down but you'll have a better sense of strikes and tippet protection.

What's my new favorite rod? The 10' 5-weight Radian. Instead of nymph fishing with indicators aka bobbers I'm doing much more high stick nymphing. This is where you keep a tight line to the flies so you feel ever little tic of the bottom or fish's mouth which eliminates heavy bobbers and make fishing subsurface much more enjoyable. Plus the extra 12 inches eliminates the need to hold the rod over your head all day and makes roll casting a breeze.

To round out my review we'll discuss the other lengths and weights we choose to carry. The following are the most popular fishing styles matched with the correct length and weight rod. 8' 6" 4-weight DRY FLY, 9' 5-weight ALL PURPOSE TROUT, 10' 5-weight NYMPH, 9' 6-weight w/ Fighting Butt STREAMER, 9' 8-weight BONEFISH (bass too) and 10' 7-weight STEELHEAD NYMPH.

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Sage Bass Series Fly Rod Review
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Sage Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass Fly Fishing Rods

Specifications

Line Weight ratings:

Smallmouth:  290 grains (Smallmouth floating line included)
Largemouth: 330 grains (Largemouth floating line included)

Rod Length: 7’11”

Sections: 4 pieces

Rod Weights: Smallmouth: 3 1/2 ounces

                      Largemouth: 3 5/8 ounces

Handle: Portuguese cork - full wells shaped grip

Reel Seat: Matte black aluminum big game with double locking retainer

Action: Very fast and very stiff
 



What’s the word…


Jerry Siem, head rod designing guru at Sage
, was sitting in his office at the Sage factory on forested Bainbridge Island, WA.  His desk was surrounded by, literally, hundreds of fly rods leaning at precarious angles against walls and book cases. “Hmmm”,   I said to myself, “Just like my office at home, except he has more rods than me. A lot more!”  Out of the stack, Jerry plucked one of the shortest and brightest colored of the rods, and with a big smile, walked to the lily padded bass pond “test center” behind the factory building. “This is our latest project “, he said as he proceeded to tied on a huge deer hair popper.

The “Latest Project” from Jerry and the folks at Sage turns out to be two very unusual, high performance Bass Fly Fishing Rods, aptly named the Smallmouth and the Largemouth. 

At first glance, these two Bass Fly rods appear to be small-stream trout rods because they’re just 7’11” in length. But believe me, the similarities end there! These specialized rods conform to Bass Tournament rules that limit allowable rod lengths to 8 feet and under. Traditionally, the understanding is that Pro Bass circuits have rejected fly gear as being “too dangerous”, but my guess is there is some conventional tackle industry bias (i.e. $$$) there as well. A careful reading of the rules finds that some tournaments allow fly rods, where others do not. Regardless, one could imagine the efficacy a fly rodder might have on the deck of a bass boat, where a pick-up and lay-down would eliminate the extra time required to reel in between casts as with conventional gear.

But whether you fish tournaments or not, The Sage Smallmouth and Largemouth Bass rods have a lot more going for them than just their compact size. These rods are specifically designed to do two things better than any other fly rod;1) accurately cast very big, wind resistant flies, and 2) allow maximum leverage to fight fish and pull big fish from cover.  So what makes these rods capable of this performance?

Most anglers typically select a nine foot, six or seven weight line and rod for smallmouth bass fishing, casting, (on average), size 4 to 12 flies for one to five pound fish, and an eight or nine weight line weight rod for largemouth bass,  throwing flies sizes 4/0 to 6, for two to eight pound fish.  The new Sage Bass rods, in stark contrast, cast much heavier lines. The Sage Largemouth Bass Fly Rod is rated for 330 grains, which is the average heft for an 11 weight line and the Smallmouth is rated for 290 grains, which is at the high end of the weight range for a10 weight line!  Yet, these little outfits feel like you’re only casting light seven weights, as you’ll read shortly! The two rods are extremely fast in action and very stiff and powerful to cast these big lines. In fact, to ensure proper loading, Sage has included a specially designed, matched, grain weight specific floating line with each of their new Bass rods.

 

Action and Features


I’ve cast a lot of different fly rods over the last thirty years
, but owing to their unusual nature, I felt like I was in new territory as I rigged the Smallmouth and Largemouth outfits with six foot, 20 lb. tippet leaders and big, 3/0 hair bugs at my local bass pond.  I tentatively hauled the 25 feet of line from the water and aimed at a spot 10 feet to the left. I guess I expected the leader to partially collapse on the water, with the bug to follow, because that’s what always happens with flies of this size. Not this time. I watched the tippet arc over in a tight curve and the bug WHAP! into the water with a couple of waves pulsing out. Wow! These rods cast big bugs with crisp authority, and I mean CRISP! A short roll cast to put it in the air in front of you, one quick back cast to load, then shoot.  The Smallmouth and Largemouth Fly Lines are massive, short belly (33 ft.), bullet tapers designed to do exactly that: load the rod with a single backcast and store enough energy to turn over almost any leader and fly. The fly lines have fairly large diameter running lines for improved  handling when fighting fish. The super fast, very stiff Sage Bass Rods respond remarkably well to this mass.  An unexpected advantage  of the rod’s stiff tip was apparent when retrieving flies; line strips are more definitive for a bigger “pop” on your surface flies and sub-surface flies swim more realistically. Beginners, who usually find casting bulky flies the most troublesome, will ease their problems with these outfits and a more experienced fly caster, with a reasonable double haul, will make these rods get up and dance.

The Smallmouth and Largemouth Fly Rods derive their strength and power from Sage 3e graphite technology; a reliable combination of high modulus graphite and fiberglass scrim used in the highly successful Sage XP and RPL series. This combination of materials has proven to provide  superior hoop strength and impact resistance to fly rod shafts .  And the best part is the price; the Smallmouth and Largemouth rods, complete with a custom fly line and case sell for a reasonable $350. One other fly rod  that I’m aware of  that fits into this category is the Scott Backcountry. It’s a 3-piece, 7’7” graphite rod, 3.7 ounces, rated for a 9 weight line and sells for $625. It’s worth checking out as well.

I do a lot of float tubing for bass, and while most float tubers choose longer rods for distance and to raise their backcast, I find most of my bass fishing to be around overhanging cover with casts of twenty five feet or less. To get a fly back in under cover usually requires sidearm casting to keep your loop very low and parallel with the water’s surface. Long rods that are accurate in the vertical are very poor for this task, where shorter rods excel. With a little practice, I found both the Smallmouth and Largemouth to be extremely accurate, particularly when casting out of the vertical plane around structure.  These little rods would be very maneuverable in the heavy cover one might find in the rainforest, cedar swamp, or mangroves as well as the confined space of a kayak or canoe. The extreme mass of the line and stiffness of the rod gives you great authority to direct and power your fly in, under and around thick cover. If you get hung up, (and you’re using a twenty pound tippet) this rod will pull the fly off of leaves or twigs, if it’s going to come at all! The rods will fit conveniently in a small boat, rather than being dangerously exposed over a gunwale, and will get fish closer to the boat more easily for landing.

Fly rods, like all fishing rods, serve two elementary purposes. They cast, to place your fly in position for a chance at a strike, and that being successful, they fight fish. The second element, striking and fish fighting, is where nine foot fly rods, and, in fact, almost all fly rods fall short. Although long rods displace line more quickly on the strike, their limber nature has more difficulty generating enough power to drive a large hook into bone or exerting enough pressure to pull or turn fish quickly from cover.  Try dragging a six pound largemouth out from under half a foot of weed with your nine foot, eight weight.  Not likely! I probably lose nineteen fish for every one that I land in a situation like this. I would guess that these little Sage rods, as short, powerful levers, should prove to be among the best fish fighting fly rods on the market.

Although these fly rods and respective lines are named “Smallmouth” and “Largemouth”, Sage suggests that their myriad potential applications in both freshwater AND saltwater would better have us view them as “Light Duty” and “Heavy Duty”. The light duty Smallmouth will serve for Smallies, White Bass, Sea Trout and Largemouth, as well, for all but the largest of flies. The heavy duty Largemouth will rock throwing big bugs for Largemouth, Peacock, Pike, and Musky and in the back country mangroves for Snook, Redfish and Tarpon. The Largemouth should be quite capable of beating fish over twenty pounds and in very experienced hands, probably over forty or fifty pounds. Overall, these rods are a lot of fun to cast and fish with, and bestow a feeling of power and control in a small, relatively lightweight package.

 

         Proven Sage 3e graphite construction

   

         Compact length and light in hand

 

         Extremely powerful and accurate at short to medium distances with big flies

 

         Great hook setting and fish fighting ability

 

         Heavy duty, English Hopkins and Holloway guides and tip top

 

         Padded nylon, PVC rod case with dividers and reel pocket

 

         Limited lifetime warranty

 

 

Fit and Finish


The sanded shafts of the Sage Bass Fly Rods are sunset gold
with rust thread wraps, which appear red when wrapped over the blank. The ferrules and handle front are additionally trimmed with a few wraps each of black and gold. This color combination, from a distance, reminds me of a classic bamboo fly rod.  The English Hopkins and Holloway snake guides, tip top and the two stripping guides are robust and oversized to accommodate the massive, large diameter fly line. The two strippers have hardaloy ceramic insert rings that are actually encased in bands of brazed metal, as opposed to being glued in place.  A nice touch if a mangrove, cedar, or boat rail gets whacked by mistake. The high quality, Portuguese cork grip is a full wells profile for power casting, but is a ½ inch shorter and slimmer than the standard Sage grip. This smaller grip is very comfortable and well suited to these shorter rods. The reel seat is what you might find on saltwater big game fly rods; matte black, heavy duty up-locking aluminum with double retainers. Sage, like most quality rod makers, has several layers of inspection before their rods leave the factory, so one would expect a near-flawless fit and finish. The Sage Bass Fly Rods come with their respective matching floating fly lines and a light green, nylon covered, padded carrying case with room for an attached reel and zippered compartments for accessories. A nice, compact package.

 

Customer Support. . . . Company profile. 


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 Smallmouth and Largemouth fly rods have 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. 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. . .


The Sage Bass Fly Rods are admirably suited
to fulfilling a performance category not clearly addressed in the past. These rods weigh 40% less than their big saltwater brethren, yet are capable of lifting and casting very large, heavy and wind resistant flies with impressive authority and accuracy.  These rods will “swim” or “pop” flies better than longer rods, and should be more effective at positive hook sets.  Most importantly, once the fish is hooked, these fly rods will do what fly rods are typically very poor at doing; pulling fish from heavy cover and beating them quickly with maximum turning power.  By mating the rods and lines as a package, Sage has taken the guesswork out of line selection for the angler and potentially avoided the disappointment a mismatched outfit would bring.

The Largemouth and Smallmouth rods are constructed with proven graphite technology and heavy duty components that should withstand the abuse one would expect from duking it out in close quarters with bass, tarpon and snook. Although these rods aren’t for everyone, and I don’t know if the Pro Bass circuit will lose its fear of fly rods anytime soon, I think any serious bass, mangrove, canoe or kayak fly angler would find one of these rods indispensable once he or she has used one. I have to believe the Sage Largemouth will quickly become the “go to“ rod for anyone contemplating fishing for Peacock Bass in the thick of the Amazon rain forest.


PROS- Powerful, compact, lightweight, durably constructed rocket ships for shorter, accurate casts with big flies in and around structure.  Incredible fish fighting tools for pulling big fish out of heavy cover. Comes with a custom, matching fly line for $350.  Limited lifetime warranty.

CONS- At 7’11” in length, not as effective for casting at distance, extensive false casting, or mending line in moving water as longer rods.  Definitely not the rods for fishing with light leaders.

BOTTOM LINE- A unique pair of specialized fly rods that can do what others can’t; deliver big flies and fight strong fish in close quarters with less effort. A must for float tubing and boating bassers (including peacock bass), kayakers, and mangrove fishermen.

Click here to check out the ultimate Bass Outfit from Sage.

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Loop Goran Andersson Signature Series Fly Rod Review


THE BEST ROD DESIGNER IN THE WORLD

This is not a fly rod that's a year in the making, it's the culmination of SIXTY years of Göran Andersson's expertise distilled into an ONE rod taper. . . . Read More.
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THE BEST ROD DESIGNER IN THE WORLD

This is not a fly rod that's a year in the making, it's the culmination of SIXTY years of Göran Andersson's expertise distilled into an ONE rod taper. . . . Read More.
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Featured 12ft 6wt Outfits

•  All 6120 OutfitsShop Here
•  Atlantic Salmon OutfitShop Here
•  Steelhead OutfitShop Here
•  Steelhead Outfit (with Tips)Shop Here

•  Single Hand Models: 494-4, 7100-4
•  Double Hand Models: 6120-4, 8140-4, 9116-4, 9126-4, 10146-4
•  Sections: Four
•  Handle: High quality Portuguese cork grip
•  Reel Seat: Polished aluminum, triangular locking
•  Ceramic stripping guides and durable chrome snake-guides
•  Action: Medium-Fast

October 13, 2011 (San Francisco, CA): Ask the legendary Göran Andersson about his signature series of Loop fly rods, and he'll talk to you as an artist or composer would about their finest work. Fishing one produces a kind of harmony between angler and environment made possible when the right rod—like a finely tuned instrument—sharpens the experience and transforms instincts into effortless, intuitive casts. Meet the father of modern fly tackle and experience the first production fly rods to bear his name: Goran Andersson.

The Rodmaker's Rod: This is not a fly rod that's a year or two in the making, it's the culmination of sixty years of Göran Andersson's expertise distilled into an unprecedented rod taper, constructed from the latest materials, and available to everyone who appreciates the power of the right tool. The son of a Swedish fly fisherman and rodmaker, Göran Andersson started tailoring fly lines at age eight and began building his own fly rods soon after. That passion would become his life's work, devoting himself to the art of the cast and tools to constantly better his techniques. Despite developing rod designs for the world's leading manufacturers, pioneering the underhand cast, and contributing immeasurable insight into the sport of fly fishing, this is the first series of fly rods to feature his name. Why? Because Andersson's Signature Series Fly Rods are not simply another of his cutting-edge creations, they are the fly rods he brings with him to fish the world's blue-ribbon waters. Delivering the precision, accuracy, power and finesse that a man of Andersson's ability demands, Loop's Göran Andersson Signature Series is a crowning achievement in fly rod design

Series Overview...


Form & Function:
Too often in today's fly rod market does technology take precedent over performance. Loop remains steadfast in their commitment to innovation with a purpose, and their Göran Andersson Fly Rods are constructed around a fundamental commitment to line control and an uninterrupted, efficient transfer of energy through the blank. The engine for this efficiency lies in the Andersson Series' unique taper and action: to label it a moderate-fast action is too vague, and the term deep-flexing is often misunderstood. A more apt description is a responsive or enhanced-fast action, where the quick-firing accuracy of a fast action tip combines with a high modulus, graphite butt that flexes enough to load the rod in perfect balance. The result is butter smooth casting and absolute control over the trajectory of your line, allowing you to redirect and adjust your cast in the air. That means your cast isn't over until your fly hits the water, extending your control over every square inch of the river.

This total command of a river is synonymous with Goran's signature underhand cast, a technique that allows him to access every spot no matter how limited the backcast room. The Andersson Signature Series is the most effective rod for underhand casting, loading well from the water and opening up stretches of river that others simply can't fish. That being said, the action lends itself to traditional overhead casts and anglers both novice and expert alike.

The Lineup...


Loop Göran Andersson Signature Series are available in single and double-hand models, each satisfying a particular application and all possessing a proud place in Andersson's quiver. Featuring an understated gray finish and crimson ferrel wraps, the look is uniquely Loop and entirely sophisticated. The Goran Andersson Single Hand Series are available in two models: the 9'4" #4 is a great all-around trout rod, and the 10' #7 is an exceptional single-hand rod for steelhead or Loop's coveted Atlantic Salmon.

The double-hand lineup offers a more extensive selection of lengths and weights, in keeping with Göran Andersson's reputation as the preeminent two-handed caster and father of the underhand cast. The 12' #6 is ideal for summer steelhead and tailwater trout, extending your reach across the river. The GA Signature Series 14' #8 is a serious tool for stellar salmon and steelhead fishing, delivering an extraordinary command over every square inch of water without comprising sensitivity. Both the 11'6" and 12'6" #9's are also ideal for salmon and steelies, with the latter being Andersson's preferred fly rod for Atlantic salmon and sea trout. Then there's the monster of the bunch: the 14'6" #10, built for vast rivers, huge mends and unforgettable fish.

Regardless of the model, all of the Loop Göran Andersson Signature Series Fly Rods are all groundbreaking, effectively eliminating any disconnect between fly and fisher and delivering seamless, spot-on casts. Serene waters deserve superb gear, and the Loop Göran Andersson Fly Rods celebrate the pleasure of fishing time well spent.

Loop Göran Andersson Fly Rods - Pro Review by Leland's Ben Paull


What's the Word...


Casting a Göran Andersson Signature Series Fly Rod alone is fun, but alongside the man himself, it's a rare opportunity to experience a world-class rod with its distinguished designer. We spent the afternoon casting Andersson's Signature Series Fly Rods at the Leland Ranch in Sonoma, and both the single and double-handers proved to be unlike anything else on the market. Delivering a dynamic action and acute line control, they are the embodiment of Loop's functional innovation.

Action...


The action of Loop's Göran Andersson Signature Series is difficult to classify. It manages to have a sensitivity that permeates the whole rod without compromising power or contributing to a soft, sloppy action. At the same time, it remains fast and accurate in the tip like a traditional fast action rod. The result is a rod that loads well off the water when you're underhand casting and also performs well with traditional, overhead casts. Don't let the idea of a deep flexing action mislead you: Göran Andersson Signature Series Fly Rods are far from your full flexing rod of yesteryear, instead proving to be a contemporary, innovative action meant for a diversity of styles.

 

Fit and Finish...


Like everything Loop, the Göran Andersson Signature Series Fly Rods deliver on aesthetics. The deep gray finish and and aluminum reel seat are sleek, and the crimson wraps contribute a nice bit of color to a great looking rod. The triangle reel seat is certainly new-school, but the overall impact is classic and, much like Göran, concerned with function over flash. In all the rod looks as good as it feels, and the Portuguese cork and ceramic stripping guides are always a nice touch.

Run Down...


Pros:
When one of the greatest casters ever develops a rod for his favorite fly fishing destinations, chances are the results are going to be impressive.

Cons: The unique action is different, and that means it isn't easy to classify. But for anyone who wants to broaden their game, these rods are a great excuse to try something new.

Bottom Line: The Göran Andersson Signature Series Fly Rods are fun, efficient, and different from anything we've fished. Between the unique action, effortless casting, and timeless design, they're great rods and another example of Loop's comprehensive approach to tackle.
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Choosing the Right Spey Fly Line
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Understanding Spey Fly Fishing Lines

Until recently, two-handed rods were used almost exclusively in the pursuit of steelhead and salmon on the rivers of the British Isles, Scandinavia, and Canada. In the last five years, however, the popularity of Spey rods on our own steelhead and trout streams has exploded. In fact it’s not unusual today to see anglers applying two-handed techniques on lakes, flats and in the surf.

What would influence these fly fishers to trade their favorite single-handers for longer rods? Spey fly lines, and the rods that cast them, offer many potential advantages: greater casting distance, greater line control, more precise mending at longer distance, and the ability to operate with little back-casting room. These tools enable an angler to cover more water with less effort and less fatigue. And on larger rivers, you can reach areas that would be virtually unfishable with single-handed lines and rods. And let’s not forget the enjoyment and excitement of learning new skills that add to your proficiency on the water!

Because anglers are doing a lot more with Spey techniques these days, Spey fly line designs are evolving so rapidly, even experienced spey folks have trouble keeping up, let alone beginners!  We at Leland have chosen RIO Products as our primary source of spey fly fishing lines. RIO has virtually led the way in revolutionizing fly line designs for Spey anglers in North America and across the world. Since there are so many styles of spey casting and corresponding spey line designs, who better than Simon Gawesworth, RIO fly line designer, former Captain of England’s World Fly Fishing Championships team, author, all-around nice guy, and one of the world’s leading authorities on spey casting to explain the ins and outs of modern spey lines? Read on and you'll get the best synopsis we've ever seen on modern spey lines from the man himself, code named 'SpeyBro'.

 

UNDERSTANDING SPEY LINES 2008

by Simon Gawesworth of RIO Products

'A newcomer to spey casting would be forgiven for peeping into this sport, trying it out or talking to the many different opinions and then turning tail and running away from the mass of confusion that there is out there.'

'There is a mind boggling array of theories, techniques, tackle and styles and it is very difficult for the beginner to make head or tail out of the world of spey casting. To explain the subtleties and intricacies of this spey world would be like trying to explain the rules of cricket to the average American, or of baseball to the average Brit. However, as fly line manufacturers, we only need to make it easier to understand the fly line – the most important part of your tackle.' 

Weight

Let’s start with a look at spey line weights. Perhaps the greatest confusion lies in the rating of two-handed rods and lines. Most fly fishers are familiar with the rating of a single handed rod – choose a #5 rod for trout, a #8 rod for bonefish and a #12 rod for tarpon. Two-handed rods also have a similar rating – somewhere between #5 and #12, but the 8 weight fly line that loads your bonefish rod will never get close to loading a #8 two handed rod. The reason for this is that two handed rods are far more powerful than an equivalent rated single handed rod.

A single handed rod, rated for a #8 line, loads effectively with between 200 and 300 grains. A #8 two-handed rod will take between 450 and 600 grains to load for spey casting. This large range is due to the spey casting style used. At this stage there is no need to confuse anyone more with the differences in these styles, just remember that the two-handed rod needs more weight to make it load. In other words, if you put a regular WF8 line on a #8 two-handed rod you will never get close to loading it.

One confusing thing about spey lines is that most of them have more than one line number as a “size”. The WindCutter lines have three numbers such as 7/8/9, 8/9/10 and 9/10/11. The reason for this triple numbering system is that the first WindCutter line designed by Jim Vincent, was made by taking the body of a #10 line, adding some of a #9 to the front end and then finishing it off with the full front taper of a #8, thus the line became an 8/9/10. The numbering system stuck. As a simple guideline, use the middle number of the three to find out what line size it is – the 8/9/10 is a good #9 line.

The AFS and PowerSpey lines only have two numbers – 7/8, 8/9 and 9/10 for example and in these cases, generally use the higher number. The 8/9 is, in effect a #9 line. To help choose the right line for your rod, we have compiled a chart that recommends the right lines for spey rods. (Please
See Rio's Spey Line Recommendation Chart for all of Leland Spey Rods)
 
AFTMA Standard

Okay, so how confused do you want to be? In an attempt to illustrate the difference in line weights between the single handed AFTMA standard and the two handed AFTMA standard the following charts might be helpful. On the other hand, they might cause you to go cross eyed and reach for the nearest bottle of Single Malt!

The AFTMA standard is an attempt to standardize line weights so that whichever line manufacturer you buy a fly line from you know that they will all weigh about the same and load the rod equally – that is, of course, assuming line manufacturers manufacture lines to the AFTMA standard.

Before you look at the charts you need to understand that the two handed standard actually has four different categories: H, S, M and L. More than regular casting the head length of the line in spey casting influences the weight. So, we have four standards (for ease of recognition RIO’s appropriate Spey line is listed after the category):

‘H’ is for shooting Heads and is measured at 40 ft.
- AFS head and AFS OutBound

‘S’ is for Short belly spey lines and is measured at 55 ft
- WindCutter

‘M’ is for Mid length belly lines and is measured at 65 ft - PowerSpey

‘L’ is for Long belly spey lines and is measured at 75 ft.

So, depending on how long the belly of the spey line is, the “weigh point” falls at different lengths. The AFTMA single handed designation is measured at 30 feet.

Now that everyone is clear on that, let’s look at the AFTMA Standards (the numbers represent the weight in grains at the “weigh point”)!


Size    Single
  Hand 
    H      S     M    L

       
 #5   140       ---   380     ---   ---
 #6   160   250   420   460  600
 #7   185    300   470   510  650
 #8   210   360   530   570  710
 #9   240   430    600   640  780
#10   280   510   680   720  860
#11   330   600     770      810      950      
#12   380   700   870   910 1050


Oh, a final thing to remember is that the two handed standard has a plus or minus tolerance of 30 grains, while the single handed standard has a tolerance of plus or minus 6 to 12 grains (depending on the size). Thus you could have a spey line labeled S8 and it would be acceptable if it weighed between 500 and 560 grains.

As yet, there is no AFTMA Standard for Skagit type lines.

Taper

Most spey lines follow a simply designed taper. There needs to be weight in the back of the belly to load the rod effectively as a “D-loop”. There also needs to be a long fine front taper, so that the line lying on the water (“The Anchor”) at the start of the forward cast has as little drag as possible.

In a spey cast the “D-loop” (from A to B) loads the rod and needs to be the heaviest part of the line. The “Anchor” (B to C) lies on the water. The more line there is lying on the water, the more energy is lost during the forward cast as it tries to tear itself off the surface film.


A typical spey line design will have most of the weight in the back end of the head and a long, fine front taper to make the most of these casting requirements:



Within the basic spey line design are numerous variations, but the main one to compare is the head length. At RIO we make three different head lengths of spey lines. These are the the AFS, (Advanced Flight Spey) line, both as a Shooting Head and as an integrated shooting head, with a head length between 31 ft and 40 ft, the Windcutter, with a head length of between 45 ft and 56 ft and the PowerSpey™, with a head length of between 57 ft and 71 ft.

The longer the head of the spey line, the more line there needs to be outside the rod to make a cast. Longer belly lines, like the PowerSpey, really need plenty of room behind them to create a big enough D-loop for the line to load the rod – say 30 ft of room for an effortless cast. With the short to medium head length of the Windcutter, you may only need around 15 ft of room behind and with a short head line like the AFS, even less; perhaps only 8 ft of space is needed.

Of course, space behind isn’t the only factor. There are four other factors that influence your choice of head length:

1. Casting Ability - you need to be a better caster to handle the longer head length lines.

2. Rod Length – A short rod does not have the same lift as a long rod, so the shorter the rod, the shorter the line head length must be.

3. Sinking Tip – with sink tips or heavy flies it can be really tricky to get the sunken line to the surface with a long belly line. A short head line means that the sink tip is closer to you and easier to get out of the water.

4. Stripping flies – Some fishing techniques require you to strip the fly in to entice a fish to take. The short head lines are perfect for this as you must strip the start of the head up to the rod tip before making a cast.

If you don’t need to strip line, the short belly lines are more of a problem and a good caster will have to manage the slack coils of running line hanging in the water before each cast. They will also waste good fishing time having to strip the line into the casting length.

Line Taper Comparisons



Generally, if you start with a WindCutter line and, with practice, get to a skill level where you can cast the whole head at the tip of the rod, without stripping anything in, you are ready to move up to a PowerSpey line. When you do, make sure you start with the head about 12 feet in side the rod tip; this will be similar to the WindCutter you are used to.

SKAGIT CASTING

The most recent style of spey casting is called Skagit casting (pronounced ska-jit) and named after the Skagit river in Washington.

This style of spey casting utilizes an even shorter head length spey line than the WindCutter - something in the region of 27 ft. This exceptionally short head length allows the fly caster to make long casts in extremely tight situations. Even the most basic of spey casters can make a 70 ft cast with no more than 3 ft of room behind. Added to the shortness of the line is the fact that the head weighs about the same amount as the corresponding WindCutter, but at half the length. This means that the Skagit line has almost twice the weight per inch of the WindCutter line. This extra weight per inch is an immense asset for lifting out deeply sunken tips or heavy, large flies. Nothing will pick up big flies or T-14 or LC13 style sink tips as easily as a Skagit line will.


Skagit Cheaters

The most confusion with Skagit lines comes with something called “Skagit Cheaters”, which are 2½ ft, 5 ft and 7½ ft extension pieces for a Skagit line.

One of the ideas behind Skagit casting is that you want to maintain a constant ratio between the rod length and the head length of the line. It maybe 3 times the rod length, it may be 4 times the rod length, and each caster will find their happy ratio.
 
For the purpose of this example, let’s say a caster likes a ratio of 3½:1. A 12 ft rod would require 42 ft of line and a 15 ft rod will require 52½ ft. By following this ratio, it means that the caster never needs to adjust their casting stroke, regardless of which outfit they pick up.

If a caster likes this ratio and uses a 12 ft rod, they are going to need 42 ft of line to feel comfortable. The Skagit line has a 27 ft head. Add a 15 ft sink tip and you get 42 ft, which means there is no cheater needed. The next day, the same caster casts a 14 ft rod - 14 x 3½ = 49 ft. So, to keep the same casting stroke, the caster needs a total head length around 49 ft. A 27 ft Skagit line, plus the 15 ft sink tip is only 42 ft. Plug in the 7½ ft Cheater and the head length becomes 49½ ft and much closer to the required ratio.

The whole idea is pretty confusing to a novice, but once the concept is grasped, it is very easy to understand and allows for a caster to develop a consistent style, regardless of the size of rod used.

A final note to mention on the Skagit lines is that the sink tip does not form part of the calculation for line weight. If you look at the spey line recommendation chart and decide on a Skagit line for your rod, make sure you use the weight of the Skagit body. If the chart suggests you need a 550 grain Skagit line, it does not matter which size sink tip you add on to the front end of this (as long as it is not heavier than the Skagit body). The reason for this is that the sink tip usually does not form part of the D-loop and, therefore, plays no role in loading the rod. A typical example is that someone is told that they need a 550 grain Skagit line. They know they are going to use a 150 grain sink tip, so they buy a 400 grain Skagit line (thinking that the two added together will give them the correct load). This is very wrong and will result in an under loaded outfit. Make sure the Skagit body weight is correct, regardless of the sink tip.

SALTWATER

More and more people are using two-handed rods for overhead casting in the surf these days. The length and power of these rods are great for throwing big flies out against a wind and over incoming surf.

When choosing a line for overhead casting a two-handed rod there are two important considerations.

1. The head length needs to be shorter than for spey casting so that the back loop does not drop and line speed is retained to shoot big distances.

2. The line weight should be less with an overhead cast, than with a spey cast. Here’s why:


With a spey cast, only part of the line weight loads the rod. In this example the load really comes from A to B, though B to C also helps load the rod. The piece of line from C to D really has no effect on the load of the rod.




With an overhead cast, the entire weight of the line serves to load the rod at the end of the back cast. This means that a lighter line can be used when overhead casting, as opposed to when spey casting, because the entire line length (A to B) loads the rod.






An ideal line for overhead casting a two-handed rod is RIO’s OutBound®.



The Outbound is available in several densities and sizes, but the most popular one for overhead casting, particularly in the surf, is the intermediate version.
 

TIP 2 -RIO WINDCUTTER

 
Rio's Windcutter VersiTip Linesare unique in the fly fishing world. Nobody else makes a spey line with three sections. These three sections are:

1. a body section
2. a middle section (Tip 2)
3. and the front tip (Tip 1)





There are a number of reasons for these three sections:

1. For normal spey casting simply change out Tip 1 with whichever sink tips is required for the fishing conditions. Each sink tip in the wallet will weigh the same, which ensures the casting is not affected and the line remains balanced. However, each sink tip has a different sink rate from the clear intermediate tip, with a sink rate of 1½ inches per second, to the Type 8, density compensated tip which sinks at 8 inches per second.

2. For overhead casting, when a shorter and lighter weight head is needed, simply remove Tip 2 completely and attach the sink tip, or tip 1 directly to the body.

3. Sometimes extra depth is required and many fly fishers use RIO’s long 24 ft density compensated sink tips called Big Boys. These tips are too long to simply replace Tip 1, so when using longer sinking tips like this, again remove Tip 2 and attach the long tip directly to the body.

4. One odd-looking tip in the wallet is grey and has two loops on. This tip is called a sink tip compensator. The sink tip compensator is a sinking Tip 2. Replace the floating tip 2 with this compensator when fishing in strong currents. By lengthening the sinking portion of the line, the current has much less “lift” effect and ensures that the fly stays deep.

5. On really windy days, or with big, cumbersome flies, remove Tip 1 and attach the leader directly to Tip 2. This shorter taper and heavier front end makes light work of the windiest of conditions and the biggest of flies.

T-8, T-11 & T-14

T-8, T-11 & T-14 are level shooting head materials. T-8 weighs 8 grains per foot, T-11 weighs 11 grains per foot and T-14 weighs 14 grains per foot.T-8 has a sink rate of 7 inches per second, T-11 at 8 inches per second and T-14 around 9 inches per second and.

The material is usually sold in a 30 ft pack. Anglers simply cut this level material to the length they need for a variety of fishing conditions, and then add a braided loop to each end to easily attach to the spey line. The most useful tip lengths from a 30 ft pack are 15 ft, 10 ft and 5 ft, though some anglers prefer 15 ft, 9 ft and 6 ft lengths.

The weight of T-14 makes it pretty heavy for the lighter lines to lift out. Most of the Skagit line sizes will not have a problem with 15 ft of T-14, but attaching it to the lighter WindCutter and PowerSpey lines can result in poor turnover and inefficient casts. As a simple guideline, use T-14 for the spey lines of #9 and bigger, T-11 for the #7 to #9 sizes and use T-8 for the lighter line sizes.

Which Spey line should I choose?

With the array of spey lines on the market it is a little baffling to know which one to choose. Hopefully this document has at least given you an idea behind the different line designs. Following is a description of each line we make and their particular advantages: 

Outbound®
Overhead casting - particularly useful in the salt or in lakes. It is available in 6 densities: Floating, Hover (1” per second), Intermediate, Sink 3 (3” per second), Sink 6 (6” per second) and Sink 8 (8” per second). Three adaptable versions with a level T-8, T-11 and T-14 head are designed to be cut to the perfect head weight and length for individual casting styles. The intermediate OutBound is made up to a WF14 (600 grains) size and is perfect for the larger rods of #10 and bigger.

AFS Shooting Head  – NEW for 2008
An excellent presentation line that is very easy to cast. There are four different densities available:

1. F. A full floating line between a 4/5 weight (300 grains, 19 grams - 31 ft, 9.5 m in length) and a 10/11 weight (640 grains, 42 grams – 40 ft, 12.2 m in length). The head is a subtle olive color that will not spook fish in clear water, but the rear 15 ft is yellow so the angler can gauge the line’s swing. For anglers needing an easier color line to see there is also a Steelhead Orange floating AFS head.

2. F/I. A floating line with a 15 ft intermediate sinking tip. This line starts at a 7/8 (460 grains, 30 grams – 37 ft, 11.2 m in length) and goes to 10/11.

3. S1. A slow sinking head. The same weight range as the F/I but the whole head has a very slow sink rate of 1” per second. This is an excellent choice for cooler water conditions when fishing for Atlantic salmon. It is also a very good fish catching line for summer run steelhead, particularly on the Deschutes. Sizes 7/8 to 10/11.

4. S4. A full sinking head with a sink rate of 4” per second. This fast sinking head is a great line for early season and back-end Atlantic salmon and particularly good for winter steelhead. It is one of the easiest casting and fishiest sinking lines ever made. It comes in the same sizes as the “F/I” and the “I” heads. Sizes 7/8 to 10/11.

While these lines are exceptionally easy to cast and give incredible presentation, the very best results will be achieved if a Spey VersiLeader is attached to the front end. RIO has 6 different densities of these leaders in two lengths – 10 ft and 15 ft. The leader densities are:

1. Floating (olive)
2. Intermediate (1.5 inches per second)
3. Slow sink (2.4 inches per second)
4. Medium sink (3.9 inches per second)
5. Fast sink (5.6 inches per second)
6. Super fast sink (7.0 inches per second)

Use the 10 ft leaders with rods of 12’ 6” and less, and the 15 ft leaders with rods of 13 ft or more.

Attach the back of the shooting head to a hard nylon like Rio's Slick Shooter (35 lb or 50 lb) for the ultimate in distance, or to a floating Powerflex Core Shooting Line (0.030” or 0.035”) for something a little more manageable.


AFS OutBound® Integrated Shooting Head – NEW for 2008
Built with a thin, hard running line this line is the integrated version of the AFS head. It is an excellent choice of line for casters that do not want a loop to loop connection running through their guides. The short head is very easy to cast and particularly useful in tight situations and the long front taper gives a beautiful presentation. These lines are only available with a floating head and in sizes 4/5 to 10/11.

Like the AFS head, these lines will cast even better with one of RIO’s Spey VersiLeader.

The Skagit lines are, quite simply, the easiest way to cast large flies or fast sinking tips. The mass of the head and the short body length result in incredible lifting power, making it child’s play to cast otherwise “nasty” rigs. It is a very easy line to learn to cast with and also extremely useful for casting in tight situations. The Skagit line is available in: 300 (new for 2008), 350, 400, 450, 500, 550, 600, 650, 700 and 750 grain head weights.

The Skagit lines have a thin running line extending from the 27 ft long head that aids in easy distance and shooting ability. The front end finishes with a loop and to this loop you will need to attach some kind of tip. The line does not come with a front tip of any kind, so if you purchase this you will need to add a tip to your purchases. As explained earlier, you may also need a Skagit Cheater, depending on your rod length, casting style and size of sink tip used. RIO makes five 15 ft tips to choose from:

1. Floating
2. Intermediate (1.5 to 2 ips)
3. Type 3 (3-4 ips)
4. Type 6 (6-7 ips)
5. Type 8 (8-9 ips)

In addition you can purchase T-8, T-11 or T-14 and cut to the desired length and weight.


Rio's Skagit VersiTip Kit
The Skagit VersiTip is a Skagit line, packaged with a 5 ft floating Skagit Cheater, a 15 ft Type 6 tip, a 15 ft Type 8 tip and one of RIO’s shooting head wallets. For those that don’t know much about the Skagit technique and tackle it is a good purchase as it has pretty well everything you need to start with. The only possible add on would be a 15 Foot Floating Tip, for conditions when you don’t need to be deep. The Skagit VersiTip is available in 450, 550, 650 and 750 grain sizes.


Skagit Shooting Head
The Skagit shooting head is the head from the Skagit line. It is 27 ft long and has a loop in both ends. To the front end you attach a tip as recommended for the regular Skagit line, while the back end loop is ideal for attaching your favorite RIO shooting line. These heads are available in 350, 400, 450, 500, 550, 600, 650, 700 and 750 grain sizes.

One very simple fishing set-up is a reel loaded up with either SlickShooter or a floating Powerflex core shooting line and have a wallet with a couple of AFS heads (floating, slow intermediate and Sink 4 for steelhead fishers and floating, slow intermediate and intermediate sink tip for Atlantic salmon fishers) and a Skagit shooting head with some tips. With a rig like this, each fly fisher would be primed for everything and any situation they would encounter.

Windcutter
The original and still the best all round and the most versatile spey line developed. This line is available in a full floating version in sizes; 4/5, 5/6, 6/7/8, 7/8/9, 8/9/10, 9/10/11 and 10/11/12. The head length varies according to the size. It is also available as a VersiTip Line, packaged with a wallet of tips including a floating tip, a 15 ft clear intermediate tip, a 15 ft Type 3 tip, a 15 ft Type 6 tip and a 15 ft Type 8 tip. As mentioned above, there is also a sink tip compensator, which is a sinking Tip 2. The VersiTip line is available in 5/6, 6/7/8, 7/8/9, 8/9/10, 9/10/11 and 10/11/12 sizes, though the 5/6 VersiTip does not have a Type 8 sink tip, a sink tip compensator or a floating Tip 2.
(Note: I would also highly recommend the floating Windcutter, or Windcutter Versitip with floating tip, as the best all-around spey line for dead-drift nymph and dry presentations to trout and steelhead. Its head length is long enough to effectively stack mend for better drifts. - Dean Schubert  - Leland)

PowerSpey NEW for 2008
RIO’s new PowerSpey has a medium length head between 57 ft and 71 ft (depending on the size) and with its revolutionary taper design is the easiest mid to long belly line to cast. The longer head is ideal for longer rods, larger rivers and for casters that prefer to do less stripping of the fly between casts. Fishing with the PowerSpey line catches more fish - as there is little need to strip the head in between casts, the fly fisher will make more casts in a day, thus increasing the odds.

Another advantage with the longer head lines is when winter fishing with air temperatures below freezing. As there is no need to strip the line in between casts, the rod guides do not get iced up.

The PowerSpey is available in 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 8/9, 9/10 and 10/11 sizes and either as a full floating line or as a VersiTip version. The PowerSpey VersiTip line does not have a Tip 2, so there is only one loop in the line.

Accessories

There are a few accessories RIO makes that are worth mentioning here.
 
The Skagit Floating Tip is a 15 ft floating tip designed to be added to the Skagit lines to make a full floater, it is also a good replacement for the WindCutter floating tip. Here is a guideline of which floating tip to choose for which Skagit line or shooting head:

 #7      300 to 400 grains
 #8      400 to 500 grain lines
 #9      500 to 600 grain lines
#10     550 to 650 grain lines
#11     600 to 700 grain lines
#12     650 to 750 grain lines.

The Skagit Cheaters are “plug-in” extensions as mentioned earlier. For 2008 RIO has changed the sizes to be more applicable. Each selection packet comes with a 2½ ft, a 5 ft and a 7½ ft floating cheater as well as a 5 ft intermediate cheater. RIO also sells the 5 ft floating cheater on its own. Here is a guideline of which Cheater to choose for which Skagit line or shooting head:

      6/7/8      300 to 350 grains
      7/8/9      350 to 450 grains
    8/9/10      450 to 550 grains
  9/10/11      550 to 650 grains
10/11/12      650 to 750 grains

The Big Boy is a 24 ft long sinking tip, ideal for really getting deep and staying deep. It is great on the end of a Skagit line, or a WindCutter, but remember to remove both Tip 1 and Tip 2 if you are attaching a Big Boy to the WindCutter. They are available in sizes 150, 200, 250, 300, 400, 500 and 600 grains and the sink rate of each is as follows:

150      4.8 ips
200      5.5 ips
250      6.4 ips
300      7.3 ips
400      8.4 ips
500      9.0 ips
600      9.5 ips

The WindCutter does not have as much lifting power as the Skagit line so will take a lighter Big Boy tip than the corresponding Skagit line. Here’s a rough guideline to the maximum weight Big Boy that each line will take. This does depend on the rod, current speed, fly size and caster’s skill!

WindCutter    Big Boy           Skagit  Big Boy 





 5/6   None    300  150
 6/7/8   200 gr    350  200
 7/8/9   250 gr    400  250
 8/9/10   300 gr    450  300
 9/10/11   300 gr    500  300
 10/11/12   400 gr    550  400
       600  400
       650  500
       700  500
       750  600
         
Simon's "Modern Spey Casting" is the best instructional DVD on spey casting ever produced. Learn the basics as well as these casts: roll cast, switch cast, single spey, double spey, snap T, snake roll, wombat cast, perry poke, jelly roll, skagit casts, underhand cast, spiral spey, overhead cast, single handed spey casts and using the two-handed rods in the salt. It also includes fault recognition, a glossary of terms and a very useful biokinetic section. 

Thanks again, Simon 'SpeyBro' Gawesworth, for giving a big boost to our spey line savvy! - Leland
 
See the Rio Spey Fly Line Chart for all Leland Spey Rods.
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Sage Bass II Fly Rod Review
249
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Sage Bass II Fly Rods  


Specifications



•  Model: Largemouth


•  Length: 7'11''


•  Sections: Four 

•  Line Weight: 330gr

•  Handle: Custom pre-shaped cork, 6 1/2'' full-wells grip 

•  Reel Seat: Saltwater safe, red anodized aluminum 

•  Action: Fast






September 22, 2011 (San Francisco, CA):
You wouldn't go off-roading in a Prius
or
sport water skis on a powder day
, so don't settle for a
trout rod if it's bass you're after. Sage understands the importance
of designing fly rods suited for specific applications, and their new
Bass II is the epitome of a specialized fly rod that delivers
spectacular results.


 



Purpose-built for the demanding
conditions unique to fly fishing for bass and other warmwater
species, the Sage Bass II doesn't just continue the legacy of Sage's
original Bass series, it rewrites what's possible in the
quest for bigger bugs and badder fish
. The
Sage Bass II is lighter and stronger than its predecessor, delivering
a faster action and higher line speed for tighter loops, easier line
pickup, and maximum efficiency.


 

 








   


Series Overview





New for 2011, the reigning king of
Sage's Bass II series is the Peacock Fly Rod
. The name says it all:
it's the only fly rod of its kind that packs big game power in a
7'11” package, engineered to take on the biggest bass and warm
water monsters with supreme efficiency. P.I.M.P. out your fly
rod arsenal with the star of the Sage Bass II series, designed to be
the ultimate tool for Peacock, Musky and
Pike
. Capable of casting giants flies with dead on
delivery, the Sage Bass II Peacock Fly Rod can quickly turn over even
the most stubborn of catches. This makes the Sage Bass II Peacock the
ideal fly rod for tying into tarpon and snook deep within the
mangroves, clocking in at under eight feet to keep you in control of
the fight when fish get down into the structure where other fly rods
simply cannot perform. In addition to improving your capacity to cast
accurately and fight hard, the ultra lightweight design of the Sage
Bass II Peacock alleviates the fatigue that accompanies using
lengthy, heavy fly rods to hook hefty fish. That means you can fish
longer and fish more effectively, especially in tight quarters
.


  





Great rods made even better: The
other three models of the Sage's signature Bass II series have been
redesigned to offer higher line speed and greater lifting power. The
Bass II Bluegill, Smallmouth and Largemouth are aptly named and finely tuned to excel across
the board in warm water fishing environments. No matter the
conditions or density of cover, Sage Bass IIs are capable of
catapulting wind resistant flies to the farthest reaches of your
favorite waters and pulling out bruisers with ease. From panfish
to stripers, largemouths to wipers, Sage Bass II Fly Rods are
exceptionally lightweight with uncompromising strength. And while
their applications might be varied to satisfy individual tastes, all
of the Sage Bass II models share the same core principle: maximum
leverage for optimal efficiency.
At 7'11”, the Sage Bass II
fly rods aren't just tournament-ready for the few and fearless fly
competitors, they're fly rods built for every angler who wants to
hone their bass game.


  





Combine this cutting edge engineering
with a fly line that's tailor-made to max out each rod's potential,
and you have a supremely balanced instrument that offers an
unprecedented blend of finesse and brute strength
. The fly line
is the driving force behind a successful rod outfit, and each model
in the Sage Bass II comes with a heavy-duty line (ranging from 230
grains to a whopping 390 grains). And when you do tie into a hard
hitting behemoth, the Sage Bass II's enormously powerful butt section
allows you to turn over fish quickly and pull them from the cover.
It's this interplay between the rod action, the fine-tuned line
taper, and Sage's superior graphite III material that makes the Bass
II fly rod spectacularly fun.


  



Stellar performance aside, it
doesn't hurt to have a fly rod that looks good
. The Sage Bass II
features a new high-contrast
colorway to match their high-octane power,
with a radiant Tree
Frog Green shaft and rust, gold and black thread wraps. Top it off
with a saltwater safe, red anodized reel seat for a finish that's as
crisp as the action of the rod. But don't let the polished exterior
mislead you, Sage Bass II Fly Rods are fiercely capable of handling a
lifetime of hard fishing and tough love.


  




The evidence of Sage's hard work shines
in every cast, and the Bass IIs are exceptionally crafted to suit
your big bass addiction. If you're
at home in the mangroves or marsh, if you love hucking flies in the
delta and ripping lunkers from cover, the Sage Bass II is exactly
what you've been waiting for.
Sage pioneered a new way of
thinking about fly fishing for warm water species with their first
generation of the Bass Fly Rod series, and they've managed once again
to redefine what's possible in crafting predator fly rods for
predator fish.



 

Sage Bass II Largemouth Fly Rod

Weight: 3 9/16oz

Line Size: 330gr











sage bass ii fly rods - PRO Review by leland's keith brauneis


 


What's the word...




For a while there have been whispers among the diehards in warmwater fly
fishing that a new series of bass rods were in the works at Sage. And
thankfully it's true! The Sage Bass II Series of fly rods takes the
powerful delivery and stout fish-fighting abilities of the Sage Bass
Series, and adds another measure of accuracy, feel and general casting
enjoyment.



Features...




With four models where there were three, the Sage Bass II Series of rods
provides a warmwater fishing tool for all comers -- dads looking to
introduce their kids to panfish on the neighborhood pond, or dedicated
anglers who migrate south annually to do battle in the mangroves.



The new Sage Peacock rod, designed to handle for the largest flies and
meanest fish you can find, is destined to become the go-to option for
anglers pursuing peacock bass, mangrove tarpon, snook, barramundi,
golden dorado and muskies. For this kind of hit-and-hold fishing, you
won’t find a more capable fighting tool!



Action…




Anyone who has fished poppers for ambush predators knows the adrenaline
that comes with a topwater explosion, and anyone who has cast a
well-designed fly rod knows the satisfaction that comes with an
effortless delivery and accurate presentation. The new Sage Bass II Rods
allow anglers to experience the crazy excitement of warmwater fly
fishing, but also to enjoy precise casts that any spring creek angler
would have to tip his hat to.



The Sage Bass II rods are damn fast, incredibly powerful rods, as they
need to be. But with the included fly lines, with which they’ve been
designed in tandem, they are perfectly balanced. These high-diameter,
short-tapered lines load these rods perfectly, and delivery stubborn
flies like deer-hair poppers without pussyfooting around. Like all Sage
fly rods, the Bass II rods respond best to an efficient, compact casting
stroke – the kind that loads and unloads the rod crisply, generates
tight loops, and provides the out-of-body experience and familiar,
profound feeling of gratitude that, since you got into fly fishing,
you’re the luckiest person in the world.



Materials…




The Sage Bass II Series rods are made with Sage’s tried and true
Graphite IIIe material, producing a hugely powerful but lightweight
blank. The resulting rods will carry a lot of line in the air and horse
fish from structure, but will also load predictably so they are a
pleasure to cast. The 7-foot-11-inch Sage Bass II rods fight like the
meatsticks they are, but somehow cast a lot like trout rods.



More so than their predecessors, the Sage Bass II rods have a solid
mid-section that allows you to make a pick-up-and-lay-down with at least
60 feet of line out the tip. Just like on the flats, sometimes you need
to make a long cast in a hurry in bass fishing, and having to strip
line in before you can backcast means critical seconds lost. In side by
side testing, we noticed the Sage Bass II Largemouth Rod performs this
task much better than its ancestor, which had a tendency to buckle and
shake when asked to pick up a long cast's worth of line.



Fit and Finish


 

Similar in appearance to the original series of Sage Bass rods, but Bass
II rods feature red, gold and black accents over a “Tree Frog Green”
blank, achieving a familiar-though-updated look reminiscent of the glass
and cane rods of the good ol’ days. The bold red anodize on the
machined aluminum, double-uplocking reel seat is a more distinctly
new-school touch we’re happy about.



Tricked out with Sage’s standard retinue of high-end components, the
Sage Bass II fly rods feature Hopkins and Holloway chrome-plated
stainless wire snake guides and tip-tops, and outsized stripping guides
to accommodate the truly large fly lines that make these rods get up and
dance. The full wells grips are of high-grade cork, with a reinforced
composite fighting butt.



The Sage
Bass II Fly Rods come with their respective matching floating fly lines and
a light green, nylon covered, padded carrying case with room for an
attached reel and zippered compartments for accessories. A nice, compact
package




Run-Down...


 


Proven Sage 3e graphite construction

Compact length and light in hand

Extremely powerful and accurate at short to medium distances with big flies

Great hook setting and fish fighting ability

Heavy duty, English Hopkins and Holloway guides and tip top

Padded nylon, PVC rod case with dividers and reel pocket

Limited lifetime warranty





Sum-Up...


 

First and foremost, these rods are a lot of fun to cast and
fish with. They make the good solid fun of a day of bass fishing that
much more awesome, and they bestow a sense of power and control in a
small,
relatively lightweight package. Feeling a good deal livelier than the
original Sage Bass rods, the Sage Bass II fly rods are just a blast to
cast, will “swim” or “pop” flies better than longer rods, and are way
more substantial when you need a monster hook set.  Most
importantly, once the fish is hooked, these fly rods will do what fly
rods are typically very poor at doing; pulling fish from heavy cover and
beating them quickly with maximum turning power.  Thanks for reading, and check out these links to learn more!



Check out the ultimate Bass Outfit

Return to Reviews

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What is a Peacock Bass
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Peacock Bass

A Guide To Giant Peacock Bass Fly Fishing In The Amazon

By Octavio Campos Salles Araujo (BG)

There is a growing interest among fly fishermen in traveling to the Amazon, but many are discouraged by a series of doubts, like where and when to go, what fish species will be encountered, what tackle to use, what precautions to take, etc. We hope this two-part article will clear up this and other doubts about fly fishing in this fantastic region of the planet.

The Amazon Rainforest:

The Amazon is the biggest portion of Rainforest in the world, with over 6 millon square km, spreading through Brazil, Bolivia, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, French Guyana, Suriname and Peru. In this immense jungle you will find the biggest diversity of ethnical groups and Indian languages in the American Continent, the argest rivers in the world, the biggest and most varied biodiversity, etc. Just to give you an idea, in the Amazon Basin alone there are more fish species than in all the Atlantic Ocean, and there are still hundreds, maybe thousands of species yet to be discovered. The same holds true for insects, birds and amphibians.

The potential of both chemical compounds and gene compositions of plant and animal species yet to be discovered or studied can provide precious new sources of food, cures for diseases and many other benefits which are still unforeseen by Man. Many of these benefits are already known by indians. For instance there is an indian tribe who uses a certain species of ant to treat poisonous snake bites. They purposely put the ants over the wound and let them sting it, and that apparently cures the negative effects of the snake poison.

Underneath the Amazon there is also a countless wealth in the form of oil fields that together occupies an area the size of Europe. The oil is just now starting to be explored by the Brazilian Government and everyone hopes that this exploration will be done in an enviromentaly correct way.

The Amazon River is so huge in volume of water that 60 miles offshore from its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean you still navigate over fresh, muddy water. That is how the Amazon River was first identified by the spanish explorer Vicente Yanez Pinzon, who called it Mar Dulce (fresh water sea) in the 15th. century.

Contrary to what was believed back in the 70's, the Amazon Rainforest is not the lung of the world, as it produces as much oxygen by photosynthesis as it absorbs. On the other hand the forest provides an invaluable service to the planet by regulating the amount of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide in the atmosphere as well as regulating the distribution of rain in half of Latin America. The build-up of carbon dioxide and monoxide on the atmosphere is the main cause of the increase in Earth's temperature, so you can say that the Amazon is the "air conditioner" of the planet.

Traveling to the Amazon:

Traveling to the Brazilian Amazon from North America or Europe is pretty easy as there is a direct flight connection to Manaus from Miami. The Brazilian Government requires a tourist visa from Canadian and US citizens, as well as most European countries. The visa can be personally issued in any Brazilian Embassy, present in most big cities of North America. You may want to choose to fill-out the visa application form available to print from the internet and send it through regular mail. You can also contact your local travel agency and they should take care of the paperwork.

Fishing in the Amazon

Most anglers coming to the Amazon for the first time are usually very worried about the dangers from the jungle. In reality the dark water rivers are a very safe region of the Amazon, tropical diseases are nearly non-existent and there is really no need to take precaution about that. The region is free of biting insects too, making for comfortable living conditions. The only thing you should worry about a little are stingrays, so when wading or taking a dip at the river be sure to shuffle your feet instead of stepping, just like the guys on the saltwater flats do. The sun can also offer some danger for very sun-sensitive persons, so it's important to use strong sun screen and wear good quality tropical clothing.

The language spoken in Brazil is portuguese, but on a good trip option, your english speaking host will meet you at the airport and stay with you throughout the trip. Another good reason to look for trips with hosts that stays with the group during the whole trip, and not just while in the city.

Brazil is a country in relatively good economic and political stability. Its local people are very friendly toward tourists and always willing to share a bit of their rich culture.

Where to go:

The biggest peacock bass are not in every river of the Amazon, instead they can only be found in certain rivers mainly in central Amazon. These rivers are characterized by its dark, acid water and many marginal sloughts and lakes, the ideal habitat of Cichla temensis, the largest peacock bass species.

There are basically two main watersheds within the Amazon Basin where you can find this peacock bass, these are the Rio Negro to the north and the Rio Madeira to the south. The tributaries of these rivers is where the biggest peacock bass in the world comes from, specially from the Rio Negro watershed.

Rio Negro means "Dark River," which is very aptly named. Its water is very dark in color and usually free of biting insects as they can not reproduce in the acid water. Manaus, the biggest city in the Brazilian Amazon and the gateway to peacock bass fishing in Brazil, is situated on its banks. The two main kinds of water from the Amazon can be observed when the Negro and Solimões Rivers meet to form the mighty Amazon River, only a few miles from Manaus. The Negro with its dark water and the Solimões with its muddy water. The two different waters don't mix for 8 miles, running alongside like two different rivers within one huge river.

Unfortunately nearly all easily reached locations have been fished-out by either sport and commercial fishermen and that is why it is today very important to travel to very remote areas in search of unexplored rivers where big peacock bass are abundant and aggressive. These unexplored rivers usually have some kind of natural barrier that prevents easy navigation, like shallow rocky areas or rapids. Some are even too sinuous and this avoids access with float planes as they don't have areas large enough to land.

The headwaters of the tributaries are usually the least known and explored areas, and that is where the most succesfull fishing trips happen today. For the fly fisherman these areas are also much better than the areas downriver because their lakes are shallower and smaller so the fish are more easily attracted to flies. Anglers can also sight-fish a lot of times in these areas.

Look for outfitters who provide trips to these remote locations if you are serious about catching big peacock bass on fly. Facilities may not be top-class but it's perfectly suited for the angler with an exploring mind and spirit of adventure.

When to go:

Choosing the right time to go can mean the difference between success and total failure. Peacock bass fishing depends a lot on low water levels because during the flood season, when waters may rise over 40 feet, the baitfish swims into the flooded forest and the peacock bass follow them. Fishing during this time is completely unproductive.

The best outfitters carefully track and study weather patterns and changes when planning their fishing season in an effort to fish on the right places at the right time. It's not always easy since it may vary significantly and there are many variations according to certain areas of the Amazon. Basically the dry season starts to the south of the Amazon River by June and goes on until October, moving slowly to the north until reaching the rivers north of the Amazon River from late August to March.

This means that the Rio Negro watershed, where the biggest peacocks come from, is generally fishable from September to March according to the specific region within this huge watershed.

Fish Species:

Peacock Bass are the most abundant gamefish in the rivers of central Amazon. Even though there are other gamefish species in these rivers, the peacock bass is the focus of nearly all anglers coming to this area. They are not nearly remotely related to the largemouth bass of North America, instead they are cichlids, a huge family of fish species common in Latin America and Africa.

Speckled Peacock Bass: This is the largest of all peacock bass species, reaching sizes of nearly 30 pounds. Of course a fish of that size is very rare. On good, remote locations they average 10 to 18 pounds, with bigger fish always around. This is still under scientific discussion, but it's generally accepted that females have spots and males have three distinct dark bars and a yellowish coloration, as well as a hump on top of the head during mating season. They are very aggressive and territorial and will strike topwater flies with a vengeance. Most people who have fished for it agrees that they show the most spectacular and ferocious topwater strike of all fish. Everyone who enjoys casting topwater flies among varied structure for big fish must go peacock bass fishing in the Amazon at least once in a lifetime. Their fight is brutal and they always seek structures to cut or wrap the line.

Butterly Peacock Bass

Butterfly Peacock Bass: This is a smaller peacock bass species, but very abundant. There are actually two species of what is wrongly called butterfly peacock bass. One of them is the true butterfly peacock bass, with three big blotches on the side, and another species, which shows dark uneven bars and a more yellowish coloration. Both are quite small on average, but may reach sizes up to 13 pounds.

Traira: A very aggressive fish with sharp teeth and a powerfull jaw. They strike just about anything that moves close enough to it and are very abundant on the shallow areas. They average 2 to 4 pounds and are fun on light rods, as well as an important food source for large peacock bass. These fish are very pre-hystoric looking and it is believed they come from ancient times.

Arawana: The arawana is a famous fish among aquarium hobbyists because of their unusual, snake-like appearance. They are quite aggressive and will strike a variety of patterns. Once hooked they put up a good fight, with jumps and runs. A TV documentary on a British channel became famous by showing the scene of an arawana jumping out of the water to get a bug on an overhanging three in the flooded forest. This shows that they have great eyesight.

Jacundá

Jacundá: This beautifull fish is known in the aquarium hobby as pike cichlid. Despite their small average size they are very strong and aggressive and very fun on light fly rods. They come in many varied colors.

Piranha: There are mainly two species of piranhas in the dark water rivers. The black and the silver. The black piranha is the biggest one, reaching 10 pounds or more. They can be aggressive but nearly never against people. There is a lot of myth around piranha attacks and it's just not true. They can only be dangerous when locked in a small lagoon where no more food is available, otherwise they won't bother with you at all and you can swim at the river without worrying. Catching them on flies is not the easiest thing, which is pretty good because they destroy the fly in a heartbeat with their sharp, scissors-like teeth.

There are many other fish species in the black water rivers, like oscar, apapa, bicuda, pacu, arapaima and giant catfish. ~ Octavio

Next time: Best spots and what equipment to bring.

Octavio Campos Salles Araujo organizes and hosts unique fly fishing trips to remote locations of the Brazilian Amazon, where the rivers are still uncharted and big fish are numerous. Check out his website at www.amazonflyfishing.com for more.

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Loop Tackle Classic Series Fly Reel Review


YOUR FLY REEL SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU

They separate the traditionalists from the gearheads, pitting old-school styling against new-school innovation. . . . Read More.
310
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YOUR FLY REEL SAYS A LOT ABOUT YOU

They separate the traditionalists from the gearheads, pitting old-school styling against new-school innovation. . . . Read More.
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Specifications


•  Models: 4/6, 5/8, 7/9, 8/11, 10/13
•  Machined and Anodized Bar Stock, Aircraft Aluminum
•  Fully-Sealed, Fully-Adjustable Power Matrix Drag System
•  Distinctive Outgoing/Incoming Click
•  Precisely Counterbalanced

November 3, 2011 (San Francisco, CA): Fly reels say a lot about an angler. They separate the traditionalists from the gearheads, pitting old-school styling against new-school innovation. Now you don't have to choose between timeless design and state-of-the-art engineering: where the ageless aesthetics of the past and the breakthrough technologies of the future converge, Loop Classic Fly Reels stand in a class all their own.

Paying homage to the most iconic fly reels ever produced—a lineage spanning from Edward Vom Hofe to Stanley Bogdan to Hardy Cascapedias—Loop Classic reels are a modern take on a centuries-old legacy of angling style. From the sleek S-handle down to the handcrafted leather reel case, every feature of Loop Classic Fly Reels speaks to the rich history of fly fishing and the satisfaction that comes from connecting with its ongoing heritage. Under the hood, the Loop Classic's unparalleled drag system is anything but retro. If it's possible to build a piece of tackle that is emblematic of the finest elements of the sport of fly fishing, the elegant and ergonomic Loop Classic Fly Reel might just be it.


Striking aesthetics alone don't warrant admission into such an elite club, a club where fly reels are built to outlast everything short of the waters they fish. For that you need an unwavering dedication to craftsmanship, and the Loop Classic Fly Reels are as sturdy as fly reels get. Manufactured from premium aircraft-grade aluminum and anodized for a finish that is as indestructible as it is iconic, Loop Classic Fly Reels are meant to handle the harshest conditions with graceful power. The Loop brand was built on the back of adventure angling; its founders and engineers travel to ends of the earth to test gear where others had never fished before. From South America to Russia, Alaska to Africa, the Classic Series is steeped in a rich angling tradition of design and forged in the waters of the world's premier fly fishing destinations.

Reels you can trust: Loop's meticulous approach to design is not reserved to a polished exterior; the top-notch components powering the Classic Fly Reels are nothing short of spectacular. For those discerning anglers who require uncompromising performance, the mechanics of the Loop Classic Series sets the bar for impenetrable drag systems. Featuring Loop's signature Power Matrix Drag System, Loop Classics take fully-sealed waterproof performance to a new level.* Utilizing the extreme resilience of carbon drag plates (rather than your conventional cork) the Power Matrix Drag System is impervious to frictional wear. The benefits of this innovative design are particularly clear in strenuous saltwater environments where corrosion and compromised performance attack lesser-made reels. Want a testimonial? The Loop lodges in Argentina and Cuba have operated the same fleet of Loop Classic and Opti Fly Reels for several years without fail, with virtually every day spent under the most demanding fly fishing conditions.

*Note: The Loop Classic 4/6 does not feature the Power Matrix Drag System, instead it has a more suitable and lightweight, butter-smooth adjustable click and drag system.



A reel for the senses: Loop Classic Reels are a celebration of the senses. From spring creeks to the surf, the echoing click of a Loop Classic Fly Reel is a call to any angler to get out and fish. The sensory experience of “fish-on” is a place where we all long to be, and the Loop Classic Reels deliver an unmistakable sound to completely immerse you in the catch. It's these distinctive touches—like the precision porting against the vintage look and the beautiful leather reel case—that make the Loop Classic worthy of its name.

The supreme achievement of the Loop Classic Fly Reels comes not from their elegance and craftsmanship, their brute strength and durability, but from the harmony of all these features. Merging “classic” style with modern mechanics, Loop Classic Reels strike a superb balance between angling's rich past and promising future. Give your favorite fly rod the better half it deserves: a Loop Classic Fly Reel.


Loop Classic Pro Review - By Leland's George Revel


What's the Word...


When the Loop Classic Reels first arrived here at Leland, it's fair to say they were immediately fondled and groped by the entire staff. They just looked like something I wanted. In the same realm as our red truck diesel reels. We had to know how they fished... drove north to swing some black leaches at the early fall steelhead.

Features...


The Classic Series is a perfect example of Loop's ability to craft efficient, purpose-built fly reels that look as good as they perform. The Loop Classic Fly Reel's drag system is fully adjustable to provide you with complete control and versatility. Of course it's entirely corrosion-resistant and waterproof, built to handle whatever punishment comes its way. Loop Classics come in a range of weights cover every application, from stealthy spring creek trout all the way up to the most powerful flats fishing for tarpon or trevally... See video here. Loop Classics also come with a leather reel case that is as elegant as the reels themselves.
 

Fit and Finish...


Looks aren't everything, but they certainly don't hurt. If you've always wanted a Bogdan or a Hardy, the Loop Classic is worth more than just a second glance. Their sleek S-curve handle contrasts the quality porting, and the whole reel delivers a unique blend of vintage and contemporary features.  These are excellent competitors in the premium fly reel market that won't let you down no matter how much you fish.  If you appreciate more of an old-school look, Leland has a limited supply of the non-ported models in stock (One less as of 20 min when I got mine 7-9RHW).


Rundown...


Pros:
The weight of the Classic Reel is one of the things I have enjoyed most. The drag system is an upgrade form what you assume is in it by looking at it.

Solid... they don't have the solid feeling on of a Bogdan, but the full cage gives a very nice sturdiness to it.

Cons: Some might consider the Loop Classic Reels to be a bit on the heavier side, but to a lot of us, that's not a bad thing. Particularly, Those using Spey rods, Bamboo, Glass, longer single handers. Now I am no weight weenie... but the right reel on rod can make all the difference.

The Drag system on the 4-6's is not RH or LH specific. Not a big deal but would have been nice to have.

Bottom Line:
Whether you are looking for a timeless trout reel or a heavy-duty spey reel, the Loop Classic Series delivers incredible design and reliability across the board.
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