fishing is a grand excuse to find yourself in beautiful places with
something fun to do. Truth is, if more people went fly fishing, the
world would be happier. And to properly enjoy and celebrate
the sport of fly fishing, one should focus on its defining
attribute...the cast. Although it's true that any fly rod or outfit
can catch a fish, it's not true that all cast the same. To enjoy each
fly cast, a worthy fly fishing outfit (rod, reel and line) should be
balanced and efficient. That's exactly why we at Leland Rod Co.
designed the Sonoma Traveler Outfit.
a chaotic world of fly tackle choices, our simple goal was to provide
a sensible solution. We did this by designing our own gear from the
ground up, where each component (fly rod, fly line and fly reel)
complimented one another. The result of this project is a balanced
and efficient trout fly fishing outfit, where the whole is greater
than the sum of parts. Not only is this outfit brilliant for anyone
just getting into the sport. It's also the perfect solution for any
angler who's grown tired of tinkering with disconnected fly gear.
It's all right here waiting to be efficiently cast and enjoyed.
fine rod like our Sonoma Traveler is made even better with the right
fly line. Our Leland New Zealand “Pliny” Trout line is just the
ticket. In fact, it's so good, we named it after our favorite, local
beer (Pliny The Elder). We softened the line's coating, shortened the
head (the weight-forward part) and created the most efficient profile to efficiently roll your casting energy down the fly line,
through the most efficient leader we've ever cast (our New ZealandTrout Leader) and to your fly. When you cast this line on our rod,
you'll finally understand what we mean by efficient.
course every fly fishing outfit needs a fly reel. Yes, it does store
your fly line...but there's more to it than that. The proper fly reel
should be the correct weight to balance out the rod. It should have
the correct capacity to store not only our fly line, but have enough
backing (emergency line) should a big trout head down stream. A
fully-sealed, disc-drag is unnecessary for trout, so we went with the
classic and proven click and pawl system. It's easy to adjust, and
requires little to no maintenance. Best of all, when your trout takes
off, the classic sound of our Leland Classic Trout reel celebrating the moment will make
you smile. Yes, it's fully-machined, anodized and all, but most
importantly...this is a fly reel your granddaddy would want.
assembled, our fly rod, our fly line and our fly reel makes every
forty foot trout cast efficient, controlled and accurate. More
importantly, our Sonoma Traveler outfit will make your day on the
water that much better and really, that's why we all fly fish in the
first place. Take our word for it. This outfit is the one we use
every day at our ranch, teaching people how to efficiently control their fly line. It's also the outfit we personally take to the water
on our days off.
California's Lower Truckee River flows from the famous Tahoe Lake. It winds it's way though beautiful alpine country, passes through the quaint mountain town of Truckee and then bends eastward. Unlike most Sierra Nevada streams, the Truckee River never meets the Pacific Ocean. Instead, it heads inland, eventually feeding into Nevada's Pyramid Lake. It's a pretty western river and it's full of trophy trout...but they don't come easy.It was on this river, that I had the chance to test out Loop Tackle's Multi 696-4 fly rod. That might sound like a larger fly rod for your standard-sized trout stream, but I had a plan in mind. Knowing that really big brown trout hold in these waters and also knowing that there's a healthy population of crawfish in this watershed, I was going streamer fishing.I tied up some heavy-duty, rusty brown crawfish patterns with barbell eyes. I even added some rabbit strips to mimic the claws of the crawfish. This fly would be the only pattern I would fish this day. To efficiently deliver this heavier fly, I need a fly line with more mass. I chose the new Airflo Mend in a six weight. You might think I would fish a sinking tip line, but most of the clear water runs on the Truckee are not that deep and if a big brown trout wanted my fly...he'd happily move toward it.To keep things simple, I used the Loop Multi fly reel (6-9) to compliment this outfit. Might sound like a pretty big reel to put on a six weight, but I chose it for two reasons: The reel's extra weight would counter-balance the extra length of this rod, providing improved balance for a long day of casting. Also, this larger reel would give me extra line capacity, should I need it on a big brown trout.Here's an important factoid related to crawfish. They have an exoskeleton (a hard outer shell). As these critters grown, they shed or molt their entire exoskeleton and grow into their new one. Calcium is the key element here, as it is used to harden the new exoskeleton. Not wanting to waist any calcium, prior to the molt, a crawfish removes as much calcium from the old shell and stores it in its gastrolith (stomach stone). It then blasts this calcium back into the new shell to create a hard exoskeleton.And the point of all this is...? When a big brown trout eats a crawfish, the trout's stomach dissolves the crawfish, except for the gastrolith. This white, pill-like stone (it looks like a Tums antacid) is passed through digestive track of the fish and drops to the bottom of the stream. A big brown trout will eat many crawfish and the expelled gastroliths will collect in the tail out of brown trout's run. Just think bones near a dragon's lair.With the Loop Multi 696-4 fly rod rigged and ready, a walked the banks of the Truckee in search of a promising run. Prior to fishing, I inspected the tail of the run, looking for expelled gastroliths. Within a short hunt, I found a run with many (as in a lot) gastroliths in the tail out. The Loop Multi six weight had plenty of casting power to propel my Airflo six weight Mend fly line with ease. It's a nine foot six inch rod that provided easy mends and superior line control.I could easily dead drift, jig and swing my crawfish pattern. I had total control over my many casts and drifts. My guess is that most people would have moved on to another run after a dozen or so casts, but not me. The confidence provided me by visually inspecting the collection of gastroliths kept me on the hunt. On one drift, my line literally stop. There was slight pressure and I set the hook. My Loop Multi rod bowed over and the Loop Multi fly reel's drag smoothly paid out line.It was a big, really big brown trout on my line. I had twelve pound tippet, so I felt pretty confident putting hard pressure on the fish to keep him from structure. Not kidding, these big brown trout act more like Ling Cod, as they will dig (head first) into any crevice afforded them by the stream. I had the chance to land two more large trout during my day. Casting the Loop Multi 696-4 was fun and easy. It had plenty of power and balanced nicely with the Loop Multi 6-9 fly reel. This is one great rod/outfit for any angler wanting to pursue larger trout with confidence.
As a father of two young ladies, I'm
officially stating for the record that fly fishing is the best
outdoor activity for all ages, especially the young ones.
But before I delve into fly fishing, let me share
something I recently discovered about my daughters when I asked them
if they'd like to go on a hike. Their response was, “Why?” My
initial reaction was to think my daughters were just being lazy.
“Well, for exercise, fresh air and beautiful scenery,” I said.
It wasn't until a bit later that the
thought dawned on me. My children weren't lazy at all, they just
needed a reason to hike, something to do once we got there. The next
time I proposed that we hike, I tested my new theory. I simply asked
them, “Who wants to go fly a kite?” Voila! Both daughters jumped
at the chance. They threw on their shoes and we hiked to the top of a
nearby hill (the very same hill we hiked prior), this time with no
questions...just smiles. We had a reason to hike. Call it what you
will, a reason, an activity, an excuse. Children just want to know
why they're doing something, and flying a kite at the top of a hill
was reason enough.
Enter fly fishing. To me, fly fishing
is the best excuse to get out of the house, to go someplace beautiful
with those you love and have something fun to do when you get there.
If done correctly, it requires very limited equipment and brings
human and nature together. Unlike adult minds that succumb to the
self-imposed pressure of knowing everything about something before
participating, children will jump right in and play. This youthful
approach to life and learning dovetails perfectly with fly fishing.
Casting a fly rod isn't hard when
you're a child. You just pull the fly line forward and stop the rod's
tip in the direction you want the line to go. The fly lands in the
water and the fish take over from there. If they're interested in
something they put it in their mouth to inspect it. It doesn't matter
what the fish thinks, the fact is, your kid just caught it...and on a
fly rod to boot.
Our Leland Rod Co. Emerger fly fishing
outfit was designed specifically for your kids (and mine). It's the
right size and weight for their smaller hands and is perfect for
catching the two fish available to just about everyone...panfish and
trout. It's balanced perfectly and makes for the easiest and most
efficient fly casts. It comes completely rigged and ready to cast
upon arrival. Just tie on a fly (any fly) and cast it on the water.
The fish will respond and you just found a fun reason to spend
quality time with your children.
Hidden behind the fun activity of fly
fishing is the real secret to the sport. Whether you drive or walk to
your water, you'll have time to talk with your kids. You'll notice
nature's best work in the form of plants and animals. You'll share
stories of your childhood and create meaningful memories that your
children will cherish forever. These are the simple but important
moments in life that will happen when you and your child fly fish.
On a trip to Oregon's Rogue River last October, I fished two days with the Red Truck Diesel Switch Outfit. Although not known for large steelhead, the summer run of steelhead on the Rogue offers an opportunity to catch a solid number of fish in the four to eight pound range. The Rogue is also a medium-sized river and perfect for a switch rod.
Although switch rods make easy work of indicator nymphing for steelhead, my go-to technique is swinging a fly cross current. It allows me to get the most out of every cast and every take. Plus, the Rogue River's fish are notoriously aggressive and will happily grab a well-swung fly.
The Red Truck Diesel Swiich Outfit is the ideal tool for this kind of fishing. At eleven feet in length, it's just right. Not too long for a river the size of the Rogue, yet still long enough to provide efficient casts and mends. As a seven weight, it has the appropriate line mass to deliver the common sizes and weight of flies used on most steelhead rivers. The Red Truck Diesel Switch Rod's power is dialed in right, making a three pound fish fun, yet it can still cast a Skagit head with a heavy tip and big bug.
Of course this rod is well-finished with its classic “snake belly” blank and all the right components, including tight thread wraps and smooth epoxy work. The cork grade is very nice and the handle shape feels great in hand. There's even a bottle opener in the rod cap.
Included in the outfit is a complete line system. It comes professionally rigged and ready to fish, including backing, an Airflo Ridge Running Line (#20) and an Airflo Compact Skagit Head (450 grain), as well as Rio's MOW Tip Kit (Light). The line system makes casting a breeze and the Rio MOW Tip Kit allows the angler to dial in the perfect tip regardless of fishing conditions.
The fly reel is the equally solid Loop Tackle Evotec 7-9. This fully-machined and anodized large-arbor fly reel comes with a completely sealed disc drag system, which is butter smooth and very powerful. Essentially, this reel is bomb-proof, great looking, and a good fit with the Red Truck Diesel Switch Rod.
Casting this setup on Oregon's Rogue River was epic. Easy mends resulted in amazing line and fly control. I beached about six fish on the swing during my two days on the Rogue, which is about average...nothing to brag about, but each was the result of smooth casts and controlled swings. If you're looking for the same experience, the Red Truck Diesel Switch is as good as it gets.
"Hooking a trout has much to do with how perfectly you are able to present your dries."
Review by W. Arnold of Georgia
I was very fortunate to be given the opportunity to test the LelandNew Zealand Dry Fly 486-4 fly rod for a couple of weeks. While testingthis rod, I was able to solicit input from other guides and also anindividual new to fly fishing, so the following comments are theconsensus of several others, not just myself.
The build quality of this rod is excellent. The blank, guides, reelseat, and cork grip are all top quality components. The blank isslender and the ferrule connections are hardly noticeable. The actionis medium to fast and very well suited to dry flies and small nymphs,and the rod tube and sock are also a "cut above." Neat, little extrasinclude ferrule plugs and the sock even has a small pocket to store theplugs when the rod is assembled. There is also an extra place in thesock for a spare rod tip. At first glance the shape of the cork grip isa little "quirky," however, the ergonomics are excellent and the gripis a perfect fit for most hands. Overall, this is a very well thoughtout package.
I have ready many rod reviews where the reviewer states how easy a rodis to cast or the rod almost, "cast itself." I own a couple of theserods and do not find these statements to be accurate. However, I foundthe New Zealand Dry Fly rod to be one of the nicest casting rods I haveever had in my hand. The rod is excellent at short distances and loadswith very little line. The rod can also throw a line a considerabledistance and I had no trouble casting 60 feet or more. The rod alsoexecutes "roll casts" in an equally competent manner. While guiding a"Wounded Warrior," who had never cast a fly rod, I traded off the"guide rod" we provided for the New Zealand Dry fly rod model. He foundhis casting to be so much improved that he did not want to go back tothe "guide rod."
I tried several different lines from Airflo to Rio and found a normal "trout taper," such as a Rio Gold to work best for my casting style.
While I did not have the chance to land any fish larger than 14 inches,I felt the rod could handle large fish with ease. Casting accuracy was"dead on" and mending line was also very precise.
I would definitely recommend the rod to anyone of any skill level andmy next rod purchase will be a New Zealand for sure.
The Red Truck Fiberglass Outfit embodies fly fishing in its purest form. A throwback to vintage glass rods, this setup brings a modern, efficient feel to a classic era of rod making. It’s smooth, buttery action and perfect balance make it an absolute pleasure to fish and an outfit worthy of any trout fisher's collection.
Simply put, the Red Truck Glass Outfit is all about a simpler style of fly fishing. Just bring a small fly box, a few leaders, a spool of tippet and the Red Truck Glass outfit. It's like trout rehab in an age where the essence of the sport is overshadowed by “cutting-edge” materials and technologies.
The team at Red Truck was able to take the best attributes of fiberglass and provide a much-needed upgrade. The Red Truck Fiberglass Fly Rod is light and smooth with just enough power; a welcome change from the heavy and noodly rods of yesteryear. Plus, the outfit is incredibly easy to cast and the balanced line makes it extremely efficient.
The Red Truck Fly Rod’s Action is best described as stable yet buttery. It's soft tip makes for effortlessly subtle presentations, while a powerful lower section allows for easy casting when the wind picks up or you're using larger flies. The precisely balanced fly line stabilizes the rod and gets the most out of the rod's action.
The Diesel 3/4 feels like it was built to pair with our fiberglass rods. It’s classically styled cosmetics and click and pawl drag system make for the perfect complement to a rod that looks like it came from your grandad's collection. The click and pawl drag system is really a “set it and forget it” system. I set my drag just above half and it's good to go. The reel screams fly fishing every time you pull off line or hook a fish.
Fit and Finish:
The craftsmanship of Red Truck's Glass Outfit is apparent from the moment you pull it out of the tube. Beautiful maroon thread wraps adorn each hard chrome guide; the top grade cork is shaped into the most ergonomic grip I've ever fished; the rod blank has a nice, translucent honey color that is quintessentially fiberglass. The rod also comes in a retro aluminum tube with our patented Brews-Key, a rod cap with a built in bottle opener.
If you want an outfit that will inspire you to find new and exciting creeks, the Red Truck Fiberglass Outfit is your answer. This 7-foot 6-inch 3-piece rod lends itself perfectly to the best trout destinations and a proud heritage of craftsman fly rods. It's sure to be the sweetheart of your lineup and open up many miles of new water for those days off.
I love fishing this outfit on small freestone rivers and spring creeks. Where will your Red Truck take you?
Jim Arce (Customer and Friend):
My son Paul just picked this as the first fly rod he ever selected all by himself . He is almost 10 and I got him a starter rod a couple of years ago. He saw this rod at the Fly Fishing Show and loved the design and color. He tried it out and cast it very well on his own. I cast it and loved it. It has a crisp medium action that reminds me of some of my bamboo rods--medium full flex and with an active tip. A very responsive rod for a new fly fisher. It was not a tough sell when he asked me if we could get it. We got the kit and love the reel, too. I can already see it will be hard to use it myselft because he likes it so much. A very classic outfit. We love it and can't wait to get it on the stream!
Bill Lowe (Guide on the Lower Yuba River):
Having fished a few glass rods back in the day I was skeptical at first but this rod is a perfect mix between classic action and power for those windy days. I would have no problem taking this as my only rod on a weekend trip in the mountains, it's that versatile! Also would make a great dry fly rod if your other rod is rigged for nymphing for the day.
RetroGLass (fiberglass aficionado):
I am a fiberglass nerd. I have 50 or so different fiberglass rods that range in price from 50-700 dollars. This rod is now one of the best rods in my collection. It lacks the charm of my older used outfits but as far a new rods on the market this outfit wins. I decided to get the balanced to cast the rod as the designer intended. This has proven to be a wise decision.
R Stevens (Customer and friend):
After making two casts I realized I had found the perfect rod for my favorite fishing. Dry flies on remote waters in the Sierra Nevada. The rod action makes it a treat to cast and with the classic reel this is a perfectly balanced outfit. This is definitely my go to rod from now on
Pro Review - Leland's Burke White
• Cageless reel frame with exposed palming rim
Check out the Red Truck Diesel Fly Reels.