He noted that the rod is underloaded at close range casts, but starts to feel smoother on casts beyond 30 feet and it felt better and better as casting length increased out to 45 and 50 feet. Weights: 3 to 6. All of us felt like we really need to get these rods on the water to fully evaluate them, but a few trends certainly developed. Fly fishers of all types can take a look at the Orvis Clearwater rods. Matt also agreed that the rod really shined at the longest casts but he also enjoyed it at mid range too. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod 2. You can really “feel” every cast. Interestingly Casey felt that the rod was enjoyable up close but he lost control with it once he got passed 40 feet. He felt that the rod started to bog down quickly once he extended casts beyond 30 feet and for longer casts. Zach:Zach felt that the Orvis H3D offered a good blend of power and touch. I felt like the Orvis H3D struck a nice blend of having great “feel” at mid ranges with great power potential for punching wind. … I had to restrain myself from making some hero casts as the rod felt like it wanted to just keep going. Louis:Louis appeared clearly distressed when casting the Sage X. What we like: A quality kit for a … One downside here is that line control may suffer and you won't have quite the reach to drop flies into tight holding spots. The Carbon, listed at $150, … So while the X doesn’t have as much feel on the very short casts once you get to 30 feet you are able to start to load the rod and at longer mid-range casts it is a smooth canon. The online reviews of the Goture Fly Rod … All rods were 9 feet in length. He described the rod at feeling great on shorter to mid range casts, but preferred several of the other rods in the test beyond 45 feet. Best Mid-Priced Rod: At about half the cost, the Legend Elite runs neck-and … The best fly rod length for fishing for small fish is about 8 feet or less. It has a silky, relaxed feel and is very enjoyable. Now, Which Rod Should I Go with? It should be noted that Louis also has an aversion to fast cars, fast woman and fast fly rods. No fly rod is the perfect rod on every river, on every given day. The Sage X also was similar to the Orvis H3D although its sweet spot was at slightly closer range than the H3D which outperformed the X at longer casts. A fly line with a short head loads a short rod efficiently and allows the angler to quickly deliver big flies short to moderate ­distances. There are quite simply a lot of really great fly rods on the market today. On longer casts he started to get into trouble and had to “push the rod” resulting in a tendency for tailing loops if the timing wasn’t dialed in. 1. The sweet spot for me was definitely at or under 30 feet. He enjoyed the slow, buttery smooth loops that the rod casts. These fly fishing rods are affordable and durable which is important for young anglers learning how to fly fish. Pierce:“I like a fast rod, and this rod is just like a sports car. Louis:Louis wasn’t a fan of the Igniter: “Let me reiterate - I really, really don’t like fast cars, fast women or fast fly rods...and where did I set my tweed jacket?”. In the early stages of graphite rod development the race was to produce stiffer and stiffer “fast action” rods. At 45 feet Jimmy was still impressed with the LL and felt that he still had some power at mid range casts with it but he rated it 2nd behind the Orvis H3F at mid range in terms of favorites; so still a strong contender out to mid range for him. Can someone please bring back the Light Line, or better yet some M#%%F&%G Bamboo? Orvis Clearwater Fly Fishing Rod. Orvis Clearwater Fly Rod Outfit 905-4. He acknowledged that it wasn’t great in close but it made the longer casts with ease. At 30 feet you can start to load the rod but you need to pick up your casting rhythm to do so. To avoid this tendency we set out a series of cones at 30, 45 and 60 feet. Options include unique fishing lodges, exclusive ranch stays, riverside vacation rentals, and affordable hotel packages. Conversely, a nice “medium” length cast in the grass is actually much longer than you often need to make on the water. As the big bug movement gains momentum, however, many rod manufacturers have started to make rods specifically designed for big flies and heavy lines. No rod is perfect for every scenario but a 6 weight has enough back bone to toss smaller streamers yet still provides enough “feel” to throw dry flies on a windy day. Imagine floating into a deluxe camp on one of our private ranches or permitted islands where cold beverages and tasty appetizers await. I also had some previous bias with this rod as I spent a week with it in Argentina including punching big dry flies at Jurassic lake in crazy wind where it performed magnificently. We did some quick experimenting and felt like the Sage LL, Orvis H3F and Sage X were best matched with a trout taper while the Asquith, Igniter and H3D were best matched with a power taper. Jimmy:The Orvis H3D made a good impression on Jimmy during our lawn casting tests. Zach:Zach also really enjoyed the LL at 30 feet and under and placed it as a tie with the Helios 3F at close distances. As rod materials and designs have advanced, most rod makers are placing more focus on application specific rods. Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod. Figuring out exactly what you’re going to try to catch is the most … When I picked up the Asquith after spending some time bouncing back and forth between the other faster rods in the group it was noticeably a different animal. At casts longer than 45 the rod wanted to collapse a bit and I was flexing right to the handle. This rod somehow “feels” different than all of the other faster action rods that punch well at mid range and long range. Deciding What You Will Fish For. Matt:Matt gave the Sage X a thumbs up. Pierce described the H3D as a great design for a 6 weight on Western waters where nymphing heavier stoneflies with some wind on bigger waters is often the norm. Louis:“NO...just no! For this review we used the new Orvis Pro lines in both a 6 weight “trout taper” and “power taper”. My gut feeling was this would be a great all around big river rod for nymph fishing. … Matt felt that the rod loaded well at mid range but still had enough power to extend to longer casts. This mid-flex rod will provide you with short and accurate … We pick you up each day at the hotel and in the evenings you can enjoy fun western towns like Bozeman and Livingston, Browse our large network of vacation homes and cabins that are either on the water or centrally located to great fishing. Casey:Casey also loved the feel of the Light Line up close and compared it to “grandmas cobbler”: it just makes you feel good. Pierce:Pierce also felt like the H3F was the only other rod outside of the Sage LL that still felt really good on shorter range casts. At 60 feet the rod is effortless - the line just seems to come flying out of the rod and I still had great accuracy. The guys with aggressive, full body casting strokes tended to gravitate toward the fastest action rods while those of us with a more compact stroke sought out the moderate action rods as our favorites. Like several of the other guys Jimmy didn’t feel like it was quite as smooth as the LL, H3F or Sage X on closer casts but it felt very smooth on mid range and long range casts. This is light and balances well in the hand but feels too stiff on short casts where there wasn’t enough line to load and flex more than just the tip. Matt:Matt wasn’t feeling the love of the LL. General Overview of Rod Review Test ProceduresOur simple goal in mind was determining which fly rods “feel the best” in specific on the water applications. The power the rod offers is substantial and you immediately want to just start gunning longer casts. Snappier/Crisper: Shorter fly rods will often be noticeably crisper when flexed/cast. I left feeling a little perplexed by the Asquith...or maybe intrigued. We didn’t even let anyone cast beyond 60 feet even though some of these rods can easily shoot out to 100 feet when in the hands of a competent caster. Brian:The Asquith is an impressive rod and one that was arguably the most polarizing among the rods tested with some guys loving it and others rating it as their least favorite. “If I needed a rod to punch wind or make a longer cast - at least in a big grassy field with no trout or wind, I would pick the Igniter”. So in its sweet spot it zips line effortlessly when at mid range; but he felt the sweet spot was just a little narrower than some of the other rods he cast. If you love fast action rods, have an accelerated casting stroke or need to punch wind or make longer casts on bigger water this would certainly be rod to consider. Matt:Also a fan of hyper fast rods, Matt loved the igniter and placed it as his 2nd favorite rod, just behind the Asquith. Many trout fishing casts are under 30 feet and 60 feet is about as far as you would ever actually cast in a real life fishing scenario. A shorter fly rod will allow you to do short casts accurately which is great for fishing for small fish. The Igniter is definitely an application specific rod - if you are going to fish it up close you may need to line it up an entire line weight (7weight). When I was working hard and focusing I could still make 60 foot casts with the LL but I really needed to pay close attention to my timing. If that's the case, then why even bother making so many rods that are shorter? It's by no means short, but as far as fly rods go it's really not very long either. Zach:Zach also enjoyed the Sage X at mid ranges but felt that it didn’t offer much feel at closer range and he struggled with it a bit at longer range. So on one hand while the rod is “easy” to cast close in, it felt like work at longer distances. The rivers, streams and lakes of Yellowstone National Park hold a special place in the hearts of many anglers. Zach really enjoyed the H3F both at closer range as well as mid range. A secondary goal, however, is also to educate fly anglers on the importance of understanding that no one rod wins every race. This rod felt very different than every other rod I tested. It is one of the Best Fly Rods available on the market. The best saltwater fly rods are built tough. It was also interesting to watch Matt’s casting stroke which was similar to Pierce’s with a very aggressive, faster cadence using a lot of body and extending the casting hand far from the shoulder. Basically we want to know which rods will be the most enjoyable to fish with when you are on the water. This technical match the hatch fishing produces big results. This struck me as being a great all around 6 weight, especially if you are regularly nymph fishing larger waters or want a streamer stick for small to mid sized streamers. Even on larger waters, most of my casts are under 45 feet when I am fishing and on smaller waters I rarely cast beyond 30 feet. While it robs you of some distance, the accuracy at closer ranges is often worth the trade off. Spring creeks offer the ultimate challenge in the fly fishing world. The whole package has been voted best for price, design, quality and versatility. Experience some of the lower 48's most remote fisheries. Matt:Matt also acknowledged that the Orvis H3F was one of the best rods in the closer ranges typical for trout fishing casts. Matt:"This was hands down my favorite rod, I liked it better than every other rod at every distance. Best fly rod for fishing steelhead in small to medium rivers Switch rods are one of the most versatile fly rods on the market today. As I was working my way through the rods we had laid out, the Asquith was the first of the “fast action” rods that I picked up. Application: this rod is designed for small stream fishing, it is made for fishing wet flies and dry flies, and does have the ability to also cast medium weighted streamers. “I’ve got a feeling I would like this rod a lot more on the big water casting big bugs”. At mid ranges of 30-45 feet Jimmy felt that the H3F was effortless to cast, producing tight and accurate loops. We are frequently asked, “What is the best rod for Montana fishing”. So right away the rod feels different in your hand simply due to the grip. This allows them to pick up weighted flies out of the water, fight big tough fish, and power casts through the wind. In general the rods that had lots of feel, with a smooth feel in closer distances tended to feel a little overpowered when casting at long range. You need to also analyze your own fishing needs and then match that to the style of rod that makes you happiest most of the time. Casey:Casey felt that the H3F performed most similar to the Sage LL, except it had a faster feel without as much flex at the handle as the LL. Once beyond 45 casts the rod really started to shine and felt like a Kentucky Derby Pony. Rods rated for small line weights or those made from a more "noodly" material like fiberglass can be more … Aventik Z IM12 Fly Fishing Rod Nano Short Switch Graphite 10ft 4 pc LW3 to 10 Short Switch Fly Rod Double Handed with 2 Tips 3.1 out of 5 stars 6 $105.99 $ 105 . Matt still prefered the “fastest” tip flex rods at all ranges, even short range. A grassy lawn was also the easiest location to jump from rod to rod with multiple people trying multiple rods. What seems like a “normal cast” on the water seems absurdly short when you are on an expansive sea of grassy lawn. The cool aspect of the LL series is that you are using the entire rod on every cast, even at short range which gives it a very smooth feel (until it is overloaded). Jimmy:Jimmy acknowledged that the Igniter had power it spades. Choose from Montana's largest selection of fishing and lodging packages. The Strong and Durable: Redington Classic Trout. The rod that you love roll casting on a small stream might be the one you hate when trying to punch a streamer in the wind. Most line manufactures now make both true line weight lines and “line and a half” line weight lines. They allow the angler to both pull hard and quickly pump the rod to get a fish coming in the right direction. Our canned answer is a 9 foot 6 weight with floating line. At 60 feet, just like the H3F I was still able to throw tight loops but I had to work a bit and make sure my timing was dialed in. So even though we strongly caution you to choose a rod solely because of how it feels “behind the fly shop”; we did want an even playing field and a baseline to at least begin the comparisons. SummaryWe all felt like parking lot heroes after spending a day on the lawn with some great rods. I couldn’t really “feel” the rod until longer distances. It struck him as a great overall rod with a lot of power. The igniter just feels better and better as you make longer and longer casts. Generally the distance that you test a rod out on a lawn is MUCH longer than how far you actually cast on the water most of the time (at least in trout fishing scenarios). Brian:The Orvis H3D is a smooth yet powerful rod. He felt that for his casting style the Orvis H3D and Sage X compared very similarly overall. On longer casts it flexed deeper into the rod but still maintained good power. This is compounded if you have a buddy with you since you might look a little silly make lots of short “trout fishing” casts with all of that green to play with. Weather in the Northern Rockies can be fickle and it is always a good idea to come prepared regardless of the season. He felt like the rod didn’t feel great in his hand due to the smaller cigar grip. Hand-made, with a full flex, slow-action and medium recovery you can present … Rods TestedWe opted to select 6 premium price point rods (generally retailing between $875 and $1000) with a spectrum of rods that were designed for different applications (high powered canons for long distance and wind all the way to more moderate actions that “feel” buttery even on up-close casts. Pierce quickly acknowledged that … Although casting beyond 60 feet is never really required the power to do so often comes in handy on big wind days. 6 to 8 feet – This length is perfect for smaller streams and creeks. When someone is buying their first fly rod for fishing our local rivers we generally steer them towards a 6-weight for these reasons. Fishing changes by the week in Montana. With this in mind we basically chose to ignore rod weights, swing weights, rod deflection curves and bonus points for good looks. Our blog offers a vast collection of useful articles that include topics related to hatches, seasons, rivers, destination trip reports and more, Helpful checklists to make sure you include the proper clothing and gear for your Montana fishing trip, Information on rates for Montana and Yellowstone National Park fishing licenses. Pierce:Pierce enjoyed the H3D. Casey:Casey felt that if he had to buy one of the rods after just casting it in the grass the H3D would be a top contender. Jimmy did acknowledge that the Asquith had loads of power both at mid range and longer casts. While rod technology including new graphite fabrics and new “nano” resins continue to help make lighter and stronger rods; simply relying on lighter and faster doesn’t always produce the “best rod”. Often when I switched back to the Asquith I wasn’t impressed - but then if you kept casting you slowly adjusted and kind of thought “hmmm”. Zach:Zach felt that the Asquith was the least forgiving of the rods he tested. Rods rated for small line weights or those made from a more "noodly" material like fiberglass can be more whippy when constructed in the standard 9-foot size. For fishing larger Western rivers like the Madison and Yellowstone he felt like the H3D would be a great match when you are frequently making mid range casts with some wind to contend with. Now the answer gets a little more complicated! Pierce also voted the LL as the best rod under 30 feet “The nine iron of fly rods, everybody hits it great in close. It was hard to place a finger on why but when I was switching back and forth between the X, H3D and Igniter I noticed more similarities than differences. Orvis Clearwater Outfit ($311) Action: Medium-Fast. Read what our guests have to say about our trips and learn why we are rated #1 in Trip Advisor and have a 5 star average on our Orvis reviews, This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google, 6 Weight Fly Rod Review Series - Part Two Jimmy At Jurassic Lake, 6 Weight Fly Rod Review Series - Part Two, Jimmy at Jurassic Lake, Hairwing Flies for Summer and Fall Steelhead, Winter Fly Fishing in Montana: The Only Flies You Will Ever Need, A visual model of the impacts of Rest and Rotation and Boat Bans on the Upper Madison River, The 5 Best Options for Fly Fishing in Montana in the Month of May, Ascension Bay Mexico Flats Fishing Report: Grand Slam Lodge. Jimmy also felt like the LL dropped off quickly once pushing beyond 45 feet. Maximize your time on the water and make great memories on one of our deluxe overnight river camping trips. He described it as feeling really touchy on short casts, with the rod mostly casting from the tip. Over and over again I find that rods just feel different when you are out fishing with them. To complicate matters, I have lost track of the number of times that I have listened to friendly arguments between fishing guides on which rod is “best”. Some of these rods could use either - for example the Sage X feels a little zippier at longer length casts with a trout taper but has more feel at 30 feet with a power taper. 99 These rods may not be ideal do-all sticks, but they do offer some distinct advantages that may be of interest. He self admittedly prefers a fast action rod and this was his least favorite rod of all we tested at every distance, even up close. Build lasting relationships with your best clients or reward your key employees with one of our custom built corporate fishing retreats. Once you gun too much line out it is difficult to manage and your catch rates go down. He freely admits that he works hard every morning to fight back the desire to dress in full tweed. Snappier/Crisper: Shorter fly rods will often be noticeably crisper when flexed/cast. I have also found that over and over again that the rod I enjoyed most behind the fly shop is not the one I enjoyed most on the river. Many avid anglers, however, enjoy bringing their own gear. There is no question that this rod offers power in copious abundance; you need to spend some time with it to fully take it all in. This helps you to fish around branches, rocks and snags that may be hanging over the banks. Although the H3D performed very well at 60 feet, when casting the Igniter and Asquith those rods felt like the line wanted to just keep going. Baseline - Casting on the LawnWe can’t emphasize enough that trout don’t live in grassy fields. Although it wasn’t as fun at close range as the LL or H3F it still retained some “feel” on closer casts, but was mostly just loading the tip. Experience the wilds of Montana on a multi-day horse pack adventure. This fly rod comes in a compact and travel friendly case. If you just have a day or two to spare, day trips are a great way to experience Montana's legendary fisheries. The castability of a rod has a lot to do with the relationship between the rod length and the taper of the fly line. He placed the LL and Helios 3F at the top of the “happiness” factor when rod in hand for close casts with a slight edge to the LL. Although I did have to pay a little more attention on longer range casts, my loops were still very tight and I never felt like I was working too hard at distance. Pierce quickly acknowledged that the LL is very much an application specific rod and gravitated to the other rods with more of a tip flex at longer distances. I still enjoyed the rod at 45 feet but I had to really make sure my timing was right - although it through great loops when I was on my game. Personal definitions may vary, but for this article I'm classifying "short" fly rods as those measuring 8-feet and under. Casey:This was Casey’s favorite “one-quiver” rod based on lawn casting results. At 30 feet it was probably a tie with the Orvis H3F which also still had “feel” up close but felt zippier and more powerful.

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