Is "Faster" really better? - the marketing Kool-Ade...

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Greg Armstrong, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. I think the Sage SP series of fly rods is fast enough. Having said that my last two acquisitions are a circa 1950 fiberglass rod and a yet to be delivered Mike Monsos bamboo rod.

    I have some faster rods but in my opinion it requires too much muscle work to cast well with them. The slower rods seem to cast themselves.
  2. Hell, I don't have any trouble casting my rods. And they ain't even Sages.
    dfl likes this.
  3. I have a mix of soft, medium and fast rods. My arsenal is about 3/4ths glass right now, which mostly qualify as slow in the grand scheme of things. Slow is awesome for small to medium water trout fishing, which is most of what I do. I have two new glass rods over the winter that qualify as medium in the grand scheme of things (8'6" 6wt and 8'0" 5wt Swift Epic) and sort of form the bridge between slow and fast for some situations. Then I have half a dozen really fast single hand graphite sticks and a spey rod for big water.

    So for me, the question of soft OR fast is actually answered by calling it soft AND fast. Each has its place and the important thing for any rod of any material is how good the taper was designed and put together.
  4. I enjoyed that article. Thanks for that!

    While I'm relatively new to the fly-tossin' game and my rods are all newer models that fall into the medium-fast to fast category, I like the idea of having some older "retro" gear.

    Currently trying to acquire a 'boo rod, a Granger Champion from a friend who inherited it from his dad. I have a Martin MG3 I picked up back in the early '70s that I'd like to try on it.
  5. A look into my stable will find some of each. I got started with early Sage rods (GFL, then RP & RPL) which were fast in their day. Now they'd be considered maybe medium fast. For awhile I convinced myself that I could cast further if only I had a faster rod. Fortunately I couldn't afford to chase this rainbow very far. As my casting improved (I'm not gods gift by any stretch, but I enjoy the art) I realized the value in each. Today I enjoy fairly fast rods in certain venues, usually where there is wind, and slower rods for lighter work and average conditions. I'm loving fiberglass now quite a bit, but am not anxious to sell my faster rods. What I found was that the rod is almost completely secondary to technique. Who knew.
  6. Mine is all fiberglass or bamboo. The only graphite I own is an 14' 9wt spey. I do have an fiberglass 11' 5/6wt switch rod.
  7. My SLT 5 weight is the most comfortable rod I own. It lays out line like a dream for me. I can cast it all day without fatigue. I do not care what works for you. I am happy that it does work for you, but I don't care.
  8. I could not have said it any better. I have slow, medium and fast rods, I like them all for different reasons and am no more fatigued at the end of a long day of casting my Z Axis then I am from casting one of my LLs, SPs, Superfines or any other rod.
  9. For my casting style, the faster rods (Echo Ion, Sage RPL, etc.) just don't suit me... I find them harder than hell to cast. I just feel like I really have to work hard to get nice loops. With practice I think I could get used to them, but for me, the Sage SP series are some of the finest casting rods out there. With a medium to medium-fast action I can shoot line plenty far including into a decent breeze. I may think differently if I were casting into a 20-30 MPH headwind, but I rarely am doing that. Last Summer I just started fishing the salt for Pinks with a 5wt. Sage Discovery Series which is a med. action rod and quite a bit slower than the SP series. For the most part I could get my line out far enough, but there were a few frustratingly windy days. That's why I picked up an Echo Edge 7wt. Very similar in feel to the SP series, but you can definitely tell your holding something that's going to cut through the wind a bit better.

    I also am an avid record collector!
  10. fishing mostly glass (4-9wts--I have a 12wt glass, but haven't summoned up the courage to attempt to cast it with the possibility of throwing out my shoulder), with a few graphite rods on the heavier end of the spectrum (8-12wts). My natural casting motion fits with the slower glass rods, not super slow like some of the older glass options (but still slow by today's standards). When I'm trout fishing on the Deschutes and the wind kicks up I still reach for my Steffen glass (funny, I fish it when the wind doesn't kick up too). I do think that fast action rods have their place when you actually have to cast 80'+ into a heavy wind on a flat to a tailing Permit...but really, how often is this happening for the majority of us? I'm still picking up my 7/8wt glass rods for beach fishing up here even if it does cost me a few's really not all that difficult to generate a lot of line speed even with slower action rods when necessary. If your casting technique is not there then it won't matter if your throwing a fast action stick or a slow action one, you're going to be limited.
  11. My take is that fishing should be fun for me. I like a relaxed cast with a good responsive rod that doesn't make me work hard to lay out some line. Don't matter to me if it is twenty feet or fifty, as long as I can put the fly where I want, when I want, it is all good. A goodly amount of warm sunlight on my back while I am doing all this, is am added bonus.
  12. I'm a big fan of the slow/medium rod. My favorite is the Sage SP which I wish they would bring back. I really think that you have to be a better caster and show more "finesse" when using a slower rod. With the soft action it is your casting technique, not the modulus that moves the fly out. Yes, you can fling a big wooly out 75 feet with one of the new fast flex rods, but do you want to? Fly fishing (to me) is an "art". I realize it is somewhat pretentious to speak of fly fishing in that term, but that is how I approach my fishing. I would rather spend a day casting my way (dry fly/soft presentation) and get a few fish instead of tossing a bobber with some type of nymph and getting 50 fish. Fast rods really work well for the bobber crowd, but I will pass.

    That being said, I have to say I am not a fan of glass rods. I had glass rods and gave them up for the carbon. I never had, nor tried a glass rod which has as good an action as my graphites. The re-introduction of glass rods is just another marketing ploy to sell product to a dwindling base. It is the fly fishers version of "retro". Pretty soon we will see ads with old guys smoking camels and using glass rods with words like "classic and original". Its all a game, you don't have to play.

    If I could afford it, I would only fish cane rods, but the graphites are much more durable and if you break a tip, you can get another without taking out a loan.
  13. I'm all about speed. I'm always sure that there are more and larger fish on the other side of the ______________ (insert: river, lake, ocean, puddle). Gotta drop that size 18 BWO in that sweet window along the far bank. And I'm sure that I look cooler to the ladies when I bomb out a cast... I just wish that they made flylines that were long enough to handle the booming casts that I make with my ultratech graphite wands. And my vision isn't what it used to be and I'm finding it harder to see my fly when it lands in the next watershed. Might need lasik.
    Steve Call likes this.
  14. Chicks dig the long ball
  15. I have an array of rods that vary in action, and they all see use for the intended purpose that I bought them for, including multiples of the same rod weights, but just in different actions.
    Yeah, for certain beaches when I fish for salmon or warm water where wind is usually a factor, I use a fast rod to help build line speed as well as help punch the wind without the line collapsing. At another beach and on a certain river that I love, when fishing for the same salmon, I use a medium to medium fast to help protect the tippet and also because it's more fun to play the fish on it and wind is not a factor.
    Same goes for my trout rods- two 5wts, one slow to medium that I use for lobbing nymphs and indi's, as well as for light dries, and another medium-fast that I use for chucking streamers and punching wind.

    I don't think that the whole 'Faster is better' mentality as an all-round direction for rod technology is a good thing, but I find certain rods and their actions have their place to help ME fish more effectively.
    I also find that certain rods pair better with certain lines, and that one line I use on one of my 5 or 8wt's doesn't necessarily cast as well on the other of the same weight.

    Though I do own a fair quiver of rods, I don't own any glass and am plan on getting a 3 or 4wt Butter Stick or something.
  16. Sooooo, longer is better! Huh, who wooda thunk it.
  17. Neither are 'better'. When I've switched around from slow rods to fast, I find that I waste a lot of precious fishing time adjusting my timing to the each rod's reminds me of the old adage "beware the man who owns just one gun". I'd rather master either a fast rod, or a slow rod....knowing I'd likely not master both.
    Olive bugger likes this.
  18. There is a point were speed is necessary.

    However there is a river I fish were my little 7'6" echo carbon 3 wt can easily go bank to bank!

    There are also rivers that while to big for that rod, have the main channel max thigh deep, and it shallows out very quickly.

    Fast is definitely not the best for all situations, and I believe that they have been developed more with lakes and atypical rivers in mind.
    Not many rivers I know have the room to cast long distances on the back cast, or the fish holding water 100 feet out.
  19. I own medium, medium fast, and fast action rods. I see plus' in all of them.

Share This Page