Rod Reviews: Slow-action dry fly specialists

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Dan Nelson, Apr 6, 2014.

  1. Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    Posts: 807
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +333 / 5
    I had a team of testers check on a selection of new slower action rods recently and we published the results at GearInstitute.com.

    The summary is:

    The Orvis Superfine Glass won Best in Class honors, while the Redington Butterstick gets Best Value honors. Other rods we field tested and review were the Sage Circa, Orvis Superfine Touch and LL Bean Pocketwater.

    http://www.gearinstitute.com/fishing/category/dry-fly-rods
  2. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,149
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +961 / 1
    Where do I get that $30 Circa listed in the review?
  3. Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    Posts: 807
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +333 / 5

    That's the price listed by the retailer linked to the price -- basically the site auto searches for retailers offering the products reviewed and lists the prices found. Apparently, the $30 price was listed by FishWest -- though it appears they've since upped that to $775!
  4. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,601
    Dillon, Mt
    Ratings: +1,653 / 0
    How do they designate a rod to be a dry fly rod only ???
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  5. ScottP Active Member

    Posts: 594
    Ratings: +813 / 0
    rock, paper, scissors
    dfl, Jeff Cheng, Old406Kid and 2 others like this.
  6. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,947
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +254 / 0
    I think it means rods that you wouldn't want to throw too much weight with. I think about these things when deciding on the rod for the day, and it all goes out the window once I'm on the river.
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  7. Akuriko Member

    Posts: 117
    Ratings: +11 / 0
    Thanks for posting this, i love reading fly rod reviews.
  8. Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    Posts: 807
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +333 / 5

    The Dry Fly designation should probably have been "slow-action" designation. Realistically, these all excelled at delivering dry flies in gentle presentations, but weren't as effective with heavier, larger flies (streamers, weighted nymphs, nymphs with large indicators, multi-fly rigs, etc). As noted in the reviews, some rods were better in those situations than others -- that was one of the key review points: versatility. But note that these all are best, first and foremost, for accurate, soft presentations of dries.
  9. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,473
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,617 / 0
    If my Sage LL 590-2 wasn't included in the test, it wasn't a fair test.
    Stew McLeod likes this.
  10. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,595
    Ratings: +401 / 0

    or the 490 LL-2.... or any of the LL series for that matter.

    These "tests/competitions" are a joke....
    Stew McLeod and Steve Saville like this.
  11. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,947
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +254 / 0
    I had an LL 7'11" 4wt. I felt like the only thing special about it was that it wasn't a broomstick and was a Sage. I liked the price it sold for! I would love to cast the 389 and the 490, though.
  12. Kaiserman content

    Posts: 2,595
    Ratings: +401 / 0

    I wasn't aware that they even made such a rod. An 8 ftr seems like it would have been just a touch small for an LL, then again it could be the line you had... or you just plain 'ol didn't like it. :p

    I've yet to find too many folks that didn't love their LL. I almost sold mine a couple years ago, then had to use it because I left my iix at home. I fell in love with it all over again.
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  13. MarkY3130 Active Member

    Posts: 111
    Kent, WA
    Ratings: +33 / 0
    The only LL I have owned was a 6'-9" 4 wt. It was ok but i was never sold on it. It was awkward to me and felt like it was a 4 wt trying to act as a 2 wt. I only had it a few seasons and never liked it enough to grab it over my other 4 wts consistently. (The others were both St Croix rods at the time) To each his own! I'd love to try the 389 everyone speaks so highly of though.
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  14. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,947
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +254 / 0
    I think short graphite rods tend to be too stiff for their intended purpose. I worry about durability when I'm hiking with essentially a tip section with a handle, so no ultralight graphite for me. 3-4 weight glass, however...
    Dan Nelson likes this.
  15. Dan Nelson Hiker, Fisher, Writer, Bum

    Posts: 807
    Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +333 / 5


    This is one reason why the top two rods in our recent head-to-head were new glass rods. Everyone who tested them preferred the new Orvis and Redington Glass to any of the graphite rod.

    As for the LL -- like virtually any modern review, we looked only at recently released products. There is lots of information already out about existing (not to mentioned discontinued!!) rods. Our goal is share some information about the latest rods to help consumers make decisions based on something other than how the rod feels when they wiggle it in a fly shop.
  16. Kyle Smith Active Member

    Posts: 1,947
    Bozeman, MT
    Ratings: +254 / 0
    Sounds like a fun project!
  17. Steve Saville Active Member

    Posts: 2,482
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +312 / 1
    I wouldn't part with my 490 LL for anything.:eek:
    Kaiserman likes this.
  18. zen leecher aka bill w born to work, forced to fish

    Posts: 3,149
    Moses Lake, WA
    Ratings: +961 / 1
    If you felt the Circa in the test was too long there is also a 4 weight that's a foot shorter at 7'9".

    It was nice you guys did a test of the slower action small stream rods. I suspect with a Circa approximately the same length of the remainder of the tested rods would have had higher ratings in two categories.
  19. Rob Allen Active Member

    Posts: 907
    Vancouver WA
    Ratings: +368 / 0
    hmmm

    well i tried to read several of the full reviews but the pages would not work. I was able to pull up the LL Bean review however and that was enough to let me know that the review is meaningless.

    if a rods stiffness makes it so that the angler cannot cast it accurately that is a fault of the caster NOT the rod or any particular rod action, furthermore lines can be cast 40 feet with no rod at all yet they are saying that 40 feet was the rods maximum range???
    they go on to mention that the rods flexible tip is what allows it to present dry flies " softer and smoother.. Hogwash! rods with soft tips are just that rods with soft tips it does not require a soft tip to smoothly and softly deliver small dry flies. The name of the rod is the "pocket water" in pocket water you do not want a smooth soft presentation you want an accurate firm delivery.



    I hate reading rod reviews and I strongly encourage people to take them with a grain of salt.. the only way you'll know if a rod is right for you is to go and cast... preferably fish it before you buy it..
    remember to cast it on a short line too!!!!
  20. David Loy Senior Moment

    Posts: 2,406
    Wolf Bay
    Ratings: +319 / 2
    No surprise here that a glass rod won. I'd bet many would like to see a comparative review of the top glass rod producers. At a minimum include Orvis, Scott, Steffen, & McFarland.