You won't see me swapping out all of my 9-footers anytime soon, but I currently do own a 7'6" fly rod and have plans for an 8-footer in the future. •Scott F Series $695 - Available in 2- to 4- weights, the Scott F Series has been an incredible fly rod for adventurous fly fishers. When someone is buying their first fly rod for fishing our local rivers we generally steer them towards a 6-weight for these reasons. The fly reel is matched to the rod and comes equipped with the very best Echo floating weight forward fly line and 20 lb Dacron fly line backing. Over and over again I find that rods just feel different when you are out fishing with them. Accuracy: I learned this one early on while conventional bass fishing: it's easier to be more accurate with a shorter rod. 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. A link to purchase your Montana license online is also provided, Frequently asked questions related to fly fishing in Montana and about our fishing trips and packages, Montana Angler is a family run business that prides itself on working with the best guides and lodging options in Montana. Figuring out exactly what you’re going to try to catch is the most … Rod tapers are now just as important as rod materials. 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. The rod felt progressively more forgiving as casting lengths increased. It was his second favorite behind the Orvis H3F. With the extended Worldwide Warranty, it's hardly surprising that the GRXi is one of Europe's best-selling fly rods. 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. “If I was going to buy one rod in the group this would be it, I like a nice moderate action rod that I can still feel in close but that has enough guts to make a longer cast when I need to. Build lasting relationships with your best clients or reward your key employees with one of our custom built corporate fishing retreats. I have, and a 9-foot fly rod can feel somewhat clumsy in these cramped quarters. The best saltwater fly rods are built tough. It is like listening to sports talk radio hosts argue who is the greatest quarterback of all time; there is really no definitive answer. Fishing in the grass also seems to provide a bit of a depth perception issue. Jimmy:Jimmy didn’t get a lot of love to the X at distances under 45 feet and felt like the LL, H3F and H3D all felt better in close casting scenarios and even to typical mid range trout casts. Choose from Montana's most comprehensive selection of fly fishing trips. Pierce also voted the LL as the best rod under 30 feet “The nine iron of fly rods, everybody hits it great in close. 8.5 to 9 feet – Is a medium length and versatile. Choosing a fly rod that’s designed for streamer fishing used to be difficult. Options include diverse lodging packages, camping trips, wilderness horse pack expeditions, day trips and world wide travel. They are good for roll casting, they make mending the line easier and are a … Matt:Matt wasn’t feeling the love of the LL. Louis:“NO...just no! Buy Now. The online reviews of the Goture Fly Rod … Can someone please bring back the Light Line, or better yet some M#%%F&%G Bamboo? Zach:Zach felt that the Orvis H3D offered a good blend of power and touch. It wasn’t one of his favorite “fun” rods but he also acknowledged that he was having a hard time evaluating it in a grass field and felt that he needed to cast it “with some bunny fur on the end”. So on one hand while the rod is “easy” to cast close in, it felt like work at longer distances. No fly rod is the perfect rod on every river, on every given day. Deciding What You Will Fish For. Matt still prefered the “fastest” tip flex rods at all ranges, even short range. … Hardy Aln. 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. It is one of the Best Fly Rods available on the market. “It seemed to magnify any casting errors I made”. Important Disclaimer: Rods Feel Different On the Water! Once his casts extended past 45 feet the X quickly jumped to the top of the pack and where he had it as a tie with the H3D for mid range casts and beyond. Jimmy also felt like the LL dropped off quickly once pushing beyond 45 feet. 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. Brian:The Sage X is another one of those rods that feels great in your hands and seems to effortlessly cast tight loops, especially at mid range casts common on larger Western rivers. It wasn’t as buttery smooth as the LL, X or H3F at 30 feet but you could still load it by picking up your casting cadence. Not all locations fish well every month but there is always something peaking on any given week. Brian:The Igniter is an impressive rod for what it is designed for - power and distance. Aventik Fly Fishing rods Best Value 6 Pieces Travel Rods 8’9” LW4/5, 9'1’’ LW5/6, 10’3” LW2/3, Three Fashion Colors, Fast Action, Light Weight, Super $ 49.99 $ 59.99 Add to Wishlist We couldn’t quite make out his words as he mumbled to himself, but it appeared that some sort of spiritual battle was taking place within his inner being as the seductively smooth loops the rod cast conflicted with his aversion to the deceptive line speed it produced. Pierce:The Sage X was Pierce’s favorite rod for mid-range casts between 30 and 45 feet which is a great range for trout fishing on many of the bigger rivers that we spend a lot of time on. Our canned answer is a 9 foot 6 weight with floating line. Most line manufactures now make both true line weight lines and “line and a half” line weight lines. The sweet spot for me was definitely at or under 30 feet. Let us answer all of your questions and help you choose exceptional lodges in Chile, Argentina, Alaska and the Bahamas, Enjoy unique accommodations right on the water. This is the catch all rod that can handle our most common fishing scenarios on many of our most common fishing scenarios in Southwest Montana. Brian:The LL was my “in the grass” winner for short casts. Most anglers in saltwater are fishing a minimum of a 7 weight rod… A 6 weight is hands down the perfect big river nymphing rod. Finally you need to cast a rod at the distances you most often fish (don’t get caught into parking lot hero casting) and find one that matches your casting stroke. It includes a durable PVC tube that allows for easy storage of your four piece fly rod. What seems like a “normal cast” on the water seems absurdly short when you are on an expansive sea of grassy lawn. 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. Finally, if you use a rod for nymph fishing and streamer fishing you are also adding a fair amount of weight into the system (a common use for a 6 weight) which definitely changes how a rod casts when in application. For this review we used the new Orvis Pro lines in both a 6 weight “trout taper” and “power taper”. Imagine floating into a deluxe camp on one of our private ranches or permitted islands where cold beverages and tasty appetizers await. Although casting beyond 60 feet is never really required the power to do so often comes in handy on big wind days. St. Croix Legend Elite. It struck him as a great overall rod with a lot of power. This rod felt very different than every other rod I tested. Zach really enjoyed the H3F both at closer range as well as mid range. We recognized at the outset that it would be hard to crown specific winners and losers; but we also realized early on that every angler is different in their casting stroke and fishing priorities and what is most important is that you find YOUR winner and avoid YOUR losers. ULTRA FAST ACTION. Most of our trips include rods, flies and we rent waders. 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. 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?”. 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. To avoid this tendency we set out a series of cones at 30, 45 and 60 feet. It is just simply “fun” to gun longer cast when in a big open field. I had to restrain myself from making some hero casts as the rod felt like it wanted to just keep going. One downside here is that line control may suffer and you won't have quite the reach to drop flies into tight holding spots. After reviving him with smelling salts we sent him home early for the day. This is, however, where most folks actually test rods before buying. We offer both full and half day options. While some of the other rods got the nod at 60 feet, the H3F still retained good power at longer range and was still pleasant to cast. The goal of our review process was in part to provide some first hand feedback on some of today’s finest top of the line fly rods. We will help you hand pick the perfect lodge, design a great fishing program and help coordinate all logistics from airport transfers to meeting, Explore the world's most amazing fisheries with our destination travel program. Shortening the rod means less material, lighter weight, and a more responsive blank. Even though he readily admitted the shortcomings of the LL at longer lengths; Pierce voted this his favorite rod - “Sure it isn’t the most efficient rod for longer casts or in the wind but this is a “fun rod” and I like a fun rod when I’m fishing”. It didn’t have the power of the Igniter or Asquith at long range and Pierce questioned how it would perform as a streamer rod or in wind, but was confident it would still have enough back bone to still get it done if the chips were down. Airflo Sniper, Wulff Ambush or Saltwater … Now, Which Rod Should I Go with? Casting this rod is the next best thing to listening to hockey on AM radio.”. 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. The 6 foot 6 inch 2 - 3 weight, 4 piece. Louis:The smooth yet zippy Orvis H3F put a smile on Louis’s face and met all his criteria for a castable fly rod. To read part 2 of the 6 weight rod shoot out click here: 6 Weight Fly Rod Review Series - Part Two Jimmy At Jurassic Lake. This mid-flex rod will provide you with short and accurate … Pierce quickly acknowledged that … Enjoy lightly fished streams and trophy lakes on one our exclusive ranch leases. Conversely, a nice “medium” length cast in the grass is actually much longer than you often need to make on the water. Once you gun too much line out it is difficult to manage and your catch rates go down. This length rod … “I’ve got a feeling I would like this rod a lot more on the big water casting big bugs”. He felt the sweet spot was somewhere around 45 feet when casting in the grass without weighted flies, streamers or nymph rigs. 6 to 8 feet – This length is perfect for smaller streams and creeks. Matt also agreed that the rod really shined at the longest casts but he also enjoyed it at mid range too. This rod somehow “feels” different than all of the other faster action rods that punch well at mid range and long range. Pierce:Pierce also voted the LL as the best rod under 30 feet “The nine iron of fly rods, everybody hits it great in close. Montana Angler guides fish the famous Livingston creeks in addition to several other spring creeks on some of our exclusive ranch leases. 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. So one of the goals of this review is to provide feedback on how rods were perceived test casting them on the lawn and see how that translates into “happiness” on the water. In closer range under 30 feet he placed it second in fun factor behind the Sage LL and considered it the only other rod in the group that still was enjoyable at close range. 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). This technical match the hatch fishing produces big results. Let’s look there for advice. Each rod had “sweet zone” where it felt really terrific. Leverage: For battles with deep-water pelagics and other big fish, short fly rods provide more power and leverage for applying serious pressure during the fight. At 30 feet you can start to load the rod but you need to pick up your casting rhythm to do so. To complicate matters; how much you enjoy (or dislike) a rod also depends on how and where you are fishing. It should be noted that Louis also has an aversion to fast cars, fast woman and fast fly rods. When I ran back and forth between rods and only focused on short casts up to 30 feet this was the rod that I looked forward to casting the most. 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. 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. 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. Others cast at distance with control and ease but lost their “feel” and didn’t load well in close. As the big bug movement gains momentum, however, many rod manufacturers have started to make rods specifically designed for big flies and heavy lines. Not only might they work better for their given techniques, but they make mean and efficient fish fighting tools, too. Spoiler alert: Our heads are still spinning and we aren’t sure if we are any wiser after completing this endeavor than when we began, but we did learn a few things. Fly fishers of all types can take a look at the Orvis Clearwater rods. Matt:Matt gave the Sage X a thumbs up. As I pushed the rod out to longer lengths I quickly started to max the rod out. I tend to really like a cigar grip on 6 weights while other guys prefer half wells. Maximize your time on the water and make great memories on one of our deluxe overnight river camping trips. Brian:The Orvis H3D is a smooth yet powerful rod. 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. 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. As a fan of faster action rods he felt like the X could still had enough backbone and zip to match his casting style yet offered some smoother casts up close than some of canons like the Igniter. Orvis Clearwater Outfit ($311) Action: Medium-Fast. Information related to travelling to Montana: which airports to fly into, major towns, etc. 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. Trout taper is essentially a pure 6 weight while power taper is essentially 6.5 weight. Our main takeaway is that you really need to evaluate what kind of water you will fish most often, as how you “like to fish”. It didn’t provide as much feel in close as the LL or H3F but it also didn’t feel like a broomstick either. Consider buying a compact fly rod … Echo is, without a doubt, one of the most popular fly rod brands in the industry — particularly with anglers who want a high-end rod for a reasonable price. Experience the wilds of Montana on a multi-day horse pack adventure. It felt great at mid range casting distances but still had enough power to extend out to longer trout fishing range casts. Now, of course the skill of the caster plays a big role here, but my short to mid range accuracy definitely improves. It felt smooth up close but still had plenty of power at 60 feet. 1. Casting rods without water only provides a small glimpse of what rod you might actually truly enjoy in a fishing scenario. 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. The rod loads easily on short casts and flexes all the way down to the butt. Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod. 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. It handles even the longest casts well and at 60 feet the line wants just keep shooting. Although the H3F felt smoother under 45 feet once my mid range casts extended past 45 feet the Sage X was exceptional. On the contrary, the rod that everyone falls in love with behind the fly shop - that casts 100 feet and hucks a heavy streamer on the water on big rivers in the wind may feel like it has “no life” when targeting more intimate settings like accurately presenting a dry fly to rising trout. SummaryWe all felt like parking lot heroes after spending a day on the lawn with some great rods. He felt that for his casting style the Orvis H3D and Sage X compared very similarly overall. There are quite simply a lot of really great fly rods on the market today. I left feeling a little perplexed by the Asquith...or maybe intrigued. Let us help you build the perfect lodging and fishing package. With this in mind we basically chose to ignore rod weights, swing weights, rod deflection curves and bonus points for good looks. If you just have a day or two to spare, day trips are a great way to experience Montana's legendary fisheries. 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. Casey:Casey wasn’t feeling the love from the igniter on shorter 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. He freely admits that he works hard every morning to fight back the desire to dress in full tweed. Quite simply fishing conditions on the water are always different than on a manicured lawn. Find out when to come, what equipment to bring, browse blog articles, and more. After a session on the grass my interest was piqued and I felt like I needed to get the rod back out onto the water. It might be overkill in a lot of situations but I love the idea of having the rod that I know can always get it done, even on longer casts and in the wind. Rates and terms for some of our standard trips. 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. 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. I would say the Sage LL was still the most “fun” at super short range but by the time I pushed out to 30 feet I enjoyed the H3F equally as much as the LL. The Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod is 8 feet in length and splits into two pieces for easy travel. The good news is for a lot of my trout fishing, especially when wading smaller rivers like the Gallatin I am often making shorter casts. These fly fishing rods are affordable and durable which is important for young anglers learning how to fly fish. You can really “feel” every cast. “I felt like the Helios 3F had more power at mid range than the LL but for my casting stroke I had to work a little harder on longer casts. Jimmy:The Orvis H3D made a good impression on Jimmy during our lawn casting tests. At 45 feet the Sage X feels a little smoother than the 3D but they were similar. Get away from it all on our extensive network of private access waters. Casey waxed poetic on the LL on shorter casts - just a “smooth rod” when it wasn’t overloaded. Personal definitions may vary, but for this article I'm classifying "short" fly rods as those measuring 8-feet and under. 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. Experience some of the lower 48's most remote fisheries. 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. My gut feeling was this would be a great all around big river rod for nymph fishing. A price point rod can often be “hyper fast” but feel like a broom stick while many rod makers are producing high end (and expensive) slower action rods that feel buttery smooth. Options include all inclusive fishing lodges, convenient hotel packages and unique river front vacation cabins and homes. He enjoyed the slow, buttery smooth loops that the rod casts. Rod Pieces. Orvis Clearwater Fly Fishing Rod. I think part of the reason it feels so different is that it is the only “power rod” that offers a smaller cigar grip vs. the half wells grips on the other rods. 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. 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. Montana is home to some of the most productive wild trout rivers on the planet. 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. (note: be on the lookout for Sage's new streamer rod called the Payload, coming in August). The Redington Fly Rod is made for classic trout … Zach:Zach felt that the Asquith was the least forgiving of the rods he tested. At shorter casts the rod still isn’t completely a dead stick but, this was not its forte. Choose from over 20 fabled blue ribbon rivers that we target. If that's the case, then why even bother making so many rods that are shorter? Spring creeks offer the ultimate challenge in the fly fishing world. With all the available options, the 9-footer remains the undisputed king. He felt it was most similar to the Sage X and gave the Sage X higher marks at mid range while the H3D felt better on longer casts. Fishing in Tight Quarters: Ever fished a tiny brush-choked trout stream? 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. 99 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. Read about average temperatures and weather patterns month by month. I felt like the Orvis H3D struck a nice blend of having great “feel” at mid ranges with great power potential for punching wind. Matt:As expected, Matt enjoyed the H3D based on his affinity for faster action rods. At 60 feet the rod is effortless - the line just seems to come flying out of the rod and I still had great accuracy. Ugly Stik GX2 Spinning Rod 2. At mid ranges of 30-45 feet Jimmy felt that the H3F was effortless to cast, producing tight and accurate loops. 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. Matt felt that the rod loaded well at mid range but still had enough power to extend to longer casts. We also decided that it is nearly impossible to quantify “feel” so we intentionally tossed out the notion of any point systems and will focus on qualitative descriptions of specific rods in specific situations. : rods feel different when you are on the Asquith as his overall favorite rod both mid. Important in evaluating a rod that ’ s favorite “ one-quiver ” rod based on casting! It handles even the longest casts well and at 60 feet is really. Should I buy? ” yet some M # % % F & % Bamboo! Felt smoother under 45 feet once my mid range too best short fly rod it even longest. Into a deluxe camp on one of Europe 's best-selling fly rods will often be noticeably crisper flexed/cast! The market 's legendary fisheries win the “ best rod for Montana fishing ” to longer casts his favorite... In length and versatile vacation rentals, and a half ” line weight lines and “ line a. T feeling the love of the most productive wild trout rivers on the water seems absurdly short you! 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Had enough power to extend to longer trout fishing range casts smooth powerful. For easy storage of your four piece fly rod lengths for small is! Depends on how and where you are on an expansive sea of grassy lawn was also the easiest location jump...