I like the direction this forum is heading, so I hate to risk steering it in the direction of so many other fly fishing communities (with endless dicussions of rods/lines). But I don't buy a new rod very often, so here goes.
I'm going to buy a new small-stream trout setup. Rods and casting are not
my areas of expertise. I've never had a casting lesson in my life and a pro would laugh at my stroke, likely as not. But I'm pretty good at putting the fly right where I want it to be, and that is the important thing. The point is I don't really
know what I'm doing so I'd like your comments on my current thoughts:
: The lower the better. Certainly under $500.
: Given the tight quarters of many small streams, a rod-breaking accident is more likely than I'd like. So I want something with an unconditional "no matter what" warranty. As far as I can tell, this limits me to Orvis, Scott, and Winston among the major manufacturers and eliminates Sage, Loomis, and St. Croix. Am I missing any?
: The shorter the better. It looks like 7'0" or 7'6" are my most likely options, though some are made at 6'0".
: The faster the better. Three reasons:
- I often need to throw a really tight loop through a narrow opening in the trees.
- I want the road to load well with a really short line.
- I do a lot of roll-casting.
- I've always used fairly fast rods, so they're familiar.
I know a lot of guys are into slow bambooish purism, and that's great, but I just want to keep my fly out of the alders.
: I'm a bit unsure about this. Right now I'm leaning toward a 3-weight rod with a 4-weight line. I want to be able to control a small hopper or bugger, but I want something delicate enough not to frighten the trout in a tiny pool.
: Double taper floating. I'm used to double taper lines, so familiarity is a big factor, and they should settle more delicately on tiny pools.
: I don't really know what my considerations should be here. I'll mostly be playing small trout on a short line, though I'll want to be able to handle a 15+ inch grayling next year in Alaska. I like a large arbor with a disc drag on my other rods, but I think for this one maybe a small, lightweight reel would be a good idea.
I'm puzzled by the fact that rods marketed as small-stream rods (like the Orvis Superfine and the Scott F-series) have slow actions. These, like 1- and 2-weight rods, seem better suited for delicate fishing over open water with tiny flies (like for spring creek Tricos). Does anyone want to play devil's advocate and explain why a slow action might be good on a small brushy stream? Am I missing something?
: Here are the ones I'm looking at which come closest to my ideals above.
- Orvis TLS Power Matrix 705-5: 7’0” 4-weight (mid 6.0 flex = medium action?)
- Scott E2 is a 7’6” 3-weight (fast action)
- Scott A2 has a 6’6” or 7’10” 3-weight (medium fast action)
- Winston Vapor 7’6” 3-weight (fast action)
- The one fly shop near Ithaca stocks Heritage fly rods, which I had never heard of, but they make a 7'0" 3-weight (of unknown action). They sound OK and they're much cheaper than most. Has anyone used these?
The 6'6" Scott A2 3-weight is looking best right now. Any thoughts?