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2011 IFTD Fly Rod Review

OK, so I spoke too soon about the hangover, but we’re up and at it. We’ve had the chance to cast a lot of rods and Kent has narrowed the field down to the four that that made an impression. Some of these are great all around rods and some are special purpose rods but they all impressed us. So I’ll turn it over to Kent for the low down.

Redington Predator Saltwater Rod

Are you salt curious? Are you a fresh water guy looking to go to sea? We’ve got the rod for you. The Redington Predator flys off the shelf at $249.95. This is a great, versatile salt water rod that will put you on fish in a wide variety of situations. It has a smooth and powerful action that will deliver a fly at 90 feet but still make a great “Oh Shit” presentation at 20. Super fast salt water rods can be tough to get a feel for, and intimidate most folks new to the salt. This rod has a great feel that makes you feel in control at less than half the price of the competition.

Thomas & Thomas NS (No Sanctuary)

An old friend is back in town. Thomas and Thomas (under new management) is back at IFTD with some truly inspired new offerings. First, let me say that every T&T rod we cast impressed us, and we would love to talk about all of them. Especially the salt water prototype that they won’t let us talk about, oops. But our recommendation is the 9 foot 5wt No Sanctuary. Capt. Joel Dickey explains the name, “there’s no place a trout can hide”. The first time this rod loaded I thought “WOW”. This 4 piece rod feels and casts like a one piece. It has the power to cast to the backing and the delicacy you need for a spring creek. It’s the closest thing to perfection I’ve cast. If you’re headed out to fish big water in tough conditions, there is no better rod.

Scott Fly Rod A4

Scott’s new A4 may be the best entry level rod on the market. In the redesign Scott has upgraded all the hardware on this rod. It has all the quality you expect from Scott at a the modest price of $375. It’s an entry level rod that you will fish for the rest of your life. It offers the versatility to fish drys, nymphs and streamers. What ever you tie on, it’s going to fish well. One thing that really impressed me was how this rod roll casts. I was rolling 65 feet of line with no effort. bonus, it’s made in the USA.

Hardy Zenith Fly Rod (One Piece)

Hardy’s 8’10” 6wt one piece Zenith is an exotic beast. I am so impressed with this rod. A lot of my clients have been showing up with this rod, and now I know why. It’s by far the most accurate rod I’ve cast. Truly unparalleled. You can’t beat the action of a one piece rod for accuracy, but add to that the traditional English snake guides, which are tiny by modern standards and you have a truly precise instrument for controlling a fly line. The price you pay for all this performance is caring a one piece rod. If your like me, you spend ninety percent of your time fishing within a hundred miles of home. it makes sense to buy a rod that performs on your home water, but your going to have a little trouble getting it in the overhead bin.

Keep it Reel,

Kent Klewein
Gink & Gasoline







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