Trout Rod Review

Trout Rod Review

Lighter, Faster, Stronger?

It's a common misconception that durability is sacrificed as fly rods become lighter, with thinner walls and narrower shafts. In fact, the opposite is true. Due to the expense of honoring warranty claims, most companies are seeking stronger materials and designs as a first priority. Weight savings are only an important (and marketable) byproduct.

G.Loomis Director of Engineering Steve Rajeff says that more than a year after the company introduced the NRX series, rod breakage rates are down compared to the heavier GLX series.

Shawn Combs, product development specialist at Orvis, and the man behind the new Helios 2, echoes that sentiment: "We haven't seen failure rates increase as rod weights have gone down. It has been quite the opposite. As we have explored new materials and construction, we have been able to increase rod strength and reduce weights at the same time."


Both Combs and Rajeff report that the majority of broken rods come from car doors, ceiling fans, booted feet, or falling on the rodmassive impacts no rod can survive.


The second most destructive impact is fishing related. "With increased use of heavily weighted flies, more tips have been broken by these mini missiles striking the rod tip on an errant cast. Like a rock hitting the windshield of your car, sometimes nothing much happens; other times, it starts a crack that grows," says Rajeff. "New resin systems are less prone to crack migrations, but some rod tips will simply not survive some impacts."


The most disturbing type of rod breakage comes while playing a fish. It's easy to blame the manufacturer when you hear that fatal "Pop!" right as you're about to land a fish, but based on what I've seen, fish don't break rods. "User error" is most often to blame if the rod breaks in the final phase of landing a fish.

"High sticking" or using the tip of the rod to pull a heavy fish toward you (see the photo to the right, or our cover photo) strain any fine casting tool to the point of potential failure. High-sticking works fine with a 12-inch trout, but heavy trout, false albacore at boatside, and other large fish will often snap the rod if you elevate the rod shaft to 90 degrees or beyond.

On a recent trip to Kamchatka I landed more than 100 big trout using a Morrish Mouse and 15-pound-test Maxima (a recipe for rod failure). I saved my rod tip by getting large trout into shallow water, and then quickly stripping out an arm's length of line from the reel and grabbing the leader with my hand. Hand-lining the trout at the final bell saved my rod in a place where a no-fault guarantee is meaninglessyou need your rod for the rest of the trip.


High-sticking also happens when you net your own fish. Short-handle nets force you to bring a trout so close that you'll end up holding the rod too high, or actually angling it backward past the point of breakage. Get a long-handled net, or better yet, have your friend net large trout, and you won't have trouble with broken rod tips. New Trout Rod Review

Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly. Fly Tying

Tying the Strong Arm Merkin

David W. Skok - July 09, 2019

Here are step-by-step instructions for tying the Strong Arm Merkin fly.

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere. Fly Tying

Fly Tying Chip's Monster Magic Fly

Dwayne 'Chip' Cromarty - January 15, 2016

Chip's Monster Magic. Designed in Saskatchewan's pike paradise - works anywhere.

Fly Fisherman's documentary Industry

Fly Fisherman Magazine Documentary Recognized by Outdoor Writers Association of America

Fly Fisherman - June 24, 2019

Fly Fisherman's documentary "One Path" was recognized with two awards.

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Black Beauty

Black Beauty

Master fly tier Charlie Craven discuss the tools and materials needed to tie the Black Beauty.

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. How-To

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel - January 22, 2018

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

Best Panfish Flies Fly Tying

Best Panfish Flies

Skip Morris - October 17, 2016

Best Panfish Flies

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the world. Worldwide

5 Best Trout Fishing Spots in the World

Ross Purnell, Editor

Fly-Fisherman Editor Ross Purnell shares his top five best trout fishing destinations in the...

See More Stories

More Rods

Proper rod angles while fly fishing, varying from fish size to situation. Rods

Rod Angles for Fly Fishing

Ross Purnell, Editor - May 15, 2014

Proper rod angles while fly fishing, varying from fish size to situation.

Are modern rods more prone to breaking? New Trout Rod Review Rods

Trout Rod Review

Ross Purnell, Editor - January 23, 2014

Are modern rods more prone to breaking? New Trout Rod Review

The new entry into the glass realm, the Echo Fiberglass, has five classic-looking sticks from a 6'3 Rods

Echo Fiberglass

Ross Purnell, Editor - October 23, 2013

The new entry into the glass realm, the Echo Fiberglass, has five classic-looking sticks from...

See More Rods

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

×