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Beautiful North Idaho Home in Hope

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Discussing fishing flies, trout flies, salmon flies, fly fishing gear and equipment, Idaho and Montana fishing rivers, NW rivers, fly tying and fly fishing trips. Over 50 years experience in fly fishing, best flies, fly tying, fly fishing techniques, fish stories, directions to rivers and lakes and great fly fishing tall tales with special communications from area guides.

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Sunday, May 18, 2014

Travel Rods 2014

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Look at the length of that rod!

One cannot discuss the travel rods of today without some historical rod discussion. I personally have been fly fishing for over 1/2 of a century (OMG!) so I have seen quite an evolution just in my lifetime. At one time I collected antique fishing equipment and still have quite a collection.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Beautiful Split Bamboo Rod
If you look at old fly fishing photos and drawings, one will notice initially the length of the fly fisher's rod. I own a bamboo rod (c. 1890) which is 17' long and made of bamboo sections with ebony tips and an oak butt. The ferrules themselves were huge brass (etched) tubes and the butt section alone weighs about 4 pounds. Needless to say this rod was not made for casting.

Idaho Fly Fishers BlogAfter that you had a real evolution into split bamboo with a few novelties thrown in like steel and Sears Roebuck even made telescoping beryllium copper fly rod which must have weighed at least 8 pounds; I know for I own one of these as well. Try fishing one some time and see if your arm lasts longer than mine. I think it was about 30 minutes smallie fishing on the New River in West Virginia.

Then came the thick, heavy old solid fiberglass rods of the 50's. These were much improved and even though still heavy, they were very flexible and forgiving. Their big advantage was that they almost never broke. But when they did, you had to be careful not to impale yourself with fiberglass slivers. When hollow fiberglass came along, oh what a difference! They were a little easier to break, but probably half the weight. They had great flexibility and you could throw your line what seemed like a mile. The only problem was that they did not flex at the ferrules very well which hindered action.

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Modern Day Graphite Fly Rod
That brings me to modular rods of today--hollow graphite and highly flexible. The two types of ferrules and the thin design make them very light weight with incredible function! You can cast forever and look like a pro even if you are not one. All of the manufacturers have evolved and now there is very little difference between them except for cost. If you are a collector, go with Sage or Orvis or Thomas. But if you just like to fish and throw a nice long, accurate line to your fish, I just purchased a Scott 6 wt. (4 pc) for nymphing and I also own a 5 wt. RL Winston (4 pc) that I would put up against any rod out there. Besides, their service is great! 

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
My Fishpond Travel Case
Well, I guess I got somewhat sidetracked with the history. To my original premise; the travel rods of today are superb. I can tell little difference in functionality almost regardless of the manufacturer or number of pieces or ferrules. I have gone almost exclusively to 4-piece fly rods for the purpose of travel. In a Fishpond travel case I can get three 4-piece rods up to 9 1/2 feet, multiple reels, a rain jacket, leaders and 2 pair of sunglasses and it fits into just about any airplane overhead. Beats getting a rod broken by a baggage handler (the airline will NOT replace for cost) or lost before you reach your destination. I even have a 7-piece travel rod with great action which I occasionally throw into my Fishpond as well.

So do not hesitate about buying a multi-piece travel rod. Go for the price and bring your new rod up for some superb Idaho fly fishing this summer.

Perfect casts, hard takes, tight lines and bent rods (and tired arms) forever! I am sure you Idaho fly fishers will have some questions or comments about this one so fire away.

Tags: Fly Fishing Equipment:-     

Idaho Fly Fishers Blog
Big Horn 2013
     Fly Line Basics
     Fly Reel Basics
     Fly Rod Basics
Lanyard - Poor Man's *
     Rod Weights - 101

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