Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Eagle Claw Featherlight Series

When I started fly fishing my first fly rod was a seven foot Eagle Claw Featherlight coupled with a simple Martin fly reel and a level line.  I would have never expected that bright yellow stick to become so ingrained into my fly fishing DNA but nearly twenty years later I am as geeked about getting my hands on the new generation of Featherlights' as I have with fly rods costing ten times as much.

I've always liked the Featherlight line up and at first impression it seems Eagle Claw has taken a historically good idea and made them even better.  Granted, there is a little graphite in them now but they actually cast pretty well.  The slightly faster action should help shed the bad rap of being a "floopy" and a poor casting rod.

I am really surprised at the hardware and cherry wood insert that is used.  It's pretty nice for a $30 fly rod.  Granted the epoxy work on the wraps is a bit rough but you really can't expect perfection in a fly rod at this price point.

I am very glad to see the gold mylar wraps were kept and Eagle Claw didn't try to over modernize the series.  The two tone cork grips, wood insert, and hardware are enough "new school" and the black tipped guide wraps and mylar keep it strikingly "old school".

I commend Eagle Claw for not cutting costs and wrapping the Featherlight series in single foot guides.  I've always thought that they make fly rods look like spinning rods.  These are fly rods through and through.

One thing that I'll pass along from casting all three of these rods is that the rods seem to like the top end of the line weight designation for each rod.  The 6'6" likes a 5DT, the 7' casts with authority with a 6WF line, and the eight foot Featherlight feels more like a 6/7 weight to me than the 5/6 weight that is written on it's blank.  I've been using a 7WF Bass Taper line on it and it casts bass flies like a cannon.

Though my review on the Eagle Claw Featherlight series is just beginning I'll mention a few final points about these rods.  In my mind the Featherlight series of fly rods are all about fun.  They are unapologeticly bright yellow and come off a little gaudy.  I like that.  They aren't expensive.  The ruler down the blank is pretty cool.  You'll enjoy this fly rod and won't worry about your kid trashing the water with it either.  These rods beg to go fishing or at the very least tossed in the back of the car always ready for an impromptu fly fishing trip.

22 comments:

Tim Jones said...

Yellow rods rule!
I think I'm going to need a new 7 or 8 footer to go with my old 6 1/2.

Cofisher said...

Thank you Cameron for the preview/review. I look forward to hearing more.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Tim Jones...the new 6'6" will feel different than your old 6'6" so you might as well get that one too. Yellow rods do rule!

Cofisher...you will hear more since these are my go to rods for the summer. I am taking all three to Michigan this week to fish with there.

Trevor S said...

Love the review Cam, especially the aged photos. Cannot wait to get mine in the mail!

Fountainhead said...

Nice job!

William said...

Just picked up a 6'6" when I was down fishing in white oak canyon last week. had forgotten that they still made these.I exect it will make a great brookie rod for my son ( I still use my Lamaglas 3/4 glas rod). Like the price... will probably get a 5/6 for myself.

We did get it out o our last day... and it was real smooth.

Cameron Mortenson said...

William...great! Nothing against the 8' model but I really like the 7' 5/6 weight model now that I've fished it a lot this summer. The 8' model actually casts a seven weight line decently.

William said...

Well I was looking for something that I could use on the West branch of Deleware ... hence the interst in the larger rod.

Cameron Mortenson said...

William...if you're going to get two...then you might as well get all three! HA...

Andrew said...

Thanks for the review. I look forward to hearing more.

I am going back to glass after being a graphite warrior this season. Bought all 3, with the 6'6" going to my son as his first fly rod.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Andrew...glad that you liked the review. I think you'll be borrowing the 6'6" model from your son. HA...

Robin said...

There isn't an awful lot to add other than they are what down home old fashioned fly fishing for fishing's sake is all about.

Mark said...

I just bought myself a 7' 5/6 a couple weeks back - after eying them up for about a month every time I'd stop in at Dick's Sporting Goods to kill time. The hardwood reel seat insert, the nice dark brass reel seat hardware, and the gold finished snakes impressed me on such a bargain-basement priced rod. Being a fiberglass fan, I HAD to have one.

I matched my rod up with an Argus 5/6 disc reel (that came with another one of my glass rods) that I have loaded with a WF6 line. I can cast anything from just the leader (I use braided leader butts, so this might be 'cheating') out to 50 feet.

Fished that rod last Thursday - it cast #6 deer hair poppers and #8 bead head bunny buggers with authority, and it also laid out dry flies and small nymphs on the trip before that just as well. I think I'm in love, and my more expensive rods might get jealous this summer.

Cameron Mortenson said...

Mark...glad you're having a good experience with your Featherlight. Great to have a good casting bang around fly rod to play with all summer long. Perfect warmwater fly rod.

THE RIVER DAMSEL said...

Ok...a year later. (I'm always on time!) Ha. Glad that Brandon wrote today on this rod. I am going to be seriously looking for something like this if not this line...Gosh 6'6 seems so short! But, I need something lighter for the small streams.

Cameron Mortenson said...

TRD...I think you'll be pleasantly surprised what a 6'6" fly rod can do. When I came back to glass a few years ago it really did astound me how capable a seven foot and under fly rod really is.

Bill Trussell said...

Cameron
What is the actual weight in oz. of the 6,6 and the 7 ft. Nice looking rods. Thanks for sharing

Mike T said...

How do I get a couple of these? Perfect for getting my kids into FF with out a huge expense.

Mike T said...

How do I get a couple of these? Perfect for getting my kids into FF with out the huge expense.

Randa said...

Finally got a chance to take the new 6'6" rod fishing earlier today. And after hooking up with a nice 16" rainbow all can say is wow. I could not believe how it felt on this rod for such a inexpensive rod it has unbeatable feel. I was able to land the fish quicker without breaking off. I am a believer and this rod is now my go to dry fly rod.

Ozzy Deschapell said...

Hey Cameron what's the fly in the last picture?

Vasili Psihopedas said...

Picked up the 6'6" and tried a delicate taper 4.5ish weight line. no go. threw on a 5 wt trout boss and this thing had no problem out to 40ft, with accuracy. light and smooth double hauls really help. I got a holy s$%#! look on my face when i figured out how to cast it. Not just a nice rod for the money, its as nice rod in general.