Monday, October 10, 2011

Mark Steffen's Field Testing Trip

Mark Steffen of Steffen Brothers Fly Rods has a reputation for arrow straight blanks, dialed in tapers, and may be one of the best values in the industry as a source for high quality blanks as well as finished builds which run between $330.00 and $425.00 depending on the number of sections and components chosen.

What I also respect about Mark is that though he may do quite a bit of work in the shop he takes a yearly vacation each year camping and testing the various prototypes that he's thought up. This leads to fly rods that are dialed in, cast wonderfully, but most importantly fish like they should.

Last week Mark sent along a stack of photographs and a short report from his annual field testing trip which I thought would be neat to share with the T.F.M. readership.

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Mark wrote... "Recently we spent a week and a half camping on a very remote creek in Idaho, fishing that creek, other creeks and two medium large rivers. On this trip I tested fourteen glass rod models from the 5'6" 1/2 weight to the 8'6" 7/8 weight. I reconfirmed that the eight foot 3/4 weight is my favorite for creek fishing, roll casting, mending and line control. I fished the short rods (5'6" to 7') to test the theory of glass being best material for short fly rods. I found the short 1/2 weights and 2/3 weights to perform very well in roll casting, false casting, good for short casts and even medium casts. These are great performing and fun rods if you need a short fly rod. A ten inch cutthroat bent the 1/2 weight into a circle. The 6' 2/3 weight is much more practical and still very fun. I think I need to design a 6' 3/4 weight and a 6'6" 3/4 weight for bigger fish and strong current. Mostly though the 8' 3/4 weight was great except for while fishing up a creek and climbing around big rocks which sometimes overhanging tree limbs made landing fish very difficult. But this only happened a few times."

Check out the Steffen Brothers Fly Rod website for more information including an updated chart of the fiberglass fly rod blank and build offerings.

Mark can be contacted through email or by telephone at 928-522-0617.

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