Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Three Baptisms And A Revelation

The other night I was able to sneak off for a short session on the Saluda River with my friend Doug and witnessed three baptisms and a revelation over the course of the night.  As we geared up at the car I peeled the plastic wrap off the flawless cork grip on the Graywolf Rods eight foot five weight Signature S-Glass and prepared it for it's first time on the water.

It felt good to be wading in the cold water as air temps were feeling to much like summer.  In the first set of rapids we fished Doug and I each hooked up and lost several fish after a couple head shakes.  Oh well...I was having a good time baptizing the Signature S-Glass and found that it handled an indicator and two beaded flies without issue.  

While moving from one set of rapids to the next, the second baptism happened when Doug lost his footing on the slick river rock in the heavy current and he took on a bit of water in his waders.  It's easy to do on this river even when generation is 600 CFS and less.  You always have to be careful and even with a wading staff I make sure to watch my step as it's easy to get swept.  Doug brushed it off and enjoyed the chill.

I know that I talk a fair bit about Graywolf Rods on T.F.M., but I have to give him a strong pat on the back for the Signature S-Glass five weight that he has created.  It casts beautifully, is light in the hand, and has the ability to be an all around choice that can handle dry flies as easily as indicator nymph setups.

The Signature S-Glass five weight is a do all stick and I am really excited to have this part of the T.F.M. Fly Rod Loan Program.

I would describe the Signature S-Glass being progressive and medium fast in action with a quick recovery.  The fly rod has a wonderful feel when casting and it's possible to cast extremely tight loops.  It is responsive, mends line with ease, and has a strong enough tip to nymph fish too.  Shane definitely has a winner here and I am excited to hear that he is adding a nine foot five weight to this series as well.

The "nymph side" of this fly box may be the messiest fly space that I have.  A lot of nymph goodness all piled in there from micro nymphs to large weighted stoneflies.

This is what a trout river looks like in South Carolina complete with Spanish Moss hanging from the tree limbs.  It's quite atypical of what you'd expect but the continuously cold water in this tailwater makes for a good home for these trout.

The final baptism came along with a revelation and happened when Doug and I met up at a long riffle that flows out to the main stream of the Saluda River.  Doug had never cast a fiberglass fly rod and he had been fishing his fast action graphite four weight all night.  I put the Signature S-Glass fly rod in his hands for a few test casts.  On his first cast Doug effortlessly laid out thirty feet of fly line with a tight loop and he exclaimed "WHOA...  Look at that!"  This was followed by twenty minutes of casting the Signature S-Glass with a big smile on his face and laughter while commenting on how this fly rod just made his cast that much better since he could feel the fly rod load and it was doing just what he wanted it to do with such ease.  

Doug's comments really got me thinking that in most situations anglers would be happiest with a medium action fly rod whether it be fiberglass, graphite, or bamboo.  Fly rods in general have gotten so damn fast over the last few years that you really can't feel any bend or load of the fly rod at all which in essence takes a lot of the ability and enjoyment out of fly casting.  I would dare say that most anglers would be better and more effective casters if they were casting a fly rod that was of a medium action no matter what it was made from.

No trout came to hand this night (though I did nymph a colorful bluegill which was quite a surprise) but seeing the smile on Doug's face as he cast glass for the first time made my night.          


Pile Cast said...

Awesome write up. You're dead on about the medium action. After listening to your preaching on the virtues of fiberglass, I've come to find you're right and it's made fishing better.

tinman said...

Like fisheye photo lens!

Cameron Mortenson said...

Pile's great to know that I'm adding disciples one by one.

tinman...thanks. I try to use it sparingly but I have a good time with it.

Shane said...

Cameron, I want to really thank you for taking the time, not only to take that rod fishing, and the time you spent to write this great review but also for what you do for custom builders like myself. I can't thank you enough.

Fontinalis Rising said...

Excellent, brotha, excellent. Shane's rods were a revelation to me, and I grew up casting glass.

Cameron Mortenson said... is absolutely no problem at all. I enjoy my little part in the revitalization of the interest in fiberglass fly rods.

FR...thank you, Sir.