Friday, January 3, 2014

Duff's Notes - Graywolf Rods E-Glass

Tom Anderson, a.k.a. "Duff", is back again with his notes on the latest series release from Graywolf Rods with the Full Flex E-Glass Series of fly rods.  Essentially Shane Gray is covering the bases from progressive to full flex with his four signature series and it sounds like this one is dialed in as well.

Tom wrote...  "On the way to others and ultimately to Cameron and the Fiberglass Manifesto, Shane's new 7' 3WT Full Flex stopped at my house this week.

When I took it out of the bag I was really taken by the blank color as it reminded me of the color of a good German lager, although I believe Shane calls it a translucent orange, which it is, but in a good way.  The thing is with these dyed translucent blanks, they tend to change colors depending on the light.  Whatever color it is, I like it a lot.  The cosmetics are of course excellent throughout, highlighted by a sweet stacked bamboo reel seat.  The ferrule fit was perfect with just the right amount of room for wear-in.  Lots of folks don't care about the hand writing on a rod but it's a sore spot with me.  Shane's writing looks great and I have always liked his distinctive "graywolf" logo. The grip is proportioned nicely with excellent cork quality but the shape is not one I would choose. Many like the half wells with the fishtail swell at the rear of the grip but I would rather have a normal cigar grip.  The pronounced swell tends to impede the hand from sliding down onto the reel seat - something I tend to like to do at times.

It has been cold and snowing a lot lately so not the best conditions for lawn casting but the rod had to be passed on soon so I got out to cast a few times between snow storms.  I tried the Full Flex with a DT3 Supra and a DT3 Cortland Sylk.  With both lines I found the rod to be decidedly slow, and well, full flexing.  This is a "good" slow and not a "noodle" slow.  It felt to me to be very progressive and almost immediately reminded me of a Winston Stalker that I once had and also similar in feel to the 7'3" TMR Japan taper.  You obviously can't push rods like this and have to slow down to appreciate them. It wouldn't be everyone's cup of tea, but since I like slowish rods, I loved it.  It's one of those rods that, as they say, "will even cast just the leader".  Most rods they say that about won't but this one will.  Surely a niche rod for windless days, small streams and delicate close-in fishing, but when you find your self with those conditions, it would be a blast to have the Full Flex in hand.  I can only imagine how it must feel with a 10" brookie attached.

When Shane told me that he thought that Tomo's Yomogi was crisp by comparison, I was prepared to not like the Full Flex.  I mean slower than the Yomogi? Yikes! That's slooooow.  So, how slow is it? That's a difficult question, although I froze my butt off today trying to find out by comparing Shane's Full Flex to a some other short three weights: the C. Barclay 7'2" #3, the Ijuin "Yomogi" 7' #3, the Axisco Airrite Stream 7' #3 and the Studio Thin Line 7' #3/4.  I would place them in just that order from "fastest" to slowest with the Full Flex coming in as slower than all of them.  I have to say that all five rods are very different in how they feel and cast a line, so slowest is not a negative.  I like this kind of very progressive slow."

Check out the Graywolf Rods website and look for more information the Graywolf Rods Blog and Facebook pages as well.

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