Saturday, October 22, 2011

Leeson On "The Glass Renaissance"

The latest issue of Fly Rod & Reel arrived a few weeks ago and includes a well written article by Ted Leeson on the rebound of fiberglass over the past several years.   Indeed there is a "renaissance" occurring even if it is still quite a small niche considering the entire spectrum of fly fishing.   

What I enjoyed about Ted Leeson's article is that it was both an informative piece along with field tests of a few contemporary fiberglass fly rods which were chosen from small single craftsmen shops and larger fly rod companies as well.  This will surely give readers a starting point in any further research that they may do.  

I spoke with Ted Leeson several times over the phone as this article was coming together and during each of our conversations I noted his surprise and growing delight as he had been test casting and fishing glass almost exclusively for months to research for this article.  I got the feeling that he was kind of blown away by how much he enjoyed these glass rods and expect that some of his graphite might take a backseat to a few new fiberglass favorites.       

I wholeheartedly agree with Ted Leeson's assessment of glass compared to graphite with this quote from the article...

"Above all else is an attribute underscored by every fiberglass devotee and rod maker I talked with:  the sensation of the shaft working.  A fast graphite rod with a tip that delivers searing speed and hairpin loops is a marvelous instrument in a dozen ways.  But between your hand and the action up top is a length of comparatively lifeless material.  With fiberglass, you can feel moving mass, the rod bending, loading and unloading, and to some anglers that's the sweetest feeling in all of fishing."

Well said and highlights just a few of the reasons that I enjoy fiberglass fly rods so much.   

This article is similar to the American Angler article which was written more for those not familiar or had forgotten that fiberglass even existed and much less so for the devotee.  Again the assessment is made that glass is best in shorter lengths and in the trout weights which is debatable but in the end I am excited to see fiberglass again brought up in a mainstream fly fishing magazine.  If someone decides to try glass because they read this article and liked what it is saying, then they can decide if long glass or heavy line weight glass fits their fancy like it does mine.

Look for Fly Rod & Reel on the magazine rack at your local bookstore or even better...subscribe.   


glenn said...

I would have liked to see Cabela's $100 fiberglass rods included in the article for contrast against the higher priced equipment. But Rod & Reel has always skewed a little bit more towards the higher-end products and destinations.

ratfacedmcdougal said...

While I'm sort of glad to see glass getting some recognition, I find it somewhat worrisome that the prices will be jacked up. I'm finding myself in a state of near panic to buy more rods both new and classic. I liked it better when we were a few hundred enjoying the anachronism of fishing fiberglass.

Cameron Mortenson said...

glenn...I would have liked to have seen it as well but know for a fact that the article was wrote and submitted before the Cabela's C.G.R. series was released. This article had set on the shelf for a bit before going to print.

RFMcD...snap them up but I really think that there are so many choices across the entire scale of price that only the most obscure glass will be hard to get a hold of or increase so in price that you'll not be able to afford it.