Thursday, June 1, 2023

MAIL STACK - Glass I'm Playing With This Spring

Over the years of writing The Fiberglass Manifesto, one of exciting (but sometimes overwhelming) aspects of the "job" is getting to demo and test fly rods from all sorts of makers and manufacturers.  Sometimes it's a big secret, sometimes it's prototypes, and sometimes it's the final version fly rods.  It often means that I have way more fly rods than anyone should ever need.  I don't hate it though.

Long cardboard boxes have been showing up on our doorstep with regularity lately and I shot a photograph of everything on my bench.  A few more have arrived since then.  Some of these rods went on trips already and others are lined up to go in the coming weeks.  
Here's a few first look notes and I'll circle back with full T.F.M. write-ups on most over time...

My first fly rod outfit cost me $60 and even though that was going on 30 years ago, I'm still a pushover for fly rods that exceed expectations of a price tag that doesn't shock the senses.  I've had a few T.F.M. readers who's reached out lately talking up the Aventik S-Glass fly rods that are found on Amazon.  I ordered several to review and been impressed. Who says that fly rods have to be $500?  More on these soon...


First, Shane is hard to keep up with.  His shop is constantly abuzz and when he sent a package full of new ideas to get my feedback, I couldn't play with them fast enough before they were already on his website.  Patience isn't Shane's forte...

Most of these have been lawn cast, played with, and sent back.  The Nomad fly rods were wonderful but unsure if Shane has them anymore (?), one of the Brute fly rods stayed with me to demo on the pond, and I kept one of the glass ultralight spinning rods as well.  Everyone should have one tucked away for a bluegills chomping on crickets mission.

As much as I heart fiberglass fly rods, a not so secret obsession of late has been glass spinning rods and when the folks at Maven tipped me off that they were adding a glass option to their Gulf Spinning Rod lineup, I knew I had to have one.  Those one went to the Louisiana marsh with me earlier this year and it's still unbelievable that in four days of fishing, only one bull redfish ate the lure.  SMH...

What I have figured out though is that from here on out though, this short but sturdy spinning rod will be going on every saltwater trip since it's always great to have options.


When the folks at Moonshine Rod Co. decided to redesign their Revival Glass series, they went from E-Glass to S-Glass and went from two fly rods to five fly rods to extend the offerings from 2-weight to 6-weight.  They also are 4-piece instead of 3-piece which makes them so much easier to travel with now.  I have the 7' 3-weight and I like it a lot.  I also like that their fly rods come with a second tip since if you're going to break a section, that's the one.   More on this one after I bend it on a bunch of bluegills...

What's unbelievable to me is that I've been messing around with fiberglass fly rods long enough that Redington has debuted not one, not two, but now three generations of fiberglass fly rods.  As much as I liked the looks and full lineup of the last Butter Stick series, a more classic look and "trout weight" offerings with just a 3, 4, and 5-weight in the current line up.  I have the 8' 5-weight on demo and it'll get worked out this summer on some warmwater ponds and streams nearby.

Longtime readers know that I am a huge fan of the Red Truck Glass "trout weight" fly rods and when James Park went to the drawing board with a 6-weight and 8-weight, I was in.  I've messed around with the 8-weight enough to know it's one to consider and looking forward to carrying it up to Beaver Island with me in a couple of weeks for some more in depth testing.

You might not have been able to see it in the first photograph in this post but there was a rod case underneath all that glass and it's the new Patagonia Black Hole Rod Case.  This thing is lightweight, built to last, and cavernous.  I flew with this one to Louisiana and it had six or eight fly rods, a spinning rod, multiple fly reels, sunglasses, camera gear, and more. This should be an absolute contender if you're looking for a carry-it-all rod case.  

Okay, it's time to go fishing...

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