Jan 12

More thoughts on rod selection

OK… when you are fishing on a boat you see the fish from further away and are making longer casts.  Stiffer rods respond well here with longer casts, but if you happen to see the fish in close, you sometimes have trouble getting these faster rods to load well at shorter distances.

On foot you tend to see the fish in closer, making shorter casts… maybe more in the 30-50′ range. Getting your super fast action rod to load at 40′ is sometimes a little difficult and so many anglers up-line for wade fishing.  Typical bonefish lines are .25-.5 weights above the line weight anyway, so some folks move to a redfish line, which is .25-.5 heavier still.

Here’s a thought… what if you used a SLOWER action rod for wade fishing?  Slower rods (I’m talking medium action here, not a dry fly rod) load better at short distances.

Might a medium action rod actually be better on foot???

I found this little tidbit at Orvis by Jim Lepage and Marshall Cutchin…

In the second situation you are looking for a rod to take bonefishing. You know these fish are strong and fast, that they can get up to 10 pounds in weight and can attain speeds up to 30 miles-per-hour, and that you’ll have to contend with wind while you are casting. The flies you will be using range from size 2 to 6, and they may have some weight added to them. All this means you should look at a rod with a butt section stiff enough to quickly land these fish and a flex profile that puts most of the bend in the tip to mid-section. A rod that flexes in the tip is often referred to as a ‘tip flex,’ or ‘tippy,’ or ‘fast action’. These rods flex progressively toward the mid-section as more and more line is cast. You’ll also want a rod that is on the high side of the “load range” — casting better with 20 to 30 feet of line out of the rod tip than your typical “slow” rod will. In this situation an 8- or 9-weight rod is a perfect match.

Softer, or “slower,” rods allow the caster to feel the loading of the rod more quickly, with less line out of the rod tip. Long casts, on the other hand, tend to benefit from having more line out of the rod tip (there’s more weight to throw), and a stiff rod makes holding more line in the air easier.

From Orvis.

Found by Flatswalker… good points here!

Jan 11

A quiver of Orvis – Hydros and Access Rods Reviewed

While I was down in Mexico casting for… well… whatever would eat a 1/0 Surf Candy/Clouser, I had two loaner rods with me… an 8 wt. Hydros and an 8 wt. Access.  Having cast the Helios down in Belize a few weeks back, I’ve now cast three different Orvis sticks in an 8.

I must say… I’m impressed.

If I were going to buy one of these rods, I’d probably go with the Hydros.  The Hydros gets you a rod as good as the Helios with a substantial discount on the price.  I cast the Hydros most of the time I was down in Mexico.  It was light, crisp and powerful.  I was throwing lead eyes and sinking lines and the thing just played very well.

The Access is on the lower end of the Orvis spectrum, but it is still a good stick.  When you put them side-by-side you notice that the blank is thicker and when you pick it up, you notice the extra weight, even if it does come down to a couple ounces.  The Access is a little slower, so I had to change my casting stroke some, but the rod can still pound the casts out there.  It may not be fair to look at the Access after having cast the Hydros for a few days since the Hydros is just a really slick piece of casting rocketry.

A Note on Rod Selection for Vallarta

Vallarta is a hard place to judge for rod selection.  I would have been fine on most of the fish I caught with a 6 weight.  Still, there are a few fish I hooked that would have put a serious beat-down on a 6.  You just never know what is going to be on the other end.  Could be a 5 ounce fish.  Could be a 25 pound fish.