Deeter: Unveiling the Latest in Fly Rod Technology

The last couple years have been pretty tame as far as new rod introductions in the fly fishing world. With … Continued

The last couple years have been pretty tame as far as new rod introductions in the fly fishing world. With the exception of Orvis’ Helios, I haven’t seen any earth-shaking new sticks… mostly next generation modifications, and slight twists on products already in the pipeline. The tough economy/soft market had a lot to do with that.

That’s going to change in the year ahead, on both the low-pricepoint and high-performance sides of the market. So let’s take a look at what’s new.

First, St. Croix has just unveiled a new rod called the “Rio Santo” (which means Holy River but might just as well be called “Vaca Santo” … Holy Cow), because it only costs $120. It’s light on frills, (no rod tube, simple reel seat), but having cast it, I am telling you that 99.9% of fly anglers will not be able to tell a difference from other much pricier rods. St. Croix makes these rods in Mexico, and in so doing, has positioned itself to do some whuppin’ on Temple Fork and other importers from Asia.

On the high-end side… Loomis is just about to unveil a new rod series designed by Steve Rajeff. When Loomis talks innovation, people tend to listen, especially considering what GLX graphite did to shake up the rod world 17 years ago. This time Rajeff claims the rod weights have been cut down almost 20 percent by way of a new graphite construction process with epoxy additives. I’m sure it will be love at first cast when I meet one of these rods…

Not to be outdone, however, Hardy & Greys, has just shouted across the Atlantic that they will be launching a rod series in early 2011 that is 30 percent lighter, and virtually unbreakable (60% stronger than current graphite rods). Made with a new material they call Sintrix (an enhanced resin), the rods are so tough that Hardy consultant and tarpon fishing champion Andy Mill reportedly just landed an 80-pound silver king with one of these rods in four minutes. If you want to see the power for yourself, check out the video below of a 55-pound shark getting fought on a Sintrix 7-weight. That’s a hell of a bend…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HwJvDs5MnFo//

There are other rods to be watching as well. Scott is going retro with a very sweet line of new fiberglass sticks this fall. Great Bay Rod Company has landed in a niche of producing high-end-quality, made- in-America rods for just under $400. I also have a Fly Talk product review coming soon on a Cabela’s stick that I thought was a flamethrower at a cost of under $200…

This is all good news for the fly guy. I see the market coming out of the doldrums. The innovation wheels are turning. And you and I will have many more options for saving money, and/or realizing some performance advantages in the near future. At least you’ll have a better excuse to buy yourself a rod…

I’ll keep you posted on what else I hear.

Deeter