I don’t often get very rhapsodic over low-end fly rods. Some of them are okay, and I recommend those frequently to anglers on a budget. But they just don’t perform as well as many of the high-end sticks.
But recently I’ve been field-testing a new-for-2013 fiberglass model that is just the nuts. I love it. The rod is Cabela’s CGt fiberglass, an evolved and improved version of the 100th anniversary glass rod they began marketing a couple of years ago. My 7-foot, 3-weight version is 3-piece and costs $149.99.
Light-line rods, meaning less than a 4-weight, have usually felt mushy to me in casting because there’s so little line weight to actually bend the rod. This has led to some overly soft rod tapers. The new CGt rods are anything but mushy, which is even more surprising considering that glass is less stiff than graphite.
Rather than a “slow” fiberglass action, I’d call the CGt rods moderate to moderate-fast. Casting feels delightfully smooth and precise, with tight, fairly fast loops out to 50 feet or so. That’s as much as I’d expect from any 3-weight, regardless of material.
The tip is fairly flexible, but not quite what I’d call soft. On the river, the rod roll-casts beautifully–unusual for a light-line rod. It also allows very precise line-mending–just a very slight wrist roll with line on the water did the trick, unlike the exaggerated mending motion some stiffer rods require.
The CGt rods (so new they aren’t yet on the Cabela’s website) are slated to appear in 6 versions from 2-weight to 5-weight. Lengths range from 5’9″ to 7’6″. All are 3-piece. And I’m now convinced that for value and utility received, the price is right.