Ross Enters the Rod Realm …

That’s right … you heard it here first.

The number one question I get asked from friends and family members looking to get into flyfishing is: “I don’t have a ton to spend, but I want to get started … what should I buy?”

There are a number of good options out there, but I think we chanced upon a real winner today. Ross, the reel people, have teamed with casting guru Mel Krieger to create a new “Essence” (playing off Krieger’s required reading, The Essence of Flycasting) series of new rods. Proprietary graphite technology is employed to build #3, #5, and #7-weight rods. The FS model is $99 and comes with a one-year warranty; the FC model is $149, and the FW, with slicker components including a maple reel seat, is $199. Both the FC and FW have unconditional lifetime warranties.

The company also is planning to sell packages: An open stock FS, with reel, line, and backing is $129. The Essence package in the FS will include, rod, reel, tube, sock, reel cover, line, leader, and an instructional DVD for $199. The FC Essence package (same ingredients) will be $249. All rods are medium-fast action, and the cost is the same regardless of weight.

I only had time to give a cursory shake and wiggle, but it’s clear Ross did its homework. For example, the company says it tried 27 design prototypes to land on the right taper for the 5-weight model alone. We’ll give it the thorough stream test soon … but I’m jazzed. This is more good news for budget flyfishers and beginners who want to get more for their buck, and the ability to go straight from the flyshop to the river. Look for the Essence this fall.

More to come on other cool products as we find them here at ICAST (the huge sport fishing trade show in Vegas)…