July 2nd, 2001

Twin Rods
By James Castwell

I have to admit, with not some small degree of humility, I have an advantage over a few of you. I get to play with almost any fly rod available. Yes, it's true, I can make a phone call and within a very few days (or less) have rods at my doorstep. No charge, just send them back after I have fished them, or tested them or whatever I have in mind. I try hard, (really!) not to abuse this privilege. It does make it possible for me to give you my opinion, for what it's worth, on various rods, reels, lines and other gear, and that's what I try to use it for. I am taking a few rods to the 'Fish-In' though.

It's not as necessary to give the brand name here, as it is to give the sizes of the rods. I 'procured' two 5 weight medium-progressive action fly rods. One (a 3pc) is nine feet long, the other (a 5pc) is only eight foot nine inches. It also comes with a spare tip section, a nice feature. If I'm going to break any part of a five weight it will probably be the tip.

Our (the Ladyfisher and I) discussion was, "if I could take just one of them, which would it be?" Having both at hand, it offered some interesting possibilities. First we went outside and cast each. We agreed, the five weight would be used mostly for casting to and playing fish under twenty inches. The distances would be normal, that is, not long casts such as on bone-fish flats. Therefore, the rod which loaded best at the shorter distance would get that vote. The 8 ft. 9 inch foot rod won that test.

The nine footer did cast a bit better at longer distances and was smoother, but that seemed no advantage for the exact conditions we expect to encounter. That type of action may be preferred in a six weight, but, for us, not in a five weight. Of course, we used the same line and reel on both rods, switching it back and forth during the casting tests. I can say both rods are top of the line, but the five piece (with the spare tip) costs a hundred bucks more.

We both agreed, for the 'Fish-In,' if we could only take one rod, it would be the 8 ft. 9 in. We also agreed that since a five weight is normally used as we are going to be using it, the shorter rod was a better choice as it handled the line at more ranges better and had the spare tip as well, even though it cost more. You must remember, this is just our opinion and is based on how we cast and what we expect and enjoy in a rod. By the way, I will bring both rods to the 'Fish-In.'

I recall a few years back when most, if not all multiple piece, (pack-type) manufactured fly rods were terrible things and cast just awful. Now I find myself picking a 'Pack' rod over a three piece which has always been my favorite. Time marches on . . . and I have to run these days to keep up with it. ~ James Castwell

Till next week, remember . . .

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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