J. Castwell
December 8th, 1997

Spare the Rod?

"#5/6" What does that mean? Generally, the rod will cast a five, or six weight line. Usually these rods are less expensive. So, what does a "#7" mean? Does that mean the rod will ONLY cast a #7 line? No. In reality, it means the rod will cast a number six, seven, or eight! The best probably will be the seven though. These rods tend to be more expensive.

When you first started out you probably got a #5/6 (two number) fly rod. Also, you probably put a line on it that matched the high number. You couldn't cast very well and the heavy line loaded the rod with less line out. With time your casting improved and you got used to the combination. As you gained distance you realized that your "loops" were not very tight. The rod was "soft." You got tired from much fly casting. You needed a new rod ...

Perhaps not. Here is where the major rod makers will hate me. For the price of a new fly line you can almost have a new fly rod. It is time for you to move DOWN to the other number now. Here is where the major fly line companies will love me. By underlining the rod you will need a little more line out the front end, but the rod will be more responsive and you will be able to cast tighter loops.

Underlining is not a new thing. I do it on my salmon rod. Granted, the rod is not a high priced one, but I can get tighter loops with a lighter line. Ok, it's a nine foot, nine weight, four piece, cost about $150.00, I run a eight weight line on it. It does take a little more line out the front to get it going, but I can drive narrow loops into the wind because of the tighter action of the rod being underlined.

It's sure worth a try and if you don't like the results, you can always buy a new rod to go with the new fly line! ~ JC

Till next week, remember ...

Keepest Thynne Baakast Upeth

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