Product Reviews


by James Castwell

Today's date is September, 23, 2002. There is a new fly rod on it's way to America, and again it is coming from Italy. Sandro Gatti startled the rod industry a few years back with a concept of a rod with uniform wall thickness. Virtually spineless and incorporating unique materials, these rods were quickly accepted by those fortunate enough to discover them. Their progress to this continent has been slow and steady, unnoticed by most, praised by those who own them.

About a month ago I received an email from Sandro informing me he had discovered yet another new material and was building up a few rods. The new rods were to be incredibly light, a nine-foot five weight blank would weigh under an ounce, actually 31 g. All other things being equal, the lighter a rod is the easier it is to cast. He would be sending me one to take a look at soon.

I told him about the recently concluded 'Fish-In' in Idaho and asked if it would be possible to have a rod by that date. He said he did not think so. Two weeks passed and he said he might just be able to make it. I gave him the address in Idaho to send the rod if it looked like it may arrive here in Washington while I was there.

On September 14th I got an email detailing the situation. He would ship the rod, 'next-day' to Idaho, a nine-foot, five weight, three piece, tip action. It would be a 'prototype' in that the windings may not be the final color, but the rest of the rod would be. The rod arrived in Idaho on Monday, the day before I got there. Wednesday morning, as a group gathered at the 'Fish-In,' we opened the package and lined it up.

I made only a few short casts and handed it to my wife to cast. This rod was the lightest five weight fly rod we had ever cast, period. That lightness made it a very desirable fly rod indeed. I weighed the rod, it came out to two and one half ounces, that's the whole rod, complete. We next proceeded to 'ring it out.' Casts of varying distances and loop shapes. It performed flawlessly.

Others there cast it as well, all with the same opinion and wanting to know more details and the costs of other models. At this time they (FRHP) are only available in two weights, four and five. There are different lengths however, eight, eight and one half and nine-foot. The cost at this time is about $470.

I understand that for a short time there will be a 25% discount and free shipping if ordered directly from Gatti in Italy. I have no idea of how long this will hold true. There were several people at our event who are now in the process of ordering these rods.

I have no way of knowing for sure, but as far as I do, these rods are the lightest on the market, world wide. On Thursday, I fished the rod in a strong wind, the crisp power allowed me to drive tight loops into and under the wind on most casts. Later that day I learned that several of the others fishing that day had quit fishing because of the wind. This rod is definitely in the 'Fast' action group and is of course deadly accurate. Although these rods are fast action they do cast nicely at all line lengths for us.

This rod is shown on the Gatti website HERE. For further details email Sandro Gatti at ~ JC

Tel. ++39-30-2751449
Fax ++39-30-2180254
Via della Stella, 56 - 25060 S.
Vigilio di Concesio (BS) - Italy

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