Our Blind Flying Rod Test reveals a pair of Bargains Shocking - ECSEI
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Our Blind Flying Rod Test reveals a pair of Bargains Shocking

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photo of anglers flycasting
A line of testers throw rods in the 2022 F Puls stem test. Cosmo Genova

You’re a good fly pitcher, right? You can notice the difference between an elegant fly rod and a cheap one. I mean, if I handed you a $1,000 5 pesos to melt for a while and then I changed it with a $250 stick, you’d know right away what it was, right?

Well, don’t be so sure. I didn’t.

During the 2022 F Puls Fly Rod TestWe decided to do a small lateral experiment. I’ve always wondered, if you couldn’t read the logo on a high-end fly rod, did you know it was high-end just for throwing it? Would you be able to tell the difference between him and a cheaper stick? Or it’s all our talk about the sensation of next level and the control and receptivity dyed with a certain amount of B.S.—justification for all the money we fall into luxury bars.

To find out, we use masking tape to cover the logos of several of our favorite low-end rods ($250 to $500) and several of our favorite high-end rods ($900 to $1050). Because we already had some familiarity with each one, after evaluating them for our main test, we also entangle our ball caps on one side to block any recognizable feature that we could have collected in our peripheral vision while melting, so we look so clumsy to the video, or one of the reasons.

The exam and a crazy result

Our test was simple. One at a time, each semester went up to the casting line and was given a stick without marking after another to melt near and far until it had a good feeling for each one. In the end, he occupied all the rods.

Four testers passed through the protocol, and when it ended, as a group, we usually put the high-end rods near the top of our ranking, which was no surprise. What was an absolute shock, however, was that we all sort one or more of the low-end rods over one or more of the high-level rods.

Not only that, but some of us (as in me), classified one of the cheapest test rods above the test. more High-end bars. In a mental sequence, and slightly embarrassing, editor-in-chief Colin Kearns gave me one of our favorite rods of high-end of the main test, a rod that costs about $1,000. I wrote it and said, “Yes, this is very nice.” Then he handed me one of the cheapest rods. I threw that, and I said, “Oh, this is even better. ”

Then all the testators gathered to point and laugh at me. Which was fun. But, in fact, they all put the same rod near the top.

The Takeaways

photo of angler casting
FLT Senior Editor, Matt Every, throws a tight loop. Cosmo Genova

This seems like a good time to step back and list my excuses, I mean, observations on the test and its results. What did we really learn, and what did we not learn? Well, being a quick test of lawn casting, I’d say we focused more on distance and chastity, how easy it was to throw dyes loops and shooting lines. Therefore, we did not learn much about the versatility of each rod or the comfort of casting all day or precision and line control in the water. Which makes me want to expand this test next year.

But we still learned tons. The biggest and most shocking withdrawal of this test is that when it was simply to melt — to launch the line with power, feeling and precision — four experienced fly fishers could not clearly tell the difference between some low-end rods and others costing three Sometimes more or more. That’s a big thing, because it means you No. they have to spend big dollars, or even medium dollars, to get a very nice rod.

Naturally, there are some limitations and predictions. The key is that you can’t buy any cheap rod and expect it to throw big. The vast majority of the cheap rods we launched in our main test did not perform almost as well as the high-end rods. But a couple did, which means it’s time to name names.

Bargain 2022

photo of angler casting fly rod
Chief editor, Colin Kearns, try a rod. Cosmo Genova

We all were greatly impressed with the Moonshine Vesper, a tremendous bargain around $500. One of our testators put this rod on its top-three after the blind transmission test, and several of us ranked it higher than at least a high-end rod. As another tester wrote in his notes: “It is thrown effortlessly and has the feeling of a premium bar at half the price.” The Vesper is light and lively, with a surprising power, and it is also a reed of great appearance.

Orvis Clearwater
orvis clearwater is a best value fly rod

But the real showtopper was Orvis’s Clearwater update, an absolutely amazing pitcher for about $250. I could throw this rod at 90 feet as easily as any other 9-foot rod in our entire test, with consistent flat loops, awesome feeling, and solid precision. I don’t think we’ve had a more lenient rod, period, which makes the Clearwater a non-brain for beginner wheels. On the other hand, I am not a beginner pitcher for a long shot, and I would not hesitate to fish a season with this rod.

Now, before he takes me, it’s time for the other previews. When it comes to the finer points that make a premium rod bonus —things that don’t realize so much in a fast casting test, as well as melt comfort all day and versatility, line control and water accuracy — even the best cheap rods will come a little short. A closer inspection, you’ll find that the Clearwater is a little on the heavy side. It is above all a large water rod that lacks some finesse and versatility. And, of course, the components are very basic.

Moonshine Vesper
Moonshine Vesper fly rod

But the truth is that many of these finer points are just luxury. Aesthetic, for one. But it also takes weight. Sportsmen tend to be a little crazy at this point when it comes to their tools. Explain to me, for example, why a 6-pound rifle is a wand and a 5-pound bow is an anchor. So, like any other person, it could rave around a featherweight bar that somehow still has the power to drive long molds in the wind. But do I need to fish? No. Would an extra ounce of rod weight really exhaust me at the end of the day? I don’t think so.

Depends on you, of course, if these luxuries are worth an extra $500 to $700? For many serious fly fishermen, probably myself included, they are. That’s good and cheerful. But that’s not the point here. The great news — the surprising discovery of our blind transmission experiment — is that anyone who can take out $250 can go to the truche river with a large casting rod and not feel under amoeno compared to luxury guys. And the elegant guys, who can’t see the logo on their bar, can think, Man, that guy can kick. I wonder what a rod he has.

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