Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Fiberglass rods

Fiberglass rods have seen a resurgence of late and models from the 1970's are valued by collectors and those who enjoy their slower action.  The slower action is an advantage to those who fish small streams and enjoy using double taper lines.

I've been asked several times what rod I use to fish small streams and have recommended the Cabelas custom glass rod.  I use the 5'9" 3wt with a 3wt DT line on it.  This rod will also handle a DT 4wt as well.  I've come to find out that Cabelas changed their custom glass rods a year after I got mine.  From everything I've heard, the new ones are quite a bit stiffer and not as smooth as the older ones, so if you are looking for one try to find one of the older rods on ebay.  I've included a couple pictures to make it easier to identify these rods.  The one I have is the 50th anniversary edition made in 2011. It's a shame Cabelas changed the rod, they really had a sweet little gem of a small stream rod.

My small stream outfit - Cabela's Custom Glass rod and Orvis Battenkill I

Close up of the green blank - this is the one you want if you can find one
Recently, I found my very first decent fly rod tucked away in the basement.  It was the first fly rod I spent some decent money on, a Shakespeare Wonderglass Kwik Taper (7'6" 6wt).  Back then I had on old Martin reel on it. I've decided it would make a nice winter project to refinish it.  I've got an old Pflueger 1494 that will match nicely with this old rod.  I really like how this rod's rich translucent finish is looking after some sanding and a couple coats of varnish.  I will post something when the project is complete.



15 comments:

  1. Can't wait to see the rebuild. I got the Fenwick and it is immaculate, probably never been fished.

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    1. Nice! Slow your casting stroke down and enjoy!

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  2. I love my old shakespeare wonder rod, got it from an old Italian gentleman from my mother's hometown. The cork handle needed repair, and the label is no longer legible, but I love it.

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    1. Very nice! What size is it and what do you use it for?

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    2. 7' 6" 4 weight, I use it for small streams with big browns and bookies, and where I want to cast tiny dries. It does a fine role cast so I occasionally use it rather than my 6' 6' St. Croix in tight quarters. Handles big fish on light tippits very well.

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    3. Nice, the 6wt is overkill for most of the streams I fish, but I may get it out on the Farmington just to see sometime.

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  3. I saw those CGR rods. Very nice. I am interested in how they feel.

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    1. Riverwalker - I really like mine. It's a full flex and soft. I've heard the new ones are too stiff

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  4. Mark
    I am still in process of replacing all my stolen rods and reels and I think I will take a look at the glass fly rod. I don't want to purchase a slow action fly rod, I am glad you mentioned the difference. The little BB reel is a real gem. Redington also makes a reel same size and weight as the Battenkill both are really nice. thanks for sharing

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    1. Bill -most fiberglass rods have slower action. If you are used to fast graphite rods you might not like how a fiberglass rod feels. Another great reel is the the Ichthus 3/4 reel from Risen fly. It is a large arbor and very nicely made. The link and discount code is a the bottom of the page

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  5. I haven't been bitten by the glass bug. I do have my first fly rod a Cortland 7ft 5wt. in my rod rack, And that's probably where it will stay.
    Love those oldies.

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    1. Alan - I'm refinishing the old Shakespeare mostly for sentimental reasons, not sure how much I will actually fish it but we will see, I haven't cast with it in years

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  6. Another small stream rod that I enjoy is a recently acquired, first generation glass Fenwick 6' for a 5/6 weight line. The heavier line, rather than overkill, allows for a wonderful stroke with an easy load in tight areas.

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    1. Thanks Walt, those old Fenwicks are commanding quite a price these days!

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