|TFO BVK 8'6" with Risen Fly's Ichthus 3/4 gunmetal reel|
Here is a review my current 4wt rig that I use for fishing dries and wet flies (TFO BVK 8'6" wt/Ichthus 3/4 large arbor reel). After fishing this rig for most of last summer and this past fall, I am in a better position to judge the performance and quality of both the rod and reel.
I've owned several TFO rods and I've been very happy with the quality of these rods and their modest price point. My primary dry/wet fly rod for larger rivers had been a TFO professional 9' 5wt and I wanted to move to a lighter 4wt. I opted to go for the TFO BVK 8'6" 4wt which weighs in a 2.7oz. Next, I needed to find a light reel that would balance well with the BVK and I wanted to go with a large arbor reel to eliminate all the line kinking I was experiencing with the conventional arbor reel I had on the 5wt. I settled on the Ichthus 3/4 wt from Risen Fly which is also a light large arbor reel (3"dia/4.06oz).
TFO BVK 8'6" 4wt
I really like the lightness of this rod, especially if you fish for an afternoon into the evening, as I often do. This is a fast action rod and I wasn't sure if it would fit my casting stroke but I haven't noticed any adjustments that were needed when casting. I was really surprised how powerful the rod was given I was moving down in line wt. The rod casts the large dries and dry/dropper rigs I often fish as easily as the 5wt with a lot less fatigue. I wasn't sure what I would be sacrificing by moving to a slightly shorter rod. The rod handles good size trout easily, and while I haven't tangled with any 20" trout yet, it did a fantastic job on the 16-18" hefty browns the Farmington River is known for. The finish and components on the rod are very nice, the reel seat locks up very well and I love the dark green blank. The rod came in the typical TFO rod sock. I just wish they included a rod tube with this rod but this was easily rectified with an aftermarket rod tube.
The BVK's are more expensive than other rods in the TFO lineup but the performance justifies the price tag and I am very happy with this rod. It nicely fits the type of fishing I had in mind for this rod and I would recommend it to anyone looking for solid performance from a 4wt without spending a ton of cash.
Risen Fly's Ichthus 3/4 reel
This is the first reel I've purchase from Risen Fly. The specs on the reel looked like it would balance very well with the BVK rod in terms of wt with the added plus of a large arbor design. I like the smooth gun metal finish, the silent retrieve, and a very subtle outgoing click. The large drag adjustment is easily to operate and I've had no issues with the performance, quality, or durability of this reel. When paired up with the BVK it balances extremely well. A reel bag was included.
Like TFO, Risen Fly has managed to produce a high quality reel at a modest price point and I would recommend this reel as well. If you are interested in this reel or other products from Risen fly, follow the link to the right and use the Fishing Small Streams coupon code to receive a 10% discount.
|Drag adjustment knob on the backslide of the Ichthus reel|