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Fiberglass in the Salt? Who is using and what?

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A few general discussions of glass rods in this forum but none that I noted that are primarily around using glass rods in SW. Hence this post, especially after the following crack today in the "What Did You Buy Today?". PP52's use of "kool aid" got me wondering..... 

56 minutes ago, Picketpin52 said:

tomkaz, sounds like you drank the kool aid! :-)

This comment was driven by my saying I am currently having a short 12wt modern glass rod built for use from boat casting to albies and lil tuna. Issue with fiberglass is high-sticking risk (yes, keep the tip in the water but sometimes that just does not happen) and the need to get fish in quickly before the sharks take their tax. 

So who is using fiberglass in SW?
Old glass or new?
Factory or custom?
Speed? Tapers? Line weights? 
Reels?
Conditions? Casting distances? 
Fish-fighting ability?

So who is using what, where, when and how? 

 

Edited by tomkaz

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I'm using 8' modern 'glass rods for most of my SW fishing now. Single piece, custom taper (fast) from CTS and I build the rods myself. The rods are nominally 10wt rods but will cast a very large range of grain weights. (I'll be constructing variants just as soon as the blanks arrive, which is scheduled for next week.)

Casting distances: vary from 20' to 100'.

Line weights: These particular rods work well on AFTMA lines from 7 to 11. I normally fish with a Rio Permit 10wt, an Airflo Striper 10 or a Striper 8, depending on the fish and their habits on the day. If the fish are only taking small flies and are easily spooked, I drop down to 7 or 8wt lines and longer leaders.

Conditions: Everything! I mainly fish from a kayak, but I'm very happy using these rods on boats or when wading. When I fall in love with a rod, I'll use it everywhere.

Fish fighting ability: Well, yeah, that's why I went to 'glass in the first place. Take a wrap and hold on if required or let the fish wear itself out on blistering runs. 'Glass is fun to fish with, not just cast a line.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

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7 hours ago, tomkaz said:

A few general discussions of glass rods in this forum but none that I noted that are primarily around using glass rods in SW. Hence this post, especially after the following crack today in the "What Did You Buy Today?". PP52's use of "kool aid" got me wondering..... 

This comment was driven by my saying I am currently having a short 12wt modern glass rod built for use from boat casting to albies and lil tuna. Issue with fiberglass is high-sticking risk (yes, keep the tip in the water but sometimes that just does not happen) and the need to get fish in quickly before the sharks take their tax. 

So who is using fiberglass in SW?
Old glass or new?
Factory or custom?
Speed? Tapers? Line weights? 
Reels?
Conditions? Casting distances? 
Fish-fighting ability?

So who is using what, where, when and how? 

 

I bought a 'full flex' 12 wt from Orvis years ago to be used as a sort of guest rod. I think I got it new for $75 on sale from Orvis.  Well now it's actually one of my favorites. I can high stick and it is forgiving for when my cast gets sloppy later in the day.  That's another option too, if you can find a full flex or slower rod 

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2 hours ago, Hirdy said:

I'm using 8' modern 'glass rods for most of my SW fishing now. Single piece, custom taper (fast) from CTS and I build the rods myself. The rods are nominally 10wt rods but will cast a very large range of grain weights. (I'll be constructing variants just as soon as the blanks arrive, which is scheduled for next week.)

Casting distances: vary from 20' to 100'.

Line weights: These particular rods work well on AFTMA lines from 7 to 11. I normally fish with a Rio Permit 10wt, an Airflo Striper 10 or a Striper 8, depending on the fish and their habits on the day. If the fish are only taking small flies and are easily spooked, I drop down to 7 or 8wt lines and longer leaders.

Conditions: Everything! I mainly fish from a kayak, but I'm very happy using these rods on boats or when wading. When I fall in love with a rod, I'll use it everywhere.

Fish fighting ability: Well, yeah, that's why I went to 'glass in the first place. Take a wrap and hold on if required or let the fish wear itself out on blistering runs. 'Glass is fun to fish with, not just cast a line.

 

Cheers,

Graeme

Thank you G. It is actually your posts here and elsewhere that helped me decide to build this rod. Before deciding on a MacFarland blank I was going to go CTS but the backlog wait and ultimate cost just didn't make sense for this build. Thanks for all the sound advice. 

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Kind of curious to why and what the advantages are for one, especially in the salt. It's intriguing and there seems to be a bit of a counter culture movement for them, though mostly for the sweet water. 

 

I have a full flex (graphite) 2wt I haven't caught any fish on yet, and a few fiberglass 5wts I have yet to really use I got at a garage sale. 

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I'm not a huge fan of the ones that are commercially available. They are okay, just, but they are still a fraction slow in the taper for my liking. Tough as nails though, which is what got me into glass in the first place. I'm hard on my gear and wanted something that would stand up to some abuse.

Along the way, I found out how much fun modern 'glass fishing rods are, so I use them when I can. They are not for every situation in my opinion, but they are surprisingly versatile. Don't write them off just because it's not the "latest and greatest" fibre or resin.

Cheers,

Graeme

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Started saltwater fly fishing with a fenwick ff9010 which also has a 10" extension butt so it could be used two handed. Never mastered the two handed cast with it.  It's  a bit heavy, 5 oz, and soft compared to current graphite rods, but casts well and I still use it with a Pflueger 1498 reel. Top of the line graphite 10 weights weigh in around 4 and 5/16 oz. Some may describe this old rods as a real battle ax.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I bought a cheap 'glass 6 wt. online for backwater and marsh/estuary fishing. I bought it because I wanted to try 'glass and wanted a lighter rod anyway for the skinnier water. My initial impressions as follows (bear in mind this is not a CTS, Epic FastGlass, or any other "engineered" rod - it's a chinese-made stick). 

Line weight - I found that to get it to load to my liking I needed to go up to a 7 wt. line. I could probably throw an 8 with ease as well. A 6 just did not load the rod enough to get any line speed. The first thing I noticed (after figuring out how to slow my casting stroke to let the rod load) was that I could present much more delicately with it. With no wind, accuracy to 75 ft. is the same as with my graphite rods. 

I paired it with a Redington Behemoth 5/6 reel, chosen primarily for its low price and light weight. One thing I (and everyone else who picks it up) notices immediately is how light the setup is. It's really nice to cast.

I've caught stripers up to about 18" on it thus far and fish fighting ability is as good as anything else. It flexes more and you can feel it flexing deeper into the butt section than my graphite rods. I wouldn't be so concerned about high-sticking, as I am sure you have seen some of the pics of guys nearly bending their glass rods into a circle. 

I also added a fighting butt to the rod. Mostly because I like the looks. It is removable though to go back to the stock look. I bought this rod because it was a cheap way to find out if 'glass of any sort would jive with the fishing I do and how I cast. So far so good and if it breaks I'm only out like $40.

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Edited by capefish4231

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It sounds like you did really well there Capefish. I think it's wise to come in with low expectations and be well surprised with the result.

But what would you have concluded if the rod was a dog? Some might say "Tried a 'glass rod once, it was awful" while others might say "you get what you pay for" (not me - I hate that saying ... ;) ). It's a bit like testing a $40 carbon fibre rod and drawing conclusions on all CF rods from that test rod (which probably would have been a dog! :) )

Anyway, you got a fun stick to play with and your money and time were very well spent. (Care to share the details of the rod with us?)

BTW, I think you'll have trouble breaking it ... :)

Cheers,

Graeme

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Graeme, I hear ya, although I would certainly not be turned off of glass altogether if the rod had been a dog. I know the "you get what you pay for" holds particularly true with fly rods in many cases. I still want an Epic FastGlass 686. And an Echo BAG (Bad A$$ Glass) 8 wt. And I love the CTS rods, probably the prettiest glass rods out there. 

The rod is made by Maxcatch, sold direct by them or thru Amazon, also sold by a company called WetFly as the Nitro Glass. However if you buy from WetFly it is like $160, whereas Maxcatch sells it for $70, I got it on sale on 4th of July weekend for around $40. I think Maxcatch is the wholesaler, or at least (judging by the poor English on their website and the packaging) reps the manufacturer directly. It's an 8'6" and came with cordura rod tube and rod sock. 

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I use a 9foot two piece 9/10 Fisher glass from the 70's on the boat fishing the rips and it has a great ability to horse the bigger fish in when the dive deep. You don't have to worry as much about the huge bend like with graphite.

At John P is your Full Flex one of the yellow ones? Those are Phillipson blanks if so. The later burgundy full flexes were made in house by Orvis.

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14 minutes ago, sms said:

Maxcatch is Leichi's brand. Leichi is the manufacturer - and a big one at that. Probably do a lot of stuff for various western brands.

I too have noted these ultra-cheap glass rods on Amazon and have not been able to pull the proverbial trigger. And while the prices are near the "disposable" point, how many disposable trial rods can one buy before you get close to the price of the real thing?

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4 hours ago, capefish4231 said:

I paired it with a Redington Behemoth 5/6 reel, chosen primarily for its low price and light weight. One thing I (and everyone else who picks it up) notices immediately is how light the setup is. It's really nice to cast.

IMG_1995.jpg
 

Funny, I have an 11/12 Behemoth that I bought for a older 9" 12wt TFO that I picked up on the auction site for less than $100. I was going to pair that to the new 12wt I am waiting on just to get it on the water. Captain Scott Hamilton has had several Behemoths on his boat for a while and thinks highly of them, except for the finish. His daily usage has led to some compromise of the finish which he attributes to their not being anodized well (at all?). But as he says, for the price, they can't be beat. 

My desire is a Nautilus or a Hatch but not sure I can justify the cost for a rod that will be used less than a half dozen times a year. I missed buying a great condition Abel Big Game No. 4 last week which would have been a great "retro" reel (retro to the early 1990s that is) for half a new top-line reel. I actually want to get the new rod before committing to a reel to see what will balance it properly. 

Edited by tomkaz

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1 hour ago, tomkaz said:

Funny, I have an 11/12 Behemoth that I bought for a older 9" 12wt TFO that I picked up on the auction site for less than $100. I was going to pair that to the new 12wt I am waiting on just to get it on the water. Captain Scott Hamilton has had several Behemoths on his boat for a while and thinks highly of them, except for the finish. His daily usage has led to some compromise of the finish which he attributes to their not being anodized well (at all?). But as he says, for the price, they can't be beat. 

My desire is a Nautilus or a Hatch but not sure I can justify the cost for a rod that will be used less than a half dozen times a year. I missed buying a great condition Abel Big Game No. 4 last week which would have been a great "retro" reel (retro to the early 1990s that is) for half a new top-line reel. I actually want to get the new rod before committing to a reel to see what will balance it properly. 

Tomkaz, I don't think the idea behind the "disposable"/cheapie level rods is to buy them ad infinitum as they break, but to buy one and if it works out well, then you're ahead. If it does not work, you took a chance and lost a little, but it would not be wise to repeat the same decision expecting a different outcome.

 

Agreed that the finish on the Behemoth doesn't seem to be quite on par with that of a machined reel, but maybe there are intricacies to the anodizing process that affect how it is applied to a cast reel rather than machined. I too would like a Hatch 7 Plus but the price is just wild. I also considered the newer Redington Rise but even that was a bit too costly for the setup I was trying to put together (low budget, knockaround type glass rod that I won't feel bad about abusing).

FYI there is an Abel No. 4 on the Boston CL right now in Metheun for $250.... includes a #8 line. If you want that I would jump all over it. Looks to be in great condition.

 

edit: sorry to say it is not the Big Game series however.

Edited by capefish4231

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