PhillyPhisher

Colton rods

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I think I’m in the market for a 12wt. Looks like I’m headed to Costa Rica in feb and the keys in April. Then there’s albacore to target out here on the west coast. I’m leaning towards a Colton levithian xs. I’ve got a terrapin on my 8wt and absolutely love it. And at the price point it seems like a really good option. 

 

Anybody have any experience with these rods? I did a search of the site and most of the info was about the reels, which I love, and the older versions of these rods. 

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You will find the Leviathion is a true blue water rod, maybe overkill for what you need. The butt section on the 12 is more like a 14.

 

Best bet is to call Bob and tell him exactly what you want to do. He will steer you in the right direction. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

My experience with Colton rods echoes Oakman's. I measured a friend's UD 10wt with CCS because they had suspected it was way too powerful to be a 10wt, and my measurements found it to be on the low side of a 14wt, with an effective rod number of 14.1. 

 

Colton does this thing where he says "fast" but means "powerful", which is a total bastardization of terms IMO. My friend was told that the Tradwinds UD 10wt was the "fastest" 10wt on the market. Fastest indeed....

 

Anyways, I agree with Oakman. Best bet is to call up Bob and ask him what to do. He's on here IIRC but I cannot remember his username. Hopefully someone else will chime in and save me! 

Edited by RedGreen

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By UD are you guys referring to the original series of his rods? They are labeled extra fast. The newer series the xs is only labeled fast. 

 

And aside from what what has been mentioned is the quality there? This rod isn’t going to get a ton of use so I don’t really want to spend $500 on something. However I’d like it to preform when I am using it. 

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Yes, by UD I'm referring to the trade winds rods he has. Sold as "fastest saltwater rods" or something like that. All extra fast, which from Colton means they're extremely powerful for their rating. They're no faster in action than any other fast action fly rod. 

 

Other than that, I have no faults against them. Build quality looks great and you've got excellent customer service to back it up. As long as you've got the right rod I'd say you'll be set for quite some time. 

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Hi PhillyPhisher,

 

I've been using the Tradewinds UD (the first Tradewinds, blue blank) 10wt this year, and I absolutely love it. It is a lot of rod, but it handles very large patterns well and has the balls to turn/lift big fish and truly punch through wind. I will reemphasize that it is quite a bit more powerful than any other "10wt" I've handled , although it still throws AFTMA standard 10wt 280gr/30' very well---you can just upline a fair bit to make short shots a bit easier and throwing chunkier flies. Wind was no issue with 425gr floating OB and a 510gr OB was the ticket for 12+" Beast fleyes and the like. For smaller flies, it is easier to generate high line speed and pointed loops with lighter lines than any other rod I've used so far. 

 

As RedGreen said, we found out my rod was a fair bit more powerful than a standard 10wt when we measured its IP at 364g and AA of 66°. If my sources are correct, Esa has measured the now-discontinued TFO TiCrX 12wt, sort of a benchmark for fast & powerful rods, to have an IP of 308g and AA of 72°. This means that the Colton UD 10wt is about 18% more powerful than the TiCrX 12wt and a fair bit slower in action, but by no means does it feel "slow". The quotes Red is referring to regarding the rod as "the fastest saltwater fly rod" are not the company's words, but other customers' descriptions that I was quoting. The Colton website describes its action as "Extra-fast," which it does feel like if you don't know the rods' actual measurements. When casting, it feels as if the bottom half of the rod doesn't budge... which it doesn't, really, and that can fool one into thinking that. That's an intentional part of the design, if I understand Bob correctly, because he uses this rod specifically when he wants to be able to lift heavy/dogging fish from the butt of the rod. 

 

Two of my friends have been enjoying their Tradewinds XS 9wt/Terrapin 789 setups this year. The XS 9wt bends much deeper into the blank when casting lines in the 280-320gr range, but still recovers very quickly and casts short and long distances very easily. It's a fun and relatively "easy" rod to cast. I have not had a chance to measure the IP/AA of the 9 XS, but I might put that on my agenda for this weekend and get back to you on that. If I had to guess, I'd guesstimate the ERN of the 9 XS to be around 9.75-10.25. Based on what I've learned from casting and fishing the 9 XS & 10 UD, my guess is that the 9 UD, 10 UD, or 10 XS would suit your needs well, with a slight advantage to the 10 XS. The best way to determine the rod for you, short of testing out the rods in person, would be to contact Bob as Oakman and Red have already suggested. 

 

The fit and finish of the rods appeals to me and has good promise in terms of long-term durability. The snake guides are durable and none of the guides, despite having spent four months between the salt and a rod tube, are showing corrosion. The cork is firm and fillings are holding strong. The reel does not wobble in the seat, and the large fighting butt was comfortable when lifting double digit albies out from under the boat. Despite the high-modulus graphite blank, it has survived many hard smacks from clousers and lead-head flies as a result of my casting ineptitude. 

 

For the money, I would rather have no other rod. It doesn't have the finish of a T&T or quite the feel of rods four to five times its price, but for all intents and purposes, it fulfills it purpose as well as I could hope for, and then some. Can't really go wrong with that. 

 

Dan

Edited by DanTheBassMan
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57 mins ago, DanTheBassMan said:

Hi PhillyPhisher,

 

I've been using the Tradewinds UD (the first Tradewinds, blue blank) 10wt this year, and I absolutely love it. It is a lot of rod, but it handles very large patterns well and has the balls to turn/lift big fish and truly punch through wind. I will reemphasize that it is quite a bit more powerful than any other "10wt" I've handled , although it still throws AFTMA standard 10wt 280gr/30' very well---you can just upline a fair bit to make short shots a bit easier and throwing chunkier flies. Wind was no issue with 425gr floating OB and a 510gr OB was the ticket for 12+" Beast fleyes and the like. For smaller flies, it is easier to generate high line speed and pointed loops with lighter lines than any other rod I've used so far. 

 

As RedGreen said, we found out my rod was a fair bit more powerful than a standard 10wt when we measured its IP at 364g and AA of 66°. If my sources are correct, Esa has measured the now-discontinued TFO TiCrX 12wt, sort of a benchmark for fast & powerful rods, to have an IP of 308g and AA of 72°. This means that the Colton UD 10wt is about 18% more powerful than the TiCrX 12wt and a fair bit slower in action, but by no means does it feel "slow". The quotes Red is referring to regarding the rod as "the fastest saltwater fly rod" are not the company's words, but other customers' descriptions that I was quoting. The Colton website describes its action as "Extra-fast," which it does feel like if you don't know the rods' actual measurements. When casting, it feels as if the bottom half of the rod doesn't budge... which it doesn't, really, and that can fool one into thinking that. That's an intentional part of the design, if I understand Bob correctly, because he uses this rod specifically when he wants to be able to lift heavy/dogging fish from the butt of the rod. 

 

Two of my friends have been enjoying their Tradewinds XS 9wt/Terrapin 789 setups this year. The XS 9wt bends much deeper into the blank when casting lines in the 280-320gr range, but still recovers very quickly and casts short and long distances very easily. It's a fun and relatively "easy" rod to cast. I have not had a chance to measure the IP/AA of the 9 XS, but I might put that on my agenda for this weekend and get back to you on that. If I had to guess, I'd guesstimate the ERN of the 9 XS to be around 9.75-10.25. Based on what I've learned from casting and fishing the 9 XS & 10 UD, my guess is that the 9 UD, 10 UD, or 10 XS would suit your needs well, with a slight advantage to the 10 XS. The best way to determine the rod for you, short of testing out the rods in person, would be to contact Bob as Oakman and Red have already suggested. 

 

The fit and finish of the rods appeals to me and has good promise in terms of long-term durability. The snake guides are durable and none of the guides, despite having spent four months between the salt and a rod tube, are showing corrosion. The cork is firm and fillings are holding strong. The reel does not wobble in the seat, and the large fighting butt was comfortable when lifting double digit albies out from under the boat. Despite the high-modulus graphite blank, it has survived many hard smacks from clousers and lead-head flies as a result of my casting ineptitude. 

 

For the money, I would rather have no other rod. It doesn't have the finish of a T&T or quite the feel of rods four to five times its price, but for all intents and purposes, it fulfills it purpose as well as I could hope for, and then some. Can't really go wrong with that. 

 

Dan

 

This is the most concise, insightful and thorough answer to a question I have read since I joined.

 

Who is this kid????  I've seen the Dark Spey at work, I take his word for it. . .

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Dan,

 

I stand corrected. I assumed that the quote was from the mfg directly. Upon looking at Colton's site more closely (read: actually reading it properly) I saw that they bill it as their fastest saltwater fly rod offering from themselves. 

 

Lovely essay too. You of course have all the experience with that rod here so your word is first. 

 

Oakman,

 

He's a part of the next gen of TH guys, along with myself! 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

@Oakman,

 

Thanks for the kind words :howdy: 

 

I've learned a lot from SOL and give back when I can. Also, the rod truly deserves the praise. 

 

The Dark Spey... I like it. 

 

Red,

 

No worries, I could've been more clear on that myself. 

 

Bob developed the rods to meet his needs and high standards, and has undoubtedly had more rod-in-hand time with his sticks than we will ever know, so it's really his word that I'd look forward to. 

 

Philly,

 

I'd also like to add that talking with Bob is great fun, and his conduct in taking care of customers is unparalleled in this industry. I don't expect any issues with either my UD 10 (knock on wood, heaven only knows how I've clocked that rod with flies) or the two new Terrapin 1012s that brightened up my week the other day, but I have confidence knowing that Bob stands by his products all the way. 

 

Dan

Edited by DanTheBassMan

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Looks like I will be reaching out to bob this week. Thank you gentlemen for all your input. It’s wonderful that this resource of ours, SOL, exists. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fflyakk said:

Where and what are you fishing for in Costa Rica . I live there.

 

Going to Zancudo in Feb. Hope to target sailfish for a few days. 

 

In the keys it will be used for tarpon. And in the PNW true albacore. 

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