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New Fly Rod suggestions

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    Posted: 28 Jun 2020 at 9:41am
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Hi all

I'm thinking I might get around to shouting myself an upgrade to the Composite Developments Graphite II #7/8 weight that I've had since the late 1980's. I'm from Wellington but I primarily fish in the Taupo area.  I used to get up there a few times a year but have not been so regular over the last 10 or so years so the old faithful has done the job for the odd day that I do get out.  But now being semi-retired I'm hoping I'll have time to get up there a bit more regularly and I'm sure the technology will have moved on significantly since I bought my current rod.

I fish both nymph and wetline mostly on the Tongariro and Tauranga-Taupo as well as the odd night fish around the stream mouths.  I'll be staying with #8 weight because I don't want (or need) to replace my lines.

I don't want to spend a fortune (less than $500) so the likes of Sage and Scott are going to be off the menu.  I quite like the look of the Airflo rods and their "Apex" model is around the $350 mark.  Does anyone have any experience of those rods or suggest any others in that mid-range price bracket.

Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CC551 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2020 at 8:23pm
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Just further to the above - I see that a number of people are now switching down to #6 weight rods for the Tongariro.  I did wonder if improvements in rod technology would mean that lighter weight gear can now get the necessary distance in which case.  Comments also that the #6 is less tiring over the course of a day's fishing.

I'd be interested in any comments or thoughts on that.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Crochet Cast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2020 at 9:58pm
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In your price range I would recommend the Loop Q or Echo carbon XL.
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2020 at 11:11am
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Yea your spot on about the older 8# pretty much compare to the newer 6#.  Lighter blanks and a whole bunch of rod technology means that a stiff powerful 6# is up to the job and a lot more enjoyable to cast all day long.  You will be shocked at how much rods have improved since your rod.  Every year they get better, so a 40 year gap....wow!! 

A few good options out there.  My two picks in that price range would be the Redington Vice 6# (RRP $399 but you can get them on sale regularly) or the Primal Raw 6# (RRP $499.  Don't think iv ever seen them on sale though)

I know you said you don't need to replace lines, but if that line is several years old then its quite likely stuffed.  The plastics they use to make them break down.   If you look at it closely you will no doubt spot cracks in the line. Means that as soon as you fish it, it will get waterlogged and sink, as well as get considerably heavier.   Your always best to get a line to suit a new rod, not just chuck anything you have floating around on it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote The Tamure Kid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2020 at 9:28pm
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The other thing that you may notice has changed is that most of the rods sold now are 4 piece - whereas back in the day, it seemed to be two piece for river rods, and 4 was for 'travel' rods.

I went through a similar scenario when I broke the tip of my CD Rods 3 pc 8wt that I was using on the Tongariro last year (after years away). I asked for advice on the forum about a replacement.

I have a never-used 6 wt Sage XP in the wardrobe which is apparently widely regarded as one of the best Sage rods ever - but I had never considered using it on the Taupo rivers, as it was 4 pc and bought in from the US for back country use that never eventuated!

The consensus from a couple of top anglers on the forum was that anything I'd get at the lower end of the market wouldn't be a patch on the Sage XP in terms of performance. I had been going to sell it, but I'll give it a try when I make it back down there (after a prayer or two that I don't hit the tip with a Tongariro bomb).

I picked up a few rods in Sporting Life the day after I broke my CD and they all seemed much slower action, very bendy - and I definitely prefer a fast action rod. Before the CD I had a locally constructed rod made using an 8 wt Sage Graphite III blank 'second' which I loved using on the Tongariro.

In terms of Airflo, I think Rainbow (Herb of Tongariro roll cast fame) on the forum did some reviews of their rods. Maybe PM him if he doesn't join this thread.

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Jaapie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2020 at 10:04am
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Some good advice from Fraser.

The other thing, consider having in a look in some at the close out sales they advertise. I know it's probably not the best time now with travel restrictions and getting stuff shipped, but man, when the Yanks have a sale, they really do have a sale.
"Only when the last tree has died, the last river has been poisoned and the last fish has been caught,will we realize that we cannot eat money" - 19th Century Indian Creed
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CC551 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2020 at 7:27pm
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Thanks chaps. Having done a bit more reading and research I'm leaning towards the Primal 6#.  As with everything I expect that you get what you pay for.  From what I can glean, the Airflo and the Primal are both good performers for the money but the quality of the components and build quality on the Primal is a bit better, hence the slightly higher price tag.

I did take a look at the other suggestions.  The Redington does seem to get some quite good reviews but (personal taste) I couldn't be doing with that nasty green colour.

Having said all that, I see there is a Sage Approach that is about $600 but it is described as Sage's entry level rod which makes me think it's probably not really any better that the Primal and the price tag is perhaps related the four letters - S,A,G,E printed on the side.


 Going to a 6# does mean I'll need to get new lines.  The lines I have now on the 8# are getting a bit long in the tooth but they are still in good nick having not been used a lot.  Like the rods, I expect the line technology will have advanced since I last replaced my fly lines so if I'm going to do this I might as well do it properly.

cheers
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fraser Hocks Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2020 at 5:25pm
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Nice one bro, yeah sounds like you have it well under control. The Primal is built on a nicer blank for sure. The Vice is great at distance, but in close it's not the greatest. where as the Primal will be nice at distance as well as pretty fine in close.

Might be worth looking into lines to suit. Something like the Airflo Tracker would be ideal for the Tongariro, although you might find it a bit aggressive for other work. Hummm
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote smudge Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2020 at 7:03pm
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I have a confession to make. I haven't been fly fishing in years and I was never too good at it. I have two old school 8wt rods and no reels nor fly lines anymore. I really enjoyed fly fishing when I did some 20 years ago. I've learned a lot from this thread.
Best gurnard fisherman in my street
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 Jul 2020 at 8:08am
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I have 2 rods:-Both CD GHR, 4 & 7 wt. When I bought them (some years back), I was amazed at how much better they were than my CD Graphite 11 (as in OP). Not sure how old they. The 4 wt gets 95% use as I tend too fish smaller streams.
When will 4 wt become the line weight of choice for Taupo?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Rainbow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jul 2020 at 10:26pm
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Just returned from a week's fishing on the Tongariro and Waimarino rip.     Fish in the best condition since 1998.    Genuine 5lbs fat bullets with the odd one over that also.
 
My advice for Taupo is  a #7 weight rod with a fastish action for both wet lining, river mouth fishing and nymphing.    Years ago I made the decision to support the NZ industry and only fish with  NZ rods (mainly Composite Development) and never felt handicapped doing so.  The CD XLS 11 is a great rod ($500) comes with a spare tip and casts as well as any high end overseas rod costing almost three times as much.
Being a writer for the Fishing News I have been offered all sorts of high end rods with the implication/expectation to endorse them down the track.   Some endorsonators shamelessly switch brands like undies and expect people to believe them.
 
I consider myself as a pretty good fly caster and the last thing I would do is to restrict myself to crap rods out of a misplaced sense of patriotism so you can take from that that I genuinely believe that my XLS 11 rods are right up there with the best.
 
Rainbow
 
PS Please do not mention the GHR which are  yesteryears  rods; heavy and sloppy compared with the XLS 11 which are light and crisp.   
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Troutzilla Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jul 2020 at 8:25pm
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Im with Herb,

I reckon a 7 weight is perfect for casting heavy Taupo flies and carrying longer lengths of line. Especially if it's windy.

It's a nice lighter saltwater weight too. 


It aint no use if it aint chartreuse!
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2020 at 6:59am
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Originally posted by Rainbow Rainbow wrote:


 
PS Please do not mention the GHR which are  yesteryears  rods; heavy and sloppy compared with the XLS 11 which are light and crisp.   
Haven't used my 7 wt GHR for 13 years and it was probably from the last century. As a multi-type angler from small-stream flly fishing to deep-sea game fishing, I can't see myself paying $500 for an upgrade to my 7 wt GHR. Now retired and have to be choosy where the money goes.
I did notice a huge improvement when I broke my 4 wt, 7'6" Kilwell and bought a 9' GHR. Would the XLS be a good replacement for that?
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Bigfishbob Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 09 Jul 2020 at 4:09pm
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Lol!, I found a brand new Sage Z-Axis 6wt in a shop a few years ago, for $500. I snapped it up and have never looked back. I run a 7 weight Rio Grande on it on the Tongariro and a 6 wt Rio Grande on smaller water. I don't really fish dry flies or delicate water. But that combo goes really well for me.
www.waikatosportfishing.co.nz
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Joe average Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2020 at 8:34am
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I was recently in the market for new 7wt weight to fish the Rotorua lakes / bigger rivers and found the following video quite helpful in choosing between the latest rods.. I ended up purchasing an Echo Ion XL, really happy with it and the lifetime warranty for $275NZD.. 

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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Crochet Cast Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2020 at 12:11pm
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Originally posted by Joe average Joe average wrote:

I was recently in the market for new 7wt weight to fish the Rotorua lakes / bigger rivers and found the following video quite helpful in choosing between the latest rods.. I ended up purchasing an Echo Ion XL, really happy with it and the lifetime warranty for $275NZD.. 

I have fished with my brothers 8wt in the salt. Fantastic rods for the money
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote CC551 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2020 at 9:29pm
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The deed is done.  I went with a Primal.  I was tossing up between a 6wt and 7wt and in the end the decision was made for me - Sporting Life in Turangi only had a 7wt in stock.

It's been a while since I last used my old rod and I haven't had a chance to have a side-by-side cast with with the two of them yet but I've just managed a couple of days fishing without whacking myself in the back of the head with a Tongariro bomb and given that I'm somewhat out of practice it seemed to handle heavy nymphs easier that the old rod did.  I recall that to get good distance with the old rod I had to really lay into it - this rod seemed to be doing the work for me.

And it has been christened - a smallish fish this morning from the Jones Pool and this afternoon a bigger one from the Blue Pool before heading home to Welly.  The very next cast after landing my fish this afternoon I dropped what looked to be a very good fish - it spent enough time in the air for me to get a good look at it before it spat the hook.






 
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Post Options Post Options   Likes (0) Likes(0)   Quote Fishb8 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 10 Jul 2020 at 9:41pm
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Well done, your rod seems to be working👍
Be yourself; everyone else is already taken
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