Re: Distance limitations of a slower rod?
Like many things I comment on here I offer an opinion based on my own experience. Just like rods vary so do the results and opinions reached by their users. I can't tell you about all the new rods on the market today because I already have 18 different ones as I write this. Although none are 2011 models they do cover a pretty wide range of actions or at least by todays standards they do. I think that todays fly fisherman is presented with way too many choices in rod actions that border on 'hair splitting'. Terms like slow, medium slow, moderate, medium fast, fast, and extra fast only serve to further confuse a buyer. The power of suggestion is a omni potent factor when it comes to a person actually being able to define rods into the three categories that still do exist. The three (in my opinion) are, slow, medium, and fast action rods. Beyond these three types I think it almost takes laboratory conditions in order to discern differences between some actions unless we allow that power of suggestion to overrule what our hands , arms, and eyes are telling us.
You write that you are a proficient caster and that should be a big help in making any rod selection. I would simply ignore the suggested action rating of a rod I may be willing to buy and take it out and cast it. When doing the testing I never began by trying to blast out the entire line. I like to start by working short casts of 30 - 40 feet which is the primary range that I cast and where most of my targets lie. If the rod works well within my established fishing range I start stretching the casts out a bit to see if the rod will meet those special needs that occasionally present themselves. What I mean by 'special needs' are those times where I actually must cast 60 or more feet due to some conditions that stop me from wading closer to my target.
I mentioned having a bunch of rods and over the years have found that every one of them will answer the full range of casting that I may run into on the rivers, creeks, and streams that each one is appropriate for. Some of the rods are bamboo, some are graphite, and there are a couple of old glass rods in the group too. The ability to cast a rod truly lies within the caster and all of this worry over rod selection in todays market seems like it is causing undue stress. I base that comment on the number of posts I see where folks are asking the same questions regarding rod action. Any advice I may give about choosing a rod may fail because I may be able to fly cast with a 25 year old 7' spinning rod with a broken ferrule that needs to be duct taped together. I use that example because it has had to be done at one point in order to be able to fish.
I think you should choose the rod you want and if it seems to cast well in your hands it will make a fine rod for any river, creek, or stream.