Fly Rod Testing
Well, I tested all my fly rods this week using overall stiffness as a measure to determine the correct line weight.
Five of the 10 rods matched the line weights recommended by the manufacturer and after casting them a fair amount of years, I would agree.
There were, however 5 exceptions. One was a rod built on a Gatti G4 blank that was supposed to be a 5wt, but has always seemed kind of wimpy to me, especially when I overline it with a 6wt. Even so, this rod is a fine dry fly rod. Well, it turns out it is a 4wt! Well, it should really fish well with the proper 4wt line!!
Another was a Sage VPS which was supposed to be an 8wt. It came out to be toward the stiff end of the 7wt range. I haven't really fished this rod enough to know how I feel about that.
Still a third rod, a Thomas and Thomas, was supposed to be a 10wt but tested out exactly on the line between a 10 and an 11wt. This one has always cast heavy sink tips better than my other 10wt, so I would go along with these results also.
A St. Croix Avid marked as a 5 wt came in a little stiff, putting it into the 6wt category. This was interesting because I have another Avid 5wt that is just a little less stiff indicating that it is marked correctly.
The last outlier was a St. Croix Avid 8'6" 4wt that I love for small stream fishing where 10 to 20 foot casts are the norm. For that reason I overline it by two and use a 6wt line. Turns out I was only overlining it by one, since it tests out as a 5wt! Makes sense.
What did I learn? Well, based on overall stiffness at least, you can't always completely trust the line weight recommended by the manufacturer. The rod may perform better with one line weight higher or lower. It also appears that two rods of the same model may take different line weights in order to perform most efficiently.
Try testing yours and see how they match up! I would be interested in learning your results.
Last edited by FlyFlinger2421; 07-31-2012 at 12:49 PM.
Reason: correcting errors in spelling and grammar