Re: Define a "Technical Rod"
Now that I have defined the way I define technical presentation, I see the emphasis on the type of rod used in such situations in this thread. Tippet protection is important just in case you actually hook one of these challenging fish; I use 6' of Orvis tapered braided leader carefully matched and spliced to the tip of my extended head, long rear taper fly line. After building down with a few sections of nylon (never fluorocarbon for this application) I terminate with a minimum of 5' of appropriate to fly size diameter tippet (5 or 6X most often). Plenty of shock absorption built in here but one must be cognizant and attuned to the recovery rate of your rod's tip to bring the hook home and respond the the leaps, surges, head shakes and great runs of your quarry. A rod that generates very high line speed and is prone to form extremely smooth and tight loops offers enormous advantages in keeping the line in the air to perform the selection of line manipulations prior to laying the fly and, subsequently, the leader and line upon the water. I want the sharpest pencil in my box to draw these curves and wiggles as precisely as I can. Any superfluous oscillation in the rod's tip is a precision thief. The deeper the rod flexes during casting into its mid section, the slower the tip recovers during this important procedure. Light weight, crisp, communicativly responsive, ample lower taper reserve power and a rapidly recovering tip with the minimum of oscillation and the maximum of true tracking are fundamental characteristics of a technical presentation specialty rod. Guides that are not too small which can inhibit slack line feeding, line weight ratings that offer enough mass to facilitate the elaborate aerial and on water mending (#'s 4 and 5, sometimes 6-weight, never slender, ultra-light weight lines) and enough length to optimize taper transitions and fight gravity, 8 1/2' - 9', are additional advantageous traits.
Plenty of "general purpose" 5-weights are good technical presentation rods; original and HLS Streamdance GLX from G.Loomis, Sage's popular XP and terrific Z-Axis and justifiably award winning, Hardy Zenith come immediately to mind. In my current quiver, G.Loomis NRX 9'/#4 and the remarkable Sage ONE 9'/#5 are standout technical fly rods with the ONE being one of the finest special purpose dry fly presentation rods ever. Keep in mind though that these rods and style of dry fly fishing are specialized to a minority of rivers at particular times of the season and are not tailored to or scalable to most freestone rivers and smaller creeks where different, more conventional tactics, techniques and sweeter, less demanding tackle may be more appropriate.
---------- Post added at 12:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:19 PM ----------
An additional thought: Any tackle embraced by a skilled and experienced angler can perform an elaborate presentation because, he, the fly fisher, is capable of it. And too, even when one expects to toss elk hair caddis to rainbows busting in a nice run, a big old brown might be discovered hidden in a slick, bank side, micro-habitat that demands all the technical talent one has accrued.
Happy Dawn of a new Fishing Season, Everybody!