Re: Clutch - New Fly Rod Company
Since I started this thread after meeting the gentlemen from Clutch at Somerset, I feel it necessary to comment on the position they find themselves in after submitting their 5-weight rod to George Anderson for inclusion in the "2013 5-Weight Shootout". I have long supported these shootouts as a resource for comparative data on like sized fly rods. Yes. I understand that if a rod is going to come in first, another has to be last. I am not uncomfortable, as many of you know, saying something critical about a piece of fishing tackle, however, to express criticism in a harsh, cruel and potentially business damaging way is not constructive and informative.
Most of us understand, and Anderson states this in his introduction, that simply to be included in his Shootout means the rod is in an upper echelon apart from the many inferior rods that did not even make the baseline cut. To refer to a fly rod as a "rug beater", or it should be sold at Wall Mart, or instead of Mystic it should be called Mistake...perhaps these rods should not have been written about at all.
Interestingly, I did get a 9'/#6 4 pc. Clutch and, while not the lightest rod on the market, it does not strike me as objectionably heavy. When I tested lines on it I did speculate that it might like a 1/2 size heavy RIO Grande or GPX but no, it cast better with straight #6 RIO Gold. Not only I but several highly accomplished casters lawn cast this rod with me and no one said, "This rod needs to be over lined", yet Anderson felt the 5-weight sibling needed a #7 line! My impression is this rod generates nice smooth loops and has gobs of accessible power in addition to being handsomely and tastefully built. OK, I have not compared it side-by-side with 20+ other 6-weight rods and maybe Sage or Loomis or Hardy has a rod I might feel has additional virtues, but I would not hesitate to recommend test casting the Clutch when cross-shopping for a rod in this category.
We say in our Forum occasionally that there is no point in getting personally abusive and I am embarrassed that, as a supporter and thread poster of the Shootouts and of new, small tackle companies, that language has been employed that could negatively impact the perception of a start-up rod company that should be getting support and encouragement not, "You are looking at the Looser."
[I met these guys at Somerset and liked them and their rod; I have no professional connection with them or their product.]