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Old 12-23-2012, 01:48 PM
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Default Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

The fine point was made in the thread comparing Orvis and Sage that, though plenty of overlap exists, these two opposite coast rivals have fundamentally different design philosophies. Are there Eastern vs. Western rods or is it more an issue of size and character of streams being fished regardless of time zone? All the major rod building companies whether located in Turners Falls, MA or Twin Bridges, MT seem to develop designs for trout through tarpon so which is most dialed in for what and why?
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Old 12-23-2012, 01:59 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

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Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
Are there Eastern vs. Western rods or is it more an issue of size and character of streams being fished regardless of time zone?
Size, character, preferred flies, and marketing. I think both are as dialed in as they can be, both have a pro staff, both do research and development so I don't think one can be any better than the other, it boils down to product loyalty among consumers.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:33 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

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Originally Posted by wt bash View Post
Size, character, preferred flies, and marketing. I think both are as dialed in as they can be, both have a pro staff, both do research and development so I don't think one can be any better than the other, it boils down to product loyalty among consumers.
And if this business is like most, they all buy each other's rods and dissect them. There aren't many secrets out there.
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Old 12-23-2012, 02:53 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
The fine point was made in the thread comparing Orvis and Sage that, though plenty of overlap exists, these two opposite coast rivals have fundamentally different design philosophies. Are there Eastern vs. Western rods or is it more an issue of size and character of streams being fished regardless of time zone? All the major rod building companies whether located in Turners Falls, MA or Twin Bridges, MT seem to develop designs for trout through tarpon so which is most dialed in for what and why?
I think it is a function of the two companies' regional origins. You put your finger on it in the other thread when you noted that a company's rods tend to reflect the design culture in the company. The Northeast has mostly small freestoners and spring creeks, with only a few big rivers. The West has much more big, open water like the Madison and Yellowstone. It's easy to imagine how a product-development culture within each company oriented to local conditions would have taken hold at a time when travel to exotic destinations was not quite as easy or cheap as it is today, especially if the chief designer(s) who set the standards for the company at the time (or still do) had distinct personal preferences. Jerry Siem and Steve Rajeff are fast-action, distance-casting guys. When they want to design a delicate small-stream rod, they have to send a fast-action model out to someone like George Anderson to tweak it for them. In comparison, it might be difficult for a shop still haunted by the ghost of Wes Jordan to purge itself of an unconscious preference for finesse over brute strength.
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Old 12-23-2012, 03:16 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

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In comparison, it might be difficult for a shop still haunted by the ghost of Wes Jordan to purge itself of an unconscious preference for finesse over brute strength.
Indeed. And too, the streams out east here haven't gotten any wider than they were then. It's like comparing lumberjacks to assassins. Our trout are more pressured I believe and more wiley. And that's when you can really appreciate the subtle character of an Orvis rod.

Do I sound like I still want that Superfine Touch ? !!!
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Old 12-23-2012, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

Up to a point I think the region in which a rod is designed and built has a bit to do with what types of rods come out of their area although companies like Scott and Winston aren't really thought of as making your traditional western big river/high wind rods.
The manufacturers I like seem to able able to scale their action on any one rod series to match the weight rating of the rod with the it's intended use. Other companies use a different model name to differeniate between intended uses.
Most rod makers have a host of actions available to cover most any situation. That's not to say that Winston still doesn't carry the stigma of being a soft, dry fly rod and Sage rods being tomato stakes.
Once the reputation is made it's a challenges to get get some people to give a company a fresh look it seems.
My feeling is that the era of rod action dependant on the place they are made and designed if old thinking. Most manufacturers have a depth of product to cover any need.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:19 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

My question is a little rhetorical and intended as an expansion of the Orvis vs. Sage to open opinions up to include all rod makers. I happen to divide my trout fishing between the Upper Delaware watershed in the East and the Upper Snake and Missouri drainages of the West. I fish the same quiver of rods regardless of longitude as the Big Delaware, whether via wading or drift boat, presents the same presentation challenges as the Missouri around Craig or the North Fork and Snake in Idaho. Similarly, the Willowemoc near Livingston Manor and the Ruby above Twin Bridges call for similar tackle and techniques. The West, known for the 50 mile riffle that is the Madison, and the East, known for Theodore Gordon's upper Neversink, are both replete with trout streams of all sizes and current types. Sure, the densely foliated, low-elevation mountains of the Atlantic drainages feature more canopied little freestoners than the more precipitous Continental Divide ranges of the West and though the ratios may vary the breadth of trout stream types abound. Though my personal preference is to fish surface floating flies on medium to large rivers, I still find myself a few times a season on the upper Farmington or Black Tail Deer Creek; similar size riffle, run pool streams with vegetated banks. So, though the brand and model has changed for me over the decades, the rod type for the targeted environment class has remained consistent. To take the big water 5-weight as an example; in 1980 it was a Scott, 85' an Orvis Western, 88' a Sage RPL, 91' a Loomis GLX, 2000 a Redington Nti "Nano", 2007 Z-Axis, now Hardy Zenith and Sage ONE are receiving alternating use and tomorrow...who knows? I could pick up that 9'/#5 GLX or any of the others and fish it as effectively and enjoyably today as the Zenith because all these rods serve the same function; each in its day and among its peers was the most accurate, best tracking, highest line speed generating and most communicative #5 for presenting a dry fly at all distances. So the rod that I cast 30' to a persnickety bank feeder on the Rail Road Ranch must, around the next bend, cast equally accurately to a big head rising in a slot among mid river weed beds that I can't wade out to. I am going to fish among some island studded channels on the Missouri for the evening or up a wadable section of the West Branch of the Delaware; I will rig up the compliant-tipped Zenith. The next morning I am going to float the Main Stem of the Delaware or toward Cascade on the Missouri, I'll string up the ONE, a rod happier throwing a longer line. Oops, it is pretty windy this morning and brown drake spinners are anticipated latter, I changed my mind, I am taking Tim Rajeff's ECHO3 #6, perfectly capable of a short cast with a little PMD emerger or booming out a lot of line with the extended body drake pattern. Before driving to the Henry's Fork and Missouri, I fished Idaho's intense Silver Creek on the Nature Conservancy property. Wading the upper reaches among islands and contorted bends an 8'6"/#4 provided maximum feel and presentation sensitivity. Here too, rods made all over the country as in the 5-weight above have succeeded one another and the current reigning champ is, again, the Zenith. Mated with SA's delightfully delicate and precise Mastery Textured Trout Stalker (reviewed under "Gear Reviews" in this forum) this rod fishes with the masterful combination of finesse and precisely applicable power to present flies to heavily pressured Silver Creek PHD trout as effectively as the same rod performs on the Willowemoc or Upper Beaverkill in the Catskills. For the evening we are going to float tube the lower Conservancy water and the cruisers in Kilpatrick Pond need somewhat more reach from my lower-to-the-water profile so I switch to a "big water" 4-weight best exemplified today by Steve Rajeff's Loomis NRX with an SA Expert Distance Taper #4. This rod will perform or out-perform many a 5-weight but with its surprisingly compliant tip delivers a little rusty spinner with all the lightness of touch associated with a 4-weight line. Loomis calls the rod a Big River #4 on their web site and mine has seen duty on low wind days on the West Branch of the Delaware as well as on sections of the the mother of all big trout rivers the might Missouri. When fishing one of those really petite creeks with a canopy I have a lovely little 8'/#4 with a classic CFO that is just right for the task too.

So, East or West I fish a 4-weight conceptualized in Pennsylvania and designed in England, another from Vermont and a third from Washington State; one English 5-weight and another from Bainbridge Island, again in Washington and a #6 also from Washington. Why some many rod companies in Washington State? Is it proximity to steelhead or proximity to technological giant Boeing from whence so much advanced carbon matrix innovation emanates? The correct answer is, Boeing, the source of Sage's current Konnetic fiber compression technology that invigorates and facilitates ONE's design making it a brilliant performer equally in the East on the Delaware or the West on the Missouri.
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Old 12-26-2012, 01:41 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

There can be no argument that the ONE is a great caster...what about the 'fish on feel ?' I have no experience with Sage rods at all..so this is one question that I ponder. CAN a fast action rod transmit the feel to the hand equal,,or nearly so, as a full action,,say Superfine Touch ? If there is one that can, that might be the best all around rod out there.

Here is one rod I'v been pondering on some,,,but I'm just not sure about the 'feel of play' being transmitted to the effect of a Superfine.

http://fly.greysfishing.com/en-us/pr...f2-streamflex/

Mike
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:00 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

I am of the view, hardly shared by all, that full flexing rods provide feel of the mass of the ROD but absorb subtleties of the fighting fish's movements. A small diameter, thin walled, crisper actioned rod like ONE, whose technology reduces mass in the rod shaft, bends less deeply and communicates with greater clarity not only the actions of a fish but of the fly line during casting and mending as well. I further disagree that deep flexing, soft tipped rods offer requisite tippet protection; I consider this a function of angler technique. Even "fast action" rods like NRX and Zenith have surprisingly supple tips that are responsive without being soft.
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Old 12-26-2012, 02:13 PM
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Default Re: Eastern Rods - Western Rods?

"Why some many rod companies in Washington State? Is it proximity to steelhead or proximity to technological giant Boeing from whence so much advanced carbon matrix innovation emanates? The correct answer is, Boeing, the source of Sage's current Konnetic fiber compression technology that invigorates and facilitates ONE's design making it a brilliant performer equally in the East on the Delaware or the West on the Missouri."

Historically, the answer is a solid 'yes' to the above. There are at least four major rod companies in Woodland, WA that I can think of off the top of my head. Less than 30 air miles to the SE you've got Burkie.

Here in the Medford, OR area we have at least two rod manufacturer's plus two of the best custom rod designer/builder's going. Don't even ask about how many drift boat/allie motor craft manufacturers. I've lost count.

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