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Old 04-28-2008, 11:44 PM
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Default Review: Avid 8' 5wt

So far I've only cast the thing in my front yard, not even on water yet. So far it seems to lean towards the medium end of the 'medium-fast' rating StC describes. I would say its probbaly even a slower action than the TFO Finesse I was also considering. Don't get me wrong, its not bending anywhere near the cork while casting, but its no-where near the XP ballpark either.

The appearance of the rod seems to be an exact combination of Army canteen green and an opalescent sparkly finish. This sounds like a wierd combo until you see it, and then its impossible not to appreciate. The guides on the rod are a few notches above adequate, and the use of single foots instead of snakes adds to the overall utilitarian vibe.

The only real challenge of the rod is how light it is. This is definitely more of a good thing than bad, but the average decent quality reel that holds a 5wt line and what I would call an adequate amount of backing will be a bit heavy. A Waterworks ULA Click would be ideal, but I've not yet found the spare $400 for that one.

I expect it will work very well for putting bass and panfish flies into tight spots, and I'll post a more thorough report once I've put it through its paces.
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Old 04-29-2008, 12:17 AM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

I'll be anxious to hear what you think of it once you've had a chance to try it on the water. I'm not familiar with St. Croix rods, but this looks interesting. I can imagine how an 8 foot 5wt might be just the ticket for those streams with a lot of still pools, when mending is less of an issue and there are lots of opportunities for making tight, pinpoint accurate roll casts. And I'm really a fan of medium action rods, if this rod is similar in action to the TFO Finesse.
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:55 PM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

Cliff - I use a Ross Cimarron 2 with my Avid 8' and it balances perfectly - right under the thumb. if I recall form previous posts you are a Ross lover. give that a try
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:58 PM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

Hi Cliff,

Thanks for the report. St Croix advertises that the Avid have "Slim-profile ferrules". Do you notice them being much different than other ferrules of the same design?

That action sounds awful slow to me. I got out my 8'6" Heddon Bamboo yesterday and I could not believe the softness of the action. I don't know how I ever cast with it. It feels like a noodle now. When I bought it in 1953/54 I thought it was a great rod. It is interesting how our requirements change with time.

Frank
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:10 PM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

Fished with it a bit this evening, and I'm very pleased with it. With a nice easy casting stroke it throws pretty loops easier than any rod I own. It also roll cast quite nicely. The river I was fishing is super tight, so there was lots of that.

I didn't hook anything that put any kind of real bend into it, but it feels plenty solid down in the butt section.

I moved my 150 line over to a big cheap reel to free up a spool for my Ross Colorado 2. That reel turned out to balance the rod perfectly.

Frank, I wouldn't call this Avid slow at all. The TFO Finesse I cast was their short 5, so maybe the longer/lighter versions fit the billing of being a slowish rod better. Its that good fishable action that works for 10' casts but still has oomph to go 50' easily. I'll have to get back to y'all on how does at 70'.
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Old 04-30-2008, 08:33 AM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

Cliff - The Avid was made for just what you are using it for. I too, wouldn't call the action slow...and I agree it is more medium than medium fast... I fish allot of Boo and I love a rod that flexes more. The guide on the Avid are the same style as on my St Croix Legen Ultra -took a bit to get used to the look...now I don't even notice. Glad you like your Ross with the avid - I thought a Ross reel would balance nicely... the Cimarron is perfect with my rod....maybe the most effortless casting rig I have.
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Old 05-02-2008, 10:48 AM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

Frank, I wouldn't call this Avid slow at all. The TFO Finesse I cast was their short 5, so maybe the longer/lighter versions fit the billing of being a slowish rod better.

Hi Cliff,

You make a very good point. I get use to talking about 9' 5wt rods and when you go short the action usually changes. I assume short rods generally have stiffer actions to make up for the loss of length. Lefty Kreh states that rods shorter that 7' is harder on trout than longer rods.

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Old 05-02-2008, 11:59 AM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

Length definitely affects general feel as well as "fastness". It definitely feels way different than my 490 LL, but I wouldn't be suprised if the shape of the max bend they flex to during a 50' cast is very similar. But how it feels in the casting hand is a whole 'nother animal.
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Old 05-02-2008, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: First Take: Avid 8' 5wt

I owned a 9' 5wt Avid (IPC model), and loved/hated it. I loved it when I hadn't used my faster rods for a while, and hated it when I forgot to slow
my casting stroke. That's my fault, and not the rod's. The build quality was
excellent on my Avid, and I even liked the divided case.

EDIT: I bought the Avid for my wife, but she always preferred/did better with my faster rods. It seemed like whenever I brought a fast rod and
the Avid, I'd always end up with the Avid. I should have kept it......
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