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Old 01-06-2011, 08:59 PM
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Default LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

There doesn't seem to be a great deal of objective information about these rods, at least not that I could find. Mostly marketing spin and obscure references. With that in mind, I've set out to give one of these sticks an unbiased review and general thrashing. It's a work in progress...


I've heard references to the Lacrosse rods but found very little usable information about them. Given the opportunity to test one, I opted for their 7'0" 2-weight model.

While there are numerous applications for the fast action rods that currently dominate the market, for a delicate presentation on small streams I find the full to mid-flex actions superior in all respects. This is, of course, a personal opinion. When I read the LaCrosse rods featured an IM-7 full-flex blank, I felt it would be in my best interest to at least try them. With a price substantially less than $100, I didn't expect a great deal going in. Following are the initial photos of this little rod along with my thoughts and perceptions.

The rod comes in a nicely finished rod tube, black in color, and silk screened with the LaCrosse logo. A protective sleeve is also included. The cork grip is shrink-wrapped and pasted with the inevitable "Made In China" sticker and bar code.
Click the image to open in full size.

The blank appears little different to my eye than any other. It's wispy, but not to the point of concern for its well-being in a fight. This rod has the "al dente" feel I've come to appreciate in a dry fly rod for small streams.

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The grinding of the cork is acceptably smooth for this price point and properly filled, although the quality of the cork is hardly top-shelf. The reel seat is nicely done. Well-fitted to the blank with the aluminum parts appearing well-machined and nicely deburred. I'm a trained machinist with over twenty years experience and have no complaints regarding the metal finishing on this particular rod.

Click the image to open in full size.

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So far, I find it to be an impressive rod for this price point. In the next installment, we'll set it up with reel and line and see how it feels during the cast.
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Old 01-06-2011, 10:34 PM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

I am eager in reading the rest of the review.

MP
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Old 01-07-2011, 12:11 AM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

me too !!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:00 PM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

me three!!!
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Old 01-07-2011, 05:25 PM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

Hi John,

I have had a 4 Pc. 9 wt for almost three years and although it is a totally different animal than the #2 here I am quite satisfied with the #9. I elected to give one a try after having surprising results with a Quarrow (another unknown) 9' 7 weight. I compared the action and casting / fish handling ability of the rod to my 9' 9 wt. Orvis Silver Label and have a toss up with maybe a slight tilt toward the Orvis rod. Whit the huge disparity in price between the two the Lacrosse #9 makes good sense.

Ard
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:40 PM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

I've decided to move forward with this review using an old Martin "61" fly reel that's 3" in diameter. This painfully simple reel consists of an aluminum spool and stamped steel body and foot with a clicker-style drag. Incredibly cheap, I've bought this style reel at garage sales and flea markets for as little as $3:

Click the image to open in full size.

The line is an Orvis WF2F Silver Label line they recently had on sale for approximately one-third it's standard retail price. I do hope you managed to stock up before they noticed the error.

Click the image to open in full size.

The 61 had a good supply of 20# Dacron backing, so a nail knot was all that was required before loading the fresh WF2F line. After winding, I assembled the rod and began looking for the outfit's balance point. Although not a very professional looking test fixture, here's what I found:

Click the image to open in full size.

Isn't that just about perfect? Next, I'll be furling some leaders from 2# test monofilament and deciding where I'll do the actual casting here in the dead of winter. With any luck, it may require a road trip.

---------- Post added at 08:40 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:33 PM ----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Post
Hi John,

I have had a 4 Pc. 9 wt for almost three years and although it is a totally different animal than the #2 here I am quite satisfied with the #9. I elected to give one a try after having surprising results with a Quarrow (another unknown) 9' 7 weight. I compared the action and casting / fish handling ability of the rod to my 9' 9 wt. Orvis Silver Label and have a toss up with maybe a slight tilt toward the Orvis rod. Whit the huge disparity in price between the two the Lacrosse #9 makes good sense.

Ard
Excellent points, Ard. I'm somewhat excited to find a rod in the sub-$100 range that may bridge the gap between the big box store pre-packaged outfits and more serious rods in the $100-250 range. Your experience with the 9-weight buoys my confidence considerably. So far, I'm really liking the feel of this stick! Is it on par with a Sage/Winston/Hardy? Of course not. Will it allow me to take wary fish in tight quarters? That's what I hope to find out.
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

Like Ard, I have a 9ft 5wt Quarrow that is my streamer rod....but I also bought a 6'6" 3wt LaCrosse Axis II for small stream native brookies. I was pleasantly surprised with it on a backcountry fishing trip I took last summer. With my limited ability of casting, I could send a 10M DT line out to the backing. It roll cast very well. The only real problem I faced was finding a reel that, when loaded with backing and line (hence the 10M DT line), balanced well on such a light rod....

Look forward to reading the rest.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:05 AM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

I've already noticed these rods on ebay...they look nice.
Look forward to reading the rest.
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Old 02-05-2011, 08:21 AM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

I to will be waiting to hear also....
Darrin
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Old 02-05-2011, 11:33 AM
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Default Re: LaCrosse Custom Rods 7' 2-wt review

I explored a new stream today and almost took the LaCrosse. At the last minute, I backed out and took my old 9' 5-wt all-arounder, as the wind was forecast to be in the 10-15 mph range. The stream ended up being quite a bit larger than it looked on Google Earth and running high to boot, so I don't believe it would've been a good test of the little rod.

I recently did some lawn casting with the LaCrosse and the it feels quite promising. I'll get the next installment uploaded as soon as schedule, weather, and water conditions coincide.
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