03-02-2006, 08:22 PM
Re: Whats the difference?
First of all... it depends on which Clearwater you were casting. Orvis upgraded their Clearwater rods a couple of years ago. The newer Clearwater rods are excellent sticks. The older version is still good, but the newer version is much better.
I teach fly fishing classes at our local community college (www.tjc.edu.com/fishing). We use two sets of 6wt rods for instruction. The newer Orvis Clearwater and the older version of the St Croix Premier. Both are medium action rods. Medium action (Mid Flex) rods are the very best rod for a beginner to learn with. The medium action is much more forgiving of a less than perfect casting style. 90% of all newbies initially struggle with fast action rods. They may eventually figure it out, but their learning curve will be much longer. Some become frustrated and lose interest before they even get to that point.
Anyway... the Orvis Clearwater rods that we use in class are in my opinion, the better casting rods. I hate to admit it because I don't sell Orvis... I do sell St Croix. But, when comparing those two rods, the Clearwater is a better performer.
So... to answer your question. I wouldn't be surprised if you liked the feel and cast of Clearwater better than the T3... or at least you were wondering why the more expensive T3 did not feel a lot better that the lesser expensive Clearwater. If that's the case... its because your present casting style is better suited for the Clearwater... a more medium action. That might change in a year or so... but it might not.
Curtis is correct… the difference between the T3 and the Clearwater is like night and day. But some folks may still enjoy the Clearwater a little more.
Personally, I prefer medium action rods in my 6wts and under. I enjoy the feel of a medium action much more than a fast rod. This allows you more accurate casts. It requires less effort (if your doing it right). Towards the end of the day, when my arm is tired, my casts do not suffer as much because the rod is more forgiving of my tired and sloppy casting stroke.
Curtis is right again... It is not meant as a rod for someone who knows how to haul line. But I must say that you can still make tactical and delicate presentations with a medium action rod.
Now... I prefer a fast rod in my 7wts and above. When I'm fishing my 8wt, I need more power to handle larger flies and/or to fight the wind. I also need to make longer casts during that time.
Truthfully... without observing your casting style, it’s hard to make a sound recommendation as to what you should do regarding your rod selection. The thing is... you're not going to be stuck with one rod for the rest of your life. I would probably lean toward advising you to get a medium action rod for now. As you progress you may want to kick it up a notch and get a faster rod... but maybe not.
I realize that conflicting opinions can be hard to absorb sometimes. We may not all agree... but we all have an opinion... and that doesn't mean that anyone is wrong. You just need to take all this information in and try to make the best decision for you. None of us can really tell you what to do. That's also part of the fun of fly fishing. Trying different rods and new gear. If it works out... great. If it doesn't... sell the stuff and get more.
Oh yea, one more thing, if you get rid of the T3… I still want to know how you break the news to your girlfriend.