Fly Logic's Optimum Plus & Rio's WindCutter
[img2="left"]http://www.activeangler.com/images/articles/doug_macnaiir/product_reviews/marriage/image002.jpg[/img2] Fly Fishing with Doug Macnair:
“Fly Logic’s 6-weight & Rio’s WindCutter”©
By Doug Macnair
A few years ago I reported on the development of Fly Logic’s Logical Line of Fly Rods and featured the high-end Optimum Plus, FLO+ 3-piece, 9-foot, 8-weight. It was then, and remains today, an outstanding fly rod capable of most anything a fly fisher could ask for in for a tough rod designed for long distance work.
Shortly thereafter, I purchased a 9-foot Optimum, FLO 5/6, for use with my students. The reason is simple: I classify the rod as “big water 5” and, as such, like my students to get a hands-on feel for the difference in rods. For the money, it is one impressive rod. After playing with the Optimum for several weeks, I recommended to the company that they make the 6-weight Optimum Plus available with a fighting butt, a rod that I guessed from my experience with the Optimum would be ideal for most women entering the domain of the saltwater flats. I even sent some samples of fighting butts out for them to compare.
It’s worth repeating that only the Optimum Plus is single line rated, the remainder of Fly Logic’s inventory is dual line rated. According to Fly Logic, the Optimum Plus is fabricated from fxIV, a fourth generation graphite. This top of the line series is available in line weights 3 through 10 and in lengths ranging from 8-feet, for the 3-weight, to 9-feet, 3-inches, for the 10-weight. All are 3-piece rods.
The Optimum series, on the other hand, is a hybrid of graphite IV and graphite III and is available in both 2 and 3-piece rods. The 2-piece models include lengths from 8-feet, 6-inches to 9-feet in weights ranging from 3/4 to 6/7. The three piece models range from 8-feet, 9-inches to 9-feet in weights 5/6 to 9/10.
As things perk in the old pot, I didn’t have much contact with Fly Logic until one of my clients reported his love and affection for his new rod, an Optimum Plus 6-weight with fighting butt. (Seems that Fly Logic concluded that my recommendation might have promise.) After casting his rod, I called Fly Logic and ordered out an Optimum Plus 6-X (X standing for the variant with fighting butt.)
Every great once-in-a-while I do something intelligent. This happens to be one of them. Once assembled, I knew that I had a fast 6-weight with outstanding lifting power but possessing a reasonable weight, 3 and 13/16 ounces. I’ve handled several rods that are a tad lighter but none has come close to the lifting power of this rod except for “Son of Horse.” In the salt, lifting power can become very important.
After fiddling with some WF-6-F line with more than satisfactory results, I wanted to see just exactly what this rod could do in the face of adversity – and in the salt, adversity is most likely to be Mister Wind, not Jaws the Great White. As good luck would have it, I happened to have a Rio 6-weight WindCutter on hand. The WindCutter is an interesting line because its setup tends to follow what I teach and believe: When the wind is up, go to a line weight lighter than the rod’s rating. The WindCutter has a complex taper specialized for two different aspects of fly casting: (1) light presentation and (2) extreme distance casting. Hard to believe a line can do both and still be in compliance with the AFTMA standards. Believe it! Simply said, Rio mounts a 5-weight tip and a 7-weight belly on my WindCutter 6. Study the WF-5-F example and it will make sense. Does the line allow a gentle tip cast? You bet! Does it facilitate distance casting? More than you will ever believe unless you actually try it. As the graphic suggests, the WindCutter features a 44-foot head and an overall length of 100 feet.
I must tell you that the day of the trials the winds were gusty, typical of this time of year. How strong? Probably between 10 and 20+ mph. Using wind casting techniques, casts of 70(+)-feet proved relatively easy. But most surprisingly, a strong backhanded cast cleared the entire line from the rod, with the wind I might add. With leader, that’s a meager 110 feet according to my rangefinder. The backhanded cast is a wicked technique for optimum distance. (Every once and awhile, I actually begin to believe that I know what I’m doing.) In short, the marriage of Rio’s WindCutter to Fly Logic’s FLO+ 6-X is a marriage made by Zeus; the Ancient Fish Gods must quake in the face of yet another deadly weapon in the hands of the fishers with flies. As I tried to explain to these now forgotten Fish Gods, “The good guys will win in the end.” But that was long ago when the earth was young and Stonehenge flowered during mid-summer solstice …
The Fly Logic 6-X, like its big brother, is a first class rod on par with, or better than, its closest competitors. Attention to detail is reflected in almost anything one could wish for: triangle markings to assure correct alignment during assembly, oversized guides from the stripper to the tiptop to zip the line along during the cast, the highest quality cork, a LogicGripTM full wells grip, a beautiful ebony finish with translucent green wraps, Mossy Green uplocking reel seat and only the best of quality guides. The nicest touch is the engraved signature medallion that adorns the butt. That's class! And now you know the secret, it casts as good as it looked.
Conclusion. If you are hankering for a new rod this year for yourself or your wife, by all means test cast one of Fly Logic's entries. (They offer a try before you buy program.) If you find the 3-piece Optimum Plus of interest, be sure to compare it to the high end rods of Orvis, Sage, G. Loomis, Thomas & Thomas, Winston, etc. I think you will agree that none of them have more grace and/or aesthetic beauty. Then go cast it against the best of them. I'll wager a buck that you will be surprised. And don’t overlook the rods in the Optimum series. For the money charged, you will get more than your money’s worth.
Rio may not have quiet the name recognition as does Scientific Anglers or Cortland, but in the case of the Wind Cutter, they have created an outstanding fly line that you are certain to like, especially when faced with adversity.
For more information on the Optimum Plus or Optimum fly rods, contact: Fly Logic, Inc., P.O. Box 290, Melba, Idaho 83641-0270. Telephone: 1-888-FLYLOGIC (359-5644); FAX: 208-495-2064.
And for information on Rio fly lines, contact Rio Products, 5050 S. Yellowstone Hwy., Idaho Falls, ID 83402. Telephone: 1-208-524-7760.
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© Copyright: Douglas G. Macnair, 2005.
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