I have been chomping at the bit to get this review out there for everyone else to see.
This past September I had a few dollars burning a hole in my pocket and I determined that I needed a new rod.
I had been wanting to see what all the fuss was about Justin's reels and I was burning my computer up searching for an appropriate 3wt rod to pair with it. I began talking to Justin about purchasing a 3wt from him.
Oh, how my direction would change. With an upcoming beach trip to the OBX at the end of September and a salmon trip in October the pressure to come up with a suitable fly rod was just too much. I was sure though that anything large enough to handle both venues would be out of my price range. However, after talking to Justin a LOT, losing some hair, and Im sure causing Justin to lose some of his own, I finally bit the bullet. I bought an entire 9wt setup. 9wt Xa rod, 9/10wt Alpha reel w/extra spool, and a both a 9wt floating and sink tip line.
Ill divide the review into two areas: Rod and Line/Reel.
Let me begin by saying that I am, in no sense of the term, an accomplished caster. I can hold my own, but being self-taught I have much room for improvement. That being said the rod is forgiving yet powerful. After receiving the rod and getting it setup I went out in the yard and after a few "practice casts" I was easily able to throw a #1/0 clouser 50ft no problem. Which for me, I thought was pretty good.
The rod has a moderate-mod/fast action. A soft supple feel with plenty of backbone to really put some pressure on some pretty large NY salmon.
The blank has a beautiful dark blue finish with three, count 'em, THREE stripping guides. Not what you'd normally find but a nice surprise.
All in all, a wonderful rod that can be enjoyed by newbies along with not so newbies and everyone in between.
Well, lets see. How can I describe Allen line and Alpha reel? Perfection on a budget? Awfully close. A little extreme? Perhaps. But what are we all looking for when we buy anything? A deal, right. This much quality for this price is a definite deal.
The stream that I was using the setup on was pretty small and in places was quite crowded. So in order to keep the fish in check and to keep them from running under the downed trees the drag had to be kept pretty tight. Even the most extreme runs, although not screaming, were powerful and the drag never chattered. Not once.
The line too is a great bargain. It's no Sharkskin, but a rather great quality on a budget.
Reel Price: $70
Line Price: $14.50
I hope this review helps someone make the decision to give Justin and Allen Fly Fishing a try. I know that I am happy that I did. For me fly fishing is something that I don't get to do nearly as often as I like. I am a family man first and sometimes that takes away from my "fishing fundage." However, when I make it out on the water I expect, or I could even go so far as to say demand, quality for the money that I have spent. That's what I get from my Allen & Co. 9wt setup.
Here are a few pics I took. Sorry the quality is not all that great.
I had fits trying to get my dog to stay out of the pictures so........I made him hold the rod and pose. He wasn't so eager then.