Allen Fly Fishing Compass Fly Rod 9' #5
I think it is fair to say that Allen Fly Fishing have built a great brand reputation here on the North American Fly Fishing Forums and more recently on our UK Fly Fishing Forums also. Solid, well-designed gear at great prices and with customer service to match.
The Compass was developed to give maximum performance and value without breaking the bank. A great rod for casters and anglers of all skill levels! The medium fast action is well suited to a variety of line types and fishing applications. The rod is finished to our high standards with a blue gray blank and tightly woven green wraps, for a look that is as unique as it is attractive.
- Blank color - Steel blue. Wrap color - Dark Green
- Inlcudes rod tube
- Composite wood reel seat on non-fighting butt models
- Anodized aluminum reel seat and fighting butt on 9' 8wt
- Lifetime Warranty
I was quite looking forward to finally getting out of the office after a pretty wet and cold winter here in the UK to try out one of Allen Fly Fishing's entry level Compass fly rods ($99) in the 9 foot 5 weight size, just perfect for the small stillwater fishery I had in mind to go chase some stockie rainbows.
Out of the rod tube, first impressions were of a good quality build considering its entry-level position in the range but then it is hard to find a really badly made rod these days to be fair. The steel blue colour is quite striking and I expect will bring mixed reactions. There is an old guard that I suspect prefer muted colours matching the browns and greens of historic rod design, whereas the newer breed of young fly anglers seem quite keen on a brighter color and seeing as this is pointed at the entry level end of the market then it should do well in that regard. Saying that the color grew on me too as the day progressed so make your own mind up.
Simple but elegant snake rings and a contrasting whipping thread coloration combined with rod alignment dots on each section (hallelujah!) and a nicely finished cork handle all add to the positivity I felt about this rod as I put it together.
I balanced the rod with a Nautilus FW loaded with a #5 floating line and set about making some long-awaited casts to try and tempt some of the local stockie rainbows in the holes in the rapidly thawing ice that had formed overnight apparently.
Once I had adjusted my casting stroke to allow for the slightly softer action than my normal rod, I found I had no problem in shooting line across the lake and making roll casts along the margins. It did take a little line out to load the rod but as with any new rod, once you learn the sweet spot so to speak for how much line you need then subsequent retrieves can be adjusted and casting becomes easy.
I was lucky enough to hook a few fish and the rod absorbed the lunges and sudden runs with ease whilst not being too soft so I was always in control. Just right for small stillwaters like the one I was on and also for fishing from the bank on larger waters too.
It is very hard to be persuaded to buy a rod in particular from reading a review only - it is much more preferable to hold it in your own hands and give it a cast. To their credit Allen Fly Fishing recognise this and offer a return policy whereby "With all of our rods; if you receive the rod, and it's not for you, you can return the unused rod (plastic still on cork) for a full refund or exchange." I don't think you can say fairer than that.
Why not give the Compass a try or one of their other ranges - just click here!
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