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  1. #1

    Default March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Rock!

    We actually have a "monsoon season" here in the high country of Colorado, believe it or not. It has rained every afternoon for a week or two and sometimes overnight...mudslides...falling rocks...green grass! flowers! bears!

    Over the 4th of July Robin and I had the chance to join Barry and Michelle Patterson for a little concert and a little time off in Crested Butte, CO. What a fantastic place. Special thanks to Jim (pastor) and Laura (host and worship leader) who made us all feel so comfortable. If you are ever in the Crested Butte area drop by and see them at "Oh, Be Joyful" fellowship (no kidding) and enjoy coffee at Camp4Coffee on 2nd just off the main drag.

    Now to my gratuitous plug for March Brown Ltd. a relative newcomer to the world of fly rod manufacture and sales. They are not the big name like Orvis or Sage, and that is why I am taking the time to share with you something crazy. In this day and age when the phrase "customer service" is often used to indentify a phone bank somewhere in India it is always impressive to have anyone take a moment, listen to what you are saying, and try to genuinely help you with a product or service question. (Just last week I asked a company who sent me the wrong $10 part to simply send me the right one and they mocked me with indifference...situation normal.) March Brown Ltd. has proven to me, however, that their concept of customer service must have been born in the heart of Mother Theresa. These guys are crazy.

    Part of the Story: I broke the tip of my new 4wt. 7-piece Hidden Water series rod the first day I had it, because I am an idiot. I simpy applied pressure with my fingers in a way that...don't ask. These people at March Brown sent me a replacement tip without a hesitation, and didn't even charge me the customary $35 section replacement fee. Needless to say, I was impressed. The rest of the story is too much to put into words. If I tell you what they did next for me when I purchased a 3 wt. rod and had a related, but different, problem you wouldn't even believe me.

    Second Part of the Story: No one, myself included, can believe how great these rods are! They look fantastic: smooth matte black rod, excellent cork handle, superior hardwood rod seat, and round guides (instead of snake guides) all the way up the rod...a real work of art. I have two fears about multi-piece rods (because I have tried a few): 1. Tip-heavy out-of-balance feel, and 2. Stiff tree-trunk action. Neither is the case with March Brown Hidden Water rods. The 3wt and 4wt are very well balanced (when casting you can always tell if the balance is off if you find yourself sneaking your hand forward or backward of the cork handle trying to find the comfortable place to hold it when you cast) and the rod feel is incredible. The 3wt, which is 9 feet long, presents a long slow loop in a very "classic" old rod feel, but still has a very fast tip, and a firm butte section which means it is really eeeaasssyyy to cast even for intermediates. I had no trouble, even in some wind, presenting a Green Drake to Rainbow in the East River of the Gunnison valley...and I had no trouble watching my rod double over into an arch when the first big fish took that fly and headed into deep water. Man, was that awesome! The rod packs down into a case that easily fits into a backpack and for those of you who like to hike and find water that isn't 10 feet off the highway this is the only way to go.

    Summary: If you are in the market for your first rod, if you are looking for a hiking outfit, or if you are a pro looking to show off something incredible to your friends: Try March Brown (www.marchbrown.com). They are extremely affordable. Their rods are guaranteed for LIFE! (yes, for the life of the rod, and they offer a 14 day no questions asked trial period) and their customer service concept is something akin to divine...

    If you are wondering, I was not paid to go off like this on March Brown. I am promoting them because I am thankful for the way they treated me, and I it would be wrong not to offer them up to you with my strongest recommendations. When you want to order one contact my guy, Dave Botelho, at Fly Fishing Equipment: "Tight Lines" Fly Fishing: Your source for fly fishing gear, fly fishing tackle, fly fishing rods and reels. and tell him that I sent you!

    Ben Pasley
    To learn more about Ben and some of his experiences please visit Ben's web sites:
    Blue Renaissance Entry
    Blue Renaissance Entry
    ChurchThink
    "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"
    Henry David Thoreau

  2. #2

    Default Re: March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    Had the pleasure of an email conversation with Ben discussing posting his review in our Gear Review section. As you can see he has been very gracious in allowing us to add it to our reviews. Ben we appreciate your article and hope you join the board to share more of your fly fishing experience.
    Thanks,
    Terry
    "Many men go fishing all their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after"
    Henry David Thoreau

  3. #3

    Default Re: March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    I own a March Brown Hidden Water 5 weight.

    This really is a terrific rod. Casts very well, with good power but is also sensitive enough for delicate presentations.

    I bought this rod for traveling, but it casts so well, I've ended up using it for far more than just travel.

    It's a terrific rod all around. Combine the casting qualities and reasonable price with the fact that it breaks down into such a small package, and it's hard to beat.

  4. Default Re: March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    Do you know if the lifetime warranty is still valid if you buy a March Brown rod on ebay?

  5. Default Re: March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    Okay, the answer to my question is yes, they honor it.

  6. Default Re: March Brown versus Orvis frequent flyer travel rods

    Hi Ben
    I was considering buying the Orvis 7pce 8# frequent flyer travel rods in saltwater spec. I wanted a quality fast tip action travel rod. It compares in price with the March Brown 9' 8# but I am not sure how they would match up since have only just heard of March Brown in your review. Do they do a saltwater model?
    cheers
    joe

  7. Default Re: March Brown versus Orvis frequent flyer travel rods

    Quote Originally Posted by joe View Post
    Hi Ben
    I was considering buying the Orvis 7pce 8# frequent flyer travel rods in saltwater spec. I wanted a quality fast tip action travel rod. It compares in price with the March Brown 9' 8# but I am not sure how they would match up since have only just heard of March Brown in your review. Do they do a saltwater model?
    cheers
    joe

    It's advertised as "Saltwater Safe"

    Hidden Water 9'0" 8wt Fly Rod

    Joe

  8. Default Re: March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    I just got one in 4 wt on ebay for cheap! They are very nice rods. I will use mine for backpacking in Montana this July. I found mine on ebay for less than $150. Can't go wrong at that price!

  9. Default Re: March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    Yes, i bought one from eBay and broke the tip. The boys at MB sent me a new tip, gratis. I'm pretty happy with the rod. A little stiff, but I can stick it in my backpack, which is why I bought it in the first place.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Merrimac, MA
    Posts
    4,006

    Default Re: March Brown Ltd. Fly Rods Review

    I like the March Brown rods a lot. I have their 6'/7' 4 wt. Hidden Waters convertable model. I carry it with me in the saddle bags on my motorcycle. Works really well for me with a Lampson Litespeed 1.5 reel and weight forward 4 wt. line. Plenty of power for 40-50 foot casts; which is the max that I ever need on the small streams the predominate up here in the poconos. I carry the rod on the bike all the time and when I see a new steam that I can't pass up - I don't pass it up anymore. I just park the bike along the side of the rod, step out the leathers, put on shorts and sandels, assemble the rod/reel, tie on an Adams and head for the trout. Mostly Brookies; but those are the fish that I like. This rod will toss a #18 dry fly or a #8 chernobyl ant with ease. My opinion - very nice product.

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