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  1. #1

    Default Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    Living in Southern Iowa the idea of fly shops is not a reality. I am very jealous of you folks, that always mention "You need to go to your local fly shop and test out this rod or that. " Not only can't you do that in the big box stores here, their knowledge seems to be at best, similar to mine, which is limited to say the least!
    I have now found a "Local" shop (about an hours drive from my house lol) that has been open a short while, called Rod & Rivet. I have now been able to experience casting some nicer rods and compare them to my old 8wt Bass Pro Shops special. Not to mention conversation with an experienced fly fisherman. I am stunned at the difference in "feel" of some of the different rods I have now handled, w o w...
    They are a Douglas and Orvis dealer. I just picked up a Clearwater 5wt combo, that for the money, is a real treat to practice cast in the yard.
    I have been skeptical that I would notice a huge difference between my old rod and another, but I tested the Douglas-Sky 9' 8wt. I stand corrected. The rod was nothing short of amazing, in compared to my rod. When I have time, and a little more money (After Christmas). I will be back for more testing and a replacement pick.
    I guess the moral of the story is: if you have the opportunity to test cast a few rods do it! If you have the chance to buy local do it! What the little shops offer in service and knowledge is worth far more then the little bit of money you might save at the large store or online.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
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    17,897
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    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    I would think that you've done yourself good service by learning with the Bass Pro outfit. I myself fished for a full 11 years using what could be called crude fly rods before I found myself able to afford a good one. That was 1979 and I too bought an Orvis rod, a 7 foot 9 inch Far & Fine 5 weight which I still own and use. Based on my own experience I would say it is hard to know what good feels and preforms like if you are not proficient with a bad rod. Congratulations on a good choice or perhaps a couple of them.

    Ard

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    2,246

    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    I grew up in the Midwest, so I understand your perspective on things, but nowadays I have to laugh that folks consider an hour drive to be outside their "local" area. I have to drive one hour, and 67 miles, just for hockey practice. I'm getting ready to leave now for a game tonight, and then back up tomorrow morning for another game. We will drive 2+ hours to fish, golf, or ski around here, just for the day. Again, it's all perspective, and it's due to the wide open spaces out here that we grow accustomed to what Midwesterners would no doubt consider odd.

    That you have found a fly shop within an hour's drive of your locale is good news. Take a lunch, and hang out for a while. Glad you're getting a chance to test things out. Another option to consider when folks don't have fly shops nearby is to visit the shops for test casting at your destination, leaving a little extra time for messing around, and not fishing. For instance, up at the San Juan, there are several fly shops, and you can test Sage, Scott, Orvis, and Hardy fly rods. And the destination shops typically have more inventory than our local shops, though that might not be the case everywhere.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    Marthasville Mo.
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    1,335
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    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    I drive an hour to get to a genuine fly shop and anywhere from an hour to 2 1/2 hours to fish for trout. Test casting rods is a great way to learn how different actions feel in hand. If your shop has casting lessons, take them. If your interested in tying your own flies ask if they have classes. Spread the word about your new fly shop, they need the business and good word of mouth is the best advertisement. Oh, the Douglas rods are really nice but so is the new Orvis H3 series.

    Bill

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  6. #5

    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Ard View Post
    Based on my own experience I would say it is hard to know what good feels and preforms like if you are not proficient with a bad rod.

    Ard
    I don't know if proficient is the term I would use for my fly casting abilities...lol, but I can say I have caught a lot of Bass on it!

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  8. #6

    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    Quote Originally Posted by el jefe View Post

    That you have found a fly shop within an hour's drive of your locale is good news.

    Cheers!
    I actually agree with you and for my area an hour is considered close. I live in the middle of nowhere and am thrilled at the thought, I plan to support it as much as my wallet says I can. As for trout fishing. I am probably a 3-3 1/2 hour drive from a chance at a wild trout in the north east side of the state.

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  10. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Location
    Albuquerque, NM
    Posts
    2,246

    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcbeck View Post
    I actually agree with you and for my area an hour is considered close. I live in the middle of nowhere and am thrilled at the thought, I plan to support it as much as my wallet says I can. As for trout fishing. I am probably a 3-3 1/2 hour drive from a chance at a wild trout in the north east side of the state.
    Pack up the car, forward your mail, and come out West for a piece. We will hit the San Juan, and other rivers far and wide. Oh, and we will hit the fly shops, too.

  11. #8

    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    Quote Originally Posted by brownbass View Post
    Oh, the Douglas rods are really nice but so is the new Orvis H3 series.

    Bill
    I have no interest at the moment for learning how to tie. The coolest thing has just been the opportunity to test a few different rods. It's really a game changer for me. I plan to test a few out, and retire my old rod with full honors lol.

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  13. #9

    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    Quote Originally Posted by Mcbeck View Post
    "You need to go to your local fly shop and test out this rod or that. "
    I have an hour drive to my nearest fly shop in Kansas City, KS or in about 2 1/2 hours to St. Louis or Lebanon, MO. With that said it still can be hard to test cast a rod.

    I forgot to mention that there is also a Orvis store in Leawood,KS. It is worthless for casting rods due to not having them in stock.
    RJ

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  15. #10

    Default Re: Local Fly Shops & Rod testing

    Quote Originally Posted by trout stalker View Post
    With that said it still can be hard to test cast a rod.
    That was exactly my point. If it all possible, it is worth a drive to a shop that will allow that. It has been a total game changer for me, not to mention the back and forth conversations you get to have. It has taken my flat line learning curve and amped it up for me. You can read all you want about things like this, but getting around knowledgeable people and getting to cast different rods is invaluable.

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