Rod for New Zealand

sweetandsalt

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Well, I believe Stickman T6 and Loomis NRX+ have to be two of the best performing 6-weights on the planet whether for NZ, Montana or anywhere. Still, if I were going there, wish I was, I would make the opportunity to test cast and potentially purchase Epic Carbon 6 as a souvenir.

Here is my story. I group of us tackle types were sitting together enjoying our final drinks of the night at the old Somerset Show hotel lobby. It was little after midnight and most of these guys had to be at their booths early in the morning. Talking rods, one fellow, a custom builder, asked if any of us had checked out the Epic Carbon? We commented we were unaware of their presence at the Show. "I have one, want to see it?" and up to his room he went to show it to us. Well, he brought it down with a reel so, as it goes, the bunch of us piled outside the lobby doors in to the dark, icy slick entrance area and drunkenly took turns trying to cast this rod as far as we could. Now you might induce this groups judgment was impaired but I distinctly recall we were all impressed by the Epic's lightness and power with plenty of feel too, a very nice rod definitely worth a look in its home country.
 

osseous

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Just buy it before you go- Tackle prices in NZ are obscene

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LukeNZ

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Well, I believe Stickman T6 and Loomis NRX+ have to be two of the best performing 6-weights on the planet whether for NZ, Montana or anywhere. Still, if I were going there, wish I was, I would make the opportunity to test cast and potentially purchase Epic Carbon 6 as a souvenir.

Here is my story. I group of us tackle types were sitting together enjoying our final drinks of the night at the old Somerset Show hotel lobby. It was little after midnight and most of these guys had to be at their booths early in the morning. Talking rods, one fellow, a custom builder, asked if any of us had checked out the Epic Carbon? We commented we were unaware of their presence at the Show. "I have one, want to see it?" and up to his room he went to show it to us. Well, he brought it down with a reel so, as it goes, the bunch of us piled outside the lobby doors in to the dark, icy slick entrance area and drunkenly took turns trying to cast this rod as far as we could. Now you might induce this groups judgment was impaired but I distinctly recall we were all impressed by the Epic's lightness and power with plenty of feel too, a very nice rod definitely worth a look in its home country.
I think the carbon blanks that the Swift Fishing staff apply the hardware and handles to, for Epic to market, are all made by an independent New Zealand carbon and fibreglass tube rolling company called CTS. I think that the Epic glass blanks come from CTS too?

You can definitely buy the carbon and possibly the glass blanks directly from CTS for much less than the whopping add on from the Epic marketing machine - and get your own favorite rod maker to stick on the guides, seat and the cork style of your choice. Check out the CTS NZ website.

RB Meiser blanks all come from CTS. So you could always get Bob Meiser to make you up something, but much nicer and far more economical than buying a carbon rod marketed by Epic - where they don’t actually disclose the origin and manufacturers of the blanks they get their branding varnished on to... Bob would probably also make up a glass rod blank too, if you asked.
 
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bevanwj

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Just buy it before you go- Tackle prices in NZ are obscene

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They are obscene for two reasons. The vast majority of premium tackle is sourced fom the US or the UK and the exchange rate between the US $ UK Pound and the NZ $ does not favour the NZ buyer. And secondly, as much as we would like to have one and we continue to negotiate for one, the US will not enter a free trade agreement with New Zealand.
 

ibookje

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They used to.
Since 2018 Swift changed the supplier of their blanks to JS Company. The Korean factory that also makes the rods for Hardy, Loop, Douglas Outdoors etc.


... for Epic to market, are all made by an independent New Zealand carbon and fibreglass tube rolling company called CTS. I think that the Epic glass blanks come from CTS too?
 

ibookje

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It’s a weird idea that hands that walk around in the USA is considered ‘superior’ to overseas made rods or reels.
With cars it’s the other way around :D
 

osseous

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It’s a weird idea that hands that walk around in the USA is considered ‘superior’ to overseas made rods or reels.
With cars it’s the other way around :D
Hondas are made in Ohio, Subarus in Indiana, BMWs in North Carolina, Toyota in Mississippi, Kentucky, Texas and Indiana.....

Sage is #1- and made in Washington. Are there quality rods from Korea? Sure. I don't need to forsake American made rods and reels, however- just to save a few dollars. Fly Fishing is an industry I would like to see STAY here. We have sold out to lower cost production in too many areas for our own good. This sport MEANS something to me- and I want my neighbors employed by it.

I wish our fools in government would be smarter regarding trade. That is starting to change. Meanwhile you have companies like Patagonia, who offshores EVERYTHING, but still charges top dollar- and people think highly of them because of their environmental stand. They could have a righteous economic stand too- they're a privately held company.

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sweetandsalt

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My Honda Pilot is from Marysville, Ohio and two of my most favored rod companies produce very well built blanks in Washington State. Performance and "personality" properties of a fly rod come first and are largely imbued in the rod first by design, then fabrication excellence as well as wise material selection. JS Co. and a couple of smaller rod shops in S. Korea may very well (I believe do) a superior blank fabrication job with greater diversity of material expertise and attention to detail often with more modern and sophisticated equipment than some of our famed, long-standing American brands. Oh, and I like my Spanish/Hungarian Stickman rods too.

I'm an American and take some considerable pride in knowing that many of the finest rods, reel and surly fly lines are American made and I fish them all the time. However, having just cast a lot of rods at the Edison Show, what is an American to do when he casts an American or British designed fly rod expertly built in S. Korea next to a venerable US rod brand built in my beloved Montana that is heavier, duller, not as well designed an built in a lower quality facility by less skilled craftsperson's? And with gloopier epoxy work too! I can't reward such a rod for its ownership not stepping up and upgrading and simply riding his brand's reputation earned back when.

We have several American small companies striving to produce very creative rods that could not do it financially without the asset of a first rate S. Korean shop to build their designs for them. I've commented several times that Matthew Taylor's Truth rods are my choice over some same configuration US brands and it is not due to price point but superior performance. Plus I commented in the Edison rod report that Rise Fishing has a great new 5-weight featuring a blank built in S. Korea with all the bells and whistles but the finish work is done stateside in Wisconsin. And then there is Douglas SKY-G, cast your H3F or Pure/AIR next to that!
 

osseous

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I cast the Sky G- it was fine. I bought a Scott G last year. It is also fine- but it is built here, in Colorado. Marginal differences in performance at this point are not worth me contributing to the loss of this industry in this country. A Korean rod is not going to improve my experience on the water.

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sweetandsalt

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osseous, Of course I like Scott GS's too and one of the more interesting rods I cast at Edison was the 8'8"/#6 GS. But apples to apples SKY-G 9'/#5 to either same configuration GS or even Radian, the -G has more power, more and smoother (than R) tip section finesse and is lighter in physical and swing weight. It also generates tighter loops with notably less artifact than Radian. Douglas is an American company family owned, their designer, Fred Cantaoi, is an American expert angler and taper designer who has quietly worked on some great rod projects for different makers for years. They are working on developing their own NY State rod shop but now currently rely upon Korean fabrication. Several of their rods are a joy to fish with. As are several Scotts too.
 

zesto

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Well, Scot has a Meridian NZ Special. As far as I know it only comes in a 9´ #6.
Yes, it only comes in a 9' #6. It's now just called the Scott NZ Special and has been upgraded to the Scott Sector blank. It has the Radian style reel seat i.e. no fighting butt, 20" and 24" measuring marks and medium green wraps. The first Ceracoil stripping guide is a little smaller in size too. Really nice rod for when the wind gets up or if you want to throw indicator rigs or throw an intermediate or other sinking line. I use mine as a winter heavy nymphing rod on the Tongariro and Tauranga Taupo rivers. A little smoother than the Meridian NZ Special and roll casts well with an SA Anadro line.
 
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