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April 27, 2011 / flogginwater

Glass!

You may or may not have gleaned from reading through this blog, that I’m a fan of fiberglass fishing rods – especially fiberglass fly rods. There’s something about that smooth, slow action you get from a glass rod – the deliberate way the rod loads and unloads, the way the fly line gracefully rolls and unrolls during the cast – it’s almost like time slows down and lets you enjoy fishing and casting more. Today’s modern age has almost pushed fiberglass as a rod making material to the wayside, almost. There are a few higher end companies making really excellent glass rods (mostly flyrods and trolling rods), and there’s still a couple companies that specialize in entry-level gear that are making glass rods. Wright & McGill, the parent company of Eagle Claw gear, is one such company. They have been making their classic, yellow blanked fiberglass rods – spinning, casting, and fly (and their multi-piece travel spin/fly combo rods) for ages. The only thing that’s changed – the quality has improved a bit, and they’re using better components today – better, lighter guides, and cork handles instead of the old brown or blue EVA foam.

These rods have stayed in a price point available to anyone. Today I bought one such rod – an Eagle Claw ‘ 5/6 weight 2 piece fly rod. It set me back a whopping $24.99 from Dick’s Sporting Goods. It’s got nice yellow and gold wraps, an 18 inch ruler marked on the rod, gold finished snake guides, a nice ceramic stripping guide, a nice cork grip with the sheet cork ends (which gives the rod a nice look), a solid wood reel seat insert, and brass uplocking hardware for the reel seat. It’s got a wonderful parabolic action, and balances very well with my Argus 5/6 standard arbor reel, that’s loaded up with a 3M/Scientific Anglers WF6F line.

I haven’t had a chance to fish this rod (I can’t wait!) but I did spend an hour casting it in the driveway tonight. It cast better than I expected! I was pushing out fifty feet of line with ease with a standard overhead cast. I can’t really test roll casting properly, not having a pond or stream available, but for short roll casts on the drive way, the rod worked like a dream. The best part, this rod will cast just as well with just 7 feet of line out as it does with 50 feet of line out. It’s a real dream to cast.

I’ve really fallen in love with this little rod in just an hour in the driveway. I can’t wait to get the line wet and get a fish on the other end. I bought this rod with a singular purpose in mind – tight quarters, small stream fishing (my favorite kind!) as an alternative to my much loved 8′ 4 weight graphite Grigg rod. It’s been a long time since I had so much FUN casting a 6 weight rod! This is going to make a great popper rod for bass and panfish too.

I just might have to get one of these rods for my nephew, who has been begging me to teach him how to fly fish. He hasn’t been able to scrape up the money yet to buy a fly rod, and I want to get him a good graduation present – and now I think I know what I’m getting him! Might just spark one more glass fanatic along with creating another fly fisher!

This is going to be a great rod for an upcoming small stream fishing trip. I was just going to take my 4 weight Grigg – I’m going to have to take the Eagle Claw along and really exercise it. Might even leave the Grigg at home (gasp!)

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