The guide set up starts with two large titanium framed SIC style stripping guides, followed with large diameter hard chrome snake guides and a large tip top. It is one of the very lightest rods in swing weight, second only to the SKY G. It also proved to be extremely well dampened and very smooth to cast, right out to 60 feet. Lastly, as fly rod companies have moved toward faster rods in the past decade, fly lines have evolved to fit these high-performance rods. A true experienced fisherman knows that the only thing which separates him and the fish is the fishing line. Now the lack of overall power is becoming apparent, but it still hits 80 feet easily enough and with decent accuracy. The Aetos is also a surprisingly handsome rod. Today’s latest graphite fly rods are using lighter higher modulus graphite materials combined with new resin systems like the new nano-resins, as well as different methods of cutting and laying up the graphite layers and better rolling techniques. I had a lot of trouble maintaining good loops in the wind. No rod could touch the Helios in close and it was easy to give it a perfect score. backing. I love the Prime’s light swing weight, second only to the Douglas SKY G. The Prime’s softer tip gave me great feel and very good accuracy in close. First, fly line weights are determined by weighing the first 30 ft. of line minus any LEVEL TIP , not minus the front taper. Sign up for our Newsletter, a monthly dose of new ideas and exclusive deals on great gear, sent directly to your inbox. He has an uncanny ability to design rods knowing how they will be used by anglers, from beginners to experts. Like the Asquith, a cannon for throwing long bombs. The increased dampening and recovery also result in superior accuracy, which was evident at close range. For the category of Best Saltwater Fly Rod, the honor goes to the Helios 2 Series, but not just because it is an Orvis. A short ¾ inch extension butt is used that has a rubber cap end. We have employed identical methods and rating categories in this 8-Weight Challenge. Anglers use 5-weight fly rods not just for trout, but also for bass, bluegills, perch, whitefish, carp and even catfish! The tips on the faster action rods bend more, and we’ve found this is the key to getting good accuracy, especially at closer distances. He is a certified casting instructor and accomplished flats fly-fishing guide, who has his clients fishing an 8-weight rod for most snook and redfish. The Dual-Zone handle design is Tim Rajeff’s idea. In close the Echo Prime was much better. Only use Flats Pro on Method 8 if really windy. The tracking is fantastic and I’m able to fire very tight loops easily and with more accuracy than with the other rods. Lines. The faster action is about perfect, and surprisingly the feel and accuracy I’m getting is very good, even better than the Orvis Recon. I use the clear Cortland tarpon 10 wt on a Sage Method 9 for spooky permit. There are no other rods in our Challenge that are as smooth, dampen as quickly, or track as well as the new NRX+ rods. The other is the expeditor warranty policy that gets you a new rod in just a few days but can cost up to $250. There's also a massive amount of variation between lines. The (cold) saltwater lines included in the test are the most popular and purchased fly lines here out of the shop for striped bass. We have several reels rigged with the various line sizes, and leaders, all ready to go. 1. It won Yellowstone Anglers’ Best Inexpensive Power Rod in its Annual 5-Weight Shootout. In the first part of our Tropical Fly Line Shootout, we got our hands on as many tropical saltwater WF8F lines as we could and tested them in a variety of ways. The rod features a premium graphite that gives you excellent responsiveness. This heavy feel in hand and slightly stiffer tip than the old Recon led to less feel and a lower score at 35 feet than other rods. The reel seat is far better than on the old Recon. I would like to see them a bit larger so that they can clear line tangles more easily. The G-7/8 has the capacity for the S.A. WF-8-F Amplitude Bonefish line and 200 yards of the Hatch 68 lb. Since the GL8 resin is more uniform, it penetrates the graphite fibers more effectively, thus requiring less resin. The advantage this spiral-x process provides is that Loomis can now build a blank that uses 15-20% less graphite material that is even stronger than their new NRX+ blanks. A great looking reel at a great price, the Echo Bravo is also a great performer. We have been impressed with the Helios 3 rods, and there is no question that they are among the best 8-weights. The accuracy is exceptionally good, bettered only by the Helios 3F. I’ve given it a huge amount of punishment, putting bends in the Asquith that would have broken most other rods but it is as perfect today as when it was new! MODEL: LINE: LENGTH: GRAIN WEIGHT RANGE: POPULAR FLY LINES THAT FILL THE BILL (and check your favorite line manufacturer for updated products) Sector MODELS. I liked this rod a lot. This is the section with all of our test data in three different charts. The Taper Length Chart shows computed taper lengths using our taper charts broken down into tip, front taper, belly, rear taper, and overall head length. We took all of our measurements using a gram scale accurate to +/- 0.15 grains. For those of you that want to refresh your memory on the rods we did not compare in this Challenge, please refer to our 2018 8-weight Shootout: After casting a number of good mid-priced rods, we decided to report only on the best, the new redesigned Orvis Recon, and a delightful new rod from Echo, called the Prime 4pc. But hey – you can’t expect perfection for under $200! Posted on 16. The accuracy was good but could not match the top four rods. A saltwater fishing fly reel is similar to the freshwater reels only they are more corrosion resistant. We tested this by making a few short casts and seeing how the line loaded each of the rods. Why? A stack of thin width, very high-quality cork rings is used with a rubber/cork ring at the bottom for durability. 2020 marks the return of Greys to the United States. Piscifun Another budget fly fishing gear manufacturer, Piscifun actually has some decent reels in the … On the plus side, we have sold a lot of Asquith rods and see very few being broken. A short one inch extension butt is used with a rubber/cork cap. Craftsmanship has always been excellent on the Orvis Helios rods. Of the top rods, only the SKY G was lighter in swing weight. While these diagrams are really great for most lines, they didn’t w… In Montana I use the 9 foot #5 for a lot of the dry fly trout fishing I do, along with the 9 foot #7 for fishing streamers. In this 8-Weight Challenge, the Asquith and the new NRX+ are the only two rods that perform extremely well at all distances. Instead of using one fly line, we took various lines from tropical floating lines to heavy full sinking coldwater lines. Nevertheless, this section will help those looking for a non-distilled version that helps you choose the best line without reading the entire shootout. Head rod designer Fred Contaoi reports that they will make a running change to give the SKY G 8-weight more power. The lack of backbone hurts, and makes it hard to achieve the longest distances with any kind of accuracy. 32, 5-weight rods entire, two leave. The weight and stiffness didn’t give much feel and hurt the accuracy in close. I love the easy to grip rings that lock up well on heavier saltwater fly reels. If you have the very best fly rod and fly reel setup partnered with the wrong fly line, you're not going to catch fish. It's that simple. Taper diagrams were created by measuring the diameter of each line every 6 inches until we were well into the running line. A gray anodized double uplocking reel seat is used with a light but highly impact resistant dark green CI4+ insert. It was tough to hit 100 feet, and if there was any wind it was a no-go. On top of performance, which is exceptional, the line lasts in the heat, humidity and wear of big fish. Orvis Helios 3F 9' 8wt: The Helios 3F was our 'moderate action' rod of choice. We’ve got a wide selection of fly line for freshwater and saltwater fly fishing (sinking and floating). The 8-weight is an extremely light rod with a swing weight well below any of the other rods. Shop all the Best New Fly Reels for 2020 from Hatch, Tibor, Nautilus, Abel, Bauer, Ross Reels, Lamson, Sage, Redington, TFO, Echo and more at ReelFlyRod! The only performance disadvantage is that it has a narrower sweet spot, so anglers will have to apply the power more precisely to benefit from this rod’s full potential. The new rod is finished in a deep metallic blue with black wraps. I felt that the Sector needs more butt and mid-section power to go long. Loomis uses a stack of thin width, very high-quality cork rings that have proven to hold up well with hard use. You will find a full range of weights and lengths to choose from when buying the Orvis Clearwater Fly … I’ve been impressed with all the Asquith rods in various sizes, and use them much of the time for my own fishing. On the other hand, the best 8-weight rods must also possess enough butt and mid-section power to throw well at longer distances, or to bring a line screaming, 10-pound bonefish to hand. The Orvis Helios 3F, Scott Sector, and Douglas SKY G all perform with excellence up to 60 feet but lack power when casting at the longest distances of 80-100 feet, or when battling a headwind. The quality of the cork was only fair, as quite a bit of filler is used. The Asquith, with its softer tip offers the ultimate in power and feel, and was created with the SA Bonefish line in mind. Best New Fly Reels for 2020. Again, more butt and mid-section power are needed. Fly line construction plays a large role in how a fly line 'unfurls' in the air. The one thing that was a negative is the heavier swing weight. We took a measurement every 6 inches until we were well into the running line to provide accurate, real-life taper diagrams of these lines. I’ve never cast a rod that tracks as well as the Asquith, or is as accurate, especially at the mid to long distances. This rod gives me the confidence that I can put the fly right where I want it, right out to 80 feet and beyond. Luckily, most reel manufacturers explicitly state if a fly reel is intended for use in saltwater. Other flylines tend to spall or peel under heavy use, Wulff stands up to it all. this was the heaviest swing weight in our Challenge. The NRX+ with the Mastery Saltwater taper does a much better job overall. These allow the reader to see the manner in which each rod bends, but more importantly, how it bends compared to the others. Ask the experts at The Fly Fishers for further advice—we’ll help you choose the fly line perfect for you. A flat black anodized double uplocking reel seat is used, with two large locking rings that were very easy to grip and tighten. He won’t divulge their secrets so I couldn’t learn more, but these changes allow Douglas to build the new SKY G with less material, resulting in a much lighter and stronger rod than the older standard SKY. Choosing a rod for fishing in saltwater is fish species specific (or fish/fly size specific). In doing so, we tried to get the latest fly line technology available and, in most cases, we did. micron backing plus a WF-4-F line. To generate accurate taper diagrams, we used the micrometer pictured above to measure the line diameter in 6-inch increments along the front taper of each line. Most of the trout lines in our 5wt fly line shootout received good presentations scores; those lines had little variation in presentation capabilities. Like the Douglas SKY, this rod is made in Korea. The Aetos is no long-distance cannon but at 35-60 feet it is surprisingly impressive. As you will see in the Final Results table and in each tester’s Performance Only chart, the two Loomis rods were head and shoulders above the other rods. Standard sized cork rings of very high quality are used, trimmed with a rubber/cork ring at the top. Throws the whole line easily. After all the praise we have given Loomis rods over the years, anglers might think we are on G. Loomis’ payroll. Sage Xi3 vs Salt. 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