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Thread: New fly rod advice - weight and brands/models?

  1. #1
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    New fly rod advice - weight and brands/models?

    I plan on getting back into fly fishing this season and have decided to purchase with a new rod this year. I mainly fish Otago/Southland - think the Taieri and Mataura and associated smaller streams, also occasionally large rivers like the Waitaki and Clutha. Plus the odd trip to the Otago tussock Lakes, oh yeah and the big Southern and Fiordland lakes too. Hell, on review, basically whereever I find myself in the South!

    I know I want a four piece for transport and the odd walk in trip, but I assume that's pretty standard these days. I was thinking I'd get a 6 weight as a reasonable all-rounder for everything.

    However, I own an old (early 1990's) Sage two piece running a 7 weight line which is probably pretty good for the bigger water, so thought perhaps a 5 weight might be good, especially on the smaller streams? This a bit like, "can I do all my hunting with just a .308 or do I need other calibres as well", and I've answered that one with adding a .223! Certainly I have found the weight 7 a bit to much in many fishing situations in the past.

    Also, have a budget of around $6-700 for rod, reel & line. I don't need the best, just something mid range will do, does this seem reasonable..? What brands or models do folk recommend? NZ made would be awesome if possible.

    Its been a long time since I looked at fly gear and haven't even had one out on the water for the best part of decade. Any advice would be appreciated.
    Last edited by Dama dama; 24-07-2020 at 04:02 PM. Reason: typos
    jakewire likes this.
    "The generalist hunter and angler is a well-fed mofo" - Steven Rinella

  2. #2
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    You may want to look at 2 combos in a #6 and #8. I've been slowly getting gear together and can't match the value offered by these guys... https://www.flyshop.co.nz/category/flyrod_packages.html
    Husky1600 likes this.

  3. #3
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    I have a Sage TCX 590-4 (5 line wt, 9', 4 piece), Manic Access 5-6 reel with Airflow WF5 F line you could try before you buy. PM if interested.

    Not NZ made and definitely superseded by newer technology but below your budget.

    Didn't even get out of its case this season

  4. #4
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    Personally I'd go for a 6 weight, particularly if your budget is a bit limited. With a 6 you can comfortably fish nearly any water you want to, yes it may not have quite the finesse for those dainty wee presentations on crystal clear teeny weeny streams, and yes it may not throw a nice long line in to heavy heavy water and have ultimate control. But it is an excellent all round choice for lakes, head water fisheries, spring creeks, and decent rivers. And if you want to go delicate, it will throw a 5 weight line pretty easy as well. The closer your gear is to the fish, the more money you need to spend in relative terms ie dont cut corners on your leader and tippet, definitely buy the best bloody fly line you can, $150. The quality of the rods and reels available nowadays means that most in your suggested budget will do a good job, dont get hung up on brand names. Ultimately it will be your skill that catches fish, not the dollars spent. Go forth and have fun.

  5. #5
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    @Husky1600 that is excellent advice!

  6. #6
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    Thanks for the offer @Pauli I'll give it some thought. However, advice from Husky1600 & Bol Tackshin is closer to my original thoughts... anyone else with an opinion?
    Pauli likes this.
    "The generalist hunter and angler is a well-fed mofo" - Steven Rinella

  7. #7
    Lovin Facebook for hunters kiwijames's Avatar
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    I’d take the offer of the TCX up. 5wt is more than enough and the TCX is a very good rod. It’s a powerful rod and at 9’ there’s plenty of reach that will blow a budget 6wt rod away.
    For the money I have bought some amazingly good rod and reel setups secondhand. One of my favourites is a Sage One 5wt with Sage reel I purchased from TM for your budget price.
    Moa Hunter likes this.
    The Universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn't a search for meaning. It's to just keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you'll be dead. -Mr Peanutbutter

  8. #8
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    I haven't used a TCX myself but I have used the old TCR which was a very fast action, powerful punch into the wind type rod on the plus but very tiring to use and no good for gentle presentations. I've found rods like the Sage One and method are 'an things to all people' type rod that can do all because the action is even right through the blank - a slower but still very powerful action spread through the blank as opposed to a fast tip action which is what the cheaper rods are like. Good to have a go with these as a reference. A slower action is much easier to cast with because the timing doesn't need be as precise. As Kiwijames writes above second hand 'Ones' sell in your range
    'Bother' said Pooh, as he chambered another round ... Wong Far King Way

  9. #9
    Member PaulNZ's Avatar
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    Epic 590C or 690C is a top class fly rod and an NZ company. $580 is near your budget if you're prepared to "roll your own" from their kit, though that doesn't leave much for reel etc.

  10. #10
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    I'm with Moa Hunter. Don't buy the TCX it's a great rod but not really an all round rod. I used a sage XP for many years and then upgraded to a Sage one that I scored 2nd hand. All the top stuff Sage, Loomis Hardy have eye watering prices and the improvements of the latest models over the earlier ones are only incremental so buying a sage that is a couple of models back like a one or a method gets you a high end rod for half the price you'd pay for the latest and greatest. If you are not out there every weekend I don't see the point. The extra $600 to get a new top end rod is not going to immediately up your casting to next level or catch you significantly more fish.

    I fish the areas you are talking about and I use a 6wt just because if you are blind nymphing in bigger water with a couple of heavier flies or tossing a bead head woolly bugger about a six weight is a bit easier to use than a 5.
    Dama dama and Moa Hunter like this.

  11. #11
    Member Carpe Diem's Avatar
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    Hi I was a G-loomis kitted guide for some years.
    My favorite rod was a 4 weight 9'6" 'streamdance' with a either Rio or Cortland WF lines. Beautifully delicate on the softer smaller water and great to catch fish on up to 9-10lb. Great feel when nymphing and unreal czech or french styles, delivers a dry beautifully.
    However I think the real adversary in the south is summer and Spring for that matter is the wind and being able to punch a cast into it when you're hats almost blowing off.
    so maybe a 5 wt - if you already have a 7wt would be a really nice complmentary number there.

    Its weird 'cos in Europe and SA they love theri lighter weight gear and doen to 2-3wt is not uncommon - I couldn't get my head around that. Many reading this will have a 8wt Taupo rod and think that's fine and honestly it is... but going lighter is like going reloading It opens a whole new chapter and challenges to be mastered.

    Ha I also have a 8wt 2 handed spey rod for the Tongariro I love - really pisses off the locals with how you can roll a cast out and pick off fish under their noses on the other side. Different horses for different courses so consider the water where you are going and how you want to fish it will be really important in your rod selection.

    CD.

    Good luck.
    I'm drawn to the mountains and streams, its where life is clear, where the world makes most sense!

  12. #12
    Member Micky Duck's Avatar
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    there are bargains to be had on the yellow site.... my good wife bought me a nice 4 piece 8wt that I love to use up at lake....can handle the wind well too....it wont do anything the 40 yearold procaster 8/9 wt cant do better...simple 2 piece rod that just works..... found a 6wt 6piece that had snapped tip section...so its now 8'6'' near enough and it works very well.the couple of times its been used it seems to handle fish ok...not as robust as the 8wt but managable
    I do believe there is a hell of a lot of rodsnobbery out there...Ive used top of the line rods and to be honest they did nothing for me.
    wind is a bugger of a thing...I can manage to carry on with the 8wt...but the wee rod is not really a happening thing .

  13. #13
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    I sold the Sage to another forum member, it was a mutually beneficial deal. I trust he makes better use of it than I did.

    My go-to rod is a Fenwick 4wt 2 piece. It works for me on the streams I fish.
    Gapped axe, Dama dama and chainsaw like this.

  14. #14
    Member Rock river arms hunter's Avatar
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    Air flo and Primal make good cheaper end rods that punch well above their weight for quality.

    I'm a tight arse and run a Airflo Nemisis 6wt.

    However I'll be upgrading to a CD XLS2 6 at this season.

    Check CD rods out if you want to spend a bit more and support a kiwi business. Alot of the guides use CD plus you wont have the hassles of sending or getting parts like you will with the other premium brands.

    Dont get me wrong a Scott Radian is fantastic or a sage one equally nice but when you have to send the whole rod back stateside to get a section replaced when you're In the middle of the season and need a fly rod that would be a turn off.
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  15. #15
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    I run a 9ft Sage 5 weight, a 6 weight from air flo and a 7 weight older Kilwell rod. Each has their place but if I had to choose just one, it would be the Sage. I run a Loop Q reel and a top line Air Flo Wf camo line on that, but I also have a selection of poly leaders to change presentation at lake edges or swinging streamers in faster, bigger water.
    At 5 weight, i occasionally get over powered even in the little water that I like to fish, but that's OK.
    The seven weight also gets light salt water use and is ok on Kahawai and smaller Trevs and Snaps but it's definitely not gonna stop a half decent Kingie or big snapper or Trevs either, but that's OK too.

 

 

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