Fly Rod Chronicles Signature 9′ 5wt Fly Rod – Review

I have been fishing this rod for about 3 weeks now and I am getting a pretty good feel for the rod.  I was able to cast the 6wt versions of the rod before they were release and I already knew they were amazing casting rods.  Casting is important but in all honesty it is not the main reason I like this rod.

When it comes to a trout rod which is what I consider the 5wt for the most part I personally look for a rod that can get the job done in different situations.  So for this review I will break down each type of fishing I did with the rod and score it on a scale of one to 10.  I will also explain why I gave it that score.  I will give remarks for the overall quality of the blank and visual quality of the overall rod.

Overall Rod Quality and Craftsmanship: 9/10 –  The overall design and build of this rod is really  top notch.  I have a hard time ranking any rod in this category a 10 since there is always some subjective aspect that anyone can find wrong with a rod.  The build quality is on par with the big time rod makers in the US.  Honestly being made in the USA as this rod is give is some bonus points in this area.  I really like the attention to detail with the FRC logo etched into the reel seat and the logo is also on the blank.  The rod also comes with 3 stripper guides which is something you don’t see on many rods I am not sure if it helps improve the casting on the rod but I can say for sure it does not hurt the rod in that area.  The rod feels light in the hand and the grip fits better in my hand than most rods I have fished.

Aesthetics: 10/10 – Personally I love the look of this rod.  The blue color really pops and makes it unique that is for sure.  The rod case and bag being embroidered with a FRC logo is also a great extra touch.  That is something extra that you won’t find on a lot of rods out there.  Some that I have shown the rod to or let them cast it are not a fan of the blue rod color but others simply seem to love it.   This rod was surely built with pride and it shows in the finished product.

Fishing Performance:

Casting:  10/10 – If you need to cast 60 feet or more in the wind this rod will do it with ease.  It is described as extra fast and it really is a fast rod that many describe as a cannon.  I am pairing with Cortland 444 5wt DT fly line and it loads the rod well.  I do think I would get some more distance with a WF line but honestly I do not need it.  Earlier this week I was casting dry dropper rig to risers on a local pond and was hitting the spots and distances I wanted with much less effort than other rods I have used there.  50 to 60 feet with accuracy is easier with this rod for me.  Even those that are not as proficient casters say the rod feels easier to cast to them.  This rod would make a great western fly rod or is great for bigger water and longer cast.  Distance is what it may be designed for but this rod holds its own with close quarters in the 10 to 25 foot casting range where most fishing is done.  At this range I feel like I can put the fly exactly where I want it and the rod tracking is perfect here.  It really is a great roll casting rod to which is something I feel many of the other fast rods out there are not as good at.

Dry Fly Fishing:  10/10 – Dry applications is what this rod is made for if I had to pick what its best at.  It puts the fly where you want it with efficiency and that is what matters with dry fly fishing.  The quick loading of the rod also allows you to change direction and cast to different rising fish quickly and effortlessly.

Indicator Nymphing:  8/10 –  I Like a longer rod with most of my nymphing but this rod will get the job done well for most guys with no issues.  If this was a 10′ rod I would likely give it a 9 or 10 out of 10 here.

Streamer Fishing:  8/10 –  Again this is a product of a bit heavier rod just being a better tool for the job.  This rod will perform great with most streamer applications but the 6 and 7wt versions would be my pick for someone looking for a mostly streamer rod.

Tightline/Euro Nymphing:  7/10 –  Compared to other 9′ 5wt rods I have nymphed with this rod performed awesome.  It is sensitive enough to detect strikes well and did cast a long leader good enough to work.  I feel with the action of this fly rod the same blank in a 10’4wt or 10’3wt would be one heck of a nice euro rod.  It will get the job done here but it is not what this rod is built for.

Dry Dropper Fishing:  9/10  – Pretty much the same as the dry fly review with the fact that it is not a 10 foot rod making it impossible for me to give it a 10 here.  Overall it works awesome with dry dropper and its likely I personally with use it with this application most.

Fighting Fish:   10/10 –  I can hear it now from the comp guys yeah right a super-fast rod that is good at fighting fish and protecting light tippets?!!  This rod has a great flex to it when under pressure fighting fish of all sizes.  I was actually very surprised by this personally I it really makes me enjoy fishing this rod even more.  How this rod is able to handle fish so well and still be a cannon of a casting rod I do know know but really it is what puts this rod in a class all of its own here.   The main trout in the first picture fought like crazy on  7x tippet and this rod protected it and brought the fish to the net.

Overall (Average score): 9/10  Really you can’t get much better than this.  This rod is 100% in the class of quality and performance with any top rod makers out there right now I would love to do a side by side with the Sage X or Orvis Helios 2 rods just for fun and to be able to say for sure it belongs in that class of rods.  But I am pretty sure already it does belong on the same top shelf in any fly shop as those rods.

My wife also enjoys fishing this rod.

 

PS:  This rod has some serious big fish MOJO!

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Trout Legend Secret to Common Carp on The Fly : The TL J150 Hook!

We got a reat review of the Troutlegend J150 Jig hook from a long time customer;  Bradley Clodfelter. Braley has been a fan of the hook ever since we started selling it and recently he sent some pictures of some monster carp he brought to hand with the 150.  Well, we knew it was a great trout hook, but you just can’t beat this kind of stress test on the 150 wire.  Anglers are always looking for strong hooks that won’t “bend out”… look no further.

Bradley with a nice carp.
I bet this one was a heck of a fight!

He even sent us a picture of the fly that got the job done.

Awesome fish Bradley and thank you for sharing the pictures with us.

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Should You Use a Net?

I know this in one question that really has guys that will defend both sides of the equation and both have some good points.  Personally after years of fishing with and or without a net I have settled into the using a net crowd.  One reason is the nets of today and not your grandfathers nets that were notorious for hurting fish.  With the modern rubber coated nets that most top net makers use the trout are a lot safer in today’s nets than ones that were more common as little as 10 years ago.  The rubber bags are really much better suited for protecting trouts natural slime.  I see many of the no net crowd struggle to get a fish under control and that means longer time fighting the fish and grabbing a fish that is flopping around in the water is not an easy task at time.  Worst yet you see some trout getting beached and that is bad news for the trout.

The Modern Fly Fishing Channel on Youtube recently put out some good videos and their reasons on why to use a net we totally agree with!  Check out there channel they have posted some good content recently.

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All About Beads on Facebook Live.

We have been brain storming with new ways to get information out there to our followers.  We figured our years of experience just on the stream and our time immersed in the competitive world we have a lot to share that we learned along that way.  We decided to start doing some live sessions on facebook and eventually YouTube to help get the information and provide some interaction and answer our fans and customers questions.  First up on the docket is this Wednesday at 8 pm Eastern Mark Hanes will take you through some of what we have learned about beads on flies over the years.  We will go over brass, tungsten, and even glass.  They all have a time and a place to cover situations you will find on the stream.

To make it even more worth your wild we will be picking one person that comments during the live stream to win 100 beads from the TroutLegend store.

Sign up and keep updated with the event on the Event Facebook Page.

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Trusted Gear: Cortland 444 Classic Fly Line

There are few names in fly fishing that go as far back and are as recognized as Cortland Line and there is good reason for that.  From the beginning of their production of fly lines they were on the cutting edge of development.  They designed the first modern fly lines with Ray Smith opening the company to produce silk fly lines to the first synthetic fly lines the “333” first produced for the 1953 fishing season.  The line was marketed as the Cortland 333 “Non-Sinkable” Fly Line and it started a revolution in fly fishing that was likely not later seen until graphite rods hit the market.  To keep up with the changing times to Cortland updated their fly lines to the “444” fly lines during the 1960’s.  The “444” remained the basis for many of the companies current fly lines and tapers.  It was upgraded over the year in the form of the “444 SL” that was a result of the new faster more progressive graphite rods on the market.  Leon Chandler lead the company through this period of amazing growth in the  and really pushed Cortland to the top of the fly line market.

I came into the world of fly fishing right around the time that the 444 Lazerline hit the market and by being the local kid that hung out at the fly shop I used it.  I grew to love the Double Taper “DT” line that I fished the snot out of and I still remember that bright orange line of my first years on the stream.   It was a good line but I always found myself drawn to the old “444” peach lines that the old timers always seemed to buy.   Not only did I become a Cortland fan quickly and learn to trust it I also became a huge believer in DT fly lines.  Over time I have settled into reaching for the “444” fly lines that are now called the “444” Classic.

Cortland 444 Classic DT strung up and ready to hit the water.
Cortland 444 Classic DT strung up and ready to hit the water.

Everyone talks about faster easier casting Weight Forward lines and I have never bought into that.  When it comes to line control and presentation on the size of waters I fish the DT is the perfect match.  From the tight brush of the small brook trout streams that demand delicate presentation to the larger streams where being able to mend to extend your drift means more fish.  There is good reason that you still see a line that has been around for over 50 years for sale it is dependable and really a workhorse line.  We also seem to want what is newer and better but we over look what has proven to get the job done time and time again.  So if you are in the market for a fly line take a look at what Cortland has to offer it can be there tried and true 444 lines or even look at some of the new stuff and President John Wilson and company have been putting out there the last couple years.  It is a fly line company that is built on tradition and currently back on the rise.  Cortland keep up the good work its been good stuff for over 100 years and that trend is continuing.

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Redington Skagit Wading Boots – Full Review

Redington Skagit Boots

 

I thought is was time for a full review.  So far after a month of fishing them in anything form heavy flowing water to hiking in on small wild trout streams I have been impressed.

Support: The biggest thing to me is comfort anymore and support.  I have some foot pain that at times that comes with being flat footed.  I need a good solid base when wading.  These boots seem to provide much better support then the last few boots I have had and if its been made I have worn it everything form Simms to Chota.  The extra padding in the upper of the boot also seems to provide.

Traction:  Redington did not make any major changes to their soles.  I can’t say for sure but they might have mad them a little bit harder rubber but not much.  I would not recommend these boots in tough wading conditions without cleats added to them.  I want this pair for drift boat fishing so I did not add them.  They do have holes started where you would put cleats in I thought that was a nice extra feature.  Add good quality cleats and you have the traction short falls fixed.

Durability.  With only a little over a month of wear in them I can’t come up and say yeah they are solid as a rock!  What I can say is the added rubber rand around the boot and the rubber heel really have protected the boots well so far.  Other than the added dirt and a few scratches from rocks that really are part of normal wear they have held up great so far.

Style:  Personally I think they are a good looking boot.  That is at the bottom of the review for a reason it since it really does not matter and is a personal thing to others they might not look good at all.  What I can tell you is they are a good boot.

For the money you really can’t go wrong with this boot at a price point of $120 I think they would hang in there with boots that would cost you an additional $50.  That makes them a good bargain for a boot that will get the job done and not break the bank.  On a scale of 1 to 10 personally I give them a solid 8.  There are better boots out there but at this price Redington has a winner.

 

 

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Redington Skagit Wading Boots – First Impression

Redington Skagit Boots

 

My first impression of these boots are pretty positive but we all know the real test happens on the water.

Looks:  This is totally just personal choice but I like the looks of the boot. They look basic enough but the red color on the ankle support and tongue pops and sets off the boot nicely.  Now that is all pointless I know since that area will be covered by the gravel guard, but they will look good on the way to the river!

The rubber rand and heel look like they really added some durability to this boot.

I won’t boor you with more fashion minded review because yeah that’s not what this site is about but I will say this I will beat the snot out of these the next few weeks and offer a full review then.

 

Full Review is up!  Full Review Here.

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