A 7 1/2 -8 foot length fly rod is the real sweet spot for mountain trout, especially when fishing small brushy streams. I fish this length in a 3-5 weight rod more than any. I truly believe that it is a common misconception that small creek fishing requires anything shorter. I also don’t buy that a larger stream requires a longer one. Rods in this length can certainly cast 30-50 feet, and, depending on the taper, line and casting skills, can perform extremely well at short distances. After all, most bamboo and fiberglass rods in the trout weights are between 7-8 feet. Yeah, a 9-foot rod is better for mending a lot of line, or nymphing deep, but I still prefer this shorter length trout rod for most of the water I fish.
I recently completed this build for a customer wanting a carbon fiber fly rod to work small Rocky Mountain trout streams. We went with a 4 piece Carbon-4 blank with a fast-action and a progressive taper. Although the tip is soft, the rod loads well into the mid-section with 110 grains. Consequently, it is no surprise the rod casts a 4-weight double taper and 3-weight WF line nicely. Frankly, this might just may be the best carbon fiber 3/4-weight rod I’ve casted in this length. A four-piece rod, it is a great choice for a backpacking too. Throwing size 22 dry patterns on 8X tippet using 3wt line? No problem. Swinging size-16 soft-hackle wet flies on 4X through a shallow, gentle run? Yeah!
This is a custom blank with a stunning custom red finish. The half-wells grip, also custom, I made by molding structural urethane foam, turning it on a lathe and skinning it with a handsome gray fiberglass/black carbon fiber weave sleeve. It’s as light as cork but more sensitive. The top coat on the grip is PermaGloss, super durable and easy to clean. The reel seat is a Forecast I-series with a burl insert and a gunsmoke aluminum frame that matches the nickel winding check and guides. The stripping guide is of size 10 dark nickel, by Struble, with an amber agate insert and the running guides and tiptop are all dark nickel Snake Brand Universal. The rod weighs 92g/3.2 oz. It is a tip flex, fast-action rod, with a progressive taper that bends nicely into the mid section. There are no flat spots in this rod. The guides are wrapped with ProWrap ColorFast thread (rattan, black and candy apple red) with white hand-painted alignment dots at the three ferrules. Thread wraps were finished with three light coats of ThreadMaster Lite, wet sanded before the final coat.
The rod proved very smooth and accurate at the standard short and long trout distances and performed well with curve casts, aerial mends, roll casts, bow-and-arrow, and long line overhead casts using both 3 and 4 weight lines. I have a feeling this isn’t my last rod I’ll build on this blank.