I’ve always been a real keen advocate of light line fly fishing in small steams for wild brown trout, nothing beats the feeling of fishing a small stream. This means I own a wide selection of carbon rods from 7’ to 10’ in weights ranging from 0wt to 4wt. A few years ago I got hold of a fibreglass rod to have a play about with on my local river (this is a small stream, really overgrown and about 10’ wide at best). After a few casts my fishing life changed! The feel through the rod was not something I was used to, so smooth and silky with ultimate tippet protection for those light lines. I was hooked. So most of the last season here in the UK was spent whiling the time away with a light glass rod in hand. As we are all tackle tarts to some extent, the time came that I wanted a glass rod exactly matched to the type of fishing I loved. Whilst looking through my Instagram account one evening I came across a stunning image of a glass rod.
Looking at who was commenting on the image, I saw the rod builder @bens_fly_rods. I got in touch immediately. After swapping a few email it was clear that these guys shared the same philosophy and ethos on fly fishing as I do (I look at it as food for the soul – bit deep, but it really has changed my life!). I decided that I wanted to have something a little different (as I had a free reign on the make up of the rod, including colours, reel seat etc). I asked Benno to come up with something which would upset the traditionalists!
We decided on a 7ft 3wt glass rod, and as the rod colour was an exact match for one of the colours of our company logo, we reflected the other colours in the build of the rod. The reel seat was something rather unique, see for yourself, more form than function but I’m a sucker for great design. It’s the small details which I’m really impressed with, take a look at the butt section wrappings, the 3 small lines mean the rod is a 3wt – neat eh?
The build took a few weeks (I was emailed photos of the build as it progressed, which is a really nice touch – and also builds the excitement) and the day finally arrived when the courier company contacted me to arrange delivery (I made sure it was a Friday, so I could take it to the bank there and then).
It was a still Friday evening and the water levels were very low, with hardly any flow. I was the only person fishing and the anticipation was building, after a few test casts in the grass to judge the action and speed of the cast, I ventured into the river. With the river being so low it was fairly obvious where to cast, as there were not that many fish holding lies. A few casts later (with a size 20 Griffiths Gnat), I was into my first fish. The feel from the rod was magic, so light, so much feedback. The trout came to hand quite quickly, only about 6 inches long but a perfect specimen. Only a few more fish were taken as the night drew in, but I left my local stream the happiest I had in a long while.
So, in the search of silk, had I found it? Well, yes. But I’m always trying to improve in everything, and Benno does a really nice amalgamation of a fibreglass and cane rod, called “Glass & Grass” … more of that in the next issue.