Allen Trout Spey 5 weight 12'

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by yuhina, Jun 30, 2012.

  1. yuhina Tropical member

    Posts: 2,315
    Boston-Idaho
    Ratings: +41 / 0


    Hi friends,

    About a month ago, Allen fly rod company asked me to test their new trout spey Olympic 5120. 5 weight, 12 feet 4 piece spey. After few weeks of testing, here it is the first review…

    Appearance: The rod is very simple looking, matt black graphite blank with minimum “Spartan like” finish which is really attractive looking to me, my type of rods. The cork is good quality, not premier but good enough to fulfill a fish bum’s need. With full well shape handle that longer than most of the switch rods. I feel this is a really important factor (to me) when applying Skagit type of casting techniques is needed. The “neck portion” of the fore grip is slightly slim profile than most of the switch rods, I found this is a very important feature. It increases sensitivity during the casting. It increases the feel comes from blank response. (IMO most of the switch rod’s handle are too thick to fish it comfortably). TFO DeerCreek series is the exception in the market, I love those DC as well as Meiser’s signature handles. Those “thin neck” handles really make me feel the rod during the cast.

    Action and power: Allen trout spey 5120 has relatively full flex profile, reminded me a lot of my Dredger 12’9 6/7(G Loomis). Deep bent all the way into the cork, yet, it can exert certain power when asked. Medium power tip, and medium recovery rate. This rod do not has super fast recovery as most of the top end rods (G Loomis NRX, Sage One, or Meiser MKS series) In other words, not as “snappy” as those rods. However, this medium power not necessary is a bad thing when we are dealing with a trout spey league. It’s mid power and mid recovery rate actually make this rod more “soulful” than most of the fast action switch rods. (comparing to some mid priced famous brands, or even some top end switch rods. I have to admit I am really impressed with this little rod) Who would think mid power and mid recovery rate graphite can make a good fishing too?! Well… if you are obsessed with some soulful old graphite like SAGE LL, Scott G , Wiston IM6 trout rods…well this is “the soulful feeling” I am talking about! This rod get feels! For analogy, it is like a home made gravie, creamy, buttery and rich in flavors. Yet, give you sufficient nutrition for the day. Truth been told, this rod has a good line control ability which is more important when dealing with most trout waters. Flipping heavy streamers into pocket water or deep slot of the runs is way important than powerful cast IMO. See below for more spec info.

    Fishing : I fish this rod for about a month now. It has been eye opening experience that how this little trout rod can handle some silly big sinktips and big flies(see below). In addition to my test, I also gave this rod to some newbies’ hands and observe how they learn from this rod. IMO, a good rod not only have to be felt good in experienced hands, but also should be loved by beginners. I am shocked how well it casted in several newbies’ hands. (see video)

    Skagit head and Ed Ward’s sustain anchor casting:
    After fiddled with several Skagit short heads, I am settled with two lines for this rod Skagit 350 grain 20’ head paired with 10’ T8 sinktip. Crispy feel and a lot of Oomph power. It give a lot of authority and crispy “Pops” when casting lighter streamers range from 1” woolybuggers to 2.5 inches small lead eyed zonker flies. I really love this set up for low and clear condition and poking pocket waters. To me, line control and accuracy is way more important than distance in trout fishing. The 5120 do it well and give me complete control.

    Skagit 420 grain 18’ head paired with 10’ T14 sinktip. Yes, this is a feather-weight silly trout spey launching 5-7 inches articulated zoo cougar types of flies. And it cut though the wind like you won’t believe. Evan has warned me that this stick is butter smooth. It is! When paired with 420 grain Skagit short head and cast with Ed Ward’s sustain anchor style, this rod really show its enriched power and smoothness (see video). During most of the situations, we are dealing with small trout waters, “flipping” streamer is the basic action we do. Good line control and be able to launch a huge fly with accuracy is the top priority. Especially when you try to feed those big browns under tight overhang canopy (at least, this is the experience in my rivers). I feel this smoothness and buttery accuracy is the feel that make this rod stand out.

    I haven’t get a chance to try other scandi lines and mid belly. But I have planned to do so in the near future.

    Disclaimer: I am not associated with Allen rod co.… Just doing it for free and for sharing my first hand experience…

    Mark
    Evan Burck and JesseCFowl like this.
  2. golfman65 dude...

    Posts: 1,480
    blaine wa.
    Ratings: +86 / 0
    I think Allen has found their match..
    fisshman26 likes this.
  3. Robert Engleheart Robert

    Posts: 1,144
    Lemoore, CA
    Ratings: +111 / 0
    Nice review; good price-point, Deal-of-The-Week @ Allen has them for $219. Maybe they'll add a 3/4/5 weight????
  4. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,273
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,236 / 9
    Nice write up Mark. I'd like to hear updates when you have time to try other lines. I'll have to check, do they make it lighter than a 5wt?
  5. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,288
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,497 / 2
    "They" do not... yet
  6. Wadecalvin Member

    Posts: 238
    Redmond Oregon
    Ratings: +10 / 0
    Nice review Mark- for his third trip with a spey rod that guy is casting pretty dang good!
  7. yuhina Tropical member

    Posts: 2,315
    Boston-Idaho
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Thanks for the kind words, my friends

    This is really a great stick worth our attention. Not just cast, a lot of "fun elements" when fish it on rivers.
    ..and the friendly price-tag! I think Evan and Rob have figured something out here in the 5120..

    Ed,
    I would also be very interested to see if they come out with some lighter models... as you know, I am a big fan with lighter rods...
    Tim, I agree, for a third timer, Greg casted like he has figured it all out on this rod! I think he really has some spey talent! He came to spey due to the shoulder injure, now he is completely hooked! not sure this is good news or not ... Mark
  8. Ian Broadie Flyfishing is so "Metal"

    Posts: 670
    Kirkland, Washington
    Ratings: +57 / 0
    I have one, I like it lots and I agree with nearly all of what Mark wrote.... and only "nearly" because I read it at work and more or less skimmed it :D

    Simply put when I got mine I threw a 420 compact skagit on with 10' of t8 and let-er rip with no more thought than that and have had 0 reason to fine tune things. With just as little thought and effort I put on a 350 grain scandi head.. SRO Ballistic and was like... yup this is just dandy for dry line work.

    Oh... and this rod will handle a spunky steelface between 10 and 12 lbs just dandy.

    Thanks,
  9. Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

    Posts: 6,288
    Duvall, wa
    Ratings: +1,497 / 2
    His name is actually Justin, not Rob :)
  10. constructeur Active Member

    Posts: 1,455
    Seattle, Wa
    Ratings: +375 / 0
    Mark- Nice review. After putzing around with a variety of rods for the last 3 years, I've found that I like short rods with short grips (even in heavier weights such as the Beulah 12' 4" 8wt; and on the flip side I detest switch rods), and ordered a 12' 5wt Allen blank to build as a summer/fall rod. I haven't decided on guides yet, but have ordered a struble U-15HG seat and a combination of rubber,composite, burnt burl, and cork ring to essentially copy a standard Meiser grip. I'm pretty damn excited!
    yuhina, Ed Call and Evan Burck like this.
  11. Ed Call Mumbling Moderator

    Posts: 17,273
    Kitsap Peninsula
    Ratings: +1,236 / 9
    Mayhaps someone might let me know when they do?
  12. Josh dead in the water

    Posts: 2,882
    NW Washington
    Ratings: +430 / 2
    I agree with Ed. I would be interested as well.