Old graphite, new life - Cortland GRF 9' trout switch rod


Tropical member
Hi all...

I was digging around internet the other day and found a old graphite 9 weight single handed rod - Cortland GRF XP 9 weight 9 feet. An old fashion single hand rod with an extended fight butt/handle. This factory made lower handle has caught my eyes that it resembled just like all the modern switch rod. Apparently, the old school fighting butt are longer than modern fighting butt. I have the other Fenwick 10 weight fiberglass rod, and it come with this kind of removable fighting handle. see wiki (Fenwick) http://fiberglass-fly-rods.pbworks.com/w/page/5182977/Fenwick (
FF108 9 foot, 2 piece, 5⅛ oz., 10 weight. Came with a 10 inch fighting butt.

Cortland GRF series is my first real trout rod, so this model has a special place in my heart. Also for the unbeatable price $55... I thought: Heck, I will give it a try for the 9 weight! It might be useful for my upcoming trip. It turns out this lower handle is as good as it looked. Very solid cork and nice grip to handle some shooting heads. I have test some skagit switch line and some short floating tips as Ed Ward suggested in the other thread. It works like a charm! it just bomb some really big dry flies...see video.

What is implication of this set up for me? I am always looking for some light switch set up for my night fishing, (read: night fishing, mouse pattern, undercut bank and tree overhang). This set up cast really well on heavier skagit short head, and you can strip fly right into the leader section. Good line control for overhang and bushy area, feel rod load in close distance and most importantly bomb big dry flies nicely (mice pattern, popper, bass bugs... ). If you like night fishing on the surface, you might want to give it a try... Mark

That's interesting it got me looking at my old Fisher 9'6" steeheader. It has a fighting butt that would do for a second hand grip. I may have to take it out for a spin for bass. Would a rage line work on that do you think?


Tropical member
Fisher makes some really fantastic graphites! I have some friends over fiberglass board that they only fish fisher graphites when fiberglass is not a option (saltwater conditions). I would definitely try it. I think it would be safe to start from 375 grain skagit short 20' head. and working up the toward the heavy side. I have found in several fiberglass 9 weight blanks really like a bit heavy load... same as those old graphites. This rod also work well on a 430 grain 15' skagit head (I cut the mid 12' section from a 810 grain compact skagit head). It fly smoothly and carry really big bugs with authority. As Ed Ward suggested, normally I will have 3 skagit heads for a single rod for fitting different flies and conditions. In this particular rod would be 375 [email protected]'; 540grain @20' and 430 [email protected] 15' for heavy sinktip.


Active Member
Speaking of Cortland, blurb picked up off a UK fishing board early (like reeeaaaalllly early) this AM. They've been sold to a 'Private Investment Group.' Will be interesting to see where that goes.