Unsolicited Review of Modern 8'0" 5wt Fiberglass Rods

I really like the idea of a Clave. I missed out on the last one due to family obligations, but given enough time to get it on the schedule, I'd be all over this. Hopefully my "Bandit" will be finished by then.

Great write-up Lugan. I too, am a total Steffen homer...I just can't get over how much I enjoy fishing my 8' 5/6. Every time I pick it up, I get a huge smile on my face.
yes, we definitely should have another Clave!! i bet many of us have some new rods to demo and there's certainly nothing like casting a rod yourself. that's what finally got me to pull the trigger on a Steffen. a central location near I5 would probably be easiest, but as a distant plan B, i would volunteer my home. i've got 3+ acres of grass for your casting pleasure, but i live a bit off the beaten path in Monroe. i do have a nice grill and a good-sized weber smoker for those of you, like myself, who are partial to meat. nonetheless, i bet more people would come if we met nearer Seattle. what do you guys think?
I think that would be a great idea and would definitely attend if it's open to the grass (bamboo) rods as well as the glass rods. The bamboo folks were trying to put together a clave last year but it never came together. Location was a challenge since we didn't want to have it at a public park where rods might be more prone to wander off. Ron

Tim Cottage

Formerly tbc1415
I like the idea and will do whatever I can to attend with a double handful of cane. Like any special interest event attendance will be most influenced by level of interest with timing running a close second. September is prime fishing and vacation time for many. I think more people will be able to accommodate a weekend day in August. If we schedule it for mid to late August that gives most people sufficient time to adjust their schedule to accommodate assuming we don't go around in circles for too many weeks before making a decision. It is after all only one day on a weekend. There will always be some folks who you may look forward to meeting and some with rods you may be particularly interested in trying that won't be able to attend. I think the initial focus should be on deciding the date and let the chips fall were they may.

Mike, thanks for your gracious offer but in deference to Mike we should all keep in mind that this is very understandably presented as a distant plan B.

There are numerous public parks located within a short distance of the I5 and I90 corridors. Some have water some don't. I don't think it matters as long as there is a large mown lawn. Given the distances we often travel to fish I doubt an extra 25 miles in any direction will have much effect on attendance. In addition, many small communities have parks. Some are within the Seattle or King County park systems and some not. I could be vastly underestimating park usage but I am at this point confident that we can find and reserve a park space.

I don't see rod theft as a serious stumbling block but as always you are responsible for the safety of your own rods.

To maintain focus, I do think this should be strictly limited to cane and glass.

My 2c


Joe Streamer
Good points Tim. If we tried to schedule this to take up only half of a day, that might help people's schedules. What about an early AM slot, like 8-noon, some August Sat or Sun?

I agree that a park should be fine. I imagine many of us will show up and rods will never be unattended.

How about one of the following?

-- Lake Sammamish State Park
-- Luther Burbank Park on Mercer Island
-- Saint Edward State Park (north end of Lake Washington)

I don't think we even really need a reservation for a shelter, IMO. We can just show up with rods and a little food/beverage to keep it as simple as possible. Open to other suggestions of course.
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I second the idea of a mid to late August gathering before the fall season ramps up. Perhaps 2-3 hours on a Saturday morning. I'll bring a bunch of bamboo for folks to try out. Ron


dead in the water

Mostly because they are easily found, and an old one in dad's closet may be someone's intro to glass rods, how do you stack up the Fenwick Feralite rods to those in your initial post?


Joe Streamer
@Lugan Mostly because they are easily found, and an old one in dad's closet may be someone's intro to glass rods, how do you stack up the Fenwick Feralite rods to those in your initial post?
First, cool how you can @ a member name to kick off an alert that the member was referenced. Didn't know we could do that here.

I am not aware of a Fenwick 8'0" 5wt. But I've owned the 6'0" 5wt, 7'0" 5wt, 7'6" 4-piece that I think was a 5wt but might have been a 6wt, and the 807 8'0" 7wt. They are all fine rods, but I don't like them as much as the modern rods. They are all different so it's hard to give a single reason, but if you pressed me, I'd say the Fenwicks I owned all lacked a little tip strength and rebound response relative to the modern rods I replaced those with. As always, YMMV - and in the case of Fenwick, it might even be very likely to vary considering what a following they have. Just ask Jerry (I sold him 2 of those rods).


FFing and VWs...Bugs & Bugs
I'm likely off base with this, but, I own a made in Japan, Hurricane fly reel, actually pretty decent quality for a Pflueger/South Bend copy. Lot of fish landed on that reel. But, I digress. Hurricane was a fishing tackle manufacturer in Japan with lots of import to the US. Generally decent quality stuff. Also had a glass 7'6" 'glass spinning rod by Hurricane that was a favorite until it was taken in a break-in robbery a number of years back. Along with the rest of my fishing gear and 3.5 hp Evinrude . a string of robberies in my neighbor hood during that time before the local authorities cleared out a crack house.


John or "LC"
Lugan, great write up, and thanks in part to your previous advice, I did have Mark build a 4/5 8' for me, and it fast became my favorite rod of all time. It has every positive characteristic you've mentioned, feels light in the hand, casts a 5 or 6 wt. line beautifully, and fishes even better with a smooth, progressive bend with nice reserve power. Fun with bluegill to medium sized trout.

I've been complaining a little about the swing weight of my Steffen 8'6" 5/6. Randall Clark cast it last week when we had an opportunity to meet up in Central Oregon. He said it was completely different than his 5/6 8', so it wasn't my imagination. I'm much happier with it now by using a Medalist 1498 reel with a bass floater to balance out the heavier tip, or an Allen Trout with a T-200 line which is mostly what the rod carries now. A 1495 1/2 works fine too. I honestly think it's more of a 6/7 wt. rod, but for the larger end of that I prefer my Fenwick 807--what a sweetheart that is for smallies and larger trout. I hated the FF858, and sold it immediately.

The only place we may disagree is on the CT 8' 5 wt. I love that rod for a graphite stick, although I haven't used it for a year, now that I'm pretty much all glass and grass. I used a Cabela's 8 wt. Stowaway in Florida recently. It's the first time I've used graphite (other than mentioned below) in some time, and I really missed my glass. That rod has enjoyed some good reviews, but I'm not a fan.

Two that haven't been mentioned: I picked up an old Steffen graphite 7'6" 5 wt. rod last year, and I really like it, just short of loving it. Mark thinks it was built in the first or second year of his production. It's what I often use as a 6 wt for any bass and larger trout as it's fairly fast but has a nice progressive medium fast action, and you know it's a Steffen, even with graphite. Recommended if you can find one.

The other are the new Fenwick Fenglass rods, due to be released in early September. I'll get to demo one next week and based on the few reviews from those that have cast them, they're even better than the classic Feralites. $200-$250, 3 piece, unidirectional S-glass.

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