Local Rod Maker Review: Lue's Taylor Made

ceviche

Active Member
I guess I'm double-posting off of a classified purchase. However, I feel like I scored one those "Deals of the Century." It matters, because the rod I bought was made by one of our own: Lue Taylor. And it was a rod-type I've been wanting for quite a while. So, potential for huge disappointment...?

Lue's Taylor-Made 10-ft 6wt Rod Casting Review:

Before I say anything, I have to say the 10-ft 6wt rod I bought is the bomb!

So, to start, the rod is built on an IM-8 blank. My first carbon fiber fly rod was a Temple Fork IM-6 2-piece 6wt. The taper is kind of similar, but the stiffness is clearly two steps up. The closest comparison I have is to my 9-ft 6wt Sage VXP.

With my Sage VXP, I had to get a Rio Grande floating line to get it to load up for shorter to short casts--as in working the Deschutes around Tumalo, as well as the headwaters of the Rio Grande. If the rod can't load up right, you can't shoot line for a reach cast nor mend easily. Plain and simple. Rio Grande or Deschutes: Same thing.

The Rio is something like a half weight heavier than standard, though it's like an integrated shooting head: about 15 to 20 feet and colored from the green head to the yellow running line. After working my Intermediate sink line (an over decade old, well cared for mystery line on my reel...) and switching to the Rio Grande, it was a serious game changer. I'm talking about exactly the same experience with both the Sage and Lue's IM-8 rod. Like the Sage (vs my much older Temple Fork), Lue's IM-8 fly rod loves the half over-lining. The two rods loads up where your hands can feel these rods and the line loading up. Solid line and loop control when double-hauling, once half to most of the head is outside the tip guide.

Hardware:
Lue didn't scrimp when it came to the hardware details. While Lue retained the buff, unglossed, finished of the blanks (good stealth!), the quality of his guides and other features showed through: Guides struck me as maybe oversized. Me like! Bitchin' if low-friction or over-sizing fly line is important to you--as my casting style demanded.

Examining how the guides were seized down onto the rod, I was impressed. Clean and no grubby finish. Every detail was immaculate. There was even a "traditional" floating ring hook retainer (not a wire loop!) installed just forward of the double-well cork grip. Yes! A double-well and even a fighting butt handle for a 6wt! As should be expected of a rod of this league. 9-ft, 6wt rods may not need a DW/FB handle, but a 9-ft, 7wt does. When stepping up to a 6wt, 10-footer, well, it just makes perfect sense.

Rod seat. When I pulled my reel off my Sage and began fitting it to the 10-footer, I was struck by the obvious quality of the seat. No chinzy aluminum hardware that scrapes and grinds when you seat your reel. This was really nice metal (nickel?) alloy, double-ring up-locking seats. Seat the reel upward, push the bottom seat into place, thread the nut up until the bottom seat is snug, and then spin the lock nut up clean and neatly into place. That whole smooth-cut and clean spin reeked of quality milling.

This rod looks and casts like a stud. Like the comparison I made before between my Sage VXP and Lue's Taylor-Made, you get the general idea. Yeah, Sage is Sage: They have their technology and price tag. If you want the "creme-de-la-creme" and have the big bucks, then right on. These days, I'm back on the tight budget again and ain't buying new fly rods or guitars. But, Lue's? I don't think I've stumble across this much fly fishing bang-for-the-buck since I started tying my own flies.
 

Driftless Dan

Driftless Dan
WFF Supporter
He's got some for sale in the Classifieds section now, Steve.

I will second Ceviche's opinion. I have a Taylor-made 3-weight which is beautiful to look at and a delight to cast.
 

ceviche

Active Member
Some pictures. Very nice reel seat!
 

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