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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


User avatar
By Neumie
#2314336
How many of y'all have experience with fiberglass fly rods? I'm looking at adding one to my freshwater arsenal to accompany my 4wt St. Croix Imperial and my Nissin tenkara rod.

I've spoken to RonMc and he suggested I snag an older Scientific Angler System rod. I've also talked to karstopo as I know he has experience with the Cabelas CGR line of fiberglass rods.

I fish mainly the Medina and Sabinal Rivers where the canopy is tight, so casting distance isn't what I'm needing. I tend to roll cast more than an other style. I don't throw bulky or heavy flies much. My favorite species to target is Rio Cichlids, but these rivers hold good numbers of larger sunfish, okish size guads, and capable of producing good sized largemouths.

Most of what I've read suggest a 5wt. I have a hard time mentally going that way as I throw a 6wt at the coast and my 4wt has been more than adequate for the past 12 years for how I approach hill country fishing. Are the properties of a fiberglass rod vs a graphite so different I need to go with a 5wt versus a 4w or even 3 wt fiberglass? I'm not sure I want to go all the way to a 2wt as I feel it would fish similar to my tenkara, and would be too small to roll cast.

I'm really considering the CGR as it gets great reviews even though it's priced low. Realistically, this is a rod that's only going to be used 8-10 times a year.

Thanks for any input.
#2314342
Neumie wrote:How many of y'all have experience with fiberglass fly rods? I'm looking at adding one to my freshwater arsenal to accompany my 4wt St. Croix Imperial and my Nissin tenkara rod.

I've spoken to RonMc and he suggested I snag an older Scientific Angler System rod. I've also talked to karstopo as I know he has experience with the Cabelas CGR line of fiberglass rods.

I fish mainly the Medina and Sabinal Rivers where the canopy is tight, so casting distance isn't what I'm needing. I tend to roll cast more than an other style. I don't throw bulky or heavy flies much. My favorite species to target is Rio Cichlids, but these rivers hold good numbers of larger sunfish, okish size guads, and capable of producing good sized largemouths.

Most of what I've read suggest a 5wt. I have a hard time mentally going that way as I throw a 6wt at the coast and my 4wt has been more than adequate for the past 12 years for how I approach hill country fishing. Are the properties of a fiberglass rod vs a graphite so different I need to go with a 5wt versus a 4w or even 3 wt fiberglass? I'm not sure I want to go all the way to a 2wt as I feel it would fish similar to my tenkara, and would be too small to roll cast.

I'm really considering the CGR as it gets great reviews even though it's priced low. Realistically, this is a rod that's only going to be used 8-10 times a year.

Thanks for any input.
That's a really good question. I as well would love to know the answer. Ron?

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User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2314347
Josh has already heard it from me.
SA System 5 (made by Fisher and any comparable Fisher). Fisher was the pinnacle of light and crisp "glass tech' in the 70s.

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Phillipson 7' or 6'6" (ditto Orvis Golden Eagle and Orvis Fullflex made by Phillipson - Fullflex A were made by Orvis copying Phillipson). Bill Phillipson was the taper genius working e-glass in mid-length, mid-weight rods.

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I love Harnell para tapers for casting distance, but wouldn't recommend them for where Josh wants to fish.

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The CGR - it fishes extremely well in close with any line, takes a very narrow grain weight and front taper line to shoot past a soft spot in the mid without collapsing it.

I'll throw in St. Croix Imperial 6'8"

The most astounding glass rod is Vince Cummings Water Witch, but its super-progressive taper may be freakish to someone who doesn't want it or get it. The thing is, it's a different rod with every line from 3-wt to 7-
I know St. Croix made the blank, but Vince sanded and polished them to the taper he wanted.
It's a perfect dry fly rod with a 3-wt, and will cast boat anchors as a 7-wt wet fly rod - most people would like it with a 4- or 5.
In clear hill country water, it's the best sight-fishing rod I know.
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Jan 20, 2021 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Kirk B.
#2314351
I have a Wright and McGill 7 wt that I love for everything from 4 inch bluegill up to a couple of pound bass or catfish.
Being a slloooowww glass, it doesn't feel like casting a 7 at. The fun part of glass is it's bendy-ness. Even a little fish puts a nice bow in it.


Kirk B.
User avatar
By Neumie
#2314354
Ron Mc wrote:Josh has already heard it from me.
SA System 5 (made by Fisher and any comparable Fisher)

Phillipson 7' or 6'6" (ditto Orvis Golden Eagle and Orvis Fullflex made by Phillipson - Fullflex A were made by Orvis copying Phillipson).

I love Harnell para tapers for casting distance, but wouldn't recommend them for where Josh wants to fish.

The CGR - it fishes extremely well in close with any line, takes a very narrow grain weight and front taper line to shoot past a soft spot in the mid without collapsing it.

I'll throw in St. Croix Imperial 6'8"

The most astounding glass rod is Vince Cummings Water Witch, but its super-progressive taper may be freakish to someone who doesn't want it or get it. The thing is, it's a different rod with every line from 3-wt to 7-
I know St. Croix made the blank, but Vince sanded and polished them to the taper he wanted.
It's a perfect dry fly rod with a 3-wt, and will cast boat anchors as a 7-wt wet fly rod - most people would like it with a 4- or 5.
In clear hill country water, it's the best sight-fishing rod I know.

Ron,

Thanks again for all this information. What can I expect to pay for some of these vintage rods, assuming used in average condition. I'm sure anything close to NOS condition is going to be more than I'm willing to pay. Also, if I end up going with a vintage rod, I'd like to pair it with a same era reel. It seems the Medalist 1494 and 1495 are popular.

karstopo wrote:I wonder if lurking on the fiberglass Flyrodders forum would be of any help. Lots of glass lovers there and tons of discussion on fiberglass rods.

I've read quite a bit of posts from over there. Lots of great info. I think I'll register so I can access the classifieds section.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2314355
The Phillipson market has slowed down a bit in the last few years with new rods offered in lighter line weights in these short lengths.
The rods that are the nicest are the sleeve ferrule that began in 1971. Here are a couple examples:
However, any of the short post-'62 rods using 3M Scotchply are wonderful, even with metal ferrule.
No one else has ever built short rods like Bill Phillipson.
If these show up in 7' or 6'6", you should be able to snag one for $150-175, and if I wanted one would pay $225.

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The very last Phillipsons are spigot ferrule, brown blanks, usually identified as Epoxite Registered, are coveted, and usually sell for over $300.

System 5 is tough for people to let go. A fair price is $250.

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Cummings rods tend to sell with Peak rods (Russ Peak built his version on the same blanks used on Water Witch and River Rat), and these are spendy rods - $400-600 is typical, and usually don't sell unless someone just needs to generate cash...

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#2314379
Ron Mc wrote:Josh has already heard it from me.
SA System 5 (made by Fisher and any comparable Fisher). Fisher was the pinnacle of light and crisp "glass tech' in the 70s.

Image
Phillipson 7' or 6'6" (ditto Orvis Golden Eagle and Orvis Fullflex made by Phillipson - Fullflex A were made by Orvis copying Phillipson). Bill Phillipson was the taper genius working e-glass in mid-length, mid-weight rods.

Image
I love Harnell para tapers for casting distance, but wouldn't recommend them for where Josh wants to fish.

Image
The CGR - it fishes extremely well in close with any line, takes a very narrow grain weight and front taper line to shoot past a soft spot in the mid without collapsing it.

I'll throw in St. Croix Imperial 6'8"

The most astounding glass rod is Vince Cummings Water Witch, but its super-progressive taper may be freakish to someone who doesn't want it or get it. The thing is, it's a different rod with every line from 3-wt to 7-
I know St. Croix made the blank, but Vince sanded and polished them to the taper he wanted.
It's a perfect dry fly rod with a 3-wt, and will cast boat anchors as a 7-wt wet fly rod - most people would like it with a 4- or 5.
In clear hill country water, it's the best sight-fishing rod I know.
Image
Thank you

Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
By Frreed
#2314612
I went through a fibreglass binge a few years ago. Too many rods and a few that were bad decisions. I still have a couple that I use. A 7 foot Fenwick and a 7'6" rod that was built by Gene Bethea, They are both technically 5 weights, but like a 4 or 6 as well. The glass rod I use the most is a "modern" Eagle Claw. Yes, that cheap yellow Eagle claw. It is light, casts a dream and is perfect for LMF.

I love glass for trout. I fish alot of soft hackles, emergers and some dries. The slow action allows for a gentle presentation and, when I take my time, it is deadly accurate. And then theres the bend.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2314613
It becomes a length, modulus and taper hierarchy.
Below 8' cane and S-glass make better rods than graphite.
Below 7', you can only get a good progressive taper in e-glass.

There was a period glass was the only cost-effective MOC.
Above, I listed the rods that stand out from the herd.
There are a few Fenwicks I didn't mention, mostly because of the market and the trial-and error factor in finding a good one.
User avatar
By karstopo
#2314629
Good information, Ron. Hard to believe fiberglass was once the dominant material in these graphite times.

I use glass rods almost every day. Lately, I’ve been switching out between my 6 weight Echo BAG and my 5/6 weight CGR. These really need to be cast differently. It’s very easy to overpower the CGR. I call if getting ahead of myself, but if I apply too much power too soon, the results won’t be good. It’s a rod I have to back off on and just not try to force anything. The Quickshot is much more able and willing to take a faster run up into power. I still like the CGR for odd curved casts trying to reach around to the backside of my sunken crappie condos. That rod just seems particularly good throwing intentional open loops, undercooked side arm casts i call them so the fly line lands in a big curve with the fly way off to the side like it didn’t turnover, but it’s all intentionally done to reach around an obstacle.
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By TrumpkinTheDwarf
#2315216
Wow. There's a lot of glass knowledge here!

I can't really help with vintage glass, but I really enjoy a 5wt Epic for dry fly fishing, and it is still light enough to chase 4" panfish.
By bones72
#2315309
Neumie I have an older, early 2000s, Hardy glass rod you may want to try out. Its a 7' 3wt. If you liked it I'd probably let it go for say; take me fishing.
User avatar
By Neumie
#2315380
RonMc hooked me up with a Phillipson and St. Croix glass rods this past weekend. Really appreciate the gesture and now I'm really looking forward for the temps to warm up and hit my favorite haunts in the Hill Country and maybe explore dome new spots.

bones72 wrote:Neumie I have an older, early 2000s, Hardy glass rod you may want to try out. Its a 7' 3wt. If you liked it I'd probably let it go for say; take me fishing.


Lets go, Hill Country or Coast?
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2315450
Ron Mc wrote:The Phillipson market has slowed down a bit in the last few years with new rods offered in lighter line weights in these short lengths.
The rods that are the nicest are the sleeve ferrule that began in 1971. Here are a couple examples:
However, any of the short post-'62 rods using 3M Scotchply are wonderful, even with metal ferrule.
No one else has ever built short rods like Bill Phillipson.
Image
Image

I know it's weird to quote yourself, but Josh is now the owner of the tan Fly Fox in these photos.
He'll put it to better use than I would, because I have too many to choose between. :mrgreen:

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