Take the 10 ft. Challenge!
by Ron Pecore, Senior Guide
Several years ago, I bought a 10ft. 4wt. Orvis Helios Tip Flex fly rod. Going into the purchase, my thoughts were that a 10 ft. rod would be heavy enough for my nymph rigs, but still light enough to throw a double hopper rig or any other dry fly set up.
Little did I know that this rod would so dramatically advance my whole perception around rod selection, rigging, and even presentation! Fast forward to today – I now carry three 10 ft. rods: A Sage One 4 wt, and two Orvis Helios rods – a 5 wt and 4 wt.
Here are the reasons why I so love the long rods:
- When rod manufacturers build 10 ft. rods, the first two sections from the cork are each quite a bit thicker than a standard 9 ft rod. This extra beef in the first two sections allows for additional power, giving anglers extra oomph when casting rigs through the wind.
- The larger diameter butt section, in conjunction with the extra 12 inches, give 10 ft. rods another advantage. They are superior when fighting large fish. Anglers are always amazed at the extra leverage they provide. Not only does this result in more successful fights, but also in the less time playing the fish. This is less exhausting to the trout itself, which is something we all want to be mindful of as we strive to protect our beloved resource.
- When it comes to presenting a nymph rig on a dead drift, the extra length really can help. Though only 12 more inches, it’s amazing how much easier it is to high stick, pulling more fly line off the water. This allows for less drag, which gives the nymphs a more natural drift…resulting in more strikes!
- Finally, the extra reach often allows anglers to stay further back from the fish, which makes the trout less likely to spook.
I never realized that one additional foot of length would make such a huge difference, but I was mistaken. My clients can reach out, high stick, and lead their rigs so much more efficiently. In fact, several of the folks I routinely fish with have now purchased their own 10 footers…they love them too!
These longer rods handle everything so well – from high winds to big fish and big water.
They will forever be my rods of choice for nymph rig setups.
Tight Lines & LONG RODS!
Ron’s experience and love for long fly rods made him a true natural during our Zen Tenkara certification courses.