Orvis Superfine Glass 8Â½ft 6-Weight | Review
There has been a resurgence of fiberglass fly rods in recent years. Orvis led the way with their Superfine Glass rods which melded fiberglass with modern tapers and rod building practices without sacrificing “feel”. What followed was a myriad of fiberglass rod offerings from many of the major rod manufactures. However, the Orvis Superfine Glass has remained a cut above the rest in both performance and quality. Expanding on this fast growing rod market Orvis has added two new sizes to it’s Superfine Glass lineup for 2016. A new length of 3-weight and more excitingly a 8½ft 6-weight will supplement the Orvis Superfine Glass lineup. I recently had an opportunity fish one of these new 6-weight Superfine Glass rods, and promptly headed out to get my small stream fix.
Don’t let the “slow” mystique of glass rods lead you into thinking that this rod is solely reserved for delicate dry fly fishing – far from it. After lining it up and making a few experimental casts I had no qualms jumping the deep end and throwing on a 15ft sink tip and a small articulated streamer. The next few hours produced a few decent trout and never once did I think, “man, if only I had a graphite rod I could fish it hole better”. Quite the opposite. The rod preformed amazingly and never felt under gunned whether it was the streamer/sink tip combo on or a double nymph rig. Later a few trout started feeding on top. Even though it was a 6wt the Superfine Glass laid out the midge dries like a feather and with the laser accuracy needed to entice cold winter trout to come to the surface.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my time with this rod. However, nothing is ever perfect and the same is true of this rod. The only issue I found was with the shorted length making it harder to lift the line for mending. This is consequence of all glass rods, as the weight of the glass material limits the length. Otherwise, even with the new building techniques, it would feel like waving a ball and chain around all day. This is super nitpicky, and I wouldn’t have any concern taking this rod to the Gallatin River, Madison River or other bigger rivers where long mends are needed. Most likely this rod, or any glass rod for that matter, will never be anyone’s go to rod. And even though glass rods are making a comeback they will never replace graphite rods, which, for the most part, do offer better overall performance. However, there is special place in fly fishing history (both past and present) for glass rods, which anyone who has ever fished one knows.