Slower is Better?
Every once in awhile, I think about how technology has really changed the way we look at gear and ultimately how this translates into affecting our experiences on the water. Although the “latest and greatest” often represents progress, sometimes older really is better.
When talking fly rods, we all want lightweight, durability, and performance in a rod that we’ll use for a variety of conditions. In my mind, there is now substitute like a fine fly rod for enhancing the experience on the water. Whether it’s easier to cast or as light as air, these attributes are what drive R&D from rod manufacturers and ultimately us, the consumer. There is no doubt that these improvements have made fishing effectively much more accessible by reducing the learning for anglers as they improve their skills.
Orvis’ Superfine Touch line of rods is kind of a blend between the old and new in terms of technology and a series of rods that I’ve come to enjoy fishing with more and more. The line of rods has been expanded to where they now have had a few models in lengths and line weights that are more suited for most of my fishing which is generally on larger rivers. Traditionally, this was a series of small stream rods with very slow or “full-flex “ actions ideal for short roll-casts, or overhead casting in brushy creeks.
The 905 Superfine Touch has become one of my favorite rods to fish with on those days when fishing dries or small nymphs are the way to go. The smooth, deliberate loading of the rod allows for a slow, easy presentation and just feels when in our hand. A reasonable sized fish puts a great bend in the rod and gives that angler just a little more connected feel during the whole process of hooking and landing a fish. I wouldn’t want it as my primary rod, but it sure is fun to fish with 90% of the time and that’s why it has become the rod I go to when the conditions are right.
So, the next time you’re looking at a new rod, stop to ask yourself what it really is that you’re hoping to get out that next purchase. The Superfine just might be exactly what you really want in that it is lightweight, beautiful, and as smooth a casting graphite rod out there today. It’s not going to be a great streamer rod or something you’ll want to use punching hoppers 60’ on a windy day. But if you’re wade fishing a small to medium sized river and want that feeling we all used to have at one time or another, then this rod is worth a cast or two while shopping rods.