Ten Years in the melting pot PII–SW Fly rods a review

Spending time on the ground (and /or in the water, sand, wind, rain, salt, sun as the case maybe) will over years reveal the strengths and weaknesses of fishing tackle. Time spent in a saltwater environment is no doubt a place where many items not up to the mark will find themselves in serious trouble.

Picture2After ten seasons of saltwater guiding and fishing on the Irish coast I have seen many rods and reels that claim to be suited to the Irish saltwater fishing environment – I will over the next few weeks take a look at some of these items and their performances over time. Looking first at saltwater fly reels here the following four fly rods I have found to be excellent and are categorised under four headings tactical, functional, practical and optional!

The testing mix consisted of – the environment where we fish, the type of fish, price, functionality, longevity, personal experience over time, style and suitable application in a world where practicality is very important! We might all love to have an Xi3 but……

I have included an if only category on this section because of one range of rods that I really like!

Tactical consider as a good recommendation, not necessarily the most expensive or indeed perfect solution but offering something truly special

Functional consider as an item that works very well, lasts and is not too expensive, and whilst it may not last forever it looks and feels a little different and gets the job done well and better than most

Practical is a category that an item will fall under when it simply works, is very reasonably priced, will last but may not be the best looking or performing item on the beach!

Optional looking for something different that works and lasts and is immediately recognisable through design and function then this is it – a perfect alternative at times to tactical!


Saltwater Fly Rods

  • Tactical G-Loomis Crosscurrent GLX #8 –
    • The crosscurrent GLX is not something I would have been able to afford normally, the two that I own were given to me as presents a #7 and a #8. Loops, speed, reserve power when needed – it doesn’t get much better than this (unless its an NRX!)
  • Functional ECHO Rajeff Sports – ECHO3
    • The ECHO3 range of saltwater rods from # 6 –# 12, fast, tight, with a crisp action and feeling incredibly light in the hand, these to me are the rods that can ‘fit’ a range of Irish SW fly anglers. Looking for something that wont break the bank and yet perform brilliantly time and again, these are they!
  • Practical TFO TiCRX
    • The TiCRX – slightly slower than the TiCR this rod is a good solution for many SW fly casters – whether you like to carry long lines in the air or to shoot quickly at close range – there are simply many many features here, I love this rod for the price and presentations it can cast !
  • Optional Sage Xi3
    • The Sage Xi3 – My favourite fishing rod, I currently use a #7  loaded with the Guideline coastal intermediate. Exclusive technology make this a sublime casting and fishing experience beyond anything else I have ever used.
  • IF Only – Redington CPS #8 and #7
    • No longer available I’m afraid but you might find them on the web from time to time – too many associations with this rod to mention and a great fishing tool too – featured many times in fishing reports throughout this site. The Cpx was the newer version, this is to change this year to another newer series called Link – I’m hoping this might feel like a return to the CPS!

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