Can a more expensive fly rod make you a better fisherman? The answer is, “yes”…and “no”. We all know guys that can both cast very well and get the job done fishing. We also know guys that aren’t the best casters but catch fish like hell, and those that cast like a pro but catch very few fish. Getting confused yet? Let’s look at it like this; A scratch golfer gets to that level by practicing. It would be a poor bet to go up against him or her even if you owned the best quality clubs available, fitted for you by a top notch golf pro. Even if your opponent were using the crappiest, rusty old clubs, odds are against you because he or she is a better golfer.
However, lets say you currently have a 14 handicap and are using a set of mid range clubs. Assuming that you spend your share of time on the practice range, you should improve your game gradually but will a better set of clubs make a difference? Absolutely!! The reason for this is that as you increase in price, you typically get greater research and development and that costs money. In the fly rod world, the same holds true. A highly skilled fly caster should be able to cast with any rod but when you get into a specific situation like high winds, heavy rigs, big flies or picky trout, there is no question that a “better quality” rod will improve an average caster’s game.
Case in point; recently a customer was in a conundrum about purchasing a muskie and pike rod that would cross over into salt water applications. He looked at several different models but was not convinced that the premium products would make a noticeable difference. After several back and forths, we convinced him to go with the Sage Salt 890-4.
This is powerful rod built with Sage’s Konnetic Graphite (Konnetic Graphite might be the longest leap forward in graphite technology since the invention of graphite fly rods.) and is built to cast. After just a week of using the rod, our customer called us to let us know that he was extremely happy with the decision. He recognized that he was an at best average caster and immediately saw the difference in the fly rod, that being the ability to handle large flies, cast great distances, deal with wind and be consistently accurate. The jump even from the $500.00 price point to the $900.00 range was dramatic in his opinion and after casting both, it became clear that the Salt was a superior rod.
That doesn’t mean that everyone needs to go out and drop a G note on a fly rod but like anything, we say spend what you can afford and it will make a difference. In end though, practice is what will really improve your fishing.
For information on Grand River Outfitting’s layaway plan or private casting lessons, contact the shop.