Monday, October 3

Does it ever stop raining? Why I'm fishing in drainage ditches and reviewing 3wt rods that I keep buying even though I can't figure out what the hell I'm going to do with them and was perfectly happy with the first one i had. two. ok, ok, first two. still.

The mist hides dirt.
Clever cropping.
Seriously, man. I'd actually planned on commenting on my ability to be all timely and cash in on the fiberglass thing that seems to be reaching a point of pre-cool, but, no...later this week, maybe. For now? Rain, man. Rain.

Biblical rain level it seems. Maybe not, but it feels like it. It seems that whenever I have the chance to fish, some jackass is either breaking into my car or its raining.

Its constant. I was able to get out one day, and since then, its raining or blown out. As a man who won't drive 10 miles from the front door, the 45 minutes to the local tailwater is like travelling to Uranus. Ergo, I'm stuck for ideas in places to fish. My summer of exploration continues to be stymied by nature.  But, like everything else, you make due. Its tiny, its encased by filth (I think the trash holds the walls in), but there are fishable, wild, trout waters to be found. Its also forced me to use all the damned 3wt rods I seem to accumulate.

I mean, I know why I keep buying them, but I should frankly just say no. I think I finally have. I've been on the search for The One, as it were, and I think up next is a 4/5wt. Anyways, I'm up to four 3 weight rods, two this summer (y'know, the one I couldn't fish) alone.

Actually, five. I sent one back. At least that one was long, every other one is under 8', three 7' or shorter. I babbled about the Cabela's CGR 5'9" rod awhile ago, today its the Hardy 7' 3wt Classic Lightweight. I suppose the rain is fortunate, then, because its forced me to try something different: drainage ditch fishing.

Fish porn: a LVstoner novelty!
Don't get me wrong, its interesting. Its different. At its widest, its maybe 7' across, usually 4' and hemmed in and over by dirt, trash, and trees. Even though I've never seen anyone fish this, and these fish are unpressured, they bolt as soon as I lumber my ass in, but its still fun, especially as I missed the low and clear late summer fishing, which I like. Its nice knowing I can find it, and fish willing to eat dry flies, no matter how much rain. I'm thankful for that, really.

I just wish the average fish was bigger than 5" though. There's a few that one could eat if one were into eating them, but generally speaking, I think they'd qualify for PFBC fingerling programs.

More to the point, though, it provides me a reason to talk about 3 weight rods, and use them as intended. They're more practical than 1 weights, less utilitarian than 4 weights, and in my case all short little affairs.

Did I mention the one is a 7' Hardy? I know I didn't, coz that's what this is about. Its pointless gear, and a pointless review. You know how this works...

Old versus new: 96 years later,  and it's still classy.
Let's get the first thing out of the way: Holy crap, this thing is expensive. Or should be. Would've been, except there's a guy online who offered a rad deal. I took him up on it, then screwed him over for several months as I lost the ability to make due on my side of the deal for months, before I finally cracked and sent him cash. You really don't care about any of that, but I do. Because, man, this isn't cheap, and I feel bad about dragging it out.

Figure this nonsense out. 
So, yeah, its expensive. Excessively so, in its way. On the other hand, maybe its also a  bit...luxurious? Or, over the top. For what its worth, I think that's part of the appeal, its a Hardy. Even though its an AZN made Hardy, its a Hardy.  I think its supposed to be over the top. Its like Top Gear, but in fly rod form. Somehow that seems superfuckin pretentious to say. But, y'know what, that's sort of the point, I think, of it all.

I think the gents at Hardy might feel that way, too. You want pedestrian, go buy Greys. You want fancy....? Let's take a look, eh?

Most rods, they come with a tube, and maybe a stock. If its a nice rod, it comes with a metal tube, right? What about a metal tube, with a sock....I mean, like, for the tube? Dig. Rod inside sock inside tube inside sock. And there ain't no regular old fashioned screw top for this, no way, that's not nearly fancy enough... There's a cork. A cork! Oh, and the female ferrule? Machined aluminum (pronounced ah-you-linni-um, I think) ferrule plug, which while entirely superfluous is pretty damned cool. Also, since let's be honest once you're impressed by this, you'll never care again, the inner sock has a little pouch for it.

Over the top? Absolutely. Attention to detail? Anal retentive level. Awesome? I was impressed. Maybe it doesn't take much, but I was impressed out of the gate. Think about it, this is the sort of lame thing that people who Youtube videos of unboxing Apple products probably have wet dreams over. I wouldn't know, having never had the urge to video tape myself unboxing crap, nor really thought twice about how insanely over the top packaging was, well, until this thing showed up (or the occasional '70s Hawkwind gatefold).

Now, if my rods don't have multiple layers of protection, well, I'm ruined. You never forget your first rod-tube-sock or something, I guess, whatever. Yeah.

Used fancy words for "red."
So, pull it out of its multiple levels of protection, and what do you get? A two piece rod, and a really gorgeous garnet red blank. The wraps are red, but lighter and shine like a ruby. Silver accent wraps, and silver hardware accent the whole thing. The rod has an exposed male spigot ferrule, and is tip-over-butt. I would count the number of guides for you, but its put away and I'm too lazy. How about we just go with "enough," yeah? The whole thing is graced with a pale gold Hardy logo, and hand scribed label and serial number in white ink. Again, I'm a sucker for this sort of thing, and the handwriting just adds a level of distinction. The grip is a cigar shape. I like that. I'm sure everyone should but doesn't. Why not? Don't care, you suck.
Stupid sliding band. 

You know what else sucks, though? Sliding. Band. Reel seat. How many ways must I suffer this affliction? Didja know the the Orvis Superfine Touch ditched the sliding bands on their littlest rods? They did. Uplocking, unfortunately. I mean, I'm happy to see sliding bands ditched, not so happy to see them go uplocking. This Hardy, so well done up to now has a sliding band seat. A crappy one, at that. Its the worst thing about the entire rod, even. Big, bold shiny silver ring too tight around the seat. Jamming reels in there sucks. Although, then again, the only one I wanted to use was a 1492. So, maybe I'm unfair. Don't know. Do know I was reduced to an old Cabela's LSR. The oldest, most unpleasing thing I own. Its soul less, and boring. It looked pretty when I got it, but man, in hindsight, its just not a good reel. Its got no soul. This may have nothing to do with anything, but seriously, man, that bugs me. I'm not above being that guy, and making it glaringly obvious on a public Internetish basis that I'm so shallow. Deal.
See, classy. Except the band.

When this first came in the mail, I was at the depths of the sickness. I wasn't going anywhere, which is a shame coz the flows were good, the weather was nice and this was supposed to be good for that. Best I could do was in my yard. So, I strung it up with my only 3 weight line, a Cortland Sylk 3DT, and stumbled out into the daylight.

Results were not good. Horrible. Way too stiff for me, the sort of person who likes to feel things to all bendy and what not. When overlined with a 444 4WF in an attempt to make it load up like I wanted, it was too much the other direction. Things weren't good. I was unpleased.

Basically, when I first saw it up for sale, I thought it was the glass but didn't want to bail after I found out otherwise, because it was a good phenomenal deal. To find out it was unpleasing wasn't cool, man, because up until the actual use of the rod it was all aces. Seriously, the crazy unpackaging extravaganza impressed my shit that much. See, how many paragraphs later and I'm still going on about it.

This was harsh, but was figuring on someone giving me a good trade based on its perceived value, maybe the fiberglass one. I'd have liked that. Still, needed to at least give it one chance on the water, and that's what it needed, in the end. Turns out, once you put it into the proper enviroment, its a good rod. It flicks line with proper authority, which seems like a quality English thing to say. It has the power of the glorious gye-ron, the chicken-dragon of Korean myth (presumably gye-ron capes go for beaucoup, hence my analogy), if you will.

7' wasn't too big for where I've been going, and was certainly easier to fish than 5'9". It was quicker to respond to casts, yet still flexible enough for good roll cast pickups. Its good in the hand, when it loads right, you can almost feel it respond to wrist flicks and just carry out the line to excellent distance. It was a different animal on water. I'd swear I feel the rod load to under my hand and flex, its a distinct pleasure to cast. You can certainly feel the fishes' moves, but it doesn't bend as deep as you'd want, you can feel it, sure, but you know you're going to overpower the ditch dwellers you've been enjoying.

To be fair, it needs to be tried in a better enviroment, but at that point I'm gonna wonder why I'm using a 7' fly rod. I dunno. I guess I'm not fully on the concept, yet.


  1. I'm tossing this ramble up on my FB page. You'll have to deal with all the incoming adoration.

  2. its the pretty pictures, innit, coz fuckall knows it ain't the words. i looked at it when i had pressed publish, and thought, "why?"

    then i went to bed. and it just keeps on freakin' raining.

    oh, and thanks for tellerating me.