|Steeped in olde timey, bitches.|
Amongst things devoted to wet flies has been an interest in obtaining a rod to fish them correctly. At this time, I have little interest in the North Country, tight line method espoused by such notables as Oliver Edwards and Davy Wotton (a personal note to Mr. Wotton: Please consider a manicure before your next video. For the love of God, your nails are revolting, and since you're tying flies I'm forced to look at the disguisting things. Yes, this matters), but am much more focused on the more traditional cross stream methods most commonly associated (and derided) with wet fly fishing.
I tried a couple of rods to start, first a 10' TFO Jim Teeny 5wt (with a 6wt line), which turned up the myriad of shortcomings, both expected and not: Tight loops and high line speed are not ideal for wet fly fishing. You want to keep loops open to ensure your droppers don't tangle each other (which can be done somewhat by simply changing stroke), but the line speed issue is more or less integral to things due to the intrinsic power you put into a stiff rod. The thing I didn't know ahead of time is that fast line speed turns fuck ups into catastrophes, meaning if you tangle your line against itself in a bad cast, you're gonna end up cutting and retying alot. When your cast hits a branch, it tends to wrap itself tight, and you'll loose a lot more flies, whereas a slow rod allows your tangles to be unwound without constant recutting, and you can retrieve flies without having to clomp across the stream.
So, the Teeny was out, and a $20 eBay (including shipping!) Silafex 022985 was in. We're closer, as its slower, fuller action seemed to prevent alot of the issues, but its basically a 6/7wt (emphasis on 7wt) rod, which is a bit too much for the small fish I frequent. I may have resolved the issues of a fast rod, but it was definitely overkill for the smaller waters I frequented.
Come the Somerset Fly Show, I met with Cameron from TFM, and mentioned what I'd been fishing. He suggested a rod I should try out, and said he'd send a loaner up my way.
Three weeks later, I came home to a surprise at my door.