I was very excited about this rod. I find a 9ft 5wt rod to be the ideal rod for beginners. A critical thing to look for in a fly rod when starting out is versatility. A rod being versatile will allow you to home in on which fly fishing technique you prefer without having to own 3, 4 or even 5 fly rods and spend a fortune. It’s such an advantage to have a rod that can cover as many applications as possible.
My first cast with the rod was over grass. The first thing I noticed was how light the rod is, the reel seat, cork handle and finish on the rod is fantastic. Once I finished admiring the rod, it was time to try it out. I tried some aerial mends, wiggle cast, reach cast, double hauling and of course the overhead cast. The rod performed well throughout each cast.
The rod recovers quickly and is very responsive, this showed up, especially during the wiggle cast and aerial mend. The TMesh certainly is unique and seems to eliminate the side-to-side wiggle of the rod, which results in quick tip recovery once the rod is stopped. This makes the rod very crisp and allows it to do what you ask it to do.
Some rods specialise in a certain application, limiting the rod’s characteristics. Stevie has really put thought into the design of this rod and made it very versatile, which gives it lots of character.
Did we really expect anything different from Mr. Munn? A rod being designed by a fly angler of Stevie’s calibre for the fly angler was always going to impress. With the level of thought and vigorous testing this rod has undergone it means you can effectively fish wet fly, dry fly, dry dropper, streamers, and tight line nymph with it very effectively.
The rod is a hybrid in a way that covers the applications, holding the features and characteristics it requires to do so. This is a serious bonus when owning a fishing rod. Looking at the applications mentioned, each application needs some special characteristics, all of which were moulded into the making of this fly rod.
The rod being light and versatile makes it perfect for guiding. Something else that I like about this rod is that it’s very user-friendly, most of my clients have never cast a fly rod before, the rod loads easily and gives very distinct feedback, which makes it effortless to teach with. The slim cork handle gives a comfortable grip and superb feedback to the caster, a very important benefit when learning. It’s also at home in the hands of an experienced angler, of which I have had many. Roll casts, single Spey and Circle C are a joy to perform and watch with this rod. I am always certain what exactly the rod is doing when I am casting. I paired the rod with the CF20 5/6 reel and CSM WF5F fly line.
The rod on its top half is effortless to load without being “soft”. It gives superb tippet protection, which I needed to call on a couple of times. When people hear about good tippet protection characteristics in a rod, they may feel the rod is soft, not the case here, the bottom half holds great fish taming power which helped me in southern county with some large rainbows on my last visit there. Overall, a versatile rod that is comfortable with many applications. The 9ft 5wt has now become my go-to rod for instructing and guiding.