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Thread: Best Retro Fly Rods of All Time...

  1. #1
    Senior Member ouzelpro's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Fire Country, USA

    Best Retro Fly Rods of All Time...

    Lists by a few bloggers. The rods are limited to older, out of production models. What determines your favorite rod list? I'll borrow from Mad Men: its how the rod makes you feel. My personal list is:
    -the Loomis IMX 9', 5wt.,
    -the Powell Light Touch (Chico Era), 9', 4wt. (its a 2 piece, but I'll NEVER sell it),
    -the Winston IM6 that I never got around to buying,
    -the Sage LL 389 that I always borrowed from a guide friend
    -the Redington RS2 9', 5wt. that I broke and Redington replaced with an RS3, never the same.

    Here are the lists from other folk:

    One more thing: limit your list to rods that you actually fished, more than once. If you diddled a rod on a grass lawn, forget it.

    Of course, everyone's opinion is unique, but have fun and don't get your pantyhose in a twist over it.
    Last edited by ouzelpro; 05-30-2012 at 10:03 PM.

  2. #2
    Senior Member ricinus's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Sage RPL's. Down the road, Sage Z-axis.

    My new goal in life is to become an Alter Kaker...

  3. #3
    Dear ouzelpro,

    I find it hard to refer to a rod made out of the present material of choice as retro? With that caveat I'll list a couple that I'll never part with.

    Sage 279LL - My first "ultralight" fly rod, nowadays many would consider it a club best suited for nymphing since they want to cast size 22 BWO's 60 feet with their 00 weight and miss the hookup
    Sage 389LL - It's nice, and its versatile.

    Orvis 1wt - Even more perfect than the 279 for small stream work

    South Bend 290 - One for the real retro fishers. It's a handy little 7 1/2 foot 5 weight bamboo. Even the whimpiest limp wristed fly fisherman won't moan about how awfully heavy and unwieldy it is.
    Granger Victory 9050 - a 9' 5 weight bamboo made for bigger water and bigger flies. It'll do everything any graphite rod will do of the same line weight.

    Sceptre 7 1/2 foot - the fiberglass version of the SB 290. It was the only rod I had for 4 years of college when I fly fished way more than anyone could have ever imagined.
    Fenwick 857 - I'm guessing on the model number but it's an earlier 8 1/2 foot 7 weight. Perfect for smaller stream smallmouth and float tubing for green trout and 'gills.

    That's my list.


    Tim Murphy
    Last edited by Tim Murphy; 06-01-2012 at 12:48 AM.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
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    Aug 2011
    My favorites are all my Sage SPL's and a few TXL's.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
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    Jul 2011
    I did not see a Orvis Far and Fine on this list or any of those linked to. I'm talking about the unsanded blank model with staggered sections.
    I've owned 2 in my life. I still have one. Its the best rod I've ever fished on skinny water.
    It would be at the top of my retro rod list.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2011
    Lewiston, ME
    I will agree with you about the Loomis IMX; it's a fine rod and one sits in my closet and doesn't get used nearly often enough. The main reason it doesn't is that I broke down a few years ago and bought myself a Winston WT before they disappeared or went ballistic, price-wise. The only Powell I've owned was an absolute stick of a six-weight that got foisted off on me soon after I took up the sport. Yes, it was 'Chico era', but it was still a stick.


  7. #7
    Super Moderator George K's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
    Deep South-Central PA
    For many years I have built rods and sold them for no profit, just to pay for the hobby.


    Rods that will become part of my estate:

    Orvis "Trout" 8' 6wt - great shad, and small stream smallmouth and steelhead rod.

    Orvis "Far And Fine" 7'9" 5wt *

    Orvis "Ultrafine" 7'9" 2 wt

    - these three Orvis unsanded classics are the proverbial extensions of my casting arm.

    Orvis bamboo "7-3" 7' 3wt - slow and sweet

    Partridge cane "Traditional" 6'6" 4 wt - stiff and powerful, great fun for shad

    Sage LL 7'11" 4wt

    Sage 12'6" 4 pc 7/8 wt Spey rod

    ALL my East Branch rods - 1, 3, 5, 6, and 7 wts

    Diamondback "Classic Trout", 7' 3 wt and 7' 4 wt

    Winston LT 3 and 5 wts * These are cosmetic seconds ("Guide") that I bought for very reasonable prices when I worked P/T in a fly shop

    Fenwick "World Class" 8' 5/6 wt - My go to rod for Lake Erie trib steelheading - a fast but smooth 4 pc version of the Orvis "Trout", an easy-casting rod with enough backbone for 10-15 lb. steelhead

    Rod I really, really really regret not keeping:

    Sage LL 8'9" 3 wt (4 pc)

    * = factory rod, others I built from blanks myself.

    I have other glass, cane and graphite rods, but would sell or trade them should the opportunity arise.
    Last edited by George K; 06-24-2012 at 08:17 PM.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
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    Aug 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by Ibupropane View Post
    I did not see a Orvis Far and Fine on this list or any of those linked to. I'm talking about the unsanded blank model with staggered sections. ... .
    what he said!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Quote Originally Posted by steve s View Post
    what he said!
    I fished mine this this past weekend. Here is the result.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
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    Jul 2011
    Republic of Arundel, Geographic Center of the World
    GARY Loomis IM6

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