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Ronan's report

Tuesday March 11th, 2008

Good time of year this. The salmon season is underway, we already have tales of a huge springer from the Dee - the captors are claiming 42lbs - no pics and that weight is a conservative estimate given the measurements being mentioned.

Our trout rivers open on the 15th. The early season in this part of the world is always dour, cold water and little sign of weed or insects. This year, after a few dry mild months we're getting rain - loads of it. Ah, yes, the season's starting. Fly fishing doesn't really get going for a few weeks yet so the river should be in better condition by then.

Got a clutch of new rods and things to try so I'm dying to get out and about. I can't see much pattern to the way tackle is going but there are a couple of trends and at least one potential revolution.

Rods seem to be getting lighter and more refined - nothing new there. For blank lightness and strength, Orvis Helios are impressive. The 9ft #5 and #8 rods I've tried are exceptionally light in the hand, but still it looks to me like their carbon/thermoplastic resin blanks will really prove themselves on longer rods.

Interest in long light-line single-handed rods continues to grow. The Maxia from Modern Flies is one of the more unusual, in an effort to reduce weight they have done away with varnish and thread, guides are "welded" to the rod?

Sharkskin is probably the most revolutionary step in fly-line design in recent years. I'm still a little undecided if I like the texture and sound but the one I have seems to cast well - very well! Everything I hear from people who have persisted with Sharkskin lines suggests they improve with use and it's simply a matter of getting accustomed to the unfamiliar surface and sound.

In the UK, more and more reels feature cassette spools. The idea has been around for many years, I think the first I saw were on STH reels, then British Fly Reels made several budget and middle market reels with cassette spools. Over that last few seasons the numbers seem to have grown exponentially - cheap spools, even on quite expensive reels.

Reels bother me. I could easily develop a reel habit to rival Lars' bag problem. Simple modern reels. Exotic sculptural reels Classic, beautifully engineered reels.

Love those toys!


Pic Of Day

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