Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Bit More Glass

Cabelas CGR 7' 4/5wt

Recently I was able to pick up a Cabelas CGR 7' 4/5wt glass rod on sale.  A great find since I have been watching them closely for a year or so. Now with the rod in hand, it was a matter of seeing whether or not it performed as well as it looked. 

First impressions....out of the tube the rod looked like something well beyond its price range. No flaws whatsoever in the glass or wraps. The cork was nicer than some of the rods in my den costing 5 times what this retails for. 

The cork is a big surprise and much more than expected. I like the all cork reel seat, which was a selling point for me. The only improvement I would love to see would be nickel silver rings vs the aluminum. But hey, price-point would change at some point. Overall, high grade, comfortable and very little filler. 

The Spigot Ferrules are a nice touch. 

Fit and finish are flawless, and both fit and alignment of ferrules, wraps and guides are spot on. 

The real test in my mind would be how it threw a line. In the hand it has a crisp action that begs for a dry fly.  I had 3 lines on hand that should fit the rod, so I figured comparing all three would the best test I could put together.  (left to right: Orvis 5wt DT, Rio 4wt WF & Mastery Headstart 4wt)

Here's what I found/felt/thought...based on my layman's skills and lack of technical rod expertise. I know what I personally look for and like. Beyond that all is subjective.

I began with the 4wt WF line and my thoughts were "crisp. Easy casting and lively. Easy to toss sidearm loops with." But nothing to speak of. Functional, but I was hoping for more.

The 5wt DT was next.  With this line I felt the rod really found its niche. Casting was effortless and it seemed to load on it's own. I felt I could fish this setup on most any water I fish locally. The rod won me at that point.

The last line was the SA Heastart Master 4wt. I had bought this line on sale for my sons 7 1/2ft graphite rod. It was not spooled yet, so I wound it on an SA System 1 English made 4/5/6 reel with no backing. The Headstart has a short and 1/2 size heavier head for quick loading. With this line, the rod was almost impossible to miss with. I was picking spots on the snow 15-35' and bouncing a #12 Elk Hair Caddis off of them like I had owned the rod my whole life.  A 4 1/2 it was. Would a higher end line in a half-size up cast better? Maybe. But this line fit the rod perfectly.

The rig I believe I will be hitting the water with on the first signs of spring, with only a bit of backing still required.  I'll need to shop for another line for my son I reckon.

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