Cabelas CGR Glass Rods
A year+ on the water review
It's no secret that I am a fan of the Cabelas CGR Glass rod series. Since picking up the 7' 4/5wt model in 2015, it didn't take me long to add two more of the line to the stable as well. Last winter it was the 7'6" 5/6wt and this past summer came the 7' 6" 7/8wt model to round out what I wanted. As for the rest of the line? They all look very enticing, but I have personal glass already filling those slots, so despite my affinity for the line, they would seldom see water.
Since first purchasing the rods, I have settled on a few things to complete the rigs as I would fish them. A personal favorite reel of mine is the Martin MG7, which I found to originally match the 5/6wt rod perfectly. So much so, that I began the hunt for 2 more near mint MG7's to complete the set. These rods just seem to balance perfectly with them, and with the sale prices of both the rods and used martin reels, a pretty nice rig is afforded a patient buyer for well under $100.
SO.....with 2 seasons carrying the 4/5wt and a full season of intended application for the big brothers of the line....how did they fare on the water?
CGR 7' 4/5wt
The 4/5wt was the selling point for me on the CGR line, and I am still very much a fan. It is equally at home from light warm-water to trout streams, and proved itself very capable early on. This rod came to it's final rigging for me with an Orvis DT5F line. While it will cast a 4wt line just fine, I feel that it is at heart a 5wt. I find the rod to do extremely will with dries and light single nymph rigs. It begins to drop off picking up line once you add much weight to it, regardless of line used however. It will fish heavier rigs mind you, but not with ease, and I found myself pushing the rod more than fishing it comfortably by days end.
On design and fit, I have found no fault in any aspect of the rod. I know many are not a fan of the cork-and-ring reel seat, but I personally love it. My reels hold well, with no slippage or loosening over 2 years. The spigot ferrules are remaining tight and the cork is without issue. I tend to fish this model the least, but only because it is fighting for time with several other rods and I feel it is limited a bit for the rigs it will throw.
CGR 7'6" 5/6wt
The 7'6" model is my personal favorite of the line. This rod will bend in half on a 24" Rainbow or a 3lb Largemouth and never blink. I find this rod to be a true 6wt, and with an aggressive taper line will throw anything you tie on short of large bass or saltwater rigs. This rod loved the Orvis Warmwater WF6F line from day one and I use it on both warm-water and cold-water applications.
I am a huge fan of the light fighting-butt and both fit and finish are perfect. this rod will throw as much line as you need effortlessly, and has the backbone for indicator/splitshot/tandem nymph rigs. After a hard year of use, the cork is flawless though soiled, and the reel seat and ferrules remain as tight as new. It remains my go-to nymph/light warm-water rig.
CGR 7'6" 7/8wt
The 7/8wt CGR is flat out a workhorse of a rod. However, opposite of the light 2 rods preceding it, I find it to be a true 7wt rod and likewise its carries an Orvis WF7F Warm-water taper line. This rod has been put through the trials in a single busy season. Dragged through cedar swamps, lily pads, pond-edge brush and coastal marsh this rod has held up perfectly. It is built for popping light to medium hair bugs accurately and quickly becomes an extension of your arm. I carry an 8wt line spooled and ready for really larger bass flies, but only fished it a few times. For me, it struggles with picking up a heavily loaded 8wt line and becomes no fun to cast through the day. It will do it if called upon, but with a 7wt line I find myself unable to leave this rod at home.
Fit and finish held up on this rod flawlessly. I had my doubts since I am hard on my warm-water gear. But the cork, reel seat and ferrules have held up just fine. And at a sale price of $59, I find it hard to beat for a sub-8' glass bass rod.
The Cabelas CGR glass line not only feels great initially, but fishes well and holds up very nicely. They have all found a permanent place in my stable, and have left much more expensive rods sitting idle for most of the past 2 years. I would not feel worried or hesitate in relying on any of the 3 models I own regardless of the trip. They have held up MUCH better than I initially expected and for the money they are unbeatable in my opinion.
See you on the water!