With a couple months past since receipt of this rod, I was anxious to get it on the water. The result?....I was not let down.
The water was mid-flow and allowed a perfect chance to test things on longer casts with nymph rigs. The reason I had targeted the rod all along.
When I spoke with Dusty at Livingston Rods I was appreciative to speak with a friendly voice willing to talk fly rods. Specifically glass fly rods. We tweaked the standard build 8' 6wt, adding a slim full wells grip to support fishing heavy winter rigs and larger fish. I also stayed with the natural glass blank and chestnut wraps since that was the look I was originally attracted to when deciding on Livingston.
I spooled a Cortland Retro II reel with an SA Frequency Boost WF5F line, thinking the additional 1/2 weight in the taper would suit the 6wt. On the terminal end I went with a furled Furl Girl 5/6wt 5' mono leader with micro swivel, and 48" of 5X FlouroFlex tippet. Fly was a #16 beadhead REC Caddis Emerger with necessary split-shot and cork indicator.
What I found was an enjoyable rod in hand. It shoots line like a cannon, yet loads quickly for short casts. It roll casts a nymph rig with ease, quite possibly being the best roll casting rig I have owned to date. There is barely noticeable tip-weight when held, so common with 6wt and up glass rods, making it feel very balanced in hand. Casting stroke is smooth with no bounce whatsoever, and unexpected power.
I was able to bring a few fish to hand prior to a humidity storm that pushed me off the water. What I found was a rod that played the first 12" rainbow enjoyably, as well as handling a couple 18" browns with ease.
The rod build is impeccable. Dusty does some beautiful work that surpasses many higher-end glass rods available in my opinion. This rod is exactly what I was looking for. A glass rod that will cover heavier trout work without being too big, but would also be a great smallmouth and light warm water rig.