Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod 7’6″ 5-6wt – A study in expectations.

13 Mar

A few days ago I received an Eagle Claw Featherlight which I ordered from Cameron Mortenson of the Fiberglass Manifesto.

I ordered the rod after reading two or three excellent reviews that were posted on the Fiberglass Manifesto. Cameron has posted a review that he wrote a few years ago and continues to get favorable reviews from around the globe. I figure what is the harm in buying a $40 rod. So I jumped in.

The fly fishing world is flooded with the equivalent of fly fishing porn. Gorgeous rods, sparkling reels, elaborate flies and huge fish. It is inevitable  to develop high expectations for gear in this sport. It is important to check all of those expectations before looking at the Eagle Claw Featherlight Fly Rod.

As I opened the box and examined my new fly rod, my wife asked,’Not what you expected hun?’ She obviously could read the expression on my face. I wasn’t impressed. Not that I expected greatness but I think my constant exposure to the works of Scott Fly Rods, Gray Wolf Rods, and Thomas and Thomas had raised the bar way too high.

I took the rod out to what I assume to be the only open, flowing water here in the Ottawa area.  It is a small stream roughly 40′ across, and the riffled sections had opened up after a week of temperatures just above freezing.

This is where the little yellow rod amazed me.  It has a great responsive feel and a  short range touch that I have been missing in my previous selection of rods.  It didn’t feel like a short rod, until I tried to high stick around a large rock.  Then I realized that I was fishing with a rod easily a foot and a half shorter than my others.  It is really light in the hand and balanced well with my Lamson Konic.

It has a very predictable casting stroke.  It rewards accurate ‘stops’ in your cast with relatively tight loops.  It also roll casts very well. I did try some single handed spey/skagit style casts and they did get where I wanted them to go but I think I need a bit more time with the rod until I am shooting line using these casting presentations.

I have to agree with all of the reviews I have read, this rod outperforms its looks.

Not only will I be dragging this rod around to some of the smaller water I head to this year, but it will be a perfect rod for my wife and kids to learn to fly cast with.  Light, small, and a responsive feel, a great little rod, and I can’t wait until I have a big smallmouth on it.

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