I don't know if you noticed, but Christmas was just a little over a week ago. I didn't ask for any new rods or reels this year, mostly because everybody in my family already thinks I have enough rods and reels, and I didn't want to get any grief from them. But as we all know, you can never have too many rods and reels, so I got myself a few Christmas presents, to go along with the wonderful stuff my family did get me.
First of all, I figured I needed a new reel to go with my new bamboo rod that I won earlier in December (click on Boo! to read all about it!). It's a very light 6'6" 2wt rod, and I didn't have a reel that was small enough to balance it well, and I also didn't have a 2wt line to use on it. The 3wt lines I have seemed a little too much for it. I know that a classic old bamboo rod probably deserves a classic old reel to go with it, like a Hardy Flyweight or an Orvis CFO, but I don't think I will actually be fishing with this rod all that much, and I couldn't justify spending much on a reel for it. Same with the line. So, after much consternation and grinding of teeth, I finally decided to go with something a little less expensive. I ordered a Maxcatch Avid 1/3 reel direct from China, and a Maxcatch 2wt weight forward line to go with it, also from China. I got both for well under $50, and the amazing thing is that they both came with free shipping. How can they ship things all the way from China without charging for shipping? And, they arrived less than a week after I ordered them! What a crazy world we live in...
The Avid seems like a very nice little machined large arbor reel, with a disc drag and everything! It seems to be very well built, but I guess time will tell if it lasts. The line is your basic weight forward line. I am a fan of name-brand lines, but I also would rather spend my rod fund money on rods and reels, so I have purchased a few cheap lines from Maxcatch. So far, they all seem fine. And super cheap!
I haven't been doing very much fly fishing for bass over the past few years, so about a year ago I decided to sell my high-end bass rod to help fund some other rod or reel purchase that I don't actually remember right now. I figured I could always find a lower priced bass rod at a later point in time. After much searching, I found two at the same time! So, I bought both, and will figure out which one I like best once the temps get above -5 and I go outside.
The first rod is a beautiful old Fenwick HMG 8'6" 7wt, that looks like it hasn't been used much, if at all. There's still a label on the cork...The second is another old beauty, a Sage 790 DS, which also has had very little use. That one even has a built-in extended butt, which will come in handy if I ever catch a brute of a smallie. Some of you might be thinking, "I thought this guy only fished fiberglass rods...". Well, I have come to the conclusion that fiberglass is a perfect rod material for me in smaller line sizes, like 6wt and under. The few fiberglass 7 & 8wts I have cast seemed like they were a little too heavy, so I tired out faster than I wanted. So, it's back to graphite for me, at least in the bigger line weights. But I will stick with the older and slower graphite, thank you very much.
The other fishing gifts were actual gifts, not just things I bought for myself. Both of them were books, All Fishermen Are Liars, by John Gierach, and Fish Won't Let Me Sleep by James Babb. Both Gierach and Babb are excellent writers, so I am excited to have some new books to read during the unrelenting Minnesota winter which has only just begun.
I hope you all had a very Merry Fishmas!