"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

"A dude can't live on just two fly rods alone..." - Scott Hanson

Man, I have some deep thoughts...

Thursday, July 11, 2019

The Fives

I have already written about my 3-weight rods (The Threes) and my 4-wt rods (The Fours), so why not chronicle my 5-weight rods now? I can see no reason, so here we go!

The Fives
 As I mentioned in The Fours, I believe that 4- and 5-weight rods are the best tools for most of the fly fishing that I do (trout and panfish), so they tend to make up a majority of my rod quiver. I like the fact that I can cast small flies with accuracy, but I have no problem casting big ol' streamers and nymphs when the need arises. I have short 5-weights for small, brushy streams, and longer 5-weights for bigger streams and lakes. Let's start with the short ones:

First up is a 6'6" Cortland FR-2000 glass rod. It is the perfect rod for casting under low hanging tree branches and down tight, overgrown creeks. It is smooth and powerful, and I always have a great time fishing with it.
Cortland FR-2000, paired with a Berkley 556R reel, which balances it perfectly. And, bluegill.

Next up is a 7' Phillipson Registered Epoxite glass rod. These are the only rods that Phillipson made with spigot ferrules, at least as far as I have been able to find. There seems to be some question about who made the blanks for these rods, as they are unlike any other Phillipson rod. Some people seem to think they were made by the Fisher Company, who also made blanks for Hardy, Winston, and Scientific Anglers, among others. I have no clue, but to me it does look and feel like other Fisher-made rods that I own, so perhaps.... Whatever the case, it is one sweet rod!
Phillipson Registered Epoxite 7' 5wt

Back in the day, Timberline made pack rods that were built on Lamiglas blanks. I think the guy who owned Timberline also made similar pack rods under the L.L. Bean name... My 7' 4-piece Timberline rod is perfect for throwing in a backpack when hiking around in trout country. And it throws a beautiful line, as well!
Timberline 7' pack rod, built on a Lamiglas blank.

My 7'6" Hardy 5-weight was definitely built on a Fisher blank. It's a sweet rod that throws great loops.
7'6" Hardy Fibatube glass rod
Some people might say that I have too many 8-foot-long 5-weights, but this is my blog, and I didn't ask them, so those people should keep their opinions to themselves... The first 8-footer is my old Scott PowR-Ply glass rod. It's a funny rod: at first when I picked it up it felt way too heavy and awkward. It especially feels too tip-heavy to me; I like it when a rod and reel balances near the grip. This old yellow beast doesn't do that, so if I were just to go by its waggle factor, I would have moved it on to someone else long ago. But, man, does this rod cast! It is as smooth as butter yet I can cast it a ton. I am not sure what the magicians at the Scott Rod Company were doing when they designed this rod, but it worked.
The script on Scott rods has gotten much more elegant since the early days...
A lovely brookie flop in front of my Scott PowR-Ply rod
After the brookie had gone back to the river...
Some of you are probably wondering where the Fenwicks are in my rod quiver. It is true that Fenwick made some awesome glass rods back in the day, and I am a self-proclaimed glass rod aficionado, so it would stand to reason that I should own some Fenwicks. Well, wait no more! Here is my Fenwick FF805. I had heard great review after great review of the FF805, but other people had too, so whenever I had a chance to get one the price either got too high or somebody else swooped in to grab it. Finally a few months ago I found one, and it hasn't disappointed. It is what I would call a near-perfect trout rod. It can do everything well, and it feels good while casting it. If you were to start a vintage glass rod collection, finding a Fenwick or two is a good way to start.
The Fenwick FF805, paired with a Marryat MR-8 reel

Diamondback made some very highly regarded glass rods in the 90s under the Diamondglass model name. They say that the 8' 4-weight is the best of the group. I have never had a chance to cast one of those, but I do have an 8' 5-weight, and it is incredibly sweet.
Diamondback Diamondglass 8' 5wt

My last 8' 5-weight is a Fisher branded glass rod. I have talked about Fisher often, as they manufactured the blanks for some of the best glass rods for other rod companies. They also sold rods under their own name, and this 5-weight is as nice as any of my other Fisher-built rods.
Fisher 8' 5wt and bluegill.
Finally, I have come to my last 5-weight. I got this well before I became crazy about glass rods, back at a time when none of the well-known rod companies were making glass rods. It's a graphite Sage 586LL, and it holds a special place in my heart for a couple of reasons, which I won't go into here. It's a silky smooth rod, and I have caught oodles of fish with it all over the Good Ol' USA. No wonder LL's still command a hefty sum when you can find them for sale!
A ratty Mushroom and Swiss Bugger after a good day of catching fish with the 586LL.

Thanks for checking out my list of Fives. I love talking about fly rods, so let me know if you have any comments, questions or concerns. See you on the water!
One last look at the Fives...

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