"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

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Strange But Awesome

If you have read some of my earlier blog posts, you probably remember that I am a fan of fiberglass fly rods, and if I had to make a choice, I would probably choose vintage glass rods over modern glass rods, although I say that admitting that I have very little hands-on knowledge of modern rods. Still, in my mind, there is just something really cool about fishing with a fly rod that is 30 years old or older. A lot of those old rods are awesome casting tools, which doesn't hurt.

I recently got a new-to-me vintage glass rod, and it is really cool, but also quite strange. It's made by Daiwa, which is not a brand name that is usually associated with fly rods. I know Daiwa made a lot of great fly reels over the years, but I haven't seen too many quality fly rods made by them. This one was so cool looking that I had to check it out.

It's a Daiwa V.I.P. 43, and it's a 7 footer that is rated for a 5 or 6 weight line. I tried both, and, to me, it feels way better with a 6 weight than a 5 weight. I couldn't get it to load well at all with the 5, but with a 6 it loaded beautifully and laid out 45 feet of line with ease. So, it's a very nice casting tool with the right line, which is part of its awesomeness.

The blank is really cool. It's a nice dark orange, and it's the most translucent blank I have ever seen. Other people talk about old Fenwicks being "glow-sticks", because you can see light shining through them. This Daiwa is so translucent I could almost read a book through it, although that would be silly. Why would anyone read a book through a fly rod when they would have much more fun taking it out and casting it...?

Now to the strange parts of this rod. First of all, it's got a black foam grip. My very first fly rod had a foam grip, and it was terrible. This Daiwa's foam grip is firm and comfortable, and really feels quite nice. The second strange thing is the butt-over-tip ferrule. Other entry-level rods have this type of ferrule, so it's not unheard of, but it's still not something you see every day.

The strangest parts of this rod are the snake guides. They are all the same size! Every other rod I have ever seen have snake guides that get smaller as you work your way from butt to tip, but all the snake guides on this Daiwa are the same, large size. It does allow the line to slide through them easily, but still, it's weird...

I had never seen a Daiwa rod like this before, but since I got mine I have seen two more on ebay in different lengths. If you like strange rods, and can get one at a good price, I would suggest you grab one. If nothing else, at least you could use it to read through,
The Daiwa V.I.P. 43. Look at how translucent that blank is!
I would say it is definitely a 6 instead of a 5...
Some rad thread work!
A very comfortable foam grip
Cool color scheme on the reel seat!


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