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Fenwick Buffs
Post 31 May 2018, 00:49 • #1 
Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 309
Location: Reston VA
I have chance at a Fenwick FF85 Pearlite 8'6" 7,8,9 wt in good shape.

I am not familiar with the term Pearlite. Also, the fairly wide wt range gives me a bit of pause. Can it actually perform across that whole wt range and if not where is it at its best? Anyone using one out there?

I had several FFs when I was in my salad days but not in that size or wt range.

I actually built and still have 4 or 5 Fenwick casting rods -- no longer in use -- in mod 686 then. They were/are all I ever wanted as casting tools for plastic worms on LM bass.

Thanks,
Heddonist


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 31 May 2018, 01:27 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/28/16
Posts: 938
Location: Northern WI
I think you must mean "Feralite" rather then Pearlite. Feralite refers to the Feralite Ferrule that Fenwick introduced in the early 60's, 62 I believe.

And yes, the rod can perform adequately across the whole line range. I don't have mine anymore, but I mainly fished a DT7 and sometimes a DT8 for steelhead fishing. I never fished it much with a 9, but did lawn cast it and it felt pretty nice. Loaded noticeably easier and would be well suited to close range fishing.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 31 May 2018, 06:20 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 2777
Location: US-MN
Was using mine last weekend with a 8 wt sinktip. Great LM bass rod. Has a strong butt to get them out of the cabbage and lily pads.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 31 May 2018, 07:13 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 1989
Location: Georgia
Agree that it’s almost certainly a corruption of Feralite; bad reading or #$@&%* autocorrect. My FF85 is a lighter (older?) one marked 6/7, and if I ever decide the DT7 is inadequate I’d happily look for the 7/8/9 version. Lots of good remarks here - just search “ff85” to see for yourself.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 31 May 2018, 07:23 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 02/15/15
Posts: 79
Location: US-LA
All the fiberglass rods I've owned would cast 3 line weights well, the heavier for work in close, the lighter to cast a longer line and the middle was the weight line to buy for general use.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 31 May 2018, 08:14 • #6 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1642
Location: South of Joplin
My FF85 7-8-9 is a work horse, I've even used a DT6 and a TT6-7 on it; but like it best with the DT8. What jimwright said covers it.

Heddonist, you can learn a bit about the Fenwicks here; https://wiki.fiberglassflyrodders.com/wiki/Fenwick


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 31 May 2018, 11:09 • #7 
Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 309
Location: Reston VA
Thanks for the info.

I too smell a spellcheck rat.

Looks like a no-brainer to me. I'll jump on it.

Heddonist


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 08:57 • #8 
Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 309
Location: Reston VA
OK, I closed the deal and the rod will be on the way early this week.

Now I'm thinking about matching a reel to it. I will want a reel with a good drag for steel head work so that eliminates the classic Plfuegers My chief candidates already in hand are an old SA System Two 89M that I have used on steel head with good success. If that reel does not balance the old fiberglass rod, then I have a full size SA System Two 8-9 with ventilated spool that would be my next option. (I do not expect to find a good match among modern reels which are made liwt to match thin walled graphite rods.)

Which reels are you using on your FF85 7-8-9s?

Heddonist


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 09:36 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4794
Location: Washington DC Region
I have a Ross G4. on mine, primarily because it will handle the run's that the shad put on it. It is not the right era, but seems to do fine.

You should wait until you get the rod and feel it. This is not as heavy as most other fiberglass rods. My guess is that the SA's 8/9 will do fine.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 10:03 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4285
Location: US-MT
NOthing wrong with classic Medalist drag. We caught untold numbers of salmon and steelhead with old Medalists. I remember getting some new fancy dancy Cortland? reel with a bigger line capacity and disc drag. Wow I was excited about it. Used it twice and went back to a Medalist.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 10:17 • #11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1642
Location: South of Joplin
majicwrench wrote:
NOthing wrong with classic Medalist drag. We caught untold numbers of salmon and steelhead with old Medalists. I remember getting some new fancy dancy Cortland? reel with a bigger line capacity and disc drag. Wow I was excited about it. Used it twice and went back to a Medalist.

Yes after trying a "modern" reel (a couple different ones) the Medalist are all I use. I like 1498 but the 1495 of 1495 1/2 will hold the lines and some backing.
My first DT9F was fished on a 1494 with no backing.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 11:52 • #12 
Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 309
Location: Reston VA
Yeah and model Ts were great on gas too.

Pfluegers work fine on close-in fighting bass, pike etc. but they are hardly advisable on a hot steel head that has decided to head back to the big lake with your fly in his mouth and heavy current in its favor . You can't even palm a Pflueger w/o major contusions in such situations when the 'drag' at best stops spool overruns before overheating.

Heddonist


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 12:40 • #13 
Guide
Joined: 06/08/16
Posts: 296
Location: US-MI
I deeply regret selling my FF85 7-8-9...one of the best fishing and casting rods I've ever owned. I used my Orvis Mid Arbor with 7, 7.5, 8, and 9WF floating lines. Awesome rod.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 14:03 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 1989
Location: Georgia
I looked into bonefish reels lately, and a shop guy's low cost recommendations included a Reddington Behemoth. I remember reviews suggested that drawbacks were weight and a cast reel, but praised as sturdy anyway with good drag. Sounds like you might want weight, and it or other budget saltwater options might hit the spot.
Good luck.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 15:51 • #15 
Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 309
Location: Reston VA
kevin2,

I have an ORVIS Mid Arbor too. I'll give that a try but it so far is my go to reel for an Orvis SFG 6 wt which it balances perfectly, Wish I could find another one or a spare spool for it.

Heddonist


Last edited by Heddonist on 03 Jun 2018, 20:47, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 20:27 • #16 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/28/16
Posts: 938
Location: Northern WI
kevin2 wrote:
I deeply regret selling my FF85 7-8-9...one of the best fishing and casting rods I've ever owned. I used my Orvis Mid Arbor with 7, 7.5, 8, and 9WF floating lines. Awesome rod.

If ever you want another one they're not too hard to find.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 03 Jun 2018, 22:06 • #17 
Sport
Joined: 01/06/17
Posts: 63
Location: US-OH
I love my Medalists. They're bulletproof, cheap, and were made in my hometown. I have caught 10lb bright steelhead on them. I have also caught hot fish on them this past winter when the temp was in the low teens and I couldn't see my buddy fishing down below me, hidden by heavy snow fall. They are a no nonsense reel in which I have a lot of confidence in. I fish a 1498 on my Fenwick FF107 8/9wt and a 1496 1/2 on my Fenwick FF857. Matches them both beautifully.

A great craftsman doesn't blame his tools. ;)

Nick


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 04 Jun 2018, 06:24 • #18 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/21/12
Posts: 359
Location: US-NY
Where are you steelhead fishing?

I've caught hundreds of steelhead out of the niagara river with a click and pawl reel. I'd be shocked if you are fishing bigger water than that.

8/9 weight reel is overkill for great lakes steelhead. 7 weight is fine. I cant speak for the west coast, I've never fished for steelhead there.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 05 Jun 2018, 22:12 • #19 
Sport
Joined: 01/06/17
Posts: 63
Location: US-OH
I fish Ohio-Erie tribs for steelhead. I think my Fenwick FF107 9' 8/9 wt with a long lower grip is perfect for fish 10lb/30" and less. I also really like my FF857.

Mind you I am fishing an OPST Commando head, sink tips, and flies usually in the range of 3-5 inches. I will fish my 7wt more this year with a DT and classic streamers.

My last post sounds kinda snotty, sorry fellas. I am very biased towards the Medalists.

Nick


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 06 Jun 2018, 09:33 • #20 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/20/12
Posts: 825
Location: Eugene, OR
The FF85 is a classic Fenwick. I’ve had several versions of them - the early 6/7, and the later 7/8/9 - and they really do cast a long line.
I’ve posted this before, but it seems appropriate again here: https://youtu.be/Kxla1T8qTxs


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 06 Jun 2018, 10:46 • #21 
Guide
Joined: 04/07/18
Posts: 309
Location: Reston VA
I just came across this Fenwick lore that explains why they are so good at distance casting.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kxla1T8qTxs

Heddonist


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 06 Jun 2018, 11:01 • #22 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/24/12
Posts: 494
Location: Portland, Oregon
Several years ago I had the 7/8 version and that rod could almost cast itself. I frequently kick myself for letting it go.

David


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 06 Jun 2018, 11:06 • #23 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 4285
Location: US-MT
You can "palm" a Medalist just fine. Put your fingers of left hand into spool and press on the side of spool.

I hate reels with that dang rim hanging out there.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 06 Jun 2018, 11:59 • #24 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 2777
Location: US-MN
I use a System 2 7/8 wt.


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Re: Fenwick Buffs
Post 06 Jun 2018, 12:54 • #25 
Sport
Joined: 08/05/10
Posts: 77
Location: US-OH
I use Medalists on my Spey rods for steelhead and salmo, and set the drag fairly heavy. No need to palm and if I need more drag I change the rod angle to create more drag


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