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Graphite? Really?
Post 23 Aug 2017, 16:40 • #1 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/20/11
Posts: 1783
Location: US-MD
Ok so all my rods are glass...until...I was blown away by Shane Gray's build of an Epic 590C (9' #5 graphite....and, yes, it's even nicer in person!)...weirdly light, as in a nine foot 5 weight that feels (even with the swing weight) like a 3 weight??!!...apparently the blank actually weighs under 2 ounces?!...AND it really is a 'medium-fast' taper....it feels 'fast' when just wiggling but when you put anything from a 4.5 to a 5.5 weight line on it, it really is medium-fast and reminds me of my old Scott G's except for the weight difference and the absurdly fast recovery...casts from 10 to 80 feet are not only no problem but the tracking is so dead-on it's scary....now I'm not advocating graphite for all things fishing by any means but for a long/light rod that really does so many things well, this is one weirdly good rod...and, no I'm not getting any more graphite for my quiver, and yes, it IS a pricey rod, but it (at least in my opinion) puts any other graphite rods I've ever cast to shame...... now having used it a bit more I'd have to say it's a 5 to 5.5... though so light and smooth...


Last edited by backing1 on 27 Aug 2017, 16:17, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 23 Aug 2017, 17:03 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1425
Location: The Netherlands
I've cast the Epic 590C too. It definitely needs an overweighted line as the tip is too stiff.
With a regular line (SA Trout) casts shorter than 20-22ft the tip hardly gives any feedback.

Yeah it's light but so is a Sage X.
I think the new Scott G is a rod that is light, lot of more feed back and easier to cast at fishing distances.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 23 Aug 2017, 18:21 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/08/06
Posts: 756
Location: RenoNV/FranklinWV
It is good to be happy with your purchase, enjoy!


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 23 Aug 2017, 18:36 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/02/13
Posts: 1173
Location: Milwaukee, WI
If we're talking graphite in general here, Dusty forced me to cast one of his graphite rods at the Coulee Conclave and I was very impressed. It reminded me that a good rod is a good rod regardless of the material.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 23 Aug 2017, 19:47 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/14
Posts: 1891
Location: US-NC
ibookje wrote:
I think the new Scott G is a rod that is light, lot of more feed back and easier to cast at fishing distances.


As I was reading the original post, I also was thinking it would be great to hear a comparison of the Epic 590 against a new Scott GS 905 (if you happen to have an extra $845 laying around). Although you rarely find bad reviews, especially from those in the industry, the new Scott G sounds pretty nice. One review I read said that the biggest improvement over the G2 series is in the 9' models (I think in general the 8'4" and 8'8" G2s were regarded more favorably than the 9' rods in the same weight). Anyway, glad you're pleased with that Epic, especially given the price.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 24 Aug 2017, 00:44 • #6 
Guide
Joined: 09/12/12
Posts: 119
Location: France
That Epic 590C is a keeper.

For me no need to overload it (I sometime fish with a TT 4 F).
I'm going to test the new version (Gen II) to compare.
For me, hands down, the best 9' #5.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 24 Aug 2017, 06:10 • #7 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17457
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
except on the collecting forum, this should be about Powell and Fisher

Image


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 24 Aug 2017, 06:58 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1425
Location: The Netherlands
The Epic 590 is no doubt a great product, but I think it's too stiff for the type of fishing I would do with it: fish with hopper-dropper and (sight) nymphing. Most fishing is probably 20-40 ft.
For someone fishing from a drift boat, it might be a better match.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 25 Aug 2017, 00:10 • #9 
Guide
Joined: 09/12/12
Posts: 119
Location: France
It might seems stiff but it is not (at leas for me).
I mainly fish sight nymphing' with long and fine leader (7x).
I can make pressure without snapping it.

But each is own :-)


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 25 Aug 2017, 02:45 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/10/07
Posts: 1425
Location: The Netherlands
WNCtroutstalker wrote:
As I was reading the original post, I also was thinking it would be great to hear a comparison of the Epic 590 against a new Scott GS 905 (if you happen to have an extra $845 laying around).
.....
One review I read said that the biggest improvement over the G2 series is in the 9' models


I really like my G2 905. Although the tip isn't sloppy at all, it still feels very sensitive when casting shorter distances. I want to cast the new G series as well.

Early May I cast the Sage 490 X. Very light rod in the hand. However it feels very 'sterile'. Fast and swift. Hardly any feedback on shorter casts. Casting above 40 ft it felt pretty much like any fast rod.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 25 Aug 2017, 11:11 • #11 
Guide
Joined: 01/28/11
Posts: 306
Location: Black Hills of South Dakota
bulldog1935 wrote:
except on the collecting forum, this should be about Powell and Fisher


Amen brother...


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 25 Aug 2017, 12:36 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/24/12
Posts: 493
Location: Portland, Oregon
JoeFriday wrote:
It reminded me that a good rod is a good rod regardless of the material.


I'll second this!

David


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 21 Apr 2021, 21:27 • #13 
New Member
Joined: 11/13/20
Posts: 14
Looking at older posts about graphite favorites among glass fans. I only own two graphite rods both east branch rods and know little about them despite having grown up in the vicinity of where they were hand rolled. The 8’ 2 piece east branch rod is amazingly smooth and the 9’ is stamped 4/6. Would love to know more about them if anyone has info. Thanks.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 09:04 • #14 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/01/12
Posts: 806
Location: Upstate NY
East Branch Rod Co was around for a few years in the early 90's. Shop was in Jay NY, on the East Branch of the Ausable. Harold Bacon was a mentor of the two guys that owned the company. Most of their blanks were IM-6 Graphite, spigot ferruled. I remember the blanks and finished rods being available in Hunter Green, Dark Blue and Natural, with a Clear Coat. Its too bad they really never made a real go at it, their stuff was good quality and the workmanship of the finished rods was good also.

You might want to try reaching out to Tom Conway, he owns the Ausable 2 Fly Shop in Wilmington, Tom should know more about them or be able to point you to someone who does.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 09:32 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/16/08
Posts: 3434
Location: Upstate-NY
graphite isn't necessarily evil, when designed and fabricated properly...

It IS tough to find mass-produced "good graphite" these days,
but some of the smaller makers like Steffen, McFarland, etc. have some VERY good offerings.
Especially if you want a long (>= 8'6"), light-line rod (<= #2,#3,#4).

The ironic part is, the mass-produced rods with the best flexural properties are the cheapest "Beginner Rods". lol
Reddington "Classic", Sage "Circa", etc.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 10:23 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 2274
Location: US-CO
There are some nice, lightweight, beautiful, flyrods in graphite (I have a few, Diamondback Classic Trout, Orvis Far & Fine and 711)...but they are too fragile for me to trust their survival in the places I fish and the access challenges of getting there.

Hiked all the way into the Rawah many years ago and my graphite rod, which probably had microscopic damage from a beadhead or something earlier, failed too easily when I got hung up in a backcast in my first few casts at a beautiful stream.

Went back to glass and have stayed there since.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 12:03 • #17 
Guide
Joined: 01/27/12
Posts: 197
Location: US-PA
If graphite, as a fishing rod material came out in the 1880's, not only wouldn't we have bamboo rods , we wouldn't have glass rods either.


Last edited by 6footrod on 22 Apr 2021, 19:28, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 12:05 • #18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 2570
Location: US-NM
The old Fenwick HMG’s are very good I have a 806 and a 7’ 4wt which is really nice.........Aurelio


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 15:22 • #19 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8205
Location: US-ME
Bunk, even as a clever theoretical statement about graphite. Reality, if it hadn't been for bamboo rods (and others before), we wouldn't have had fiberglass, and if it hadn't been for fiberglass technology we wouldn't have graphite, and if graphite innovation hadn't been so over rated, we wouldn't have so much rediscovery and enjoyment of the fishing characteristics of bamboo or fiberglass, which, if anything, are more evident in comparison to some graphite rods. Not a matter of better, but different for different fishing styles. Of course graphite gets its due. The idea that it would have obviated 'glass doesn't because it hasn't and won't.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 15:57 • #20 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 1970
Location: South of Joplin
Graphite would never have caught on if it had been applied to fishing rods even 50 years sooner, it is simply too fragile and too costly for any but those with the sheltered existence and excess time and disposable income of the first world countries over the last 40-50 years. Fine bamboo was too fragile for the common man prior to WW2, and without the cheap fiberglass of the '50s there would never have been the conversion of the masses to recreational fishing. To all things there are seasons.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 16:54 • #21 
Guide
Joined: 06/07/15
Posts: 116
Location: US-PA
I really like some of the older graphite rods, especially in the sub- 8' configurations. I have a Sage GFL 7.5' 5 wt that is great to fish small streams and have my dad's old brown HMG 7' 4 wt and what i think is a 8.5' for a 6 - it is a gray blank with no markings but has the right-looking ferrule. I got a Powell "light touch" rod in 9' 6/7 wt for smallmouth river fishing in '86 that is really smooth. I do have 2 East Branch rods in 8' for a 4 - one is the GTL and one GTX - very Winston-like in 3 pc with spigot ferrules. About half the price of a winston at the time. I think the guy's name was Eric - don't remember for sure. they had a try before you buy program that sold me on the rod - got the blanks and made them up - only about the third/fourth rods i ever made up - wish i did a better job but there was no internet instruction at the time - just word of mouth. They still fish well.

Anyhow it seems like the pendulum is swing back to graphite as fishing tools and i see Livingston and McFarland have some traditional- action graphite rods.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 17:01 • #22 
Guide
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 337
Location: US-TN
I still have 2 East Branch rods built from their blanks that are very smooth, medium in action. The 8'6" 5wt is one of the nicest casting rods in the format that I've ever cast.

Hal Bacon was indeed their consultant. Hal was the owner of the Hawes beveler prior to his death and he built many bamboo rods with it. I purchased several blanks from him over the years. Hal was always generous with information and one day on a call I mentioned to him how much I loved the 8'6" East Branch and he said, "I remember that rod. We designed it to have the same deflection as a Payne 204." So there you go: full circle in rod development.

--Rich


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 17:58 • #23 
Guide
Joined: 09/26/12
Posts: 157
Location: AB, Canada
Thanks for sharing that story Rich. Very interesting to say the least.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 18:50 • #24 
Sport
Joined: 07/14/20
Posts: 67
The only trout weight graphite rod I have is a Scott G2 885. It is a nice rod. I enjoy fishing it. I suspect I could get by without it however. The rest of my all around trout weight rods, 3-6 wt, are glass.


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Re: Graphite? Really?
Post 22 Apr 2021, 20:12 • #25 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/11/05
Posts: 905
Location: US-NY
The original Orvis 8’ 6wt “Trout” model is one of my all-time favorite rods. It’s the closest I’ve come to a “do everything” trout rod. Feels great to cast as well.


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