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Post 28 Mar 2018, 13:35 • #1 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/26/13
Posts: 479
Location: US-PA
Thought I'd start a new discussion. For me, it's the FF706. I don't see a lot of posts praising this rod, but I really like it. I fish it with a Cortland 444SL DT line, and I guess because of the balance it doesn't feel like I'm casting a 6 weight line. Feels lighter. I like to fish it in the spring when small streams are high and I can cast some heavy artillary if I need to.


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Post 28 Mar 2018, 18:28 • #2 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/28/16
Posts: 930
Location: Northern WI
FF786. I bought one from a member here last year and have found it to be a very good rod for the kind of fishing I do. I can fish a 5 or 6 weight line on it depending on conditions/species. Seems to be a relatively scarce rod as far as vintage Fenwicks go.


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Post 28 Mar 2018, 21:17 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 05/20/12
Posts: 915
Location: Eugene, OR
The older, lighter FF85. With a DT6 on, it’s a crisp, powerful trout rod. Feels a little like a long FF79 to me (like the FF79 feels with a 5), and it can really reach out over some distance. Super sweet 7, too. Much like the OP’s 706, I’m guessing, everything feels one line weight lighter on this rod.


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 01:58 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/24/11
Posts: 1091
Location: Belgium
FF 86 - which may be same as older FF 85 above. Not much talked about. Also FF 756 - will cast anything from a 5 to a 7. It performs very well underlined due to fine tip. Very fast with a strong butt but still sensitive and able to cast in close thanks to that tip. This rod was very popular but I feel now it's under appreciated. Maybe because it's got a bit of a graphite soul?


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 05:56 • #5 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18224
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Fenglas FF535 is the most under-rated Fenwick. It's a better rod than the FF605, which is the most over-rated.


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 08:51 • #6 
Sport
Joined: 06/20/16
Posts: 38
Location: US-MI
FL-6 (newer version of the FF786) I purchased this rod to take some pressure off my FF79 but found it to be a much better rod for my style of subsurface fishing. Most would call the action dry fly but I like the fast tip for mending and lifting the line. I fish it with a DT6F and it loads with 20 feet of line out. Its one the best IMO for short line nymphing and soft hackles in the film. Mike


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 11:47 • #7 
Master Guide
Joined: 01/26/13
Posts: 479
Location: US-PA
bulldog, I agree with the 605 being overrated, never casted the 535.


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 11:55 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/25/16
Posts: 1039
Location: Rocky Mountains - Colorado
I appreciate giogio's comment on the FF86. But I think it is more unknown that unappreciated. I have an FF86. I saw one go across the auction sight 2 years ago, it had a short tip and one just went across last week. So with giogio's FF86 and the 2 on the auction and mine, in 3 years I have heard of 4 FF86 rods. can you say "Hens teeth" :) But it is a great rod


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 13:47 • #9 
Master Guide
Joined: 07/05/05
Posts: 742
Location: US-VA
I have departed from most of my Fenwicks, so I can't give numbers. I had a 7' for 6 wt I bought in 1973 (about). It thought it was fine until I started fishing Phillipsons. My cousin had a Fenwick 7' 5 wt of the same vintage which I liked a great deal more than I did mine. I have an 8' Fenwick "Woodstream" allegedly for 6 wt that doesn't crank my engines. Made an 8' 6 wt. Grizzley for a grandson. It's OK but desn't seem as good as the two yellows of like size and weight I made for my sons in about 1977.

I made a 9 ft 8 wt (brown) about 1977 that is an absolute cannon. Rarely see the model mentioned. Underrated for sure.


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 17:43 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2425
Location: Georgia
Lunker75 wrote:
The older, lighter FF85. With a DT6 on, it’s a crisp, powerful trout rod. Feels a little like a long FF79 to me (like the FF79 feels with a 5), and it can really reach out over some distance. Super sweet 7, too. Much like the OP’s 706, I’m guessing, everything feels one line weight lighter on this rod.


This is very interesting, as I picked up one of these, an "E" (3 & 3/4 oz), a year or so ago. So far only used it with a 7 on shoal bass, since it has reach over the FF807 and those fish are often on the other side of multi-currents, but you've definitely given me a research project.

All the others I have seem to be well regarded, as they should be.


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 18:13 • #11 
Master Guide
Joined: 06/28/16
Posts: 930
Location: Northern WI
bulldog1935 wrote:
Fenglas FF535 is the most under-rated Fenwick. It's a better rod than the FF605, which is the most over-rated.

Never tried the Fenglas version, but I have two made in the usa 535's, one a cork downlocker and one an uplocker with a cork insert, and then a usa FF605. The 605 is a slightly better overall caster within 20-30 feet just due to its length advantage, but when it comes to roll casting the 535 blows the 605 away which IMO makes it a better overall tool for small stream fishing. Finding a reel to balance the 535 that also holds a 5 weight line has proved a bit challenging. I'm currently using my Ross RR1 with a full Sylk DT5 on it. Doesn't balance quite as far forward into the cork as I would like, but it gets the job done.


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 19:21 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 10/07/11
Posts: 689
Location: SE MA
The FF90-3 6/7 weight is a wonderful rod for large water casting. It has worked perfectly for me in making long casts for reservoir trout.


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 20:14 • #13 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18224
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Char Hunter wrote:
bulldog1935 wrote:
Fenglas FF535 is the most under-rated Fenwick. It's a better rod than the FF605, which is the most over-rated.

Never tried the Fenglas version, but I have two made in the usa 535's, one a cork downlocker and one an uplocker with a cork insert, and then a usa FF605. The 605 is a slightly better overall caster within 20-30 feet just due to its length advantage, but when it comes to roll casting the 535 blows the 605 away which IMO makes it a better overall tool for small stream fishing. Finding a reel to balance the 535 that also holds a 5 weight line has proved a bit challenging. I'm currently using my Ross RR1 with a full Sylk DT5 on it. Doesn't balance quite as far forward into the cork as I would like, but it gets the job done.

Sportcraft 60 is light enough to balance it


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Post 29 Mar 2018, 23:07 • #14 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/22/07
Posts: 828
Location: Out West
I hear you on the FF706, the outsider. I also have an FF706-4 and FF806-4 that you don't hear all that much praise for, but they are really nice rods.

But while I have not fished all the Fenwicks, although I have fished a goodly number of models including many 2-digits, my vote for really under appreciated Fenwicks has to go to the FF856 and FF857....they don't seem to get much respect, but are really fine fishing tools for a variety of species and conditions/methods.


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Post 30 Mar 2018, 08:55 • #15 
Guide
Joined: 09/04/13
Posts: 142
Location: US-MT
I agree on the 856 and 857, especially the 856.


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Post 30 Mar 2018, 12:43 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 01/02/12
Posts: 1745
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
I like my old yellow Grizzly/Fenwick FL 842 5wt. Light in weight and nice medium action.


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Post 31 Mar 2018, 02:49 • #17 
Guide
Joined: 06/15/11
Posts: 108
Location: Townville, PA
Stand man, yes, underrated and elusive is the ff90-3. Would love to cast that rod.dpm


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Post 31 Mar 2018, 10:43 • #18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/06/17
Posts: 2170
Location: South of Joplin
I haven't had my hands on many of these rods, but, I think every one of them is under rated and I'm happy about that; it keeps them from costing a $1000 on the auction.


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Post 01 Apr 2018, 03:34 • #19 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/24/11
Posts: 1091
Location: Belgium
As much as I like Fenwicks - indeed have a sentimental attachment because it was my first fly rod - $1000 would be tad steep.


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Post 01 Apr 2018, 13:14 • #20 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/26/06
Posts: 3836
Location: Northeast Of Heaven
Hello
Gotta say that IMO the Grizzly Yellow Fenwicks get the least respect.
We always have lots of talk about many of the production run rods.
Even the step children get lots of love as they should.

Some of you Fenwickeions may find my comments to be Blasphemy and for that I must say it's to be expected but I'm not going to say I'm sorry.

The Yellow Blank Fenwicks with the sleeve over ferrule are very often better performing rods in my opinion.
There is actually a reason for this that most Fenwick lovers often over look or choose to ignore.

The Yellow Blank Rods are made from 1 piece blanks,the taper is continual not interrupted or altered to allow for the ferrule union.
This in itself makes for a smoother transfer of energy,also the blanks have less of a flat spot due to the sleeve over ferrule union VS the tip over union.

Additionally and I mention this only because it's the way things are suppose to be and not necessarily always the way things turn out.

Most of the Yellow Blank Fenwicks are Custom Made,Custom Made Rods are better rods because of the extra time devoted,more attention to detail allowed by the custom rod builder,the choice of better hardware,custom reel seats,thread choices including finishing.

I've seen some factory rods that were custom made as well,custom made at the factory that are amazing,also some production rods that were lets just say not as amazing as they could have been.

Same naturally is true of some of the Yellow Blank kitchen table made rods.
Some would knock your socks off others stink like smelly old socks.
Naturally depending on the individual builders skill,patience,etc.

Either way a fishing pole is a fishing pole,let it be,what ever turns you on and all that jazz.

Please Remember before anyone gets worked up or anyone starts putting words in my mouth as often happens whenever opinions are shared.

Quote:
The Yellow Blank Fenwicks with the sleeve over ferrule are very often better performing rods in my opinion.


I'll also add that the early Fenwick rods with the Aluminum Ferrule also often fit into the Category of being among the Most Underrated Of The Vintage Fenwick Rods.

Please I'm not going to get into specific models and all that mess, you should judge for yourselves naturally.

Tight Lines And Vintage Fenwick Loops :)
Andy M


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Post 01 Apr 2018, 14:38 • #21 
Global Moderator
Joined: 04/20/07
Posts: 8588
Location: US-ME
Well, I hope even a Feralite fan will get the point made. I will say I was never a Feralite fan, but I don't knock them and would would talk them up pretty well to somebody who had a chance to try fiberglass in the form of one of the more popular models.

Length for length, line weight for line weight, I completely agree that the yellow line of Fenwicks that were a mainstay of the hobby and custom build trade are underrated. Maybe that is because they aren't so widely available as "vintage" rods or a given model doesn't seem attractive because it is a hobby build of doubtful quality.

The 8'6" yellow is about as good a 'glass river rod as it gets. I wouldn't take a quiver full of Feralites for mine.

I didn't know Glassmaster had a similar viewpoint and had not posted on the underrated yellows only because so far it was only factory complete rods that had been mentioned.

New-old-stock yellow blanks, or good custom rods, or rebuildable hobby rods still show up. A yellow Fenwick in a length and line weight that meets someone's interests will not disappoint and could become a favorite over an old favorite in similar configuration, including a favorite Feralite. viewtopic.php?p=124703#p124703


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Post 01 Apr 2018, 16:36 • #22 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/11/06
Posts: 2348
Location: Nature Coast Florida
Now I have to go digging around and see if I still own a yellow Fenwick. I know I did a couple years ago, but sold a bunch of rods to a friend with an antique shop and can't remember if that was part of the deal.

I've had three different models of the 6' Feralites and they were always my favorites. I try to pick one rod a year and make it work for 90% of the fishing I do. Might be a 7'9" Wonderod or an 8 1/2' Orvis Battenkill. One year it was a 6' Fenwick and used for everything up through bass bugs and streamers. Many rods will do more than we normally expect with a little experimentation.

Barry


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Post 02 Apr 2018, 00:56 • #23 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/23/10
Posts: 737
Location: SF Bay Area
Many of my favorite rods would be considered underrated. I really enjoy the process of sleuthing and reading between the lines on this and other rod forums. Very satisfying when it pays off on a little known and usually inexpensive gem.

Of the Fenwicks Ive tried..Early models; I would go with the ff86. The later I like the ff786 and the ff837. Of these, If I was to enter a casting competition I would go with the ff837 hands down. Very accurate short and long. Can also really launch a line.


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Post 02 Apr 2018, 15:47 • #24 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 04/25/16
Posts: 1039
Location: Rocky Mountains - Colorado
I tossed in my 2 cents worth for the 86, but as I said it is kind of rare, so maybe not a candidate here.

So I will toss out another model, the FF90. I saw it got mentioned above, but I wanted to add my thoughts. It was my first Fenwick rod and I just managed to get another one to keep as a backup. They are marked 7/8/9 and 7/8 but the are lively and very versatile and a great streamer and nymphing rod


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Post 02 Apr 2018, 17:07 • #25 
Guide
Joined: 09/04/13
Posts: 142
Location: US-MT
FF856 and perhaps slightly underrated are the FF70, FF70-4 and the FF79


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