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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 08 Nov 2009, 04:25 • #76 
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Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6832
Location: Holly Springs, NC
CastleconnellRanger,

Welcome to the Fiberglass Flyrodders! Hagiography? I'm afraid I had to look that one up!
Quote:
"How far do you think glass rods are going to rise in price before the market collapses?"
Good question. I wish I had a crystal ball and the definitive answer. Given that, in my opinion the market will not collapse, certainly not in the short term. I don't think there is overvaluation that could be followed by the sudden loss of "exuberance" that leads to a market collapse. While top end glass rods are pricey, they are still valued below top end graphite and well below most cane. Overall production of glass is staying low (particularly with the issues mentioned above). But most importantly, nobody views glass fly rods as an investment. These rods are bought to take out on the stream or lake and go fishing. We discuss the aesthetic value and fishing value and casting value, but I can't recall a thread where we discussed their long term investment value.

hiflyer, I understand your concern, but this isn't the Mike McFarland hotline. At this point, your best option should be contacting him directly, not via an Internet forum.

Tom


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 08 Nov 2009, 04:48 • #77 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/03/07
Posts: 1143
Location: Shenandoah Valley of Virginia
Tom, I see nothing wrong with hiflyer telling forum members and someone who maybe considering one of Mike's rods about his experiences ordering a rod from him. His post was neither malicious, mean, or hurtful. He simply told of his experience.


Last edited by gearboy on 08 Nov 2009, 05:19, edited 1 time in total.

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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 08 Nov 2009, 05:44 • #78 
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Joined: 02/06/07
Posts: 1402
Location: US-VT
Tom, Do you really think that nobody views glass rods as an investment? All of those Peaks that are supposedly sitting in vaults somewhere in Japan? Early Harry Wilson's and Tom Morgan's that are being bid up to $500 plus prices that posters here claim are on their way "overseas"? I see little difference between these "collectable" and rare glass rods and Cane at this point. Top end glass in one way has outpriced top end graphite. A new $500-$600 glass rod is going to cost you $500-$600 due to production levels being so limited, while a $600 graphite rod will go on sale next season for $300 when a new model comes out. 30 years from now after Mark Steffen has retired, enthusiasts and collectors will be discussing him and lusting after mint condition Steffens like many discuss Russ Peak today. Rich


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 08 Nov 2009, 07:53 • #79 
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Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6832
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Gearboy, I also don't have a problem with hiflyer discussing his experience. Like I said, I understand his concern. But even after 5 posts, his concern can't be satisfactorily addressed here. He needs input from Mike. Because they have an ongoing business transaction, it really should be direct communication between them.

Rich, In general, I do not view glass rods as investments. Winston and Scott glass fly rods are great fishing tools. Overseas guys go fishing too. In the grand scheme of things, $500 is expensive for a fishing rod, but it won't get you far on Wall Street or in Tokyo. There may be some Russ Peak rods sitting in vaults, but I expect they are the exception rather than the rule. You won't find Fenwick 806s in that vault just because they are glass. Your example of custom made glass vs. production graphite is apples and oranges. A better comparison would be the recent Fenwick or Diamondglass production rods. Both companies overproduced and later sold off the remaining stock at a steep discount - same as those high dollar production graphites.

This thread was originally about the smoothest glass rods we own I consider "smoothest" as a rod that flexes nicely for the line weight, casts well from up close to the far edge of fishing range, and masks my inherent casting flaws. Image I'll cheat a little and list some of my smoothest by decade (I can't pick just one):
  • 50s - A lightweight Silaflex Medallion MF-80 with a DT5 line. Not as full flexing as most, nor will it cast 80 feet of line. But very smooth in it's range.
  • 60s - Phillipson Master MF76L, a 7'6" rod for a 4/5 weight line. Full flexing and fun to cast.
  • 70s - LOTS of candidates from arguably the heyday of fiberglass. I wish I had a classic Winston or Scott to call my own. I'll go with two very different rods, the Phillipson 6'6" Epoxite Midge and a late model Fenwick 8'6" FF84 with a DT5 line.
  • 80s - This was the beginning of the dark times for glass. Most companies dumped glass from their roster. But Lami still built blanks from E-glass and S-glass. I have a 7'6", 5 weight built on a Lami S-glass blank with early 80s components. I loaned this to a buddy just learning to fly cast. After using a fast graphite rod all day he said, "Now I understand what you are saying - I can feel it". He started dropping a much quieter line on the water with the Lami. That's smooth.
  • 90s - This may be cheating a little, but I think the Japanese Quiet Loop rods debuted in the late 90s. I'm going with a Quiet Loop 6'6" 3 weight VF663.
  • New millenium - As I mentioned before, I love my 7' 3/4 weight Lami. The Hardy Perfection 6'6" 3 weight comes in awfully close, but I've fished the Lami more.
Tom


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 08 Nov 2009, 11:37 • #80 
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Joined: 06/16/05
Posts: 2016
Location: Georgia
Tom, that's an interesting way of doing it. A couple of decades are easy. . .

50s - Heddon 55 Trout is the only one from that decade that I've fished much at all, and it's also a good candidate for "smothest vintage rod" or "smoothest metal ferrule" of anything I own.

60s - Not sure when some of these rods were made, but I'd probably say FF70-4.

70s - I have a 7' Phillipson/3M blank rod that has a sweet spot that's about as sweet as anything I've ever cast. But, that spot's a little small for reliable fishing, so let's say the FF756-4.

80s - Pretty positive that the only glass I have from then is my first fly rod, a Martin beginner rod, 8' 6/7.

90s - Another sparse decade. Let's say my Fenglass 535 was made in 1999.

00s - I originally said my Lami 7'6" and that's still good.

Although I do like those Fenwicks, in doing this list, I realize there are other 60s and 70s candidates about which I realize I haven't fished enough to say they're smoother. Have to get some of those 2-piecers some water time.

Bob


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 08 Nov 2009, 17:23 • #81 
Guide
Joined: 02/20/06
Posts: 226
Location: US-PA
hiflyer, PM sent.


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 08 Nov 2009, 19:14 • #82 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 03/20/07
Posts: 2545
Location: Wofford Heights, Calif. Kern River
Good evening Gentlemen.
First let me say Ive built four or five rods based on Mike McFarlands blanks and am both impressed by their quality and their unique smoothness. Back quite a while ago we arranged to have a 7wt built and Mike expressed his problems with supply. Understanding exactly what his problem is that was the last time I asked about my blank, it will get here when he finds or makes his own blanks his way, I trust his judgement and skill, and mine is fully prepaid, so money or cost is not the issue, quality and the skill of the maker is the defining point.

Tom, I like your choices, mine are pretty much the same, I love some of the early rods of the 50s, the Silaflex MF-75 and MF-80 are both favorites of mine too. As is the altime slowest smoothest rod ive ever used in glass, the Narmco Conolon Fanwing, Ive four of them now, and just cant get over how slow and smooth they are. Another favorite is the earliest of the Phillipson Eponites, I think I like them best of all the Phillipsons, the early shorter X series, the X-66 X-70 come to mind, although the longer ones like the X-80 are great too. Along those lines a 1955-1960 Phillipson Aristo 8ft rated for a 6wt but its a special Dry Fly Taper and will excell with a DT5F, my current Phillipson apple of my eye.
60s wow, too many to list, the hayday in my opinon of really great glass, they were lighter, many designed for 5wts and even a few for 4wt lines.
The 70s, last of the line in really great glass rods, here production Fenwicks almost steal the whole show. True there were some outstanding Lami's I think I have ths same 4wt S glass rod you do Tom and a couple of others in E glass that are just outstanding. We have the FR2000 series, as well as the many many late Phillipsons to name just two and I didnt even mention the great Browning Silaflex rods. Fisher was still turning out spigot ferruled glass rods and so was the end of the line Gladding South Bend. Seems at this point 6wt was still King but many many really good 5wts were on the market.

Now to the question, my smoothest glass rod. Frankly its one of Rush Peaks earliest rods built for a personal friend and fishing buddy back in the early 50s, its based on a Silaflex F-75 blank, with Rush's magic using W&M NS mini ferrules, its so smooth casting. While his later Brownstone based on the early 60s Conolon blanks he rolled himself is smooth, and the example I have was made for a close personal friend, that rod is more of a Steelhead and Salmon rod, however that lighter trout rod (6wt but will cast a DT5W just fine) Silaflex F-75 is something when you consider is was made between 1948 and 1954. The skill of the rod maker and blank maker is the key thing in choosing and fishing glass rods. Many are pure dogs, but there are quite a few jewels out there in vintage rods, and quite a few cusotm makers are producing equally good blanks today only waiting for a skilled rod maker to finish them.
Of the late rods, I liked the Diamondglass rods, I have a 4wt and a 5wt, also of course lamiglass, fine blanks, and along those custom blank lines Im a fan of Mike McFarlands and Mark Steffens work. Havent tried alot of others well yes I just built a vintage Sage glass blank its a good one too, but point being Im still trying vintage glass.
Someone said something about cost. Well if you go with a really good bamboo rod maker thats not quite on top yet you can get a premium rod for a bit over $1000, thats a custom build, for a custom build in Glass lets call it $700, built your way, and for a custom build in right now high tech graphite, lets say $1000 Im not pricing factory rods, but custom rods, based in the case of Graphite on the current top of the line blanks. Sure you can buy last years close outs, nothing wrong with that, you could have bought last years closeouts on bamboo and glass had you been around at the time, at quite a discount too, but they were not state of the art builds, custom to your wants and desires, thats where the bucks go, otherwise the closeout barrel at Bass Pro Shops might be your best bargain.

At least my 2cents worth.

Richard


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 09 Nov 2009, 20:11 • #83 
Guide
Joined: 09/23/09
Posts: 168
Location: Australia
I would just like to thank Mike here for getting back to me (PM replied to Mike). I am glad that a few people realised that I was not trying to use the board as a way of putting Mike down, in fact my first post in this thread was simply something like "I am hoping my McFarland will be my smoothest fly rod, when I ever get it" or something like that. A few people responded with their experiences and I pretty much told of mine, and continued in response to further posts. Anyway, hopefully our communication will be better in future - other than that I look forward to my McFarland rod. I am sure it will be worth the wait.


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 11 Nov 2009, 05:32 • #84 
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Joined: 05/09/06
Posts: 2424
Location: US
Quote:
As is the altime slowest smoothest rod ive ever used in glass, the Narmco Conolon Fanwing, Ive four of them now, and just cant get over how slow and smooth they are.
I am curious to try one now. Are all of the models from that era similar or just that specific one?


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 11 Nov 2009, 11:54 • #85 
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Joined: 03/20/07
Posts: 2545
Location: Wofford Heights, Calif. Kern River
Hi Jeff, no just this one model, its unique and the taper wasn't picked up by Garcia after 61. The First models from San Diego have some of the first Super Z NS ferrules and Garnet with red/orange wraps, black snakes, hard chromed stripper (small) and tip top. When it transitioned to Costa Mesa in 50/51 the grip chanced alittle and soon it got chromed snakes. By 1955 it had changed grips and changed wraps to royal blue and old gold. The last I know of was from 1959 an pretty much remained the same but with a change again in the grip style.
They are hard to find, and If I ever see another with a change in style I will be bidding, but I have one of each of the above so not actively looking to buy another, but expect some strong competion, expect well over $100 for a nice one and if its anywhere near minty with sock and tube with good pictures listed, expect over $150.
The action is sort of unique, it was said to duplicate the finest English Bamboo rods but the listed line weights are 6-7. I love mine with a DT6F or DT or WF 7S, Its really really a slow action, you need to actually watch it load by following your line as it reaches the end of your backcast so you can understand what your feeling as the rod loads for the forward cast, its a very different feel. Once you get it down you will love it, very powerful yet very soft. Often after fishing many rods I will just take one out for a week and enjoy the feel of the old Fanwing, its just that unique and its early glass to boot. By the way because its glass and abit heavier than graphite it balances most of the good Young Beaudex 3 1/2 inch narrow spool reels, dito the Young 3 1/2 Standard Width perforated spool Pridex light weight, the early silent drag Ocean City 77 and the narrow spool Marryat 8.0.
Richard


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 11 Nov 2009, 23:20 • #86 
Sport
Joined: 02/19/08
Posts: 37
Location: Slovenia
Hi,

well between two 3 pcs. Steffens 8'6'' #5/6 and 8' #3/4 rods I would vote for the lighter rod as "the smoothest".


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 23 Nov 2009, 09:06 • #87 
Master Guide
Joined: 04/27/09
Posts: 555
Location: US-SD
I was casting my 9' Winston 6 wt. yesterday, and would say that this one is very smooth indeed. The 8'6" 5/6 Steffen equally so.


Last edited by Golfswithwolves on 23 Nov 2009, 09:42, edited 1 time in total.

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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 15 Feb 2010, 08:48 • #88 
New Member
Joined: 02/14/10
Posts: 12
Cortland Leon Chandler Series (Fisher) 8' for 5-6 line wt ... Does it all for me, and better than anything I own. Small dries to steamers ...


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 15 Feb 2010, 18:23 • #89 
Guide
Joined: 08/06/09
Posts: 287
I only have experience with Fenwick SF 74-7, FF 756, FF 806, FF 856 and my favorite the FF 84. I have built some 7' Lamis and an S glass Lamiglass. The FF 84 is just a plain joy to cast and fight fish.
Image

Mike


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Your smoothest Glass Rod
Post 22 Feb 2010, 07:15 • #90 
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Joined: 09/27/09
Posts: 102
My south fork classic 2wt is downright buttery. It's by far the smoothest rod i've cast with, but it all boils down to personal preference. I prefer the slowest rod possible.


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Post 05 Jul 2019, 22:19 • #91 
Sport
Joined: 11/28/18
Posts: 58
Location: US-WA
Well, I will join in with my StCroix , Fisher glass, Imperial 8' 7090XL Ultra Light. It likes a number of lines and I just cant get over how smooth and easy to cast this rod is. Having Phillipsons, System rods, I just cherish this rod. My two cents.

Fun topic!


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Post 06 Jul 2019, 06:42 • #92 
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Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 16515
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
fish4steel wrote:
Well, I will join in with my StCroix , Fisher glass, Imperial 8' 7090XL Ultra Light. ...

well, at least an old topic.
I'm a little confused by the math of this post. St. Croix definitely made their own glass, and provided blanks to others, such as Cummings and Peak.
Image
Image


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Post 07 Jul 2019, 19:36 • #93 
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Joined: 07/22/11
Posts: 1627
Location: US-TX
Confused as well. Never knew st croix used fisher blanks...


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Post 07 Jul 2019, 20:22 • #94 
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Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 2110
Location: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia
Funny, I was going to add to this thread and then realized that I had actually started the thread ten years ago during my "Russ Peak" period. Many, many glass rods under the bridge since then and if I had to choose one now it would probably be the Hardy Perfection 7'6" #4 although my McFarland 8'8" #4 S-glass would have me questioning that choice. Lots of really "smooth" glass rods out there now ten years later - it's a different ball game.


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Post 08 Jul 2019, 05:14 • #95 
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Joined: 11/28/11
Posts: 307
Location: US-MI
Duff, I'm with you on the Hardy Perfection. I recently sold it to a good friend. Smooth as room temp butter.


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Post 08 Jul 2019, 12:36 • #96 
Master Guide
Joined: 07/27/18
Posts: 358
Location: Probably at a Diner in Eastern PA
CrustyBugger wrote:
My smooth rods are rods that know me as well as I know them. The line goes where I want it to as I'm thinking it. I don't have to think about the rod. I feel the line and think about what I want to do with it and it happens. I can close my eyes as someone is watching and give them the loop size they ask for. This only happens for me with very progressive action rods whether they are fast or slow. Glass rods that do this for me are the following:

1) Custom rod from maker who wants to remain anonymous but OH MY! I wouldn't even mention this rod except that I wanted to let you know that if you keep searching you will find your Holy Grail. I searched for over 30 years to find a rod like this.
2) Steffen 8'0" 3/4 wt 3pc. (fished with a 4wt line) - The best trout rod money can buy at this time, period.
3) Winston 7'6" 5wt 2pc. (fished with a 6wt line) - Extremely nice for fishing Hex at night where you can't see your fly or fly line. I can hear the sound of a fish rising to a Hex and put the fly where I want it to go. It's pretty much a dry fly rod though. It doesn't handle weighted flies like the top two do.
4) There are a few more that almost get there but the above three are exceptional.
5) Rods that are amazing for the money and are almost there - early Fenwick FF75, early Fenwick FF70, and Lamiglas FL843-2 (only in 2pc though).

CrustyBugger


I second the Steffen 3/4


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Post 08 Jul 2019, 14:16 • #97 
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Joined: 02/12/16
Posts: 3764
Location: USA-CO
The Steffen 804/5-3 ain't bad, either.

My McFarland Ameriglass 794-3 is very smooth as well.


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Post 08 Jul 2019, 20:46 • #98 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/18/09
Posts: 4833
Location: Washington DC Region
It's amazing what rods fall into this catagory that didn't exist 10 years ago.

Chris Barclay's original series of rods for instance.
Epic 480
McFarland is still making amazingly smooth rods, but my 8' 3wt is the definition of smooth.

I've been on a "faster rod" kick recently, maybe it's time for a change. The FR-2000 series always makes me think "smooth" as well as the DiamondGlass 8'6" 4wt.

And in graphite, the Orvis Henry's Fork and Spring Creek rods are smooooth.


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Post 09 Jul 2019, 00:15 • #99 
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Joined: 02/10/17
Posts: 249
Location: Townsend, Tennessee
My 8 foot 5 weight Redington Butterstick is pretty smooth.
Joe


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Post 09 Jul 2019, 07:20 • #100 
Sport
Joined: 11/28/18
Posts: 58
Location: US-WA
I guess i am mistaken. I thought that i read somewhere that the Translucent type glass on the St Croix Imperial could have been supplies by Fisher. So St Croix produced their own glass , and it was used by others?


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