I had a chance to cast the F 622 and 663 the other day. I haven't cast many rods as short and light as these, so take it with a grain of salt. But...
622: pretty nifty little rod. Required a very light touch and felt very sensitive, but it threw nice tight loops with a tiny amount of effort. I can see the appeal, but I would worry that the smallest amount of wind or a slightly larger fly would be a problem. I like to have some options, and this seems pretty niche. Fun though.
663: I liked this one a bit better. I could feel the rod load more than with the 622, and it cast with a bit more authority. Unlike the 622, I felt like I could push the rod harder and tighten up the loops. I'd feel more confident with this configuration. But I agree with everyone else that the reel seat is a shame, a slip ring would be preferable and would lighten it up a bit.
aurelio corso wrote:
JB,they stiffened the tip ever so slightly and the blanks are unsanded and very good looking but I like the handle on the f2 653 better.If you do need a really short rod the 5' 8" is amazing once you get a little line out and handle the same size flies and nymph's and cast as far and into a little wind like your F2.....Aurelio
You decided to keep your F2 653 in favor of the custom F 663, right? Did you end up liking the F2 that much better?
I'm thinking about a rod along these lines. I'd love a chance to try the F2 653, and I'm intrigued by the Steffen 2/3 models and the Barclay 68. Finding an opportunity to cast these things before buying is the big challenge. Packability is a factor for me, but I any sub-7' 3pc is going to pack down plenty small for my uses.