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Perfection Part 3
Post 24 Mar 2021, 00:21 • #1 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
After 2 18 hour works days you’d think I’d be so tired that I would fall into bed without a care in the world..... not so! For I knew what awaited me at my house thanks to my little man that opened a package for me on Factime. You guessed it the Trout Smith himself had visited my home. When I arrived I pecked the wife on the lips and located my two new rods that awaited me.... a 7’ 2wt and a 8’ 4wt from Shane Gray of Graywolf rods. What follows are my initial thoughts on the pair.

I have been fishing almost exclusively glass rods for almost a year now since my return to the sport (from the dark arts of tenkara) and just plain not fishing. In the last year I have purchased more rods than I should have, which include but are not limited to moonshine drifter 4wt (yes I know it’s not glass), fenwick fenglass 3wt (good rod), orvis superfine 8wt (love this rod), echo river glass 4wt (mixed feelings), and a TFO finesse (again I know it’s graphite). All have left something to be desired, save the superfine (except the customer service in my local orvis store). With 3 4wts (my favorite weight) I have yet to find what I’m looking for, for one reason or another. Well finally I decided I wanted a top end rod and if I could find what I’m looking for I’d pair down a bit.

I got the green light from the wife (great lady who supports me fishing) and the research commenced. I looked and lusted over Graywolf, Barclay, and additional superfines. Honestly, barclay was a tad out of reach with the price for two rods, superfine was my leading option for a while, but I wanted something on the brink of custom without the wait. I’d seen the trout smiths last year but hadn’t seen anything this year. With fiberglass seemingly trending towards a lot of s glass and s2 glass, I saw Shane’s e glass pop up and more research on the difference between e and s began. I had no experience with e but was very interested in the concept of an even slower glass (what can I say I’m old school in a young body).

I decided with all that’s going on I wanted to support the little guy and contacted Shane and what impressed me was the length of his rods and their weight. Not until I bought the echo did I know longer glass rods were a thing. He patiently answered all my questions and gave me info on his rods. I was sold. I wanted to go lighter than my 3wt fenwick but longer (I fequently explore little blue lines on maps) and I didn’t want to go shorter than my 4wt echo because I did like the length. Enter the trout smith e glass rods.

To start the tubes are great quality and I like them way more than my fabric covered tubes. I opened the two weight and I found the most beautiful cork handle (I’m a sucker for all cork handles) and a red that I like way more in person than I liked on the webpage (I thought I liked the color of the sfg better, I was wrong). The wraps are perfect, the cork needs no filler, and the rod seems to have way more back bone that I expected (or at all what I expected from e glass). Wow..... just wow! I fitted one of my cheapo zeros (love these reels) to the 2wt rod and it’s a match made in heaven. The dots line up perfectly when assembling as if Shane uses a micrometer to align them. The attention to detail is second to none and the rod is the definition of simple beauty.

I eagerly got the 4 wt out and fitted the ross Colorado LT to it and I experienced the same perfect wraps, more cork that needs no filler (didn’t know that was a thing till the sfg), and more perfect alignment. Again the rod seems to have way more backbone that I expected from e glass (at least from what I’ve read) and does not feel like a noodle in the slightest (like the echo). Shane clearly loves his job and has the attention to detail to boot. Tomorrow when the line comes in I’ll do some casting but for now here are a few photos. I’m satisfied completely thus far. I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Shane got these in my hands before my move and I’m grateful for that. Shane was friendly, patient, and a pleasure to do business with. Tomorrow we cast. Stay tuned.








Last edited by Snakeroll on 30 Mar 2021, 17:20, edited 3 times in total.

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Re: Perfection
Post 24 Mar 2021, 05:05 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/30/10
Posts: 1655
Location: Michigan
Outstanding sir!


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Re: Perfection
Post 24 Mar 2021, 05:54 • #3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 3266
Location: US-MN
Awesome! Looking forward to your casting and fishing notes!


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Re: Perfection
Post 24 Mar 2021, 12:20 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 01/02/12
Posts: 1678
Location: Gig Harbor, WA
Indeed! Am also looking forward to first hand expressions of fishing abilities of these rods.


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Re: Perfection
Post 24 Mar 2021, 15:06 • #5 
Guide
Joined: 02/07/12
Posts: 189
Location: US-NM
Great write up! Enjoy those rods!


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Re: Perfection
Post 24 Mar 2021, 23:30 • #6 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks guys. Rods have been calling me all day at work. Lines should beat me home and I’ll get them setup for some testing.


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Perfection
Post 25 Mar 2021, 11:19 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
I would have just kept everything on the same thread but after several replies is seems like I can’t add more. Oh well so here we are on the new thread for the casting section. [You can't add a reply when you made the last post. Simply edit your last post and add the new information. Tom]


In terms of format I think this will be a 4 parts in total. The initial thoughts post, (this) the casting post, first outings, and a follow up in a couple months.

We will start with a disclaimer. I probably don’t know all the correct terms to describe the different aspects of what I’m saying. I’ll try my best and if you feel the urge to point out something I’ve described incorrectly, please do! I can only get better from here and I don’t offend easy.

The weather here has been miserable in terms of getting outside to simply cast in the yard. However, after everyone was in bed there I sat lining the reels with my new 406 lines at 2230 hours. Probably should do another review on those (this is an exciting part of my life you see). I digress, I lined the 4 wt first with the olive dt 4wt line, which looks awesome. And threw the 4 wt rod together and ventured into the dark. Dark you say? Yes! First off I love night fishing and it was the first chance I got. With that said I hardly look at back cast anyway and cast a lot by feel (I’m sure this is common). I said in my last post that I detected that these rods had back bone. Well I mean it! They aren’t noodles at all the rod seemed equally capable of casting the line with delicacy and bombing a huge streamer. I’m sure Shane can explain how this is possible but I cannot. Other rods I have casted and owned seem like they can do one or the other. Then again my experience is in no way vast. As my cast oscillated in metronome fashion a huge smile formed on my face and I went inside.

I then preformed a modification to my zero reels which I think will make them better but we shall see. The part I modified costs less than 5 bucks and I can get a new part if I need. Anyway I lined the 2 wt and the wife texted me that she could not sleep with all the clicking.... don’t make the bank mad. I went to bed and awoke the next morning eagerly because the new rods had been calling me through the night. Chores done like lightning, take kids to school, grocery shop, etc. Finally a moment... 2wt together and out into the back yard. It’s raining, 15 mph winds, perfect lawn casting weather if you ask me! I wish I had a video of a little 2wt glass rod power bombing casts through a head wind. I again don’t know how to describe this. Put it this way the rod is no noodle. You can feel the backbone when you wiggle it, when putting it together, etc. but you can also attach your line to something and easily bend it into the the cork. Soft but strong, delicate but firm. The rod contradicts itself, but in a good way. I like what I’m feeling. I like what I’m seeing. Roll casting in the grass is much harder than with water surface tension. Many of back yard roll casts have ended in a pile of line 10 feet from the caster. Not with the 2 wt. Single handed Spey casts? (like the snake roll wink wink) Not an issue. More casting once the weather clears. More to come. Thus far I’m digging these rods and line. Need more time with them.




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Re: Perfection part 2
Post 25 Mar 2021, 17:59 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 3266
Location: US-MN
Nice report! Sounds like a couple of sweet rods. I love e-glass! I came to fiberglass after fishing the old Scott Gs and Diamondback Classic Trouts (would have loved to afford a Winston). I know a lot depends on the taper, but I have so say a lot of the S glass offerings today seem faster, have less feel, but more weight than those old graphite rods. Not so with e-glass!


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Re: Perfection part 2
Post 25 Mar 2021, 20:03 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
For sure! The lightness to the e glass is kind of leaving me dumbstruck. I spent about 30 minutes this afternoon in the backyard with the four weight and I’ve quite simply just have never casted it’s equal. It’s honestly the strangest thing that I’ve ever experienced with a glass rod. The rod seems like it’s got enough energy stored in it to bomb big streamers while maintaining a sort of delicacy that I’ve only found in glass. Unfortunately for my rod collection I don’t think anything but these two rods are going to be used for quite some time. But again even the S2 rods that I have seem whimpy noodles comparatively and just a little bit all over the place which is OK in some respects. You expect this or a certain amount of flexibility in a glass rod and that’s part of the pleasantness of it. These rods combine that but seem to have taken out all the negative aspects of glass. Light subtle and strong. I’ve casted some 2 weights on a good day where I felt like I was not able to cast them very well. However the two weight in this series made short work of several headwinds. The last thing I’ll say about the taper and I don’t know enough to tell you what I’m trying to convey other than this the energy transfer is incredible. I do a ton of roll casting and single hand spey techniques. I find them convenient and they get my fly back in the water quickly. With that said one of the things that I have figured out in the backyard is that roll cast on grass and roll casts on water or two totally different things. Something to do with the lack of resistance from the grass has rendered many of my yard casts a simple pile of fly line. However that was not the case today and it probably can be both attributed to the taper of these rods but also to the really nice 406 fly line and leaders. The combination between the three is unlike anything I have tried. I’ll end on this note that it does not seem like I have to work at all to get the line where I want it to go. The magic of glass is a connection to the fish that just isn’t there in graphite for me. When I was casting in the yard today I forgot I was holding a rod. I hope to have some videos of me casting them shortly. I am very impressed with these rods and the lines I simply cannot wait to get them on the water. Stay tuned for the next segment which will be on the initial outings with them. Should be high fast water so will probably hucking some heavy junk flies into the fast River.


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Re: Perfection part 2
Post 25 Mar 2021, 21:04 • #10 
Guide
Joined: 12/14/11
Posts: 175
Location: Yamhill Co Oregon
I'm just grinning with your enthousiasm...


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Re: Perfection part 2
Post 29 Mar 2021, 18:38 • #11 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Thanks! Well I arrived in Franklin to the aftermath of historic flooding. Unfortunately, I have been unable to get to the river (which is flooding into many of the roads) and the conditions are not great at the moment. However I did get some lawn casting in during a dinner at my brothers and I can tell you that these rods are simply the best I’ve casted. The 2 wt is delicate but posses the ability to cast far further than other glass two weights I’ve casted. It just makes just better. The 4wt is has sooooo much backbone and casts with authority. Both will bend into the cork but the 4wt would take a monster to get there. Absolutely a dream and I’m set as far as rods are concerned.


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Re: Perfection part 2
Post 30 Mar 2021, 11:30 • #12 
Guide
Joined: 06/30/20
Posts: 156
What is the part you modified on your zero reels? I have one myself and really love it. They look good, they work well, and the price is excellent. Thanks!


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Re: Perfection part 2
Post 30 Mar 2021, 11:37 • #13 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
The doubled up section of the drag spring I shortened slightly. Makes the drag noise reduced and allows a fish to run on it. Drag on zeros is fine as is but a tad stiff and I don’t see it doing a screaming run for you. I still left enough to prevent over spooling. Here’s a picture. Zeros are such simple work horses and calling Redington and getting a new spring should be no problem if you over do it. I found that trimming the thicker of the two springs back to the center post is about perfect. Your mileage may vary. Mine is pictured right hand retrieve btw.


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Re: Perfection part 2
Post 30 Mar 2021, 15:53 • #14 
Guide
Joined: 06/30/20
Posts: 156
got it, thanks snakeroll


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Re: Perfection part 3
Post 30 Mar 2021, 17:22 • #15 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Got the 2 wt out today on a flooded creek. No fish from me but my little bro caught 3 little micros. Rod was definitely at home on the small waters and casting was perfect. Bow and arrow casts, roll casts, and overhead casts where possible. Beautiful day and a lot of fun. Couldn’t be happier. I’ll hopefully get the 4wt on a trout river next week when I return. My punishment for not catching a fish was that the bourbon was on me. In terms of the knotted leaders from Tom, they worked great. I used the five x and trimmed it just a bit and was able to turn over both a variety of dry flies and midges. 406 line was a perfect pairing with this setup. Now I’ll I need is a fish on the other end. No flies were lost in the making of this post.







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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 30 Mar 2021, 20:11 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/26/14
Posts: 3266
Location: US-MN
Looks like you had a great time!


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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 31 Mar 2021, 19:37 • #17 
Guide
Joined: 04/17/12
Posts: 140
Location: Blacksburg, VA
Thanks for the report - I've been mulling over going for one of the Trout Smith rods and it sounds like your quite pleased with them.


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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 31 Mar 2021, 19:52 • #18 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Speck yes. Pleased is an understatement. If you have a chance, I’d go for it!


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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 01 Apr 2021, 07:30 • #19 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/30/10
Posts: 1655
Location: Michigan
Thanks for the very kind words, and I am happy you are enjoying these rods! Lots of work went into these and I am glad it's paying off.

I currently have one of each model in stock and ready for shipment. You can see them here - https://www.graywolfrods.com/troutsmithseglass

** I have one 7ft 2wt 3pc model left, all other 2wts have sold out.

*** Seems I had an issue with the buy now button on my website. It has now been corrected. If you experience any issue with the buy now please contact me.




I do have black S glass, and my Heritage carbon models along with spinning models in stock, but I am currently waiting for hardware to come in from anodizing. So these will be showing up on the site soon, in the meantime please feel free to contact me with any interest.


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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 01 Apr 2021, 19:50 • #20 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Absolutely Shane. I’m super happy with the rods. I will do another report when I get the four wt out on the river.


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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 02 Apr 2021, 12:09 • #21 
Guide
Joined: 12/11/20
Posts: 287
Location: Dallas, TX
Welcome to the Graywolf tribe. Shane is a wizard at the height of his powers. I have no idea how he keeps putting out such quality and raising his game consistently. I have 4 Graywolfs made from some of the best blanks in the business, (new purple Blue Halo 806 gem newly in hand) and a 5’ Troutsmith Ultralight Spinner that I truly adore.

Can’t wait to see your reports after you get fish on the rods. They’re incredible.


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Re: Perfection Part 3.5
Post 27 Apr 2021, 08:26 • #22 
Sport
Joined: 06/05/20
Posts: 65
Location: Baton Rouge, LA
Alright so craziness with the move aside, the Harpeth was still raging with quick and high waters for the first couple weeks I was here. However the creeks feeding into the Harpeth were just fine and presented lots of technical fishing challenges and little fishes to hand. I used the 2wt for most of the day but I did break out the 4wt twice to sling some big bugs into the raging Harpeth with no fish to hand. However it was impressive how effortless the 4wt turned over huge weighted Woolley buggers with ease. It also performed single Spey casts with ease.

I own several other 4 wts and nothing comes close to the way this casts. I am really glad I went with 2 wt and 4 wt instead of 3 and 4. I feel there is a lot of difference between the two. The two weight caught several baby bass and creek chubs and while they did not challenge the rod in the slightest, they did give a good bend with the bigger chubs and I could feel every shake of even the smallest fishes head. The creek we fished while the main river was flooded many would have never stopped to try but it was an absolute delight.

Weeks later the water levels have returned to normal and both rods have trout and bass on them and wow! What fun!!! These rods are gems and heirloom quality. I will definitely look to Shane for another build in the future and would not hesitate to recommend these rods to anyone. These e glass will turn heads of glass lovers and haters. Even my little brother likes them and he is not a glass guy. While I enjoy both of them for different reasons I definitely find myself reaching for the 2wt most of the time. However the 4wt is a large bug slinger to be sure! I cannot be happier with the quality of the rods, the process, and all the conversations I’ve had with Shane.

Gonna try and get some bigger fish on and will give you the last part of the review with some in-depth looks after some more use.




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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 10 Jul 2021, 03:26 • #23 
Guide
Joined: 10/14/19
Posts: 128
Location: Tauranga, New Zealand
Beautiful photos Snakeroll. Cheers


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Re: Perfection Part 3
Post 10 Jul 2021, 13:06 • #24 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 2714
Location: Orygun
I really enjoyed yours posts about this....

It's great to hear about your journey to the 'darkside'....or is it to the light? Whichever direction it's in, you have lots of company here...


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