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.