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Post 24 Aug 2011, 15:42 • #1 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA

Earlier this summer, I innocently wrote Mario Wojnicki an email asking if he might someday develop a 5wt parabolic glass rod. He answered that he'd likely do that someday, but not this year. So I put it out of my mind ... for a month. Then I received a surprise email from Mario titled "Something New" , and two weeks later, I received the first of his new model 235P5, a 7'8" 5wt 3-piece parabolic. Mario is just a productivity machine.

Image

I spent about 40 minutes tonight lawn casting. First of all, this rod is very parabolic, and you know it when you just administer the wiggle test before putting a line on it. There is a definite hinge above the handle. I'd rate its quickness/responsiveness as squarely medium, which is unlike the two semi-parabolic rods I have of his that are medium-fast quick (77P4 and 227P4). It is more like a bigger brother of his 217P4. Those of you who like medium action glass that flexes into the cork on a big cast would like this rod. I tried two very different lines: Rio Trout LT DT5 (has a very long and gradual taper for the first 20' or so) and Rio Gold WF5 (tapers fast to the heaviest point of the belly). It was good with the LT line, but excellent with the Gold line. Both felt similar at 30'-60' (and I think this rod could eaaaasily cast 70' or more). The Gold needed a little extra attention toward controlling tip trajectory at 40'+ to prevent tailing, while the rod was nearly tail-proof with the LT. That's no surprise though, with all that fat belly on the Gold so close to the yarn ball. On the other hand, the Gold was better in close, though the LT was good too. In fact, one striking thing about this rod versus a few very parabolic cane rods (modelled on PHY Para numbered series) I've tried is that the 235P5 is great from very close in to 60' and everywhere in between. There is no loss of close-in feel or accuracy, and no point where the casting gets wonky as the rod's tip hands duty off to the hinge in the butt section as you make longer and longer casts. It was just smooth throughout.

Anyway, that was my take on the lawn. I might fish it next week to get a real feel for it.



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Post 24 Aug 2011, 16:17 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 2137
Location: West Virginia
Great review, Lugan. I'm always interested in new rods from Mario. It's neat how he numbers his rods - 235 is the length in centimeters and 8161 means completed on August 16, 2011. I never knew that until Kinzua told me. I look forward to your fishing report and more photos.


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Post 24 Aug 2011, 16:31 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 02/26/08
Posts: 981
Location: SW, Michigan
Excellent, someday we will have to get together so I can cast all your MW rods ... HA!


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Post 25 Aug 2011, 01:05 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 1206
Location: Panther City, Texas
Another excellent review Lugan,thanks. I'm anxious to hear your impressions on how the 235P5 fishes. It's nice how an "innocent" email turns into a new rod model, first Steffen's 705 and now with Mario's new offering. Keep up the good work!


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Post 25 Aug 2011, 15:26 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
frogmorton wrote:
... It's nice how an "innocent" email turns into a new rod model, first Steffen's 705 and now with Mario's new offering.

I bugged Mark for that 7'0" 5wt for a few years. It was seriously just a few sentences with Mario. But on the other hand, it's "obvious" that a master of parabolic glass rods needs at least one 5wt in his list of offerings! It was just a matter of time, I'll bet.


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Post 26 Aug 2011, 01:02 • #6 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 18077
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
7'8" is a very useful size in a 5-wt.

If he made it a true 5, I would expect the Rio Gold to overload it, which also makes sense that it would load easy in close on the fast para tip.

As they say, since we have to ask, can we afford it?


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Post 26 Aug 2011, 01:40 • #7 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
The Gold line doesn't overload it, but you do feel it load in shorter casts (10'-30') more clearly than the LT. At 50', the LT feels heavier than the Gold ... which it is, since the Gold is a WF line and at that distance you're well into the thin running line, while the LT is a DT and you're well into the belly at that distance. Really though, the difference is fairly subtle. What is not subtle is that the Gold turns the leader and yarn over with much more authority at the end of the cast. Again, that's because the Gold taper puts more mass right near the tip, versus the LT that has a long and gradual front taper. This has little to do with the rod, since I hae a tippy dry fly taper cane rod that I use both lines on, and they roughly behave the same on that rod too.

Affordability ... well, it's affordable relative to new cane rods, but outrageous compared to the vast majority of glass rods (new or vintage, Peaks excepted). But as I've said before, Mario's rods are a world apart from any others I've sampled, so in my opinion they are a fair value for what you get in terms of engineering and artistry.


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Post 26 Aug 2011, 04:10 • #8 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/05/07
Posts: 2137
Location: West Virginia
I see that Mario already has the 235P4 listed on his site for $1000. That's a lot of money for a glass fly rod but I agree with Lugan that they are very special rods. Photos really don't do these rods justice. I think you have to have one in your hands to really understand what all the fuss is about. Something to consider if you are one who likes to try a lot of different rods or have a fickle nature when it comes to fly rods (like me), is that the Wojnickis seem to retain their value very well on the secondary market. I have seen on several occassions a 217P4 sell for more than their new purchase price.


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Post 29 Aug 2011, 11:55 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
OK, now I've tested the rod on the water: I fished the rod for 4 hours in wide open spaces using flies ranging from #14 dries to a lightly weighted #8 woolhead sculpin (heavy when waterlogged though). My initial take on the lawn was mostly validated on the water. The Gold still loads a bit better up close, and throws bigger bugs with more authority, but the LT was just fun on that rod. So in the end, I think I like the LT better on this rod, which was a bit of a surprise. The LT was just 10% smoother and easier-going. With both lines, I had opportunity to lay down short casts out to 50'-60', overhead, side-arm under branches, and it was accurate throughout. Also, thanks to having water all around me help load the fly rod, I can also say that it roll casts and single speys very well. That should be no surprise since parabolics tend to do that sort of casting well. I like this rod a lot.


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Post 29 Aug 2011, 12:23 • #10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/06/07
Posts: 1425
Location: US-VT
Tom,

I just had avery similar experience with the Steffen 4/5. When it arrived I cast it on the water with a XPS 5DT and was very pleased at all fishing distances. Today I strung up the rod with a Gold and it was a completely different experience. I didn't like the way the rod felt at all, then I came back up to the house and grabbed the XPS DT and the rod shined once again. I am a bit astonished that those two 5wt lines had such a different feel on the rod.

rich


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Post 30 Aug 2011, 04:35 • #11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
Rich - The XPS is a pretty mellow and straight-forward taper, right? If so, your experience matches mine on that Steffen. I liked it with an SA Mastery Trout DT5, which is also a pretty mellow and basic taper.


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Post 30 Aug 2011, 17:39 • #12 
Master Guide
Joined: 12/31/09
Posts: 397
Location: US-WA
That's a nice surprise! Thanks for the report. I'd love to try one of Mario's parabolics someday & compare it to what I have.


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Post 01 Sep 2011, 02:56 • #13 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
Another perspective on this rod: Since it's squarely parabolic, I figured I'd look into Paul Young's parabolic bamboo tapers to see if there is a comparison to be made. PHY tapers varied over the years, even within the same model name, but roughly speaking it seems like this Wojnicki 235P5 is probably something like the glass version of a Para 14, which was a 7'9" 5wt 2-piece rod. He also made a similarly configured rod called the Martha Marie, but descriptions of that one suggest it is semi-parabolic. Anyway, these are just guesses, and someday maybe someone will be able to make a direct comparison. I'll certainly try to get my hands on a Para 14 and Martha Marie myself someday. It would be interesting to compare them wiht this glass rod.


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Post 01 Sep 2011, 04:32 • #14 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/24/11
Posts: 1079
Location: Belgium
Lugan, I have a couple of cane parabolics, a Hardy Continental 7' 7 1/2" 5wt and a Pezon Michel PPP Creusvault 6/7wt. Fun rods both, the PPP is exceptionally powerful. However even the Continental is not the rod of choice when tippets under 5x are the order of the day.

Glass being a perticularly tippet friendly material, I'm wondering how your rod deals with finer tippets.


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Post 01 Sep 2011, 08:01 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
Giogio - I agree that glass is very tippet-friendly. In fact, comparing rods of glass vs. cane on a line weight for line weight basis, I think glass wins the tippet protection contest hands-down. My 7'9" 5/6wt Steffen is fine with 6x (I have used that combination during a trico hatch), while my one 6wt cane rod seems iffy even with 5x. But maybe my perspective is limited. In any case, it's probably an interesting thread on its own.

FWIW, I used 5x Orvis Mirage flouro the whole time I fished the 235P5 and tippet protection was fine. The fish were small (only up to 13"), though they were strong and sometimes the current was fast, so there was at least a little bit of a test that day. This rod flexes from tip to butt on even 10" trout, and my guess is that larger fish on 5x or even 6x would be totally fine. OTOH, I rarely break off fish anyway.


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Post 01 Sep 2011, 18:59 • #16 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/24/11
Posts: 1079
Location: Belgium
Taper also comes very much into play when it comes to protecting tippets. I have an 8' 5 wt Montagne taper in cane which has an extremely fine R square tip. This rod is a tip action cannon that can cast 90' and protect 8X tippets all in one. Nothing's for free however and it's not the nicest rod with even a medium sized bead head.

Glass in a parabolic taper sounds pretty versatile.


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Post 29 Feb 2012, 00:01 • #17 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
There's an update on this rod model straight from Mario (thanks to "ablecane" for telling me about it first). Ablecane mentioned in passing this week that he'd spoken to Mario about the rod, and Mario has apparently tweaked the design.

I was curious, so I sent an email to Mario asking what the change is. Basically, he says he added more material to the butt section to make it a bit faster. He says it is now closer to the 227P4 in action, and my interpretation of that comparison tells me that it is now probably a semi-parabolic rather than fully parabolic.

So there you go, things changing all the time. And probably you should disregard my review above! :-)


Last edited by Lugan on 29 Feb 2012, 12:13, edited 1 time in total.

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Post 29 Feb 2012, 05:04 • #18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 09/22/09
Posts: 1493
Location: Sweden
Lugan - Do you know if Mr Wojnicki rolls his blanks by himself? I'm curious and would love to own a MW sometime.


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Post 29 Feb 2012, 13:58 • #19 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
My understanding is that he designs the rods and has custom mandrels made, but I'm pretty sure he doesn't roll them himself. In fact, I heard from a very reliable source that he actually gets blanks from two different manufacturers.

See the thread you started from earlier this week about the Tiemco-Wojnicki collaboration in which a video is linked that includes Mario talking about parts of his design process.


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Post 19 Mar 2012, 07:33 • #20 
Administrator
Joined: 07/17/06
Posts: 5590
Location: South Carolina
Lugan ... great information. Adding a MW is on my short list of "Fly Rod To Do's".


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Post 19 Mar 2012, 10:38 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/24/06
Posts: 1507
Location: Beautiful View, WA
Cameron, you of all people need to have one. Talk to me before you choose. I've at least sampled half the paras.


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Post 03 Jun 2015, 11:26 • #22 
New Member
Joined: 12/06/12
Posts: 9
Location: US-VT
I had a Paul Young Parabolic 14 made by Todd Young 7'9" 5WF. A true parabolic taper 2/2 configuration. Also I picked up the 235P5 Mario's 7'8" 3/2 parabolic 5wt. I cast both of the rods side by side and could not tell them apart in terms of parabola action. I ended up trading the PHY rod and kept the MW glass rod. If you like parabolic actions Mario's 235P5 is one of the best. I would rate it on par with the PHY perfectionist a true parabolic taper in 4 wt. So I am getting a MW 203P3 6'8" 3/2 3DT parabolic rod. I will compare that rod to the Perfectionist and a PHY midge I own.
Stu


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Post 04 Jun 2015, 10:12 • #23 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/30/09
Posts: 2525
Location: Winston-Salem, NC
Stu, thanhks for sharing your thoughts on how they compare with Young para's - I've often wondered how they compare. Out of curiosity, how recent is your 235p5?
I'm also interested in hearing your thoughts on the 203p3. That's one that has intrigued me.


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Post 05 Jun 2015, 00:23 • #24 
Sport
Joined: 02/25/12
Posts: 29
Location: US-CA
Stu,

If you like para's, you WILL like Mario's 203P3. Interesting though, I would not consider the Perfectionist taper as parabolic but to be honest I have not had an opportunity to cast a PHY Perfectionist but Bob Summer's 275 instead (which I believe is based upon the Perfectionist taper). I do have a PHY Midge. To my mind, and materials aside, the 203 is a very different rod than the Midge. Again, I would not classify the Midge as parabolic but that's just me.

When you get the 203, let us know your thoughts on the rod.

-Dwight


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Post 05 Jun 2015, 15:09 • #25 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 08/14/06
Posts: 1206
Location: Panther City, Texas
Thanks Stu for reviving this thread and for the info. I would really like to own one of Mario's glass para rods. I'm torn between this 5 wt and one of his 4 wts.


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