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Lamiglas Ti2000 9' 5wt 4pc
Reviewed by Bob Petti
"Lots of power but not stiff like most other high performance rods."
"Smooth and powerful"
"Knocked the socks off a Sage XP"
"A sensible Western action rather than the extremist design of lots of Sages and Loomises "
These are some comments I have received from friends about the new Lamiglas Ti2000 fly rod I built up earlier this year.
Todd Vivian of Lamiglas was kind enough to send me a prototype blank of one of their new fly rods, the Ti2000. As you can guess, the "Ti" in the name stands for Titanium, a hollow tube of which is bonded to the butt section of an IM 700 fly rod to produce an entirely new series of high performance blanks. Lamiglas claims this flared tube adds to the "feel" of the rod by acting as an amplifier, allowing the caster to know what is going on with the tip of the rod, which should help both casting and fishing.
After the mail truck pulled away, I took the blank out of the tube and was immediately stopped short by the long titanium tube that comprised the bottom half of the butt section. "This", I said to myself, "is not your normal rod blank." I didn't know what to think. It was certainly not a conventional looking blank. My friend Kat Cruikshank, the current owner of the rod, has named it her "Full Metal Jacket" rod. An apt name, given the five or so inches of hi-tech metal sticking out the end of the grip.
My first task, of course, was to figure out how to dress it out with components. I measured the butt and was astounded to find it over a half inch in diameter - 36/64ths to be precise. That's huge - larger than many heavy duty saltwater fly rods. I thought for a second they sent me the wrong blank, but a quick check of the bag showed that it was indeed a 5wt. Or at least it was labelled as such. How could such a thick rod be a 5wt? How would it perform as a trout rod? These were the things running through my mind when I first opened the package. I was doubtful.
A quick glimpse at my component catalogs didn't show much in the way of reel seats with in inside diameter that large. All the classic wood spacer reel seats with nice nickel silver fittings were too small. The largest struble listed had a .460 inside bore. REC was smaller yet, although they would custom make one for me if I wanted to. I talked to Todd and Bob McKamey of Custom Tackle Supply and we decided to try a woven graphite reel seat, which should fit with no problems. In fact, the Lamiglas factory rods will be fitted with a very similar reel seat made by Hopkins and Holloway.
A 7" full wells grip and a set of single foot guides completed the dressing and I got to work assembling the rod. All I can say is - thank God for tapered reamers. Fitting a preformed grip to that blank any other way would have been a torturous process.
After I had the grip, seat, and guides installed, I was pleasantly surprised when I waved the rod and detected it having a "medium" action with a flex that went well into the mid section of the rod. I was eager to take some casts, but all I had spooled at the time was a WF6F Cortland 444SL. I didn't hesitate a second, 'cause I really didn't believe the rod was a 5wt anyway, so outside I went.
My first thought was how well the rod was balanced. With a loaded reel secured in the seat, the balance point was just under my thumb spot on the grip. I don't often fish 4pc rods and I was afraid this one would be tip heavy. Not at all. It had a lively, crisp feel to it and didn't feel the least bit tip heavy. So far, so good.
My first casting session along the house was quite an eye opener. It was, by far, the most powerful and dynamic rod I had ever cast, easily outclassing the Sage XP I had earlier this Spring. Maybe it was just my casting motion, not the "short/quick" stroke that some talk about with super fast action rods, but I was able to generate high line speeds with seemingly little effort. The line unrolled in a tight loop and shot across the lawn like a rocket. In fact, I cast line the over the top of our clothes line, which has never happened before. I ran out of casting room. The last cast I stepped off was an honest 30 paces. To say the least, I was impressed.
When it came time to fish the rod, I was somewhat afraid that it would be a casting machine but wouldn't offer much in the way of "feel" when it came to catching fish. Wrong again. My first trip with the rod was to the East Branch of the Delaware River with my friend Richard Frank. I started off the day fishing little soft hackles on 5x tippet, thinking that style of fishing would give me an idea about how the rod would handle real trout fishing situations. Bumps and takes on the soft hackle were telegraphed to my hand very clearly and I was impressed at the range of casts I could make with my DT5F Lazerline. My first impression that it was a powerhouse long distance casting machine was true, but I was surprised at the ease with which it handled casts in the 20 to 30 foot range, dropping the fly as accurately as I could hope for. It passed the fishing test with flying colors.
The only drawback that I can see is purely cosmetic. The tube and the thickness of the blank give off vibes of "heavy", "clunky", and maybe even "ugly" in some circles. While looks are in the eye of the beholder, if you can get by them the rod is a winner.
I don't know much about how graphic fly rods are made, so I wasn't sure at first what the purpose of the titanium tube was. I mean - to me it was just a fly rod. It cast very well, felt extremely "smooth", and handled a variety of situations with ease. I was happy that I could work a long line without the rod "pooping out" on me, while also being able to work a short line with surprsing delicacy. I will take Lamiglas' word for it that it "amplifies" the feel of the rod. All I know is that it's better than most other rods I have fished with.
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