Reviewed by Bob
season, I had the pleasure of fishing rods built from two blanks
from Lamiglas, the XMG50 and the "Blue Ridge". While this season
can be referred to as "the season that wasn't", I still had the
chance to get out often enough to run these rods through their
paces on a couple Catskill trout streams.
9ft 4wt 2pc
is a high modulus graphite blank which Lamiglas uses in their
"Espirit" fly rods. The product information describes these as
powerful fast-action rods, and my fishing experiences this year
certainly supports that claim. The 4wt has a very strong butt
section, with most of the flex in the rod being in the top quarter
of the blank section near the tip. It's a real cannon on the lawn,
that's for sure. It's much faster than any other rod I have in
my quiver. I wasn't sure how I was going to like it when I went
I found on the water surprised me. Yes, it is a very powerful
blank, but it's also very "controlled". It's a hard thing to describe
in words, but the tip recovers so fast that I felt I was generating
line speed with very little effort on my part, which allowed me
to hit my targets near and far without struggling like I've done
with other rods. I could easily cast tight loops with high speed,
and it felt like that proverbial "laser beam cast" where you stare
at the spot and the line shoots straight to that spot.
you've heard over and over again about popping tippets with fast
action rods. Some folks get so worked up about it that they seem
to think it is all but impossible to set the hook on a fish without
breaking off. I had heard that myself, so often in fact that I
was a bit nervous that I would find the same with this rod and
wouldn't be able to give it a positive review as a result. One
experience in particular proved to me that this is just another
one of those myths that seem to fall apart under close inspection.
I was fishing
Horse Brook Run on the Beaverkill in late May. Anyone who knows
this rivers understands that this section is heavy water - a strong
current pushing over and around countless rocks and boulders of
all sizes creating lots of holding spots for the resident browns.
There wasn't much on the water that day, and I was prospecting
with one of my favorite searching dry flies, fishing the fly downstream
so it would drift around the boulders and drop into the pockets.
As the fly dropped into one pocket, a large head came up and sucked
back in surprise, and was fast to a good sized Beaverkill brown
trout. As soon as it felt the hook, it ran into the heavy current
and went screaming off downstream. Being deep in the water myself,
it wasn't as if I could chase after it at a full run, so I stood
my ground and slugged it out. After awhile, I was able to slide
my net under the fish and admire one of Beaverkill's finest. It
wasn't until after I released the fish that I remembered what
rod I was fishing, and I had to chuckle about all this "break
off" talk. Maybe it was luck, but I figured if I didn't pop the
tippet on that guy with such a surprised reaction, then I was
other recent Lamiglas offerings, the butt section of the rod wasn't
quite as large diameter as others, so I had no trouble finding
a reel seat to fit the blank. What it does have in common with
these other blanks, however, is the "light in the hand" feel.
Todd Vivian, Lamiglas's chief rod designer, has found the magic
key to building powerful blanks without the tip heaviness that
some have (and which I hate more than anything on a rod). If you
spend most of a day holding a rod out from your body while drifting
nymphs, you will certainly appreciate that "tip lightness".
XMG50 I used was marked as a 4 weight, I would recommend bumping
to a 5wt if you're not making long casts on a continual basis.
I felt I could feel a 5wt line a little better on the rod, but
that could just be due to my inexperience with these fast "tip
action" rods. When I was casting a long line with my WF4F, it
felt terrific (and a bit shocking at how much line I could carry
in the air with control). The XMG50 a big water rod, and will
most definitely be my nymphing rod of choice for future seasons.
Ridge 7ft 3wt 3pc
"Blue Ridge" is about as far away from the XMG50 on the rod action
scale as you can have. The "Blue Ridge" blanks are one evolutionary
step up from a pure fiberglass blank in that the blanks are actually
comprised of three different material composites - the butt is
graphite, the mid section is a graphite/glass bend, and the tip
is glass. This makes for a rod that has the smooth and softer
action of glass, but with the added butt stability and light weight
of graphite. It truly is the best of both worlds.
I used this
rod a few times on the upper Willowemoc Creek, fishing for some
of the wild local brookies and browns. What a delightful rod!
The graphite butt removes any of that "tale wagging the dog" feel
that some glass blanks have, but the slow action and soft tip
gives you that special feeling where you can comfortable cast
just a couple feet of line and the leader. For small stream work,
it is absolutely fantastic.
is a rich glossy jet black, and the graphite material in the blend
allowed Todd to design a blank that does not have a large diameter
butt section like many glass blanks. I used an off-the-shelf Bob
Venneri reel seat for this rod, and it fit perfectly. With a set
of single foot snake guides, the rod is light weight, but has
just a hint of heft to give it a very classic feel. For you guys
who like short rods and light lines, you will really like this
of you who are curious about slower action rods, but are not sure
about using a pure glass or even bamboo, this will be just the