Swedish version

Rod Test

Hot set-up for spring creek fishing

by Trico Spinner

Rod: Performance Fly Rods Chalkstream 87

Recently, it was my pleasure to try a new prototype rod from Performance Fly Rods, the shop of Dave Lewis, in Harrisonburg, Virginia. Designed and built with input from an experienced spring creek fisherman, this new 8'7" rod, weighing only 2 1/4 ounces is a joy to fish. It matches up perfectly w/ a Lee Wulff Triangle Taper 4/5 line. A Hardy JLH 6, Orvis CFO 6, or similar light weight reel would be appropriate.

Many rod builders are attempting to build tubular graphite rods with a more moderate action than the super-stiff models they have delivered in the past. I have tried a number of these rods, and have found a common fault with many of them. When softening the lower portions of the blank, they neglect to to compensate by increasing the tip diameter. The result is a rod that will not support the power generated by the midsection and butt. Vigorous roll casts or fore casts will lead to the tip collapsing. The Chalkstream 87 (best described as a 'progressive' or 'semi-parabolic' action), on the other hand, casts smoothly at all normal fishing distances. It will pick up and shoot all the line needed, enabling the angler to use fewer false casts and keep the fly on the water. Style and fashion seem to come and go. Hemlines rise and fall, trousers gain and lose pleats and cuffs, all without any connection to, and often in conflict with, functionallity.

Reel seats do not seem to be an exception to this rule. The only function of a reel seat is to securely hold the reel to the rod. It should do so in un unobtrusive, yet aesthetically pleasing manner, with the minimum possible weight. Twenty-five or thirty years ago, it was very difficult to find a rod with an uplocking reel seat. They had fallen out of style many years before. Now, they have come back into style, and it is difficult to find anything else. The Chalkstream 87 is more pragmatic. It is built with a nickle silver butt cap and sliding ring, with cork insert. This is both attractive and light in weight. It leaves nothing below the reel to snag errant loops of line.

The rod is finished with black hardware to reduce glare. The wrap color is matched to the color of the blank. A nice touch is the presence of 2 small wraps, located 15 and 20 inches from the butt. This makes possible accurate and speedy measurement of fish. The rod is furnished with a velour bag, and black and brass finish tube. Overall, this is a well-thought-out and well built rod. Designed for the spring creek dry fly fisherman, is fulfills its purpose as well or better than competing products.

While this rod is a prototype, Dave is considering adding it to his standard line. I believe he should be encouraged to do so. He can be contacted at:

Web site: http://www.performanceflyrods.com
E-mail: flyrods@aol.com

© Trico Spinner 2000

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© Mats Sjöstrand 2002

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Mats Sjöstrand, Sweden

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