Updated
2006-04-29

Swedish version

  Product review

March Brown Hidden Water series travel rod
By James Matthew

    I was first introduced to this rod at the British Flyfair 2005, when I met Mike and Dave from March Brown over the cornflakes in our mutual B&B. Initial impressions were very favourable and I jumped at the chance to take a rod home to review. I chose to try a 4 weight as I felt this travel rod was ideally suited to the backwaters and streams of my local area. The spontaneity of being able to have this small package at the ready for a last-minute fishing trip, or even a quick lunch-hour outing was irresistible.

  At first glance, the midnight-blue rod tube appears not much larger than your Thermos flask, and you wonder how it could be possible to fit a fully-functioning, high quality piece of tackle inside, but somehow they've managed it. Inside the case is a roll wrap containing the seven sections of rod. March Brown offer eleven variations in the Hidden Water series, as detailed below.

Length Weight Pieces
6'6" / 5'6" *Convertible 3 7
7'0" / 6'0" *Convertible 4 7
9'0" 2 7
9'0" 3 7
9'0" 4 7
9'0" 5 7
9'0" 6 7
9'0" 7 7
9'0" 8 7
9'0" 9 7
9'0" 10 7

 

  I took the rod with me on a break in Derbyshire, where I was able to try it out both on the Derwent and the Wye. It's really a dry fly rod, where I usually prefer to nymph and bug, but my lack of proficiency was not really a handicap. The rod felt like a natural extension of my arm and I was able to focus on rises and covering them rather than thinking about casting; it was almost as though there was no rod at all. On the Derwent, surrounding foliage made casting difficult but I was able to roll-cast in a very satisfying manner.

  The rod is convertible and the second section can be removed to allow greater access in difficult fishing situations but this felt uncomfortable for me. You would, however, only think about the conversion in extreme conditions and would have to adapt your cast to suit. Second cast on the Wye, the rod handled a large and rather beautiful rainbow, and suddenly I knew this rod wouldn't let me down. The fish was in charge but I was in overall control. A blissful week of fishing followed, during which I chose the March Brown consistently over other rods. However, my (CWD) cut wing dry fared less well and is showing signs of wear!


Dave from March Brown. All-round good 
guy and bon viveur (or pecheur?)

  I was uncomfortably aware that I was singing the praises of this rod, so decided I needed some other opinions. With this in mind, I got hold of Harry Wallace, a native of these parts currently in exile in the States, but home on leave for good behaviour. Harry has really done it all, from the English chalkstreams to the Catskills and everywhere else in between. His latest foray is into rod-building so I was curious to hear his thoughts on the March Brown. My next Expert Witness was Charlie Davidson, an exceptional tier and angler who knows his craft inside out.

  Harry commented on the handy line-up dots which connect each section and was keen on the Stealth anti-glare finish. The single snake eyes are hard-chromed and the whippings epoxy-protected, a level of detail more suited to a higher-priced rod. The mortice reel seat is tropical hardwood, with a knurled rope cap and a high grade cork handle. Overall impression of looks and fittings was very good.

  When Harry reduced the rod he felt that the stripper guide was too close to hand, but this was not a problem at full-length. Putting the section back in, he said that the rod was responsive and offered very precise casting, creating nice tight loops. It loaded exceptionally well and is an ideal dry fly rod, but not one for casting woolly buggers (but then, who would want to?)

  Charlie said that this was a very pleasant rod, although he felt that there was too much epoxy on the whippings. It casts a good long line and also a good short line, but overall Charlie prefers other rods with a through action. He preferred my Sage!!!

  All in all, this rod gets a definite thumbs up. Convenience and value for money make this series of rods worth checking out and as the world of travel and flyfishing. As fishing destinations all over the world are getting to be more easily accessible, travel rods come into their own, and with a price tag of around 100, this one is well worth it. Have a look at the website www.marchbrown.com for more details.

Review by James Matthew 2006 ©

 
  


  

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