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How Many Rods in Your Bag?

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This shot (Daily Telegraph 30 July) was taken by award winning wildlife photographer Andy Rouse. This shot (Daily Telegraph 30 July) was taken by award winning wildlife photographer Andy Rouse.

In his latest offering Simon Cooper admits to being ‘beyond hope’ when it comes to rods.








They like to say in Texas 'If you know how many guns you have, you don't have enough'. By that measure I am way beyond hope when it comes to fishing rods.

There is definitely something about rods that brings out the pedant in fly fishermen; like golfers there is a particular club/rod for every situation.

Beyond what flies to use the next most common question I am asked is what rod? Now I must admit I feel a little guilty about the answer I usually give: 8ft 6in five weight. If you really press me I add the term midflex.

Why guilty?

Well I don't use that particular rod very much myself, though it is one of the six I drag around in my everyday, overly copious fishing bag. Of course I do stare at it when I open the bag, mindful of the advice I have dispensed. After all it is a really nice rod, new and barely used, in one of those alluring shiny brown, brass-ended rod tubes. But no, it is that 7ft 6in three weight that gets the nod nearly every time.

Why? I have no idea. Maybe I am bit like President Bush Snr. who used to play golf with a 5 iron and a putter, but since he rarely broke a 100 maybe he is not such a good role model...

However, I did have had cause to reassess my automatic choice of rod a few years back in the Jackson Hole One Fly when a guide I had never met, let alone fished with before, said, 'Hey, aren't you the English guy who uses the 3 weight?'. I can promise you it was said in no way that could be taken as a compliment. Subsequently I have bought a 9ft 6in six weight that fishes like a dream but has done little for my scores.

As for what make, well don't you just love all those top brands? I can't think of another sport that lets you take it back for a new one whatever damage you inflict.  The guys in the Stockbridge Orvis shop might as well be on my friends and family phone plan such is the frequency of the rods we have to return.

Finally, there is that nagging belief that once you have caught all manners of trout, in all manners of places with a diversity of flies and techniques to do the United Nations proud that you should go back to cane. Well, I did briefly consider a split cane/silk fly line combo as a homage to F M Halford's 100th anniversary this year but in the end concluded that when Roger Federer next wins Wimbledon with a wooden racquet that time will have come.


Flyfishing.co.uk is delighted to bring you Simon’s feature, which was first published in his ‘Fishing Breaks’ Newsletter.

Simon’s company, Fishing Breaks, based in the heart of the River Test Valley, offers some of the finest chalk stream fly fishing available in the UK – and a whole lot more. Check out their website HERE

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fly rod, Simon Cooper

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