Green River 7' 3 weight
Reviewed by Jeremy Lucas
Once in a while you find something special, something different; alternative to the mainstream. And it is refreshing. Rod design, coupled with modern materials is simply breathtaking, and it is difficult to come to terms with and to see how any significant advances can be made in terms of performance and even aesthetics. When I recently discovered the Alternative Tackle Company, therefore, my attention was grabbed, specifically by a neat little rod in green that simply begged to be picked up, fondled and cast.
The rod is the Green River 7', three-weight, standing there among the other Green River rods in carbon fibre and bamboo, the four sections all loaded up with a #3 double taper. It was the Spring Show at Newark and I was chatting with Mark Leggett of Alternative Tackle, an affable and enthusiastic aesthete, while my attention kept wandering to the little green rod. The AT stand was conveniently adjacent to the casting pool, so between demonstrations I sneaked onto the pool to give the rod a bit of air time with 6 metre to 10 metre casting range. I was impressed, but an indoor casting pool is, well, contrived. 'Take it outside,' suggested Mark, 'see what it feels like in the breeze.'
With some of the Show visitors in tow, I did just that and ventured into the blustery open air. Now, grass casting is a poor substitute for the river side, but I felt comfortable with this rod on 6 metres into the wind. I could easily imagine myself on a Pennine beck in the spring, pitching a single nymph into river-bound waters. Switching to across wind and down wind presentations at 10 metres and I was still in control. My attention, however, kept drifting to the grip and the reel seat.
We are talking aesthetics here, rather than performance, though this rod will not disappoint in the realms of the purpose for which it has been constructed. The grip and the reel seat are art. Really, the exquisitely crafted seat, with silver, sliding fastening, with perfect Portuguese cork grip, will simply make you want to hold this rod. As you take in the deep green lacquer of the custom-made blank, finished with emerald green whippings, you will simply have to take yourself off to the thin, upland waters where this rod is meant to exist.
This rod is part of the Enso range, in four sections which make it a travel or pack rod. The action is exquisite and is the core of what we desire for small upland streams. I push the boundaries a bit here, and thrill with using such rods with bigger fish in bigger waters - to an extent - particularly with dry fly and single nymph.
Really, you ought to take a look, and cast with, this small water rod, or others from Green River, because this is the substance of dream fishing. I know we now have the ultimate design and material, near-perfect weapons from the likes of Greys, Hardy and Vision, with Guide Line in strongly in the general mid-range; but there is still a place, surely, for those on the periphery of our sport. This is North America's influence, of course, somewhat lagging behind the huge advances on the frontier of contemporary advanced fly fishing, but what the North Americans do well is maybe not unbeatable, but it is lovely.
The Green River 7' #3 is priced at £421.73. This is the rod for the small stream aficionado, a once in a lifetime purchase for some, an investment in the aesthetics of our sport for anyone. Take a look at it at The Alternative Tackle Company, along with the whole, expanding range of fly fishing product that this company is presenting.
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