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Snowbee Prestige 8’ #4 4-piece travel rod - Tackle Review

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Snowbee's Geo reel and XS-Plus line fitted to the Prestige 8' #4 travel rod Snowbee's Geo reel and XS-Plus line fitted to the Prestige 8' #4 travel rod

Continuing our recent look at fly fishing outfits balanced for small stream enviroments in particular, Terry Lawton now moves onto this matched selection from Snowbee.

First impressions

The rod is supplied in a dark brown anodised tube with a brass end fitting and screw cap and a good-quality cotton drill bag. Therod itself has some quality details, such as the nickel silver winding check at the top-end of the handle. Snowbee’s catalogue describes the colour of the pearlescent finish blank as rich bronze, I was thinking more on the lines of wine red or deep maroon.

The rod rings, or guides, are twin lined stripping guides and high-rise snakes. All the self-colour whippings for the rod rings are trimmed in gold, as are the other whippings. The lightweight aluminium reel fitting has a hard anodised silver/gold finish and is simple and functional.  It looks nice but is nothing exceptional, unlike the reel seat insert which is burl maple and no two are the same.

All in all, design and build quality are first class.

When I weighed the rod on my local Post Office scales it registered 72gms, a bit more than Snowbee’s figure.

Prestige_01_800918430.jpgCasting performance

As I made my first cast, I thought that this was a really nice rod to cast. And so it proved to be. The rod has a very nice and forgiving progressive action which makes it very satisfying and rewarding to cast and to fish, although from the casting point of view I would prefer it to be just a touch faster. This rod has the power when needed but not so much that it makes casting at short range difficult or playing fish on light tippets a worry. It is a proper ‘fishing’ rod, not just a casting tool.

Prestige rods are built on new, ultra light-weight blanks using Snowbees well-proven tri-modulus technology. The blanks feature a subtle blend of 30, 40 and 50 ton carbon, to achieve precise action required at different points throughout the length of the blank. It is this fact that produces a progressive but powerful rod that is nice to cast.


From the first cast the Prestige 8’ #4 4-piece was a pleasure to cast and fish with. The progressive action is the key here. It is a very nice rod that will give its owner a lot of enjoyment on the river and a high level of pleasure in ownership.

Snowbee has extended the Prestige range to include a number of #3 and #4wt rods in various sizes, specifically designed for Eastern European-style river nymphing. With rods from 8’ to 10’ in length and line weights from #3 to #7, not many anglers will not find a rod to suit their requirements, particularly if you are looking at lighter line weights..

The rod is very well priced at £159. The most expensive rod in the range -  a 10’ #7 - comes in at £199.

Specification of the rod as tested

Blank: Snowbee tri-modulus ultra lightweight carbon. Deep pearlescent bronze finish with matching whippings
Reel seat: Anodised silver/gold aluminium with maple burl wood insert
Handle: Good quality cork
Guides: High lift snakes, twin lined stripping guides
Case: Cotton drill rod bag and anodised aluminium rod tube
Weight: 72gms

Snowbee Original Purchaser Lifetime Guarantee (see details below)

The range

Model   Length  Line    Rod Wt.     Price
10130   8’          #4   66g/2.4oz    £159
10131   9’          #3   76g/2.7oz    £165
10132   9’          #4   78g/2.8oz    £165
10133   9’          #5   82g/2.9oz    £169
10134   9’          #6   86g/3.1oz    £179
10135   9’6”       #3   80g/2.9oz    £185
10136   9’6”       #4   84g/3.0oz    £185
10137   9’6”       #7   106g/3.8oz  £189
10138   10’        #3   82g/2.9oz    £189
10139   10’        #4   86g/3.1oz    £189
10140   10’        #5   90g/3.2oz    £189
10141   10’        #7   112g/4.0oz  £199


Snowbee fly and rods come with an original purchaser lifetime guarantee which is limited to the original purchaser and is not transferable to future owners. To implement this guarantee, the purchase and details of the purchaser, must be registered with Snowbee (UK) Ltd, or their appointed agent, in the country of purchase.
If, during the lifetime of the original purchaser, the rod should break, or fail, for whatever reason, simply return the rod, along with a handling and postage fee of £25.00.
If this should occur within the first 12 months from the date of purchase and if, in the opinion of Snowbee (UK) Ltd., or their appointed agent, the failure is due to manufacturing faults or material defects, then our normal manufacturer’s guarantee will apply and the handling and postage fee of £25.00 will be returned. This decision is at the discretion of Snowbee (UK) Ltd., or its appointed agents. Snowbee (UK) Ltd., reserves the right to amend the handling and postage fee in line with inflation.

Snowbee Geo 340 fly reel

Geo_reel_846376733.jpgSnowbee top-end fly reels have been some of the very best on the market since the introduction of the XS large arbor reel in 2001. They are very well designed and made, with a very impressive drag system, and sell at a sensible price. The original XS reel has now been replaced by the latest Geo reel which is claimed to be 25 per cent lighter without the loss of any structural rigidity.

The Geo 340 fly reel is possibly the ultimate light-line river reel. It is machined from aerospace grade A6061-T6 aluminium. It weighing in at 124gms on the Post Office scales. Spool diameter is 80mm (3.1”) and it will hold 50yds of 22lb braid backing, as well as a fly line. In some respects the multi-disc, centre drag may seem a bit of over-kill but if you do find a monster fish then it will come into its own. It is quick and easy to adjust with a large adjuster knob on the back of the reel. The tippet retaining O-ring on the spool counter-balance is useful if you have not got a fly tied to the tippet. It is very easy to change the hand of wind of the quick-release spool. Geo reels are hard anodised in a satin pewter finish, with brushed aluminium trim, and are salt-water proof.

The Geo is a very good looking reel that delivers serious performance. It comes in three sizes: 340, 560 and the super-large arbor 790. Reels are supplied in a padded case.

The Snowbee Geo 340 fly reel  retails at £159

WFHF XS-Plus Hi-Float Fly Line

Snowbee_WFHF_271467804.jpgSnowbee’s new premium fly line combines all the attributes of the current XS range, but in a new Hi-Float coating. This new, ultra-buoyant material  has been developed to avoid tip sink, making this the ideal dry fly, or light nymphing line. (Please see taper diagram pdf in the right-hand column of this page)
The line is supplied with two braided loops and a bottle of Lineslick lubricant. The company recommends treating a new line with Lineslick before using it for the first time. It is worth remembering to do this before putting the line on your reel for the first time.

Although the change in colour is quite subtle, the two-tone green colour, with a darker olive tip, is ideal for river fishing. The line is easy to see without being so bright that it will frighten too many fish – or New Zealand anglers. The heavier stillwater lines are in two-tone blue.

Snowbee lines have earned one of the best reputations for the way that they cast – the design and tapers are obviously just right, as well as the manufacture. A British success story. The XS-Plus Hi-Float certainly floats well and was tangle-free, even on a very cold day. It also proved to be very manageable casting at a range of distances, from close-in to placing a fly just short of the far bank.

One minor criticism is that it is a shame that these lines do not come with welded loops on each end, particularly as not everyone likes braided loops.

XS-Plus Hi-Float lines are available in weights from #2 to #5, in two-tone olive, and #6 to #8 in two-tone blue.

WFHF XS-Plus Hi-Float Fly Line, two-tone olive #2- #5 £49.


Special Combo Offer from Snowbee!!!

New Snowbee Combi Outfits
“A complete fly rod, reel & line combination – guaranteed perfectly matched and guaranteed value for money.”
Our selection of Combi Outfits can be chosen on a ‘mix and match’ basis as below, with each kit comprising of a Fly Rod, Fly Reel and one or more fly lines from our range, and offering a saving of some 20% on the individual item prices- ask your local dealer or
contact Snowbee for details.

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