10ft 3-4 weight recommendations; Maxcatch, Orvis

Sash

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Aug 30, 2006
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London & SW Wales
I am wondering whether to get a 10 ft #3 or #4 rod, and would appreciate any comments about either the Maxcatch products or Orvis Clearwater.

I am NOT looking for a nymph rod but, rather, a rod that can be a bit of a Jack of All Trades, fishing for small brownies and sewin on the Western Cleddau. I currently fish an 8ft 6” #3, which is perfect for dry fly and soft hackles, but rather lacks the ability to mend line, and fish over/through and around heavy bankside vegetation; my 10ft #6 sewin rod is a huge improvement in this regard.

I would like to be able to fish dries and soft hackles in the day, and wets for sewin at dusk/after dark, all on a floating line.

Does anyone have an (informed!) view as to whether the #3 or #4 rods in either range are very different in action and/or backbone? What I don’t want is a #4 rod that is so stiff that it takes away the fun of dries, and really very small trout. But the ability to handle small sewin would be a big bonus.

thanks for any comments
 

ejw

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Feb 2, 2012
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Helsby, Cheshire
I bought the V-Nymph 11' 3w a couple of months ago from Maxcatch along with a reel and 3w line. Out performs my Greys Streamflex 10' 4w. Not a lot else to say. Med fast action, will handle small dries through to mini lures. Have caught Rainbows upto 31/2lb and a Pike of about 7lb. Very happy with it.
 

jaybeegee

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Yorkshire
I had the Maxcatch Performance Nymph 10’ 3#, it was fine for long leader Euro style nymphing, but I thought it was dreadful with a conventional fly line. In the same length and rating I’ve had an Agility 2 which I thought good and a Helios 2 ...not for me. I recently settled on a Snowbee Prestige at a good price and I love it.

B
 

smallmouth

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May 17, 2006
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I have a Wychwood Drift 10 foot #3, (not the extending version). My plans for it are similar to yours, not just a nymphing rod, more a light all rounder to be used when conditions are right.

Due to COVID I've only used it once on a local small stillwater just to try it out, my first impressions were that it's nicely finished, lovely to fish with and will do what I want it to.
 

bbamboo

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Nov 25, 2008
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County Durham
I have two maxcatch performance 10ft rods one is a 2 at the other is a 3 . Nice rods finished off as good as any Greys rod. But I also have two 10 ft agility 11 rods which are not finished as well but I much prefer the blank action of these just my take on it, the aglitys are a 3 and a 4 weights used for all round river fishing drys,spiders, nymphing.
 

icaughtafishonce

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Mar 25, 2019
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Wales
I have an Orvis Clearwater 10ft 4 weight and it's a great all-round rod. I've used it for a bit of everything this year. As it was my second rod, after starting off with a 6 weight, it's taken a little bit of getting used to. Mainly cause the handle is slightly different to my shakespeare. But I've really liked it. Great rod, been very happy with it.
 

Sash

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Aug 30, 2006
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London & SW Wales
Thanks for all the comments: I had not thought of the Agility rods before, but they are the right lengths and line weights, so I will put them on the list for consideration.

Anyone else have any recommendations or comments?

Many thanks
 

bobfly2

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Jul 11, 2015
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9
Have a look online at the NZ sourced Taniwha 10ft 3/4 ready built or partial built, all in the UK. I have that rod, the blanks are from a designer from the NZ Epic company. You can choose your reel seat and tube and so on and get delivery a few days later. Do have a look!
 

Scotty Mitchell

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Another shout for a Snowbee Prestige. You can get the previous model at a good price these days. The 10'#3 will do everything you need, and at sub £200 is an absolute bargain IMHO. I was dubious about fishing dries with a 10'er and had accepted there would be compromise, but was very pleasantly surprised.
I had a Shakespeare Agility 10'#3 and it was fine for leader to hand and short range dries, but once you got some line out for longer range casts (possibly not relevant to your river, ignore as required) it was not good, very slow "wobbly" recovery under load, if that makes sense. But its only £60 so really not bad value.
 

chris141058

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Aug 25, 2014
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Clitheroe, Lancs
I had an Agility 10ft #3 but the end snapped on my third outing when casting. I got a refund and have bought a Maxcatch Airlight 10ft #3. I've used it 3 or 4 times and am very pleased with it. It feels lighter than the Agility and casts a normal line better which is what I was looking for as I mainly fish dry flies.
I also bought an Avid reel and a Troutlite line. Very pleased so far.
Chris
 

speytime

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Feb 27, 2009
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West Lothian Scotland
I'm a shakespeare agility 2 fan imho there great rods for silly money, I use one for stillwater and sea trout, it gets used with a single hand spey, skagit line aswell as regular lines and handles all of them great imo, it's also a very light rod as in its swing weight, in fact I'd like to know the weight of premium rods against it like for like, the GR60 failed miserably, its lighter gross weight but a heavier swing weight, give me a lighter swing weight anytime.

Al
 

heathenwoods

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Derbyshire
I've had the same Maxcatch rod as jaybeegee and had the same experience. I also killed an Agility (tip section) before that and found the Shakespeare more adaptable.

If I was going for a low cost rod I'd look for a Vision Vipu Competition 10' #4. I've got (and use) a 9'6" Vipu #3 and used it for exactly the same purposes as you're looking at - not perfect but very good for the money. I don't use it as much now because I've switched to 10' #4 and got a Vision Onki in that weight and it's a great rod. But at the same time I put a speculative bid on a Mk.1 Greys Streamflex 10' #4. I got it for £80 and it is the best bargain I've had. I love that rod. The Onki has a little more backbone but the Greys is an absolute pleasure to fish with - if you're patient I'd keep an eye on the classifieds and eBay for one if I were you.
 
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