Sixtieth Birthday

smallmouth

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May 17, 2006
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In not much more than a month, my prescriptions will be free. Covid restrictions mean any celebration of this milestone will be muted, (which is fine as I’m a muted sort of bloke), plus as my wife has been shielding since lockdown, her plan for a bespoke birthday present became a non starter.

So I’ve had the “what would you like for your birthday?” question and I feel under some pressure to come up with something really “nice”. But not uncomfortably extravagant, as I’m not that sort of bloke either.

So my thoughts turn to the rod and reel I use the most, and what might be a modernisation of, and back up to, that outfit.

I mostly fish a decent sized upland reservoir from the bank with a floating line, dries, emergers and nymphs. My most used rod is a 9 foot five weight Redington Wayfarer. My favourite reel is a Scientific Anglers System 2, it has an unnecessary disc drag and has “made in England” on the foot.

I’m thinking a Redington Classic Trout in #5 weight and an Orvis Battenkill click & pawl would be a modern equivalent? But even at the best of times, it’s rare to be able to work your way through a fly rod rack trying them out. So I’m going on reviews and gut feeling. Am I on the right track? Or are there other rods and reels in the same ballpark that I should be researching?

Or should I just be extravagant and ask for a Regal Medallion with stainless steel jaws?
 

Mrtrout

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Mar 21, 2008
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If you like a smooth action full of feel rod then I can’t recommend the CT enough, if you want a fast action distance chucking rod it’s not for you.
S.
 

suzzy buzzer

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Feb 11, 2020
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I had a regal with SS jaws, I wasn’t as impressed with it as I thought I would be.
Regarding the rod, why not get something built on a Harrison blank - assuming you like the more traditional action?
 

smallmouth

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That’s what I’m looking for Mrtrout, I doubt I’d get the best from a fast action distance rod.

I tie to fish taffy1, so I’ll tie up replacements or new ideas I sometimes get in my head. But I’m not the sort of tyer that might have a go at something I won’t ever use, like classic salmon flies or whatever.
 

Banksie

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Mar 23, 2020
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Have you thought of making a rod? I’m starting one myself and was surprised how reasonable the accessories were - handle, rings, etc. Your wife could personalise it by putting a message on it even.
Just a thought.
 

Vermontdrifter

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Can’t speak for the rod but would take MrT’s word for the action. The Orvis Battenkill click pawl On the other hand has been my reel for the last six or seven years and it is bullet proof and has a great sound except for one tiny defect. The handle comes off so stick a drop of locktite on the screw before you take it out. It’s a horrible feeling when you’re reeling in line while standing in high grass and you suddenly find the handle in your fingers and the screw is in the grass!!! Took me ten minutes of desperate searching to find it!
 

smallmouth

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I had a regal with SS jaws, I wasn’t as impressed with it as I thought I would be.
Why not? I can imagine feeling a fly tying vice, (any model), wasn’t four hundred quids worth, but that aside, were there any issues with performance?

That’s not a bummer Jim, that’s a good suggestion. But I’m already on the waiting list for membership at my favourite local reservoir, so it’s just a case of being patient.

I have considered an additional membership of a river club, as I used to love my river fishing, but the nearest viable option would be too far to be value for money.
 
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noddy299

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Jun 12, 2017
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Durham
The Battenkill is the reel I use for everything. The only thing I didn't like was the handle was made of plastic and had a seam down both sides that didnt feel very nice in the hand so I had a new handle turned for it. I can't speak for the rod choice really as I own and fish with onkis exclusively.
 

delray

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St Albans, Herts
Another vote for the Redington Classic Trout, although my only experience is with the 8ft 6in 4wt. Since I bought it on here a year or 2 ago, I've scarcely used another. I like the finish on it too. I think I could be rid of my other rods, they hardly ever see the light.

I rarely catch fish that bother the drag but I do like my little Orvis Access reels, again bought on here.
Nice dilemma you have, but it is tricky if you don't have access to a good tackle shop with casting facilities, as I can testify.
Cheers, Del
 

catzrob

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Oct 29, 2017
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I find Orvis are quite happy for you to pick up and waggle their rods (though some are encumbered by stupid security tags).

BUT - if you are genuinely totally happy with your existing rod (and why shouldn't you be?!) why not ask for an "experience"? Guided day(s) on a top water, something different like Pike or Bass? Holiday destination with good fishing and a guide? Even something "outdoors" but non-fishing like a novice (deer) stalk?
 

smallmouth

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Or should I just be extravagant and ask for a Regal Medallion with stainless steel jaws?
Taking Jim's advice, I started looking harder for a bit of local river fishing and unexpectedly found some via facebook of all places. Not much of it, but not sixtieth birthday money either.

A few post lockdown fishing trips, including one on the river, had me thinking that I was still very pleased with the rods and reels I already have, for the bulk of what I do.

But, in the end the vice won out, in part because lockdown saw me tying more and enjoying it as a hobby in itself, and a chance to sit in the porch letting YouTube expand my musical tastes.

And not least because I found the one I wanted at a competitive price on Foxon's website. It arrived today, so that was good service from Foxon's given the Covid postal delays. But I'll not see it again til the day.............
 
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