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PostPosted: Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:57 pm • # 1 
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I picked this rod up Monday morning from the Orvis shop in Dallas. I had been considering a Cabela's 1wt, a TFO Finesse 1 wt, and a Sage TXL 0 wt. I'm embarrassed to admit my method of determining the winner... which was that the Orvis rod was the only one in stock in any of the area shops Image. This is surprising seeing how TFO is actually a Dallas-based company and it still would have taken the local TFO dealer until Friday to get a 1 wt in for me to try out.

When it became apparent that I couldn't try a TFO until the end of this week, I called around looking for the Sage, and again--no one had one in stock. So I did what any impatient angler would do--I stopped by Orvis while literally on my way out of town for a 3 day fishing trip. Orvis had the 1 wt in stock, the salesperson (I hate to call him that because it was obvious that this guy really knew his stuff) was very helpful--they didn't have a good 1 wt line on a reel for test casting, so he grabbed a new line and got it on the reel complete with leader and yarn-fly in about 3 minutes. I spent about 5-10 minutes casting in the parking lot (on a very windy day), and could tell that I was going to like this rod. I asked if they had any kind of package deal if I buy the rod, line, and a new spool (I already have a BBS I). He said he'd throw the line in no charge, so we went back in, he grabbed a new spool, filled it with backing (again no charge), and grabbed another new line--Wonderline 3rd Gen Trout WF1--and grabbed a brand-new unopened 1 wt rod, which he looked over very closely before sending me on my way.

Image

Up until now my UL gear has consisted of a 7'9" Sage LL 2 wt. This is a pretty fast rod and for smaller creeks and rivers I overline it with a 3wt line. It casts beautifully and can handle fairly large flies. It feels just a little stiff with small to medium-sized bream on it though, so I was wanting to try something lighter with more of a medium action. (I also have a couple 4 wts but since they're "heavy gear" I won't go there Image).

Once I got on the river it took me about 30 minutes or so before I felt like I was getting the feel for what the Orvis 1 wt could do and how it needed to be handled. I tried several flies, working my way up from a size 20 BWO, to a 16 Beadhead Pheasant Tail, and finally to a size 10 Beadhead Woolly Bugger. I was very happy to learn that the slower action of the Orvis 1 wt actually helped me cast the heavier Woolly Bugger better than my 2 wt. The slower action seems to smooth out the jerk I sometimes feel on the backcast with my 2 wt where I can feel the weight of beadhead as the leader straightens (hope that makes sense). Bottom line is that it handles a soaking wet size 10 beadhead woolly bugger with no problems, and that's about as heavy as I'm likely to go.

I made the mistake of taking hip waders on this trip instead of chest waders, and found the water a little higher than I expected. It seemed like I was constantly getting to the limits of my waders while the spots I wanted to cast to were a little further away than I would prefer. This forced me to spend a lot of time casting 30' to 40', over and over again. Usually with a light rod I'm casting 20' - 30' feet, so this really showed me what this new rod would do. I'm happy to say that consistent 40' casts are no problem--even with the Beadhead Woolly Bugger I mentioned above. I was a little surprised by this, but very pleased. The rod also handled well with quite a bit of line in the air.

This rod is 7'6" long. When I first started shopping for a 1 wt, I was hoping to find something around 6', just for small creeks and stuff like that. I knew that 7'6" wouldn't really be a problem though, because my 2 wt is 7'9". The advantage of the added length was apparent while on the river. There are a lot of rocks and chutes in the area I was fishing, which means a lot of seams and differing currents. The extra length of this rod really shined in this type of water where mends are constant. The Guadalupe Bass I was catching were in the seam of an eddy at the base of some very fast chutes where I had to drift the fly down the chute and into the eddy--the length made this a little easier too because I could high-stick the rod for a little more control (it also doesn't hurt that I'm 6'4" so I have long arms anyway). I guess what I'm saying is that when I bought the rod I was just a tiny bit disappointed that it was as long as it is, but after 3 days on the river I am no longer disappointed--in fact I'm glad it isn't any shorter.

And now let me mention where this rod really shines--playing fish. I was thrilled with the sensitivity of the rod. I have always been a huge Sage fan, but this rod totally blows my light weight Sage rods away. The smallest bream that I caught still felt great on the rod, and the big Longears and small Bass were really a blast! I was using 6x tippet initially, and was delighted to see how much shock the tip of the rod absorbs. The rod really allows these small to medium size fish to show their stuff. I can't wait to get into some larger fish to see how it handles them. I know I won't be horsing any 8lb bass up out of the lily pads, but I'm confident that in open water, playing a larger fish will not be a problem.

A couple final points. This rod is advertised as weighing 1.5 ounces. I'm always skeptical of manufacturer's "claimed" weights, so this evening when I returned home from this trip, I pulled the rod out and weighed it on a very accurate digital scale. The rods actually weighs 1.4 ounces! How often does that happen? Lighter than advertised. With my Orvis BBS I reel mounted, and with the line strung up, the rod balances just slightly forward of the end of the grip! This is the first time I've had a lightweight rod with a reel that was too light! If I mount my first generation Orvis Battenkill Large Arbor I reel on the rod it balances perfectly for me at about an inch from the front end of the cork grip. The difference between the two reels really isn't that noticeable though, so I'll probably continue to use the BBS I on this rod just because it looks better.

And lastly, the line. This is the WF1 Generation 3 Wonderline. My inital impression is that it casts very nicely and shoots well. It feels well balanced with the rod, but.... the memory on this line is horrible! I have a 1st gen 4 wt Wonderline which I've never had any problems with, and most of my other lines are Cortland and they're all fine. The only other line I've used that has memory as bad as this 3rd Gen Wonderline is a Rio Saltwater Line. The water I was fishing was cool, but still over 50 degrees, and the air temperature was in the 60's. Several times each day I would strip out 40' or so of line and pull and stretch it to warm it up in an attempt to straighten it, but it didn't seem to do much good. I know part of the problem is the small diameter of the BBS 1 reel, but I have a Cortland 444SL and a Cortland Lazerline on the same size spools, and neither coils as badly as this new Wonderline. It's not a huge problem, but I'll probably try a different line once this one wears out.

Bottom line: I love the rod and have no regrets about the purchase. I collect watches and had to sell a favorite to finance this rod but it turned out great. I'm afraid my 2 wt is going to spend a lot more time in its rod tube than it's used to because I have a new favorite UL rod. Highly Recommended.

If anyone in the DFW would like to try it out, just let me know. I'd be happy to get together on a creek somewhere to do a little product testing Image

Regards,

Jerry


Last edited by jdub on Wed Jan 14, 2009 12:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 6:15 am • # 2 
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good review Jerry; I cast the 2 piece 1 weight but could not cast it 30 feet, so i bought the 3 weight. I love the full flexing of these rods for playing fish. I have had similar probles with the wonderline. I sent some back to them and got some new. The new line did the same thing; lots of memory coming off the reel-p-


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:02 am • # 3 
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Thanks for the reviews! The Wonderline is known for memory problems, but since it was a free fly line, you can't really complain about it, I know I wouldn't. That is a rod I would love to have and look forward to casting and fishing.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:49 am • # 4 
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Jerry, thanks for the wonderful review, very well done. I wish Orvis would still sell rod blanks, I'd love to build that one. As for the Wonderline, yes it has a lot of memory.
I have one of the Gen3 WF3F and I can't stand how it coils up so bad. You have to stretch the line before fishing, but once you straighten it, it shoots very well. I may sell it, as it hasn't been used much at all.

J.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:48 am • # 5 
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pearow wrote:
good review Jerry; I cast the 2 piece 1 weight but could not cast it 30 feet, so i bought the 3 weight. I love the full flexing of these rods for playing fish. I have had similar probles with the wonderline. I sent some back to them and got some new. The new line did the same thing; lots of memory coming off the reel-p-

It's interesting because when I was casting the rod in the parking lot I really thought 30' was going to be about the maximum distance I was going to get with this rod, but after fishing with it for a while I noticed that I was having no problem going way beyond 30'. I think for me it was a matter of slowing down my casting stroke--I've been fishing fast action rods for years Image


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:50 am • # 6 
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flyflingerandy1 wrote:
... but since it was a free fly line, you can't really complain about it, I know I wouldn't. ...

Yep, I can give it a poor review, but it was still very cool of him to throw the line in for free with the rod, and the line really does cast nicely once you get the coils out Image


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 9:57 am • # 7 
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jkurtz7 wrote:
Jerry, thanks for the wonderful review, very well done. I wish Orvis would still sell rod blanks, I'd love to build that one. As for the Wonderline, yes it has a lot of memory.
I have one of the Gen3 WF3F and I can't stand how it coils up so bad. You have to stretch the line before fishing, but once you straighten it, it shoots very well. I may sell it, as it hasn't been used much at all.

J.
Thanks for the kind words! It really is a great rod--but yeah, it would have been a heck of a lot cheaper if I could have built it up myself.

You know, I bought a new Wonderline Power Taper for my Sage 5wt while I was in Colorado last month and the memory on that line isn't bad at all. And we were fishing in very cold water and the air temperature was 27-28 degrees. I think that's why I was so surprised about the 1 wt line.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:29 am • # 8 
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I have a couple of cheap orvis lines; cant remember the name of them, but very good lines; i've had them for 2-3 years without any problems; very slick; very little memory; I think it may have been green something-p-


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:40 am • # 9 
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pearow wrote:
I have a couple of cheap orvis lines; cant remember the name of them, but very good lines; i've had them for 2-3 years without any problems; very slick; very little memory; I think it may have been green something-p-
Their Silver Label lines maybe? I have DT in a 3 wt that has been a great line. Not quite as slick as the Wonderline but it casts great and I haven't noticed any problems with memory. I think I got it on clearance for $20 or so.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 27, 2008 10:06 pm • # 10 
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Green Mountain, Gene? Or is it maybe the Clearwater?


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 4:32 pm • # 11 
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Orvis does have a Green Mountain line of rods, and lines, not sure about reels though. I think they may sell that brand in their company stores or something, I've not seen it at my local independent Orvis dealer. Orvis sometimes sells the Green Mountain stuff on clearance on their website.

J.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:21 pm • # 12 
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J,
These were original to be marketed through Wal-Mart as a lower priced solution for a named brand in the mass market. Unfortunately Wal-mart has other plans- eventually they'll be getting out outdoor goods. Look at the numbers fewer licenses, fewer youth in the sport, and it goes on... The Powers in Bentonville read the numbers too.
As for the stuff you've seen at Sierra Trading Post , eBay, and other discounters, when the product is gone, well it's gone for good.
Les


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:34 pm • # 13 
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That is no good. I love their GM tippet. I bought a couple spools last year this time for $.29 ea...if I could find some 5-7x I would buy it in a heartbeat!


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:32 pm • # 14 
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yeah; green mountain; good line as far as I'm concerned. Though I have so many lines they dont ever get a chance to wear out, but they slid thru the guides wee, held little memory, cleaned easily, and cast great; I think i paid about $10 bucks for a line, maybe a little more, but worth the money. I still have some old wal-mart line, can't remember but I think it was SA; but good line; floated well, cleaned easily, ad some memory but you could stretch it and it was fine-p-


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2008 7:36 pm • # 15 
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SA Fairplay I think was the line WM carried. I wish they carried Green Mountain stuff...they did for like a minute, but that is it.


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