Red Truck Diesel 7wt 13'6" Rod Review - Spey Pages
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  #1  
Old 08-20-2010, 08:50 PM
Hangdown Hangdown is offline
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Red Truck Diesel 7wt 13'6" Rod Review

Few months back I was fortunate enough to try a couple prototype rods at the GGACC from Leland's in San Francisco. The rods are put out by Red Truck which is a division of Leland's. They go by the name "Diesel". A very odd, but cool name I suppose. The prototypes were not much to look at but my buddy Will Widdicombe and I put em through the paces and we were both clearly blown away by the performance of the 7 weight 13' 6" rod. It excelled with most casting styles and line types so, I ordered one. I was informed that Leland's technical staff spent 1 1/2 years designing the rod through a well known manufacturer based in Asia. Alot of tweaking and trial and error. The first shipment steamed in yesterday (after a long wait) and we met again at the ponds. The word spread quick about this stick....those that heard about it had bought one and were all out casting like kids at Xmas.

The final delivered rod looks like an older Scott with a completely unsanded and uncolored blank; even rougher than Scott's lightly sanded blanks. Although some may be put off by this raw look it is functional...good idea to leave it au natural for strength. The stripping guides appear to be titanium oxide and the wraps are neat with no slop. No fancy wrapping or inlayed feathers and handwritten script. This rod is all business with no BS, it is a professional grade tool and, like any other, form must follow function. The handle has solid ergonomics and resulting sexy curves with very clear cork. There are no rubberized cork rings or ornamental rings used on this handle as you find on so many other offerings these days. The reel seat is spartan; just clear anodized aluminum, uplocking and gnurled, no insert, but it is smooth, solid and funtional. The ferrules are regular, non-spigot type. The ferrules on my rod stuck tight though and I had to call upon a second set of hands to free them. My buddy suggested using paraffin but maybe it would be best to let the graphite wear out a bit.

The rod tube is just plain extruded aluminum with no paint or finish coat. Also a very raw look but it beats PVC and nylon. I was surprised to find the rod tube cap has a freakin' bottle opener built into it on the back side. The quality of this particlur installation was very nicely executed. It is the only extraneous accutrement; and duly so as drinking is arguably of far greater import to the chronically afflicted steelheader than inlayed jungle cock feathers. This could set a new trend. Impress your friends at the tailgate when you pull the tube out and pop open a cold one at 5am. Maybe you could just store your bottles inside the tube for smuggling? The rod sock has a screen printed name "spare tire" in the upper corner at the tip pocket but I have no idea why or what that means. I thought that maybe there was a spare tip included in that pocket but there is not. I have not heard of Leland selling a blank but if they did I would stand in line like a teenage girl waiting to see Lady Gaga.

The action is fast and more progressive than regressive but with well placed flexing in the right spots at upper and lower quarters. The rod recovers very quickly. It likes to be tip cast with Scandi lines but will load well into the butt with heavier skagit lines. It is a true 7 weight and likes to cast within a 480-550 window. The thin tip would not do well with heavier lines. The rod has good butt strength and I think it could lick a helluva big steelhead but....anything over 15lb would probably end in hand to hand combat.

This is a lighter feeling rod, but I dont know what the actual weight is. I hope to put it on a scale soon. I do not know exactly what the graphite modulus is but I was told it is mixed and around 50+ million. Does higher modulus make a better rod? I don't know. I was however told that it is a lower modulus than the TCX rods. That aside, I would still compare the action to the Sage TCX rods however; there is no TCX rod in 7136 for direct comparison. It casts similar to the Burkie 13'4" 6/7/8 4 peice but....I won't compare it directly to that rod either.

As far as lines go, we cast an Airflo 540g compact skagit which it really liked. This ability was somewhat surprising since it seems to be specifically designed with true Scandi in mind. It is not really a friendly first timer Skagit rod though since the action is so fast you dont have time to feel the rod anchor and load like a highly regressive taper rod. It made long tight skagit casts (100'+) with little effort and 10' of T14... I am not as excited about Skagit anymore though so I cast the new Vector Ballistic 7/8 (a CND Lee Davidson brain child) and it was a true pleasure at all reasonable fishing distances. It was very relaxing to cast and there was no over exertion needed. The rod would be well suited to those who do not want to toil all day with a heavier rig but still want some length, mending control and power to shoot through a breeze. Lightning fast line speed and lazor tight loops are the norm with the Ballistic line, even with a steady breeze.

Consistent 90-110' (measured) casts are easy for an experienced caster. It can be overpowered though if you are attempting anything longer which will crash this line into a pile if you force it. If you really want to shoot it through the wind with a stable ending we found scandi heads do the trick if you don;t mind all the stripping. Would like to try an even longer line (CND mid spey?).

The rod currenlty goes for $300 which is surprising since it performs like rod costing much more. Cost though is becoming less relevant to graphite rod performance.

Overall this rod gets a 9 out of 10 rating in my book.
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  #2  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:25 PM
Bob Pauli Bob Pauli is offline
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Who are you?
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  #3  
Old 08-20-2010, 10:27 PM
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smann smann is offline
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I am thinking after this glowing review that Leland/Red Truck will be in a great position to become a sponsor of this site.
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  #4  
Old 08-21-2010, 01:21 AM
Hangdown Hangdown is offline
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Diesel

Wouldn't call it glowing. This is just a site and thread to review rods not a fund drive thread. It's the individuals that work for this outfit (good or bad) and their collaborative spirit of innovation that are important and so impressive. Leland's just provides the R&D funding....and yeah, of course, they should contribute.
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  #5  
Old 08-21-2010, 01:35 AM
Speysnaggedme Speysnaggedme is offline
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Rod reviews are much better than "what color of briefs do wear while swinging flies ??" type posts. Thanks for the nice review!
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  #6  
Old 08-21-2010, 02:56 AM
Bob Pauli Bob Pauli is offline
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Again, who are you?
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  #7  
Old 08-21-2010, 10:48 AM
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bulkleyfly bulkleyfly is offline
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Agree - Who be you?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Pauli View Post
Again, who are you?
Per Bob's previous posts, it would be great if you could identify who you are and what, if any relationship you have with Leland's.

Otherwise, what could be a reasonably well written personal review of a new rod might (read will) be perceived as a product push by a non sponsor.

Thanks

Jonathan Barlow
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  #8  
Old 08-21-2010, 11:48 AM
caihlen
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Uhh yeah

Quote:
Originally Posted by bulkleyfly View Post
Per Bob's previous posts, it would be great if you could identify who you are and what, if any relationship you have with Leland's.

Otherwise, what could be a reasonably well written personal review of a new rod might (read will) be perceived as a product push by a non sponsor.

Thanks

Jonathan Barlow
My brother is right, are you an industry shill?
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  #9  
Old 08-21-2010, 08:11 PM
Hangdown Hangdown is offline
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I don't work for Leland's

I don't work for Leland's. I am just an independent environmental consultant that thinks this rod blank is very well designed. Gee whiz. I just like to cast...doesn't matter what it is.

I met and talked with Bob Pauli at the ponds recently and he can vouch for my loitering about. I was all over that poor bastard after his GGACC casting clinic a few weeks ago. We were foaming at mouth.....trying to get him to free up these Vector Ballistic lines and he looked at us kinda perturbed since he had just finished and was trying to chill. We could care less about his course; we were so fiendish. The man was kind enough to break out his twine for us low life pond scum junkies and we must all say thanx to you Bob.

Call me if you want to meet up and cast.

Mark Schmidt
415-602-4680
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  #10  
Old 08-21-2010, 11:10 PM
SkagitMiester SkagitMiester is offline
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It was certainly a well written and professional sounding review. Rod sounds interesting. Well done.
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  #11  
Old 08-24-2010, 11:28 AM
Hangdown Hangdown is offline
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Red face Thanks SkagitMiester

Thanks for that.
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  #12  
Old 08-25-2010, 05:49 PM
Cybnew Cybnew is offline
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I am a former employee of Lelands who was let go some time ago, that being said, what hangdown says about the Leland/Red Truck line is accurate. I know the hard work that went into designing and producing these rods, and how long it took to perfect. The boys at Lelands would not stop until they had the best rod they could get. Again, I have no reason to support these rods as I was terminated from the company, but if you want an excellent fly rod at a bargain price, these rods would be the way to go.
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  #13  
Old 09-01-2010, 10:46 PM
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softhackles softhackles is offline
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Has anyone other that Hangdown had a chance to work this rod out? I would be interested in hearing what others think. Also, am I correct in assuming that Leland will be the sole distributor of Red Truck rods?

jeff
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2010, 12:26 AM
georgerevel georgerevel is offline
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Try Mine

I will send you my set up to try. both of mine are on loan in Oregon with Scott Howell. They should be back early next week. Email me you contact info:
George@flyfishingoutfitters.com

George Revel
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  #15  
Old 09-02-2010, 02:22 AM
troutaddict troutaddict is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by georgerevel View Post
I will send you my set up to try. both of mine are on loan in Oregon with Scott Howell. They should be back early next week. Email me you contact info:
George@flyfishingoutfitters.com

George Revel
Hi, was the blank designed by Fly Fishing Outfitters or was a current blank (or slight tweeks on a current blank) used? What company is making the blank (regardless if they designed it)?
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