Cabela's Prime 4 weight
Got out for the first time yesterday for the year. I haven't picked up my steelhead/salmon tags yet, just my basic license. I wanted to hit up my favorite small stream - my home waters - hoping to swing up some trooots on some soft hackles.
We've had a LOT of rain lately - and I was anticipating iffy conditions - but hoping that up in the mid and higher stretches of the creek that it would be clearer. I was a bit bummed to see it was still pretty blown out, water clarity was about 8 inches.
I was there, armed with my new, unfished, virgin Cabela's Prime 4 weight - the 7' version. I really wanted to get a bend in it from a fish. It wasn't to be on this trip though.
I did get to exercise the rod and see how it would handle in my typical fishing conditions and I was really satisfied with this little rod. I tried a variety of leaders, techniques, and casts. My favorite setup and casting turned out to be single hand spey, using 10' polyleaders with modest sized wet flies and small streamers. I wasn't fishing a shooting head or fancy line - just a Cortland Precision WF4 weight floater.
My stream isn't real big - it's about 35 or so feet wide at it's typical widest point, but it has some deep slots. With the water high, I decided to use a fast sinking polyleader to get down, casting almost straight across current and throwing a mend to give the line a chance to get down. When the bigger water nearby opens up for trouting, I'll certainly be giving this combo some exercise to see what the casting limits are but it was a really fun combo to play with.
I was able to nymph pretty well too using a heavy two fly rig - leader of two sections of mono - 15lb butt and 3X tippet, big Corkie pegged for an indicator, and a size 8 Ugly Bug since I saw some big stoneflies clinging to the bridge abutment. I ran a dropper of 5X (mostly to help get the second fly down from the thin material) with a #10 olive hare's ear bead head tied to the eye of the Ugly Bug, about 15 inches out from the Ugly Bug. Nymphing is never pretty, but the little glass 4 weight did as well as any other rod I've got. I could even shoot a roll cast across the creek with this setup.
I found a slot of soft water right below a big plunge and found a fish - had a couple good grabs but couldn't get the fish pinned. Gave up and went across the highway to the local pond - which was clean and clear and devoid of bug activity. Due to our hot, hot weather and lack of rain last summer, the pond got REALLY low and really warm - I doubt any trout survived. The state stocks the place, and most years there's a few hold overs. It's also got bass and a host of panfish - but I couldn't even find any players among their ranks. Tried various polyleaders and plain mono leaders, tried soft hackles, small buggers, even resorted to semi static bobber fishing. Nada.
It was nice to cast the new rod over water though - my previous exercise with it was on the front lawn, and it just ain't the same. The big thing I needed to work on was to really slow my timing down and let the rod do the work. This isn't my only glass rod, nor my first, but its the slowest I've had in a while. It's noticeably slower than my Prime 5 weight, which is my favorite single hander. I found when overhead casting at first I was overpowering the rod and screwing up my casts. After I realized the error of my ways and let the rod do the work, all was fine.
Overall I'm pleased as punch with the new addition, especially with how it single hand spey casts. When the coastal streams open up, I'm certainly going to be chasing some coastal cutties and doing a lot of swinging with this thing. I'm going to tie up some small skater flies like 808steelheader uses and see if I can't skate some of those fish up. Be a hoot on this little stick.
Just another day in paradise...