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Glass rods

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 9:54 am
by Randy
Spinoff from the 5 rod topic...

I've paid little to no attention to the fiberglass rods that companies are producing these days. Are any of you fishing the new (or an old favorite?) glass rods and what do you like about them? Always seemed a novelty to me but I'd consider it for a change of pace. I like to switch things up more often these days.

Re: Glass rods

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 10:58 am
by brntrout
I bought a Livingtson Rod Company Western glass 8'-6" 3 wt.from Dusty Smith owner and builder, back in early spring. Dusty makes his own blanks using his own tapers. Dusty mainly does custom builds. You can call him and he will build off any of his rod model blanks to meet your own personal specs for a finished rod.

More information from his website: We use 100% Unidirectional S-Glass helping us create light and responsive Fiberglass Fly Rods with a modern feel. This creates a unique, big water modern Fiberglass Fly Rod that has smaller blank diameters and a faster recovery rate than the Fiberglass Rods of old.

Not so amazingly my 8'-6" western 3 wt has a blank diameter that is not much different than Graphite rods. It is light as stated similar to graphite. While the rod action is slower compared to graphite rods and flexes more, the rod is still powerful enough to deal with wind. Once you get the hang of the rods action ( different from graphite rods) you soon learn the rod can do anything a graphite rod can do. I should mention for my personal casting style I needed to put 2.5 wt line on the rod. I don't mind going lighter in line wt but i do not like going heavier, as it defeats the whole purpose of buying a light wt. line rod in the first place.

The main reason for buying a glass rod for me, is they have a different feel that can not be achieved with graphite. The better glass rods cast smoother than graphite and one feels "much more" in contact with fish when fighting them.

In short, I like my new glass rod a lot as it provides a different angling experience, different from other types of rods made out of other materials!

Here's Dusty's website:

Re: Glass rods

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:13 am
by brntrout
Maybe 'trouts" could say something on the subject as he is a more serious glass rod fanatic than me by far?

Re: Glass rods

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 11:36 am
by trouts
I fish the following glass rods:
Scott F2 723/4 3wt
Hardy Perfectionist 7 1/2' 4wt
Alchemy Dharma 7' 5" 4/5wt para
Livingston Western Glass 8' 9" 5wt
Berkley Parametric 6' 3" 6wt para
Berkley Buccaneer 5pc 7 1/2' 6wt. This is the older model with the light tabacco colored blank. Not the red painted ones.
Cabela's CGR 7 1/2' 8wt

I've also had several other glass rods from more modern makers like Barclay, Paddock, and Shane Gray. I like glass because of how smooth they cast and the slower action you can't find much in graphite these days. Glass is tougher and I tend to fish them more when I'm breaking ice out the guides constantly. There are many more parabolic actioned rods compared to graphite rods. Some glass rods almost cast themselves like many bamboo tapers do. I like a rod that you don't have to "force" to cast and has a wide "sweet spot" in casting distance. Several of the glass rods I have will cast the leader out to about 45' without having to really change your casting stroke. I feel like many of the modern graphite rods don't load correctly untill you get almost 25-30' of line out and start to fall apart at 40'. That is just too narrow of a sweet spot for me and I find it extreamly limiting for the streams we have around here.

The newer glass rods are very different than some of the heavy noodles from the past. They are much lighter and have a much faster recovery speed than many of the vintage glass rods.

Re: Glass rods

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:15 pm
by brntrout

Even though I ordered my Livingston rod early spring there was a problem with Dusty getting dark brown blanks( the color varied wildly)from the company making his blanks/tapers. I eventually had him make my rod on a black blank that I didn't know was available as an option. Since there was a long delay getting brown blanks and switching to a black blank, i didn't receive my rod until late May. Dusty made up for the inconvenience by taking $100 off the rod and giving me a free 406 fly line. Dusty said, he was in the process of buying equipment to produce his own blanks in his own shop so these kinds of problems won't happen in the future.

I would recommend Livingston Rod Company to anyone interested in high quality custom made fly rods. Dusty, was great to work with and is a die hard angler who fishes throughout the country, including our Driftless area!

Brent, maybe we can get the rod casting/testing, gray caddis outing we planned for this spring in next spring? Between not getting my rod on time ( not Dusty's fault) and the crappy weather this past spring things got pretty fouled up!


Re: Glass rods

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:06 pm
by trouts

We definitely need to get together and fish/cast some rods next spring. Dusty is a stand up guy and makes some nice rods. Glad things worked out in the end.

Re: Glass rods

Posted: Sat Sep 21, 2019 8:22 pm
by Randy
Great info trouts, thanks