Product Reviews

Ak Pro Leader

Try Y-Leader ($10.00) 7' up to 11' length (4x, 5x, 6x, 7x) for this year. I specially designed this custom tapered leader for dry fly fishing and emerger fishing but can be use for nymphing without strike indicator especially if you like to catch picky trout hanging around the shallow water.
It'll last long time as long as you keep change tippets.
If you use loop to loop connection then I can tie one for you before I ship it out.

This section is for mainly my own test results of any fly fishing equipments and more to come such as fly lines, floatant, waders...etc.
Any fly fishing companies who would like to send me your products then I can test them on the river for you and post my opinions here.
I will promptly return the products upon your request with prepaid postage.
Of course, I will be glad to add your opinions which may help other fishermen here. Do not hesitate to call me or email me.

Fly Rods

Cabelas logo

*Cabela's Rods:

*Three Forks (3 pc 3 wt)

The best 7 ?' 3 wt rod on the market for the money (under $40) and I own two of them.
It's one of my favorite rods and uses them for dry fly fishing.
Only bad thing to talk about is that the reel seat comes off after few times of casting so you may have to fix it with epoxy before you go fishing.
Simply, pull the reel seat off the rod by hand once you received the rod and glue it back.

Highly recommendable!

**PT series

Tested with few clients' rods and didn't like it that much.
My casting was off the target most of the time; maybe it had bad blank or something.

Not recommended!

*Stoway 5 pc (3wt)

This is the best rod for the money ($84.99) if you want a travel pack or not.
Tested with client's rods few time and bought one for myself.
The action of the rod to me is about 4 wt so those who can't cast very well may use 4 wt line on it and get by.
You can buy it as combo but if you already have a reel then don't bother.
If you must then buy the Drake Combo ($179.99).
Cabela's provide very good service.

Highly recommendable!

GLomis logo

*G-Loomis Rods:

IMX (4 wt, 6 wt, 9 wt)

These were one of the expensive rods I bought when I lived in Denver many yrs ago.
Still have all of them but don't use often because they don't make this particular rods anymore and have no guarantee if something happen to them.
My 4 wt rod snapped when I had 24" on the San Juan about 9 yrs ago and had to buy the blank for it.
It is very light and has very good action (fast).
Caught several salmon (up to 40 lbs) and steel head with the 9 wt in OR and it performed very well.
Recommendable if you can find used one in good condition for under $150.

GL 2 and 3

Tested them with clients' rods and I wasn't impressed with.
There are lots of mid range priced rods on the market have better action.



Haven't had any on my hands so don't know.

*Pflueger rods:

Medalist (5-6-7 wt)

This is the one I recommend to beginners or kids.
It only cost $29 at Wal-Mart and has very good action.
I used this rod for lake fishing (Strawberry Res, UT) last year and did very well.
It may be short for most people for lake fishing because of it's length (8 ?') but very powerful and durable since it uses IM-6 blanks.


Powell logo

*Powell Rods:

This company has been around for sometime but lately fading away in my opinion.
They also manufactured bamboo and graphite rods and I own one of LG 9' 4-5wt series.
So far none of my friends or clients had them so I can only say about the one I used on my Fly Fishing Video.
It's an excellent rod, I think it's the best 4 wt rod around but not cheap.
Only thing I don't like about this rod is that the grip is bit small for me.
When you catch many fish as I do then you'll need a bit larger grip so the rod twisting torque doesn't get to your fish fighting hand much.
Used on the Strawberry Res, UT few years ago with Randy from Alpine and performed very well with int sinktip line catching 18 to 23".
Excellent craftsmanship!

Highly recommendable!

Thomas and Thomas logo

*Thomas & Thomas:

T&T is a well respected company like Winston manufacturing both bamboo and graphite rods.
Tested with several clients' graphite rods but I didn't like the action of the rods.
Some of them reminded me old Orivis graphite rods that were very heavy and flexible.
Haven't tested newer rods so can't say much about them.


Winston Rods logo

*Winston Rods:

This company makes excellent rods (bamboo and graphite).
Tested with several clients' graphite rods and liked most of them especially the 3 wt rod.
Excellent craftsmanship!
Expensive but well worth it.

Highly Recommendable

Fly Reels

Cablas logo

*Cabela's Reels:

Prestige (5-6-7 Wt)

Cheap disc drag reel that came with Three Forks rod as combination.
The drag knob was worthless, it keeps slide and loose the drag by itself that gave me backlash many times.

Not recommended!

Drake (5-6 Wt)

Tested with clients' and felt pretty good.
It's compare able with Orvis Battenkill disc drag reel I used to have but better looking and similar price.


Cahill (5-6 Wt)

This is a cheap basic reel.
Works like any other pawl drag reel and good for small fish.

Not recommended!

Galvan logo

*Galvan reels:

Recently I asked for the Open Back Reel they have for the ORT (on the river test) but didn't go well.

Open Back Reel

Brief test with my client's reel (OB 3) catching couple of fish gave me pretty good impression.
Haven't tested it for many hours so can't give you much detail (durability) but seems to me it is very well priced and constructed reel.
It has accurate drag incensement than Gunnison reels and very smooth.


Hardy USA logo

*Hardy Reels:

Prince (56 Wt)

Jerry my head guide has it so I used it few times.
If you like the noises of reel sound then this is it.
It's the nosiest reel I ever got hands on.
Light and durable but the noise...


Marryat logo

*Marryat Reels:

7.5 and 9
These are one of the best looking reels on the market.
Still have them but never liked the drag system because it doesn't have accurate settings like most reels.
Brake pads wore out on me couple of times and the drag setting gets inaccurate afterwards.
Make sure no dirt gets inside of the reel.
Caught few salmon and steelies when I live in OR before I lost government job and got into this business.
There are plenty other reels on the market nowadays for better price and performance.


*Martin Reels:

Every Martin Reels (3 or 4 kind) I owned the pawl drag wore out on me after couple of hundred fish or less.

Not recommended!

Orvis logo

*Orvis Reels:


Had both pawl and disc drag reels for couple of years few yrs back.
They were one of the better quality reels at the time but now you can get better reels for less money.
Still it can fit in average performance quality reel.



These are one of the best looking reels on the market.
Few of my clients have it so I tested them.
It has old pawl drag system but the best in that category.
It works better than some disc drag reels on the market even now.


*Pflueger Reels:

Medalist 1492 1/2 (not sure on that number)

This was my very first cheap reel when I got into fly fishing in Denver 20 yrs ago or so (man, I'm getting old).
It never gave me any trouble except for the big fish (20" plus) because the drag system wasn't good enough.
Don't know they still make this reel or not but it could be a collectors item someday.


RossReels logo

*Ross Reels:

San Miguel

Asked for the San Miguel to do the ORT (on the river test) but no reply.
Brief test with my clients' really impressed me.
It has silky smooth drag and nice looking design but very expensive.


G2 and G3

I have been using Ross Gunnison (G2, G3) and very happy about them although their first model G2
I have been using still giving me trouble with the drag but newer ones my clients' use seems to be much smoother and works fine.
G3 model I have giving me no trouble for past 3 yrs on my rental rod.
Both models are durable, dropped on the ground couple of times by accident but still works great.
They bought lots of them especially after they tried it on my rental rod and one of my regular clients SMU professor AL who now owns 3 of them (G2).

G2 model I have fought at least 40,000 trout during first 4 yrs of my venture (from NM to MT)
where I lived in an old camper marketing my flies (mail order) and fighting to open up the guide
license on the San Juan before I started the current business 5 yrs ago.
Many of you saw me catching 70 to 100 plus fish per day up to 8 hrs fishing on the San Juan
or the Green over the years so I don't have to explain the figures above.

Ross Company provides excellent service.
Returned my old G2 couple of times (worn out clicker, sticky drag problem) and they worked on it promptly at no cost.
Still having the same drag problem but don't want to waist shipping cost so I'll just keep it as is.


Scientific Anglers logo

*Scientific Anglers Reels:

System 1 (456)

Don't know they still make this reel or not but it was one of the cheap pawl drag reel with one of kind look while back.
I believe it was the same reel as Daiwa and had it for a half year but the pawl drag wore out on me.
Good for catching small fish.

Not recommended!

System 2L (56 Wt)

When I bought this reel 8 or 9 yrs ago in Denver it was one of the better average reels on the market.
The problem I had been with the disc pad it had.
The drag gets loose whenever the reel gets wet and gave me backlash and got rid of it.
There are so many reels on the market with better drag system for less money nowadays.

Not recommended!

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