Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Product Review: Elkhorn Fly Rod and Reel

Elkhorn Fly Rod and Reel is a small company in Loveland, CO. They produce high quality, affordable products that will give you a lifetime of service without breaking the bank. Elkhorn now offers over 50 models of high performance, affordable fly rods in weights 1 through 12. Three and six piece spey rods and hand crafted two piece, two tipped, bamboo rods are among the latest offerings.

But they didn’t stop there. They also offer precision machine cut fly reels in their affordable lineup. No "die-cast” or inexpensive shortcuts are taken in the construction of these quality fly reels. Currently, two series of Elkhorn fly reels, the MA and T Series, are offered to perfectly complement their graphite fly rods and a Classic series that when matched to their bamboo rods will please even the most discriminating purist.

I’ve been fishing one of Elkhorn’s most popular Traveler series rods for about 7 years now. It is a 9’0”, 3 weight, 4 piece rod and is matched to an Elkhorn T1 reel. I use this everywhere in Colorado. I prefer the feel of the light line and progressive medium-fast action over my 5 and 6 weight rods when fishing Colorado streams and Rivers. It generates some serious line speed. The 4 pc. rod measures 30 ½ inches in the case.

The Nomad Series is a budget priced rod that fishes much like the Traveler series. It has the same progressive medium-fast action with a gunmetal-titanium colored anodized aluminum reel seat and beautiful rosewood inserts (seven and eight weights have saltwater style seats with a fighting butt) and a matte finish with black thread wraps.

If you’ve ever hiked into a remote area to fish, you know that light weight and compact is important. Elkhorn’s 5x Series 5 piece rods pack to 20-25 inches. And their Ultralight Pack Series 7 Piece Rods pack down to 17-19 inches. Both have a seamless progressive medium-fast action. The 5 piece comes in 3-5 weight with a 9’ 8 weight available as well. The Ultralight 7 Piece comes in either a 8’6” 4 weight or a 9’ 5 weight. I’ve never fished these rods, but have checked them out in Brian’s store and the 7 piece feels to have the action and flexibility of a 3 or 4 piece, while the 5X would compare to most 2 or 3 piece rods.

As I said earlier, Elkhorn makes some quality affordable fly reels to compliment their fine lineup of rods. Their most popular is the T Series. It is a mid-arbor reel that features an over-sized cork-on-delrin disc drag system for deep, smooth, controlled stopping power. This drag design ranges from free spinning to “stop them in their tracks” power. It provides a perfect choice for fresh or saltwater applications at a sensible price. The T series is available in four sizes. The T-1 covers 2/3/4 weight lines , T-2 is 5/6 weight, T-3 is 7/8 weight and the T-4 handles 9-12 weight lines. And, of course, all Elkhorn reels include a reel pouch.

Next is their MA Series. MA stands for maximum arbor which translates to faster line pickup and minimum line coil. These gorgeous reels are fully machined with multiple lightening ports to remove excess material without compromising strength. And these reels incorporate a cork-on-teflon disc drag system. The result is an ultra-light reel with work horse stopping power.

Elkhorn’s Classic Series reels are manufactured to replicate reels of much higher cost from days gone by, yet offer the same look and feel of these beautifully crafted reels. Machined from billet stock, these reels feature an authentic click/pawl drag system sure to please even the most discriminating purist. Available in two colors: Antique Gold or Silver. As with all Elkhorn reels, they include a reel pouch.

Now, for you ladies! Elkhorn has incorporated pink and raspberry colors in some of their model rods and reels. These colors are absolutely gorgeous and will stand out on the stream like a Gucci purse. I took a Raspberry Traveler Series 905-4 Rod and a Raspberry T-1 Reel to fly fishing class and the women couldn’t take their eyes off of it. The t-3 and T-4 Reels also come in a gorgeous dark blue color as well.

Check out all these products plus the Western, Big Game, EX and Tonkin Split Bamboo Series rods, plus their complete line of blanks at and for a nominal fee, Brian will even laser engrave your business logo and/or name in the reel seat for a truly custom outfit.

I’ll be seeing you at Fly Fishing Crazy.

Tight Lines---------<*)))><

Larry Snyder

Owner: Rocky Mountain Web Connection, LLC

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