Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Unboxing: Greys Missionary Fly Rod Review

"The rod is a bamboo weighing seven ounces, which has to be spliced with a winding of silk thread every time it is used. This is a tedious process; but, by fastening the joints in this way, a uniform spring is secured in the rod. No one devoted to high art would think of using a socket joint." 

Way back when I set out on my mission to take Wild Brown Trout from waters within the M25 (the orbital ring road that incircles London) I hooked up with [sporadic] blogger and Fly Guy, Jeremiah Quinn who had offered to act as my guide. He oversaw my first clumsy efforts to flick-a-fly as we explored the Darenth a river in Kent once fished by Charles Dickens. You can read all about it here.

Jeremiah is very well traveled and deeply committed to no-money-down fishing in rivers and streams, disdaining 'stockies'  from the pay-to-play reservoirs as tame fish for the uncommitted. Often this means arduous travel by planes, trains, and public transport. He uses Greys Missionary rods to avoid that horrible moment when you're waiting to see if the ramp-monkeys have bent your rod tube into a U shape. As something of a wanderer myself I've always bought take-down or travel rods for spinning and beachcasting so I needed little convincing.

Everyone I asked said a six weight was the all-rounder for fresh water, I've got the 5/6 weight. You can fish a fly rod one up or one down so it's biggish for the chalksteams of the Darenth and Wandle, and smallish for the Thames. The rod of a suburban fly fisher. The rod of mountain stream bushwhacker.

You can spend all kinds of money on fly rods, but frankly there are limits. Sad kit-tart though I am, I'm just not in the market for an £800 rod. But my £25 rod sucked; if I'd given it a flick before writing this post it would still be vibrating now. Happily fly rods are both deeply subjective and subject to the whims of fashion. So there's often the chance to buy rods from people who've changed their minds about last weeks must-have. When a deal steal came up I took Jeremiah's advice and pounced on my current rig which is based around the Greys Missionary.
  • 8.25 feet long; handy when trying to get between the trees linning a chalk stream
  • Slower than the fast 'technical' rods, faster than the sloppy slow ones, it's made a HOOJ difference to my casting. 
  • Mid-to-Tip action makes it pretty forgiving
  • The tube it comes in is much better made than the Shimano tubes, though not as nice as the metal tubes the £800 rods come in.
But does it catch fish?

More soon