Great Bay Rods

Fishing Evolved

Winding Brook Fly Rod Reviewed

Winding Brook Series Reviewed in FlyLife Magazine

The Great Bay Rod Company is another fly fishing company starting to develop its niche in Australian fly fishing. In issue 14 I reviewed another rod from their stable- the seven foot three weight SFT series fiberglass rod. While that rod takes the caster back to simpler times and traditional methods, this graphite 7'6" four weight briings you back to the future with a thud. This rod has everything that a modern graphite fly rod should have- great action in a wide variety of casting lengths, a top finish and a good guarantee.

This rod is a genuine four weight, and in keeping with my preference for double taper lines on all my trout set ups, I cast this rod with the Varivas double taper line. I basically go through several scenarios when casting rods. Short casts from just the leader to about 5 feet of fly line, medium casts from 5 feet up to 25 feet and long casts, where I try to cast it as far as I can while still maintaining a fish catching presentation. Generally speaking when you do this you also need to adjust your leader length- you won't cast a 20 foot leader with 5 feet of fly line with any efficiency. Short casts are done with a nine foot leader, medium casts with a 14 foot leader and long casts with the same.

Short casting with this rod is very good. It is perfectly suited to short stream casts and hands and knees tailing and polaroiding stuff. Where this rod really develops is strength is the medium casting situation from 15 feet to 30 feet. It is easy to generate tight loops with overhead and side casts, and it has enough bottle to roll cast with ease as well. It would be a very versatile stream rod as it combines the delicacy of a true four weight for the dry fly stuff and enough grunt down in the blank to easily pop out a tungsten bead under an indicator or dry fly when the trout drop deeper into the feeding column. Long casting performance is good, but I doubt you'd be buying a four weight to cast a full line!

If there was one word to describe this rod it would be versatility. I would be just as comfortable using this rod on the various streams and creeks in Tasmania as I would stalking the western lakes. I would have no hesitation in using this rod for point and shoot sight fishing to western lakes browns up to three pounds, even in windy conditions. For the fly fisher that loves hopper time, this rod will be fantastic for slotting bushy hopper patterns into the bank on a windy day, and will still have the finesse to play the fish with respect.

The finish of the rod is excellent with a nice brown blank and good quality fittings. The handle really attracted me, as it has been sealed with Tung oil. This produces a smooth and slick finish that looks like a varnish, but is far deeper than that. It is an optional extra, and it won't suit everyone, but I liked it.

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