Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Cortland Brook Series Competition Nymph Rod

Blog Post By: Joe Goodspeed

We are very excited to finally announce the availability of the Competition Nymph rod lineup that has been in the works here at Cortland for more than two years. The 4 piece rods are offered in five different configurations, 9'6'' 2 wt, 10' 3wt, 10' 4wt, 10'6'' 3 wt and 10'6'' 4wt. We recommend pairing one of these new rods with our Competition Nymph Line in both 140gn and 160gn, giving you the ultimate balance to handle various nymphing techniques.  We went through waves of prototypes that saw changes in rod actions, handle design, guides, blank finish, weight distribution/counterbalancing, and other subtle factors…and more importantly spent hundreds of hours testing and tweaking those prototype rods to ensure that each of the 5 rods are the perfect fishing tool for their intended application.

The rods are balanced with the weight toward the back end, so your wrist will do less work to hold the rod at a fishing angle.  The crisp action blanks have a dull matte finish, with slightly oversize matte black single foot guides for easily leader knot transfers and a serious stealth factor.  The handles have a thin, elongated taper heading toward the blank that allows an angler to touch his finger against the blank for added feel.  All sizes have a fighting butt with a hard cork bottom layer that helps to counterbalance and also serves as a great resting spot to bury a hook point, although the rod has a matte black hook-keeper as well.

Fishing with these prototype rods was the most enjoyable aspect of the development.  Our prototype rods were fished hard through all four seasons, on waters ranging from tiny spring fed creeks to brawling freestones and the most technical tailwaters.  The rods were subjected to many different styles of fishing, focusing on the precise contact-based methods that the most effective nymph anglers often prefer, but also fished very successfully with floating indicators over the winter, streamer/attractor flies in the spring, and even stepped up to the plate for some dry fly action a couple times.

While these rods are very versatile, the design and final action is tailored to precise nymph fishing.  We wanted to achieve an action that flexed and loaded easily when casting small weighted flies on long tapered leaders, yet recovered very quickly in the tip so that contact could be achieved immediately when the flies hit the water – a critical aspect to success which allows the angler to feel the “reaction bites” that often happen just after the flies hit the water, while the angler’s rod is still dampening the vibration from the cast. 

Another advantage of the rod’s fast dampening tip sections is the ability to send very minor twitches and vibrations down to your flies through subtle wrist movements, without the rod over-amplifying the movement and jerking the flies around.  Having a rod that can give your fly tiny twitches, while recovering fast enough to feel or see the bites that happen IMMEDIATELY afterward can be the difference between a great day and a slow day on difficult wild fish. 

Wiggle these rods and pick out the model that best suits the waters you fish.  We suggest the 2 and 3 weight models when you don’t expect to be hooking many large fish, and the 4 weight models for larger waters and bigger fish.  

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