Monster Deals at Wild Water Fly Fishing

Monster Deals at Wild Water Fly Fishing

A few days ago my son purchased a fly rod outfit from Wild Water Fly Fishing. Friends it is a monster deal. And shows how the cost of fly gear is increasingly being impacted by the Pacific Rim. How about a 9′, 4 piece, 5 weight, graphite rod with a double up-locking reel seat. A CNC aluminum machined reel with a good drag. Yes, backing, fly line and leader too. A rod sock, and a nice case designed to hold the rod with the reel attached. And it arrived for under $100, shipping included. Not convinced its a deal? Wait there is more.

Monster Deals at Wild Water Fly Fishing

The outfit came with an accessory pack. That’s right you get goodies. Its “trick or treat” time. There was a upper pocket size plastic fly box with a dozen flies. A forceps, a nipper, a spare leader, a spool of tippet material, and not one, but two zingers. The accessory pack alone was worth at least $30. At this point you got to be impressed. What? You were expecting waders too! Give me a break. Oh, and there is a limited lifetime warranty if you register the rod. Read the fine print as always.

Accessory Pack

CNC Aluminum Fly Reel

The rod is labeled the AX series. The ferrules are tip-over-butt  style. It has a black, sanded blank, with a 7″ cork grip, tipped with burl. There is one SIC stripping guide and 8 single footed guides, plus a tip top and a hook keeper. All wraps looked acceptable. The rod weighed in a 4.45 ounces.

Fly Rod Weight

So how does it cast? I’m sure you want to know that. It proved to be a fast action rod. It formed very tight “V’ shaped loops. I had no trouble turning over the leader with just 5′ of fly line out. With one backcast and a double haul, it chucked 55 feet of line plus leader. Solid performance.

Is it all Peaches and Cream? No, there are a few shortcomings. But given the price you can’t complain one little bit. At 4.45 ounces the rod is a tad heavy. The blank itself isn’t holding the extra weight; its the grip end. Not a huge deal, but if you’re used to the super light rods from the big boys – Orvis, Loomis, Sage Scott and so on – you’ll notice it right off.  The cork is of inferior quality and heavily patched with filler. And the reel does not have a “click” in either direction.

Please Note! These outfits can be purchased directly from Wild Water or on Amazon.com. Prices maybe rising as we speak, and some items sold out. If you pick a plastic fly reel instead of the aluminum reel, the price is lower, perhaps $20 lower. There seems to be some variation on exactly what the accessory pack contains. So check. The company is in New York so you can call them. If you do, tell them whether you want a reel with right or left hand wind. Yes the reels are likely reversible, but it wasn’t immediately obvious how to do it to my eye. Have a great holiday weekend.

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2 Responses to Monster Deals at Wild Water Fly Fishing

  1. Ted Rzepski says:

    Last year a week before the pandemic hit, I ordered a 10 wt fly rod from Amazon for $80. I received a polite email from the Chinese supplier stating all outgoing orders would be delayed because of health considerations. 3 months later the Predator rod arrived. It came in a nylon covered rod tube with cloth inserts for each of the 4 rod sections. It casts well and handles either a 10 wt or 9 wt line. My only concern is the guides are small and look cheap. But it’s been reliable.
    In 2019 I met a fellow fly fishermen on Cape Cod who worked for a fly rod company. He explained many of the fly rods sold by the big name companies are assembled in China. But these businesses in China are not constrained from knocking off their own brands using the same parts and sell for a fraction of the price that famous named brands charge for in the USA.
    Recently I met a guy fishing a spey rod for Stripers. He said it cost about $130 dollars and was as good as his name brand spey rod which cost about $800.
    Our fly fishing club teaches fly fishing skills. I’ve been amazed how well some of the Student’s inexpensive 5 wt rods cast. One lady had a kit from Cabelas she got on sale for $39 : rod, tube, reel and floating fly line. It worked great.
    Yeah, it’s nice to keep Sage, Orvis, etc in business but for people on a modest budget there are good values available.

    • Ed Mitchell says:

      We both remember a time when fly rods were all “fair trade” – a fixed price not matter what shop you walked into. And if you found a cheap rod, it was total junk. And that gave fly-fishing a reputation as an elitist sport, scaring off many folks. Those days are behind us, thankfully. On the downside, the trade wars coupled with the internet killed off fly shops for the most part. Even in their heyday, a fly shop gave its owner only about a 10 percent return. It was a fragile business at best.
      As you point out, the Pacific Rim manufacturers are only copy cats. Riding on the back of other people’s hard work. Innovations in fly rod technology still require American knowhow. For example I have a 10′, 4 piece, 4wt, Scott Radian with a wood insert reel seat. It weighs in at about 3 ounces flat. Compare that to the weight of the rod in the review! And soon the Asian workforce will be demanding higher pay, and more benefits. Which will level the playing field eventually.

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