I've been on good terms with the Risen Fly crew for a while now. I've been using their Ichthus reel nonstop for over a year now and I've fallen in love with it. You absolutely can't beat it for the price, and their fly line is great as well.
When I was offered the chance to test out a prototype of their new ITB rod line, I jumped on the opportunity. When it arrived, I was quite impressed. Nice real seat, sweet cork, solid guides, and I loved the dark rust color. It even came with a printed rod sleeve, and an embroidered tube.
I loved the fact that it was a 4 piece rod which is great for someone who always keeps a stick in their car because you never know when you'll find some new water, or a spare 20 minutes to wet a line. Here are the specs from the Risen website.
- High module graphite blank in a bold burnt orange color and brown/orange wrappings
- Mid flex, fast action
- 4 sections with the length and weight of rod marked on the end of each section to avoid confusion and alignment dots
- High quality 2 toned cork Steel snakes and guides with hook keeper Machined reel seat with wooden insert
- Triangle rod tube to prevent the rod from rolling around
- 4 section rod sock
- Backed by Risen Fly's lifetime warranty!
My initial run with this rod was the night I received it. I wound up battling a 10 lb carp for a long time and the rod held up like a champion. It had a solid backbone and allowed me to guide that beast into the net. Truth be told, I REALLY tried to put this thing to work on this fish. I had an extreme bend in this rod and it stood it's ground with no problems.
I've fished it probably 15-20 times since then, and I do really enjoy it. The solid backbone on this rod and fast action really allows you to get your nymphs out with accuracy, and you can whip big streamers with ease. You can feel takes fairly easy as well.
One thing though is that I think this rod felt more like a 5/6 or a solid 6 weight than a 5. Maybe it's just that I'm used to fishing 3 weights and glass now. I dunno. It felt a bit overpowered for throwing size 20 dry flies, which is my favorite thing to do. This is the only reason I wouldn't make this my all purpose rod. I did have quite a few days of landing fish on the surface with it during midge hatches though.
Besides that, I'd highly recommend it. If nymphing and chucking meat is your deal, this is the perfect all around rod that won't break the bank. These rods will be released in April and will retail for $140. There are a few returned from other testers that are available now on his site for only $98! That, my friends, is a steal.