Friday, September 17, 2010

FlyFish Mag at IFTD--Part Fin

Ross Diamond Women's Rod
MSRP: $299-$319

The fine folks at Ross (follow them on twitter @flyfishpro) swear on Grandpappy's secret fishin' spot that the new Diamond rod is not dumbed down for women. New for 2011, the 4pc 3wt-8wt Diamond series is built on the Ross premium Rx graphite blanks with some women-specific attention, including a 25% reduction in the cork handle diameter, and a nice burgundy color. It's well-made, high-end-yet-affordable, lightweight, and has proper balance and power. But all this is unfortunately overshadowed for me by the feature that still has me scratching my head. Is it really necessary to gild the lily with a small fake diamond as seen in the picture above? Ross's own product description in the catalog states: "Custom cosmetics and a little bit of bling make this series a truly unique offering for female anglers who fish in style." I actually love to fish in sundresses and sparkly earrings, and my toenails are often painted in "sunrise poppy" so I'm not entirely sure why I take offense to the faux diamond accent on this rod. I guess I feel that when making women-specific gear, rod companies should think of us as fishing with style through our cast, patience, rhythm, presentation and love for water and wildlife, rather than fishing in style. And while I like wearing sparkly things on my ears, my earrings have nothing to do with my gear. I want my fly rod to be serious, solid, smooth and badass. Not foofy or glittery.

This is why I'm on the fence about this:
  • I like the Diamond rod itself, but I do NOT like its name, "Diamond," and I do NOT like the diamond.
  • I appreciate that Ross is paying attention to women, but I think the diamond indicates the wrong kind of attention.
  • I am relieved that the rod is not pink, but it might as well be pink if there's going to be "bling" on it.
Now, the most important thing is that if this rod gets more women fishing more often, then blingariffic! I have a feeling men will purchase this to lure their wives into the hobby. And that's great! So, I'd like to hear people's thoughts on this. Ladies, if you love the bling on this rod, buy it. It's a quality rod at a great price. If you don't love the bling, you can always slap some duct tape over it and fish on.

Ross F1 Reel Series
MSRP: $425-$525

The new F1 reel caused more buzz than a booth-full of bees at IFTD this year. And, at the risk of following the herd, my choice for IFTD "Best in Show." The words most associated with this reel so far are, "revolutionary" and "game-changing." The F1 is inspired by Formula 1 race car braking systems. With eight independent contact points to the friction system, the drag is designed to be the smoothest and most dependable on the planet with unmatched stopping power thanks to two-times the carbon fiber drag surface of other reels on the market. I'm told there's no start-up friction. The drag knob is cherry--it's a constant-torque, so you don't experience the prohibitive tension on the drag as you tighten, which can make you drop your rod tip and lose fish. The thing maxes out at 7 1/2 lbs of drag. The durable, heat resistant, totally sealed reel looks and feels like such a smooth machine, you'd think it had a motor. A carbon fiber stabilizer holds the spool as two fully-sealed stainless steel ball bearings offer a smooth rotation and great fit. And its unique, super-easy right/left hand retrieve conversion mechanism is the first like it in the industry.
Congrats to Ross Reels for being a leader in innovation and keeping us excited!

Finally from IFTD, here is a link to youtube video of Ross Worldwide's Jeff Hickman at the spey pond talking about the new Ross switch rod.

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