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Troutman
12-08-2008, 12:27 PM
I've been asked to help buy a FF outfit for a friend that is wanting to learn fly fishing. This will be a Christmas present from his wife and I want to make sure I pick out something he can fish for a wide variety of species with. I think an 8'6" 4 piece with a med/fast action will be best and leaning towards a fast 3wt or med/fast 4wt.
I believe he will be fishing some in the lower elevation streams of the park, some warm water freestones for smallmouth, and bream and maybe some trips to the Clinch and Holston.
The budget is $300 for a rod, reel, line and backing.
I really like the St. croix line of rods myself, and I'm looking at the Imperial line in the 8.5' 3wt over lined with a 4wt to slow it down a tad. The other choice would be the Avid 8.5' 4wt.
Does anyone have any experience with this rod? I have not wiggled or cast one yet myself.
Thought about the TFOs, orvis clearwater, Ross Worldwide Essence but would like to get an American made rod.

jeffnles1
12-08-2008, 10:45 PM
I have the one the Imperial replaced. I've had it for a few years and it's a good stick. It served me well for the first couple years I fished. Mine, although St. Croix, was imported so if American made is a requirement, you may want to check country of origin for the Imperial line as I"m not 100 percent sure where they are made.

All in all, mine is a fine rod. I have a 8.5' 5wt.

Hope this helps.

Jeff

Troutman
12-08-2008, 11:09 PM
I did a little checking today and found that these rods are 09 models and are just starting to trickle into the fly shops. No one in the area has them yet but after talking to Ted today, LRO should be getting some in soon.
Here is the specs on the new line.

http://www.stcroixrods.com/rods/default2.asp?rodname=81

jeffnles1
12-09-2008, 02:18 PM
Hi,
After looking at the site, I believe the St Croix rod I have was the one replaced by the Triumph. I can't remember the name but it was something like Reign. It was made in Asia but all-in-all a very good stick especially for the money. I still use it as a backup rod.

One thing you may want to check on is if you're really wanting to be sure it's made in America, you may want to contact St. Croix just to be sure.

On the web site, it said "Handcrafted in North America". Canada, Mexico, and much of Central American countries are technically in North America. Made in North America does not equal "Made in USA".

When LRO gets them in, I'd say just check out the action and see if it casts the way you want.

Again, my St. Croix rod is a very good value and a very nice rod. The cork has a little more filler than I find on my Scott, Sage and Winston rods and the spacer is not real high grade burl like some of the more expensive rods, but hey, at 1/3 the price, I'm not sure my "expensive" rods are really all that much (if any at all) better for catching fish.

Rod shopping is a lot like fishing, the chase is half the fun.

Jeff

D-Drake
12-09-2008, 02:25 PM
We have a few of the new Imperial rods on their way.

7'6" 4wt 4pc
8'6" 5wt 4pc
9' 8wt 4pc
(plus the one for Gary to try)

These are really great casting rods. They are being made in Park Falls, Wisconsin for now. Sometime in the future they will be produced in St. Croix's new factory that is being built in Mexico (St. Croix's main rod production will continue to be in Wisconsin).

The new Imperial rods are definitely worth looking at.

Daniel

jeffnles1
12-09-2008, 02:43 PM
We have a few of the new Imperial rods on their way.

7'6" 4wt 4pc
8'6" 5wt 4pc
9' 8wt 4pc
(plus the one for Gary to try)

These are really great casting rods. They are being made in Park Falls, Wisconsin for now. Sometime in the future they will be produced in St. Croix's new factory that is being built in Mexico (St. Croix's main rod production will continue to be in Wisconsin).

The new Imperial rods are definitely worth looking at.

Daniel

Daniel,
Thanks for the update. WOW, there are so many great rods out there right now it's hard to wrap one's mind around them all.

I can't honestly say I've cast a rod (other than a couple older dirt cheap ones) that I didn't like. Some liked better than others but I don't recall picking up and casting any rod that was a real dog.

Exciting times for sure.
Jeff

Troutman
12-09-2008, 03:29 PM
I talked with Ted about these rods the other day. I've bought several rods from Ted throughout the years when he was with Wynns and have always gotten good advise. He told me these rods cast as good as anything he has tried lately. That says a lot to me.

Even though this rod &reel is not for me, its still fun to help a friend get started FF with something they will enjoy. Looking forward to getting the call Daniel!

92Esquire
12-09-2008, 07:43 PM
Maybe it's just me, but for a general-purpose rig, I'd look at least at a 4wt, if not a 5. That 8' 6" 5wt would set your friend up for just about anything that swims in TN, IMHO.

Troutman
12-12-2008, 04:13 PM
Picked up the rod today and did a little casting behind the shop. The rod action is definitely fast, not stiff, but very smooth. We overlined it with a GPX 4wt to slow it down a little and it still threw lazer tight loops for a good distance. The rod is very light and has a beautiful gloss burgendy blank, nice hardware and good quality divided protective tube with ferrule wax included.
I'm not a fast action rod guy, but if your looking for one at a good price, check these out. I can see that these rods will be good sellers for St. Croix.

Byron Begley
12-12-2008, 08:00 PM
I have been photographing the new Imperial Rods. We should have them on the Online Catalog in a few days unless we get real busy (I hope we do). The two I have in my office look great. But I have not cast them yet. There are going to be some great Smokies rods in the line. We could never figure out why they quit making them. It's good to have the Imperial coming back. Park Burson, who you will meet at Troutfest and is on their staff has been pushing St. Croix to start making them again. They finally listened.

I am an Avid fan myself. They are my favorite 8 wt and 12 wt rods. They are a lot of rod for the money. My favorite 9 wt. is a Temple Fork Professional.

Byron

Byron Begley
12-14-2008, 01:20 PM
The Imperial Rods are up on our Online Catalog.

http://littleriveroutfitters.com/store/home.php?cat=1229&sort=title&sort_direction=0&page=1

Byron

ajh10567
12-14-2008, 02:59 PM
I was thinking about getting one of the St. Croix Imperial 7'6" 4wt 4pc, and I was wondering if anybody had a good recomendation for a reel that would complement the rod.

92Esquire
12-14-2008, 06:01 PM
My default for a trout reel is the Orvis Battenkill Bar Stock - for a 4wt you're probably looking at the number II size. I've got a pair of them (one on my 3wt, one for my 5wts) and they're fantastic reels.

Troutman
12-14-2008, 07:15 PM
the Orvis BBS or The Lamson Konic 1.5. Lamson's have a fantastic drag system.

BamaBill
02-06-2009, 03:22 PM
I ordered the Imperial 9ft 5wt from LRO a couple of weeks ago. Was able to get out at lunch today to fish it for the first time. On the first cast, I caught a 2 lb bass which ended up being all I caught. Didn't even get another hit, but I always hope to break-in a rod by catching a fish the first time out.

This is a nice rod, I'm very pleased with how it casts and fishes. The write-up calls it fast but I think it's more of a medium-fast - not stiff at all.

Also, was very pleased with the service from LRO in ordering and receiving the rod. LRO didn't have this particular rod in stock when I ordered and I still received it within a week of ordering it.

flyred06
02-06-2009, 03:43 PM
I have an older 8wt Imperial that I use for throwing larger stuff at bass. I have had it for several years now and it has proven to be a great rod. Also throw in that it is made in america is another great point. I believe that you will be very happy with this rod and way to go on the catch. As far as LRO goes they are always on top of their orders and shipping.