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The Orvis Clearwater fly rod (103-4)

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This is the first time I've ever reviewed a fly-fishing rod on my blog. Because I just realized it's the first time I've ever actually had to buy a fly rod. My father bought me or passed down to me every fly rod I've ever owned. But as I've moved beyond his tutelage I've now had to supplement his very impressive rod collection -- and my own -- with an Orvis Clearwater 10 foot / 3 weight / 4 piece rod.

I bought this rod because I have been trying to get the hang of Euro-nymphing, and the consensus of everyone to whom I looked for advice seemed to be that this size of rod was best because it's long enough to get your leader and nymphs way out into the stream, and yet the light weight makes it sensitive enough to feel the fish biting. 


  • A great rod for the money. I spent about $205.00 on this rod, including shipping. While Orvis may not be the best or most cutting edge supplier of fly-fishing gear, you can pretty much always rely on their products, they have a solid selection, and a great guarantee.
  • Four-piece construction makes the "action" a little bit blunt, and sometimes a bit imprecise. But, what can you do? It's a four-piece rod. Sadly, the more places you have weight transfer (i.e. the joints where the rod pieces fit together) the more you're interrupting the natural action that would exist if it were one long piece of graphite. Cast a nice one-piece or two-piece rod and you'll see what I mean.
  • The "fighting butt" on this rod is probably unnecessary, at least for the kind of fish I'm going to be catching: small Pennsylvania trout. But  it adds a bit of balance when you're high-sticking and doesn't get in the way at all. 
  • Caught two fish on this rod yesterday. On a 3-weight, every fish feels like a Great White shark, so in that sense, it's a really fun rod. 
  • Only slight complaint would be there is no "keeper" where you can hook your fly when you're moving from place to place on the stream. 
  • For $205.00 I don't think you can find a better rod of this size and weight