Details matter. Especially when, you’re on the river doing your very best to trick a fish into eating a concoction of feathers and metal. The correct fly has to be presented perfectly from the right position in order to even have a chance at a solid fish or any fish for that matter. The chance of you hooking up decreases significantly if you are crunched for time due to the restraints of life, weather, or patience. So, you may try to stack the odds in your favor by researching which insects are hatching, the temperature of the water, and taking whatever advice you can get from the token old guy at the fly shop. You’ve prepared, taken the time to find the fish, and now, what about the rod? Some say that any old fly rod will do the trick as long it isn’t a broomstick. I would have to disagree. When the stars align and I’m on a solid section of the river with potential for awesome fishing I don’t want to have to think twice about the rod I choose to string up that day. This where the TR5 9’0” 5WT comes in from Riverstone Outfitters. It’s a rod that doesn’t break the bank but also doesn’t skimp on the quality.
First, let’s talk about where a rod-like this one shines compared to other rods of different sizes and line weights. The line weight of a rod helps to determine the delicacy and strength of the rod. If you’re chasing toothy saltwater critters one may look for something in the 9-10 weight area and if tiny mountain brook trout is your idea of a good time then a 4,3 or even a 2wt may be the way to go. Thankfully, Riverstone has you taken care of across the board with 9ft 4,5, and 9wt rods that cover a good bunch of the various fishing situations you may encounter. However, the 9ft 5wt is a rod every angler should have in their quiver as it does a little bit of everything. A 5wt rod is equally suited for tossing dry flies to a rising trout as it is tossing streamers to predators in undercut banks and poppers to largemouth on your favorite lake.
Typically for rods at this price point, you don’t get too much. The Riverstone Outfitter rod changes the narrative here. The rod is built upon a solid blank that when casting felt like it had enough backbone to break through the wind without losing too much delicacy on the close-up shots. The hardware on the rod has a quality feel. The rod blank has a tip-over ferrule design which is a nice touch for a rod of this price point. What really separates this rod for me is the fact that it has a full-wells grip made out of what feels like a premium cork. I love having larger corks and this is no exception especially on long days out. The rod even features alignment dots across all the sections to make setup even quicker and more convenient.
There are two main schools of thought when it comes to fly fishing reels. One is that it is merely a place to store your line while fishing and varying cast lengths and the other are that it is an integral part of the fish fighting system. For a long time, I was in the first camp but after taking on some feisty Smallmouth with this rod I think I starting to move over into the latter. The reel is a CNC machined aluminum reel that features a near-maintenance-free sealed cork drag. The large arbor design is awesome too because it allows you to reel up line quickly and also helps to reduce memory coils in your line. This for me is way more reel than ill ever need, especially, on a 5 wt but I appreciate having the peace of mind.
You could have the best setup in the world but, without the right fly line, you are still in the bone zone. The fly line is the main component that connects you to the fly and, hopefully, the fish. The profile of the fly line also has a major impact on the distance you can cast accurately and with good presentation. I was pleasantly surprised when I started fishing with the line provided in the RSO kit. The line has a cool two-tone design which keeps a more camouflage profile while showing where the taper is for easy loading of the rod on far casts.
Now that you have a solid rod and reel with a line to match it’s all about everything else you need to be successful on the water. The RSO kit comes with a fly box, leaders, fluorocarbon tippet, nippers, and forceps so all that’s left to add is your flies. It’s also a plus that the tools included bear the color of the very fish you’re trying to deceive. It’s a nice touch.
- Solid rod built on a “real blank” with “real components”
- Comes with almost everything you need to get put on the water
- The reel is second to none compared to other flyrod kit reels
- No flies but, what you’ll need varies on where you’ll be fishing
- Your fishing buddies will be jealous…
Fly fishing is complicated enough as it is and the 9’ 5wt kit from Riverstone Outfitters takes a good chunk of the confusion out of the equation. The rod comes with almost everything you need to get out on the water. In addition, to being a kit each of the components is super high quality and could very easily be stand-alone products that you would expect at a much higher price point. This rod is perfectly suited for the beginner who is serious about having a quality set-up to learn with all the way to the seasoned pro looking for a backup rod that is just as good as their daily driving, $1000+ outfit.