All fly rods are strongest in the butt section, and it’s ArcticSilver’s ambition to let the forces from the deep be released. Traditional rods are hindered by the cork handle being glued on the blank. ArcticSilver have replaced this with one that is hollow all the way down to the reel seat. To get this to work has been a costly and time-consuming process, but the rods are now available in the ArcticSilver webshop, and we have tested them.
When it comes to ArcticSilver’s construction, we have concluded that it doesn’t require you to change your casting style. The ultimate test was when I let my daughter cast the rod, whom has most experience with faster middle actioned 5-weight rods. Even though the ArcticSilver rod had a deeper action than she was used to, she managed double hauls and fine, tight loops straight away. The lightning fast adaptation is a testament to how the rod gives clear communication to the caster. Rarely – if ever – have I felt the contact with casting better than with this rod. Generally due to the handle, but to how much the smooth and deep action contributes, is obviously difficult to conclude. To be able to evaluate it, I would have to have the same blank but with a conventional handle. But as I hadn’t, I have tested it with the best of the rods I have available. This is to a degree acceptable, as it is how the rod competes as a fishing tool which will decide whether ArcticSilver will be a success in the marketplace.
Compared to the best
To compare the 5-weight, I have used a Orvis Helios 2 Mid-Flex (tested in AOF 2/2013) in the same AFTM. At 71g, the Orvis is maybe the industry’s lightest nine footer for a 5-weight, whilst ArcticSilver at 162g is probably the heaviest amongst graphite rods. But weights ‘lie’, as when I compare the top three sections, the result is a draw 25-25.
Therefore the weight difference is localized at the handle, and particularly at the reel seat where it hasn’t any other influence than with heavier reels, the rod naturally becomes heaviest at the rear. Though in return the reel seat is the most functional I have ever experienced. No clumsy screwing with rings which are difficult or lock when they shouldn’t.
«Smack» and the reel is in place, and it sits glued until you just as easily remove it. The spring-loaded handle is situated so that you can’t accidently release the reel while fishing. A clear plus for the reel seat as the handle is somewhat crude, and doesn’t sit as well in your hand as a beautiful cork handle. This most notice- able for casters with small hands, but for adult men it isn’t an issue.
When it comes the casting attributes, the ArcticSilver Trout immediately gave a good impression. The good contact with the casting makes it a precision tool, especially when the fly is to be presented closely, but it doesn’t falter when you work out a long head and really press it with a double haul. With all types of cast, it holds it own compared with the test winner from Orvis, and the weight difference not heavier to work with. The largest difference lies in the casting rythym, where ArcticSilver is clearly slower. The advantage with the long working motion is that the cast is easy to time, but if you are deep wading and casting long heads at a distance, it’s easier to keep the loops clear of the water with the bottom stiff Orvis. It gives a somewhat different use, but not a deciding difference in casting abilities.
The 5-weight rod «Trout» gets a definate max score from my evalutation. ArcticSilver will ultimately be very interesting for flyfishers who enjoy deep rods that give a decisive response. Easy to get to know which should suit casters of all levels.