Throughout The years, I’ve seen lots of ‘innovations’ that basically have only been cosmetic.
Now I have spent a near forty fly fishing trips accompanied by the various ArcticSilver rods, and I can tell you straight away that I’m extremely pleased with all of the rods.
Here’s how I would describe each rod: The 9’ 5-weighT – Trout
A rod for enjoyment. Long casts, short casts, you name it, with this rod all challenges are accepted and tackled with brilliance. It is probably the deepest of all the ArcticSilver Free-Flex rods but has more than enough power when you may need those extra-long casts. Spey-casting is performed to perfection, and it is a pure joy to fight fish on. You must simply relax your shoulders when fighting fish and let the rod do the job.
The 9’ 6-weighT – Coast
It was this rod I was most skeptical too and the one that I have used most lately. In my opinion, the 6-weight rod is a tricky one to get right. Often the rods are too stiff or they demand heavier lines than their class implies. The ArcticSilver Free-Flex 6-weight is a REAL 6-weight designed for coastal fly fishing for sea trout, and an action that compliments this type of fly fishing. It isn’t until you really push the rod that you actually realize the power potential this
rod has. As with all of the other ArcticSilver rods, it has ample power reserves in the butt section for when you may need them, though not forgetting a true pleasure to fight fish on.
The 10’ #7 – salmon
This is an immensely important rod when it comes to captivating single-handed salmon fishers. Again this is a deep rod but a bit tougher than the previously mentioned rods. ArcticSilver doesn’t hide the fact that they had river fishing in mind when designing this rod, and that’s why this rod is all about Spey-casting. This is especially felt in the rods fairly active bottom section and a relatively flat top. But don’t get me wrong, this rod casts far whilst overhead casting – just remember to aim high, focus on the treetops on the other side of the river, and don’t be surprised if you end up on the other bank. As a Spey rod, well it does it all one could ever want It really performs with all types of anchored casts and casts really far, easily. Just remember to lock your wrist relatively firmly as this rod is longer than the others, and therefore needs to be a more determined grip. I can add that this rod handles surprisingly heavy flies – something that most probably have to thank the action for.
All the rods I’ve tested have landed fish, lost fish, cast long distances, short distances, in tailwinds, in headwinds, in sorrow, and in joy. The Free-Flex rods have given me the best thinkable support whenever I have needed it – and that’s certainly something a fly fisher needs now and then. If there is one thing I’ll claim, that is that if one doesn’t cast further with ArcticSilver rods, one will at least cast simpler, easier and a little more comfortable.
My Orvis Helios and G-Loomis NRX have been swapped in favor of the ArcticSilver rods – and that says a lot!
What the #5, 6, and 7 all have in common is a relatively deep action and a fairly flat top. So what is the deal about the Free-Flex concept? Well, the first thing you’ll notice when picking up an ArcticSilver rod is the hollow Free-Flex handle. The patented handle, the key behind the whole concept.
Here’s how ArcticSilver describes the concept: When trying my first ArcticSilver rod, I immediately felt that the Free-Flex handle was different from conventional handles. All you need to do is wave the rod in the air and you can feel that it flexes into the handle section.
Robert Selfors, the man behind the concept was so sure about the whole concept that he even lent me an ArcticSilver #5 fitted with a conventional cork handle. Throughout the years, I’ve seen lots of ‘innovations’ that basically have only been cosmetic and with little practical value. Having the cork reference rod allowed me to comparatively test the concept – and it really proved the case! I no longer have any doubts. ArcticSilver is the real deal – a company with a vision and a concept that works! They represent a milestone in the development of fly rods.
I recommend anyone who gets the chance to test an ArcticSilver Free-Flex rod in his favorite class/ weight. I will be very surprised if the “Free-Flex Feeling” doesn’t take you aback as well! My test score is without a doubt a 6/6! urbanflyfisher.net