About this time in 2011 I had an idea that I just couldn’t get out of my head. See, unlike so many other fly fishermen, I don’t enjoy having a bunch of gear that sits around. I’m not a collector of anything, so if it doesn’t get used often, I really don’t want it. So I made the decision to sell off a bunch of rods, and in fact, get down to just one rod that can cover all of my typical fishing needs. This simplistic approach holds more appeal to me than I can tell you, but in practice it became much harder to do than I thought it might be. Which rod to keep became the big question, and I persevered in my effort to get down to this one “reference rod,” against which all other future rods would be compared.
By the time 2012 rolled around, I was actually down to only two rods: a bamboo rod and a graphite rod. I still had three other bamboo rods coming, which I had ordered previously (including these quads: Two Heirloom Rods) and I wanted to compare one of these rods with the bamboo rod I still had before giving them up, so I kept both rods around until such time as I could make an educated decision. Other than that though, I truly felt I had whittled my way down to my reference rod: an 863-4 Winston BIIIx.
So armed with my reference rod, I dedicated the year to the process of buying (or long term demoing) every rod I still had significant interest in. I’d purchase a rod, use it alongside my reference rod for awhile, and then decide if it was going to replace the reference rod or just be sold off. This process was repeated numerous times, and it made for a really fun year. I learned a lot about my own preferences in rods, and I gained considerable insight and knowledge of a fair number of rods along the way. Surprisingly, this venture also cost me much less to do than I thought it would when I embarked upon it, thanks in part to great friends, great fly shops, and quite honestly, great products that sold well after the fact.
But that wasn’t the only surprise, nor the one that truly stands out. Instead, the real surprise was a rod I never expected to be so enamored with. The funny thing is, as rod by rod came through my door, nothing ever replaced my reference rod, and I actually still have it today. But what was truly unexpected came in the form of a little six-foot rod for a two weight line that I simply could not bring myself to give up. This rod, and indeed, every rod from this series of rods that I fished were just plain fun. And for me, fun is where it’s at. So if you are looking to put a big smile on your face, you need not look any further than the Scott F2 series of rods, and for myself, the little gem of the series is the 602-3.
Now I could have requested that Scott send the 602-3 for the Dry Fly Guy Gear Giveaway, and they certainly would have done so. But I know that for many DFGs that rod would likely not be their first choice. So I requested something a little more versatile: the 703-3. But make no mistake about it, the 703-3 is a truly superb rod, and like everything else I’m giving away, I truly wish I could keep it.
Which brings me back to my little story that I began this post with. In my grand attempt to pare down my rods, once I fished the Scott F2 602-3, I simply could not bring myself to get rid of it, even though it can’t replace my reference rod as a “one and only”. It remains in my arsenal today, and along with the Winston, they are the only two “plastic” rods I currently own. Everything else is bamboo, and sadly (or gratefully depending on your perspective) just a year after my “experiment” I’m already back up to eight fly rods. That’s not very many rods for some, but for me that’s a huge amount, and I’ll likely be getting rid of a few in the not too distant future.
Now if I have any intention of selling off the F2, I know I better not fish it again, because if I do, I’ll be right back to wanting to keep it. And I have a sneaking suspicion that the winner of the 703-3 F2 is going to feel the same way about it.
The F2’s are simply too much fun to fish, and they always put a big smile on my face.