The Orvis Zero Gravity Fly Rod: An Underground Review

Category:
fly fishing stuff, Review
Added Date:
Tuesday, 6 Mar, 2007
Summary
I'm mostly a bamboo and fiberglass guy, meaning I like rods that bend easily.

I think concerns about weight are way overblown, so as a result, modern, high-quality (and high-priced) graphite isn't much in evidence in my rod closet.
 
Content
[ED: I like this fly rod, but Orvis seems to no longer sell the ZeroGravity series (abandoned in favor of the Helios fly rods), so this is more fly rod eulogy than fly rod review at this point]

I'm mostly a bamboo and fiberglass guy, meaning I like rods that bend easily.

I think concerns about weight are way overblown, so as a result, modern, high-quality (and high-priced) graphite isn't much in evidence in my rod closet.


So when I had the chance to score a high-end Orvis rod (disclosure: a trade) I went for a rod that played to graphite's better qualities: a big fish/high winds/sinking line/streamer rod.

I went with a 9' 6wt in the Orvis "mid flex" (7.5 flex), figuring I'd feel more at home with the taper than with the "tip flex" rods which I don't much care for.


The wraps are simple, and the deep red blank is handsome.

I've fished the rod four times under winter conditions (it's a special-purpose rod after all--if I waited until I used it a dozen times you'd be reading this a year from now), including a couple brief flings with a streamer, casting a dry, and [sigh] nymphing.

First.
I have some serious doubts about technology being the one true path to fly rod happiness, but I will say Orvis got the cosmetics right.

The Zero Gravity comes in a gorgeous, pebbled finish red tube, and the blank itself is handsome, deep red color. Pretty.

The wraps are clean and neat (what you'd expect from a high-end rod), and the guides appear to be standard

The new Orvis reel seats are shapely (and clearly lightweight) affairs, though they're overshadowed a bit by the 7" reverse wells grip, which is (to my preference) too long, though the center swell fills the hand nicely.

Of course, that kind of grip is pretty standard on today's production rods, and if you're a total pain in the ass about a grip, you're probably buying custom rods anyway.


Gorgeous reel seat.

Enough About Pretty. Is it Manly?
You knew we'd get around to this eventually. First, this rod is--as advertised--as light as you'd expect it to be.

I know some fly fishers who obsess over the loss of an eighth of an ounce off their fly rod, a practice any bamboo fly rod guy finds oddly misplaced, but then, Sage, Loomis and others have been selling this kind of technology (with great success) for years, so you can hardly blame Orvis for following suit.

According to Orvis, the Zero Gravity rods use a thermoplastic resin, boron fibers and a unidirectional carbon scrim to produce blanks that are "25% stronger yet 25% thinner than comparable blanks, and 40% lighter."


Clearly, fly rods are growing lighter, and as I understand it, the challenge nowadays is to retain some semblance of strength in the things, which I understand to be the real reason they went to the thermoplastic resin.

All I can say for sure is the rod didn't break, and an Orvis dealer I spoke to said he had yet to see a broken one. And sadly, I haven't yet fought a 28" steelhead on the thing to truly test it.

If I do, you'll hear about it soon enough.

So let's just say the rod is clearly competitive on the technology front, give durability a tentative checkmark, and move on.

How Does it Fish?
Simply put, it casts nicely. Given that all high modulus graphite rods feel stiff to my hand, I found this rod a surprisingly smooth caster.

The tip was light enough to fish well at close range, yet the rod was certainly capable of throwing a lot of line. A lot.

My first tendency with a lot of modern graphite rods is to throw a heavier line on the thing to try and squeeze some semblance of feel out of the thing, and I was happily surprised to discover this Zero G rod didn't need that.


Wayne Eng cast the rod and also felt it was "true" 6wt, so Orvis clearly got this part of the taper right.

Also surprising was the all-around "troubability" of the thing: modern freshwater 6wts are typically only fished over big trout and small steelhead, so you wouldn't expect 6x delicacy from the thing, though in fact I did land a feisty 15" trout on a 6x nymph dropper.

Score one for reasonable tapers.

I also threw a weighted streamer for a while, and the rod was certainly up to the job, though I have yet to find a rod where that kind of activity might be considered fun.

Of course, if high-modulus graphite rods have a sweet spot, it's centered directly over nymphing, and I can say two things with certainty:

    1. This rod nymphs extremely well--it's strong enough to pitch a couple shot and excels at setting the hook. If I was a nymph fisher, I'd use this rod fulltime.

    1. If fly fishing was only about indicator nymphing, I'd take up bowling.


All-Rounder
In truth, I was surprised at how nice the rod was, though I'm not busy listing my 5wt bamboo and glass rods for sale.

It's at testament to the flexibility of medium tapers that this would probably make a nice all-around rod if you primarily fished freestone rivers or lakes, especially in windy/big fly situations.

If you were buying a rod specifically for flinging streamers the size of squirrels, then I'd do what Ian Rutter suggests and get a 7wt.

Still, if you were into high-tech rods and wanted a powerful-yet-all-around 6wt that fished lakes, stoneflies and freestoners (on windy days no less), then I'd have to give the Zero Gravity a thumbs up.

It would make a great windy-day back up to a 4wt that you could keep fishing after the wind died down (on anything short of a spring creek) and not give much away in terms of fishability or even tippet protection.

For a backwards, low-modulus kind of guy like myself, this is clearly a special-purpose rod, but--unlike some of the steeper, faster taper graphite rods I've tried--I could fish this one a large percentage of the time and not feel like I'd died and been sent to fly fishing hell for swearing on the Internet.

It's a reasonable, fishable 6wt that does some things extremely well, which is about all you can really ask from a fly rod.


Orvis makes a damned pretty rod tube.


Read More The Underground Picks the Dozen Best Fly Rods of All Time Period
 
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Destinations
 (2)
This is a small town with a big heart, a veritable fisherman’s paradise. Located near the fish-filled Madison River, and surrounded by the waters of Ennis Lake, the Ruby River, Hebgen ... moreLake, Quake Lake, Henry’s Lake, the Big Hole River and scores of smaller streams, the town boasts what many consider the best trout fishing in the world. As well known for its wranglers as its anglers, Ennis has succeeded in maintaining the look and feel of its original, gold town roots. Warm and hospitable, the area offers a wide variety of accommodations ranging from simple campsites, rustic motels and gracious hotels, to full-service, luxury resorts. Fly shops are numerous, stocked by local experts ready to advise and assist, while guides can be booked for trips throughout the area.

Boredom is the only thing unavailable in Ennis. Throughout the summer season the city hosts a series of events, including its renowned 4th of July Celebration Parade and a genuine, old-fashioned rodeo. In August, fly-fishing luminaries from around the US, flock to Montana to compete in the Madison Fly Fishing Festival. Athletes also find their way to Ennis to compete in the city’s Madison Trifecta, two shorter races followed by a full Marathon at 9000 feet, the highest elevation run in America. For the true sportsman, October falls in with the annual Hunter’s Feed. What’s caught, typically elk, moose deer, pheasant and bobcat, gets cooked on the streets and served up to hungry spectators.

Flanked by three grand mountain ranges, The Tobacco Root, Gravelly and Madison, Ennis is scenic and entertaining – truly an authentic, fly fisher’s haven.
Fishing Waters
 (1)
The Clark Fork River has its headwaters in the Silver Bow (or Highland) Mountains, originating at the confluence of Silver Bow and Warm Springs creeks near Anaconda, Montana. The river ... moreflows north and west 350 miles through broad, semi-arid valleys, high mountain ranges, and steep-sided valleys and terminates in Lake Pend Oreille, Idaho. The Upper Clark Fork, bordered on the north by the Garnet Range and on the south by the Flint Creek Range, meanders most of its first 38 miles through the flat plains of the Deer Lodge Valley. Vegetation is sparse, due partly to the effects of the mining boom, the greatest historical influence in the Upper Basin.

Downstream from the mouth of the Little Blackfoot River, the river flows through a steep, narrow canyon. Between Garrison and Jens the river channel has been shortened by highway and railroad construction activities, but past Jens the Clark Fork meanders away from the transportation corridor and native trees and shrubs appear along its banks. From below Flint Creek the river runs 26 miles through Bearmouth Canyon to emerge and widen to 150 feet for its confluence with the Blackfoot River. The Middle Clark Fork River extends about 115 river miles from Missoula to its confluence with the Flathead River and is entirely free flowing. Its drainage is mountainous and covered with large forested tracts, broken by grazing and cropland areas in the lower valleys.

From Thompson Falls Dam, its upper boundary, the Lower Clark Fork River flows through sedimentary formations and a landscape sculptured by the massive outflows of glacial Lake Missoula. It runs into Cabinet Gorge Dam, just outside the Montana border. Between the backwaters of Cabinet Gorge and the tailwaters of Thompson Falls Dam the river is inundated by Noxon Rapids Dam. When the Clark Fork crosses the Idaho border, it is Montana's largest river, carrying an average 22,060 cubic feet of water per second.
 (2)
The Jefferson River is an important part of a system of rivers that combine to form the majestic Missouri. Starting at the confluence of the Big Hole and Beaverhead rivers near Twin ... moreBridges, Montana, it winds 77 miles in a northeasterly fashion to Three Forks. Here, it meets with the Madison and Gallatin rivers that together converge into the Missouri River at the Missouri Headwaters State Park. Like so many other rivers in Montana, the Jefferson, named by Clark in honor of the U.S. President, runs deep with history. In fact, the Jefferson River is a segment of the larger Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, administered by our National Park Service.

When thinking about the Jefferson, a Class 1 river for recreational enjoyment, most observers view the river in three distinct sections. Characterized by slow, meandering flows, the upper third works its way through a broad, arid valley. Along this braided, 44 mile long floodplain, you will encounter working farms, dense cottonwood stands, flowered meadows and a variety of wildlife until you reach the town of Cardwell. Throughout the next 15 miles, its waters flow through a narrow, steep canyon where the water can be deep, slow and contained. As a result, the stretch from Cardwell to the Sappington Bridge has comparatively fewer trees, swamps, meadows and wildlife.

At Sappington Bridge the river once again becomes a circuitous, rambling river, rich in swamp life, colorful fields, large cottonwood groves and productive agricultural land. The presence of significant agriculture has resulted in competition for water use. During dry years, the river was tapped generously for irrigation, dropping water levels to the point where fish populations were adversely affected. Recent improvement in riparian management has tended to alleviate these issues. Primarily known as a brown trout river, rainbows, mountain whitefish, burbot and northern pike can also be found here. Less well known and less discovered, the Jefferson offers the opportunity to catch large fish in a scenic, un-crowded environment.
 (5)
The Madison River is arguably one of the best trout fishing rivers in all of southwest Montana, if not the entire world! It’s certainly the most talked over, written up and frequented ... morein the state of Montana – which is considered by some the capital of fly fishing. Anglers will find plenty of great access sites to wade or float along the Madison’s banks and reservoirs (including Hebgen Lake and Ennis Lake). Rainbows, browns, cutthroats, and more abound in this majestic fishing stream.

The Madison begins its course almost twenty miles into Yellowstone National Park. Within the Park, fishing rules apply: no live bait and catch and release only. Once outside the Park the river meanders past working ranches, stately conifer forests and cottonwood lined banks, interrupted by riffles and quiet runs that contain large rainbow and trophy brown trout. Flowing alongside Yellowstone’s West entrance road, the river enters Hebgen Lake, created by Hebgen dam, until it reaches Quake Lake, a bit downstream from the dam. At this point the river is commonly called either the Upper Madison or the Lower Madison, although in fact, they are one and the same.

Upper Madison – Quake Lake to Ennis Lake
Directly below Quake Lake the river roars into 5 long miles of Class V whitewater with steep gradients and large boulders along the way. As the rapids decline, the magic begins. For the next 53 miles, often referred to as the 50 Mile Riffle, the cold river runs north and the fish jump high. Annual runs of spawning trout make their way from Hebgen Lake, rainbows in the spring and browns in the fall. Known the world over for its “hard fighting” trout, it’s not unusual to pull a 25” brown from these upper waters. In deference to the purists and fly-fishing enthusiasts, it’s wading only from Quake Lake to Lyons Bridge. Boats may be used to access the river, but if you’re going to fish, your feet must be on the riverbed. Fortunately, the Hebgen Dam releases water throughout the year, leveling its flows and relieving it of spring runoff issues and summer shrinkage.

Lower Madison – Ennis Lakes to Three Forks
A short section of the river between Ennis Dam and the power station maintains relatively low water levels and provides wonderful opportunities for wading. Past the power station the river regains its muscle and for 7 miles winds through Bear Trap Canyon. Hiking trails offer the only entry, great for those that like to walk and seek the solitude of a designated wilderness area. Floating is permitted but requires a lengthy shuttle and the ability to work through Class III-IV whitewater. Once out of the canyon the river flows in shallow riffles until it reaches Three Forks and joins the Missouri. From Warm Springs to Greycliff, the river is easily accessible for drifters and wading.
Trips
$
550
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
Join us on the Yellowstone for a great day of fishing. With over 20 years experience floating the Yellowstone, Water's Edge Outfitting knows every riffle and pocket of water to help ... moretailor your trip to meet your expecations and skill level. Whether a first time angler or and expert, we will help you create great moments for a lifetime of memories. We are located near Livington, Montana and have extensive knowledge of nearby rivers.
$
600
-
$
700
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 3 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
1 day
The Clark Fork River, just outside of Missoula is one of the top blue-ribbon rivers in Montana. The guide staff at the Upland Angler is an extremely qualified, experienced group of ... moreprofessionals who have grown up fishing the local waters. We specialize in the Clark Fork River and provide a variety of skills from beginner anglers, to experts alike. No matter where or how you choose to fish, we will strive to make your experience a truly enjoyable one.
$
300
-
$
495
/ Boat
Capacity:
1 - 2 anglers
Days:
Daily
Duration:
5 hours - 1 day
Destination:
Join us for a fun day of fishing on one the Madison River, one of the top rated trout rivers in the US, and a legend in southwest Montana.
Outfitters
Welcome anglers of all skill levels. We invite you to join us on one of Montana's finest fishing adventures! Owner Brian O'Connor has been fishing Montana's rivers for over 18 years. ... more

Outfitter # 5937
Guides:
Type:
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49 comments
The new Helios 2 is what replaced the Hydros, ZG and Helios lines. For an 8wt, you might want to consider the new Recon. It'll save you a few $$. But the H2 is awesome. It'd be difficult to find a bad review of the H2 (Helios2) or the Recon. Both are made in the US and come with 25 year warranty. I'm shopping for a 5wt and want an H2 really bad, but, unless I find a pile of $20's somewhere the Recon ... more 5wt will be more than just fine.
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I only wish that Orvis would continue this model. Mine just broke and they are swithing me to another model. I miss my Zero Gravity.
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Hi, I have zg helios 9' #5 mid flex, but is a new rod, because My first zg was broken, The warranty was good. The desing And craftmamshift are beautifull, and is very ligth. A question: this model, is discontinous or is in production yet? I want a zg helios #8 tip flex but no disponible in Chile. (Excuse My english, is no very good) Tanks.
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The tapers are very different between the two rods. Hope you like the H2.
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Hi all I have a zero gravity 5 weight 8.6 the nicest looking rod ever built absolutely gutted the rod when casting made a really bad sound ,next pull off and cast the butt section was left in my hand the remainder of the three sections went out with the line so bad have taken it to orvis but it looks like they no longer make or hold the spare parts to this rod looks like I might have to accept a Helios ... more 2 which may be very nice but it ain't got the looks of my zero so gutted ??
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I've been fishing an 8 weight Zero Gravity for quite some time, and I recently went to on for 4 weight action. I love them. The 8 has handled big Snook and Juvenile Tarpon with ease. The 4 has seen a good share of Largemouth and Peacocks in the Everglades, and I fish it with confidence. Good stuff.
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Clay, I purchased an Orvis Hydros 9.5 foot 6 wt tip flex rod last year. First time out, and the rod broke six inches from the tip upon catching a very modest 8 in. trout on the West branch of the Deleware River. Orvis replaced it immediately; so I will have the opportunity to report back later this year when I take new new one for a test drive. Supposedly, the Hydros has the same blanks as the Helios ... more with the finish and hardware the only differentiating features between the two.
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It's really a matter of preference; my preference would be for the fuller flexing rod, but some people like the fast rods, which throw tight loops and are good for nymphing, but tend to lack the feel I find an essential part of the experience. i also think the softer rods (which are usually the slower tapers) fish better at the reasonable distances most trout fishermen fish at, but again, that's a ... more preference thing. I'd go for the 6.5, but....
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For general trout fishing on small rivers (not streams) how would the ZG 6.5 flex in a 5 wt compare to the 10.0 flex in the same wt? I'm fairly new to the obsession. I would be building either from a 2 pc blank. Thanks - Roger Breedlove
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Good comments on the zero gravity rod. I bought the Hydros edition and find it better than the Sage XP in terms of speed but still maleable and flexible for my kind of simple all around casting in the Deleware. Let me ask another question, this one regarding reels. Does anyone have an opinion as to the quality and usefulneess of the Ross Evolution LT reel????
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Been fly fishing now for over 30 years and have handled many different makes and AFTM ratings and flex actions. I fish the rivers and lochs where I live in Newton Stewart in Galloway, Scotland. For a beginner to fly fishing, I would suggest a good all rounder would be AFTM 7 mid flex. The weight would handle even the bigger fish when encountered and could be fished fine also with a leader material ... more which is not stiff. The mid flex action is the most forgiving and best suited to newcomers. That is not to say that it is a beginners rod ---- an experienced angler could turn it into a beast if so required. I have grown to prefer 10ft tip flex rods as I always fish from the bank and like to get distance. One orvis rod worth buying is the Western 3. It is one which I use most. Dont be taken in by the price of a rod ---- I have tested many expensive rods and not liked them and tested many cheap rods and not liked them. I would never pay any more than 200 dollars for a rod. It aint just the rod that matters -- its the fella using it !
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Well, today I attended the Orvis annual "tent sale" where many rods were offered the public at half price or less. These were apparently new rods but those specially marked to alert us that no warranty was included. So I coulldn't help but notice the Hydros rod the newest Orvis rod in their broad lineup of rods. Word has it that it is the same rod stock material as the Helios except for the hardware. ... more So for $250 I took a gamble and bought a 9.5 "tip flex" 9.5ft. 6 wt. Hydros. I will report back after I've had a chance to use it hopefully on the Deleware River in NJ.
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I have no response to the above. None. Really.
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I am not the Brian Orvis that designed the rod. I am a distant relative. The Orvis name is linked to fly fishing and for years clothing and can be seen in airline Sky Mall catalogs. As far as I know, like most companies, the Orvis family is not in control of the company. This is why things have changed. It is sad, but most American companies have sold out and are not what you expect. As an Orvis, ... more I wish they would take it back amp; make it what it was before. Money amp; profits are not the main thing. Respect, customer satisfaction amp; customer service is more important. Make a decent living amp; share with everyone. As a relative, I am upset!
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Derek: Hey Tom about how much does the ZeroG cost and where can i get one? Orvis sells them (orvis.com), or at least they used to - the rod's been discontinued in favor of the Helios, which is (you guessed it) lighter and more expensive (and a straight taper vs a compound taper). ZeroGravity rods are still being offered on eBay by closeout companies, so if you want one, you'll probably end up there.
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Tom C
I have an 8wt orvis zero gravity limited edition #149 of 150 for sale but im not going to give it away, email me at r.depinto@yahoo.com if you or anyone is interested, its in great condition and i have everything it came with when i bought it. i originally paid $775 plus tax.
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Hey Tom about how much does the ZeroG cost and where can i get one?
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Sorry so slow to this one; developing and teaching class stuff chews up most of my time. @MHH First, I'd go with a good graphite rod, and worry about bamboo later. Bamboo is expensive, but more importantly, buying used cane can be a dicey matter; I finally gave up even trying to buy bamboo on ebay after getting stung. In the price range you mentioned, you probably won't get a great rod. As that cheap ... more bastard Singlebarbed noted, there are some deals to be had on new rods on eBay, and your instincts about getting a solid graphite to start with are good. There's no shortage of advice from people about which rod you "should" own (or my personal favorite, "You can't go wrong with... xxxx"), but you don't really know what you want to buy until you've fished a while (fast rods, slow rods, etc). Buy a decent rod, fish it and have lots of fun. @Tom; I'm not familiar enough with the Delaware to make any proclomations, but I've been really happy with my 9' 6wt Orvis (same as you described). Then again, I'm a fool for 6wts to begin with - they do so much so well, and there just isn't a penalty to using them unless you're allergic to another half-ounce of weight (mine protects fine tippets just peachy).
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I'm now considering buying a new Helios, 6 wt, 9 ft. four piece rod, mid flex 7.5 - primarily for the Deleware River in NY/NJ/PA. Does this seem like a sensible rod for this type of water? Any suggestions? I have a Montague bamboo rod I would sell for $300 and I'll have it appraised shortly to confirm my price. It is used and comes in three pieces: three pieces together make it a 8.5 ft rod; with ... more the additional piece substituting for the second piece) included, it becomes a 6 ft rod. Never used it - so I'll sell it since I have too much stuff around here. I can be reached at 973-214-6473 to discuss. Yes, for the newcomer to fly fishing, Orvis has great customer service and bends over backwards to assist us in selecting the best rod for our budget and taking it back should we buy the "wrong" rod. And their warranties can't be beat when you buy "new". Best to go up to their Manchester Vt. property to test out their rods in their ponds. And you can't beat their "tent sale" during Memorial day weekend!! - where newish rods are sold at rediculously low prices but come without their warranty I'm told.
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MHH. I'd be happy to assist if you want answers on the eBay process and what rod is appropriate for your fishing. That first tackle purchase is hellish - as their is so much to learn and most of that comes with experience. I'm sure TC would also be happy to answer any of your questions, drop us a note.
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Clay, Good point about the warranty. I'm pretty close to 100% sure I'm going to buy one of the cheaper Orvis graphite rods (either the Clearwater II or the TLS) to get started, so that will at least give me something reliable. If it is indeed possible to get a decent bamboo rod online for something in the neighborhood of $150-250, I would like to have one to compare to the graphite. Goal being to ... more determine which material I want to save my shekels for to upgrade later. I guess the crux of the issue is there's not really any such thing as an entry level bamboo rod that you can buy new from a manufacturer or an independent rodsmith. Most of them appear to cost about twice as much as a top of the line graphite rod. That's hard to justify when I haven't had the experience to convince myself that bamboo is better, let alone two or three times better.
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Matt, Orvis makes an excellet offering. You may get a great deal on line but...you may want to patronize your local dealer. One you keep a man alive, two you get the warranty...which is nice and being a beginer you will probably need said warranty. When you become addicted like the rest of us you can begin mortgaging your home for fly fishing equipment. You most likely will end up divorced and heavily ... more reliant on alcohol and trout steams!
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I'm new to fly fishing, though I've been casting on spinning tackle for most of my 30 years. I am interested in trying both bamboo and graphite, less interested in spending a grand or two on a rod at the moment. If anyone's got any tips regarding what to look for in a used rod on eBay, I'd be much obliged if you're willing to share. There are some decent-looking pieces on there for a couple hundred ... more bucks or so, but that's still a significant chunk of change that I don't want to just throw away on a relic that won't perform. Cheers, Matt
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Tom: In your article above reviewing the ZG Orvis rod, you mentioned that it does some things very well. If you can remember way back when you tested out this rod, 1. what are the things it does very well and 2. what are the things it doesnt do very well. You may compare it to other rods in the Orvis line, that would be better indoing the things the ZG doesnt' do well, etc. Thanks. tom (again)
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Yes I will take a quick look at the T3 and the Superfine - maybe even the Trident if I have time. Prices are pretty good these days. Question: if the ZG was such a good rod, why did Orvis discontinue it?
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Tom: One is better than the other; it's simply a matter of which casts more naturally for you. In truth, the difference isn't huge, but I also thought you could save a few bucks on a T3, which you might actually prefer to the ZeroG.
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Thanks for getting back. For what kind of fishing would you want to have a "compound taper" and the same for a "straight taper"? vis a vis the ZG 5 wt. two piece rod? I would'nt have known the difference since I'm not very experienced in the technologies involved here and how they may impact different kinds of fishing, i.e. lake, river, stream, vs. bass, trout, etc. vs. windy vs calm conditions. I'm ... more considering fishing while wading on the Deleware and lesser size rivers for the most part. Maybe use a pontoon occasionally just for some variety. Thanks, tom kieren
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@Tom: I think that kind of thing happens with a lot of 4-pc rods (streamer geek Ian Rutter prefers 2-pc rods for streamer fishing for this very reason). The bottom ferrule on my ZeroG came apart once while being fished by someone else, but no damage done, and hasn't happened since, though I've lost the tip on my 4-pc Steffen fiberglass rod twice too. Before you buy a Zero G, try to test cast the same ... more rod in a T3; the ZeroG is a compound taper, and I'm told the T3 (and the Helios) rods are relatively straight tapers, and some prefer one over the others. Good luck.
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I heard from an old very well known Penn. trout and bass fishing pro who told me that Orvis had problems with the ZG rods, such that when some folks cast it, sometimes the four piece rod simply came apart where they connect. I"m considering buying an Orvis ZG 5wt. 9 ft model and wonder if anyone else wants to weigh in on this rod. Presumably, whatever problems this rod has experienced, they have been ... more cleared up by now. thk
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Tom B: I cast the 7'9" Superfine and it was certainly nice, though I've got a lot of really nice 8' 5wt cane and glass rods, so I'm unlikely to make any buys.
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You said you were interested in the Orvis Superfine 5 wt. For what its worth I have the 7'9" in the 5 wt and it is one of the best fishing rods you can imagine. I have it paired up with the Abel Big Game Pt.5 (non porterd) and it balances perfectly. This rod is ok to cast in the parking lot etc, but to really appreciate it you have to have the line in the water....you just wont believe how that rod ... more does all the work for you and is smooth as can be. Its no problem to do 60' casts and throw nice tight loops when you want to......
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Yup. The rod I'm testing doesn't even have the name on it...
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Thanks, Just asked orvis about the finish, price, release date of it and they politley went all covert on me Brian R
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Brian; I'm working on a review now of Orvis' newest rod -- the as-yet-unreleased Helios line. Look for it soon...
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I've fly fished a 5wt mid 7.0 T3 and thought it was awsome. I'm looking into a 5wt Super Fine 4.0 Full. I also have my Dads Bamboo Orvis from the 60s. In my mind Orvis makes a hell of a product and backs it up w/ great customer service. They were outa stock on a fly I bought for $2.75. As an apology they gave me 25% percent off any perchase I made within 10 days. I didn't hesitate one second to purchase ... more the before mentioned T3!
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Thanks for the update. I haven't tried any of the other Zero G rods.
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I have a Zero Gravity 5 weight in the 4 peice 8'6" and absolutely love the rod. It does everything you want in a trout rod very well. It's nimble, light, responsive amp; beautiful. Best of all, I almost got her for free. Orvis customer service is AWESOME!
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Fly rods are a wholly personal matter, but I'd be lying if I thought most reviewers weren't a little motivated by brand loyalty. Frankly, I'd take my review of this rod with a grain of salt -- I haven't fished graphite rods consistently for years. One thing is clear; you should always remain skeptical of reviews by fishers who don't appear to have fished very long. I'm amazed by the fly fishers who ... more have owned or cast only a couple of rods who are posting reviews on the Internet. Certainly their preference is valid, but until you've fished a lot of rods in different situations, it's hard to invest those preferences with a lot of juice.
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In hindsight I should probably give Fish and Fly the benefit of the doubt. I did not cast the same rod they did, so I should not pass judgement on them. All I can say is that the 6 wt mid flex was a nice rod.
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Nice write up. Fish and Fly just trashed a Zero G 5 wt. I wonder what they were smoking. I fished a 6 wt. 7.5 just like yours from a guide and absolutely loved it. The word that comes to my mind is 'smooth'. I have fished my share of graphite, glass and bamboo. I like them all for different reasons. Like you I enjoy the smoothness and feel of bamboo. However, I liked the Zero G very much. I also once ... more fished a T3 that I liked very much. And Orvis has a great conservation ethic. They may be big and may have made some mistakes in the past, but I do like a lot of their stuff.
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The Smokies? Where's that? Just kidding. My family, I and a friend used to vacation in Gatlinburg. I fished a number of the streams in the park, quite unsucessfully, since I was about 12 years old, and hadn't a clue about trout.
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The 7K job, to be fair, was a limited edition model...actually, their bamboo prices aren't that bad either, but of course they aren't custom-made. What really floored me in the last catalog I got was the prices for their vacation packages - enough to pay for a decade's worth of trips to the Smokies.
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I have an Orvis 7 1/2 " 5 wt bamboo that is quite nice. I did not pay $7K for it, either. I don't like the finish on it as well as some of the custom mades, but it fishes nicely, and is perfect for the small stream on which I use it. I also have a Winston 8 " 4 wt that I am looking forward to fishing on that same stream. The change that Orvis went through some years back is preferable to the one that ... more Abercrombie amp; Fitch went through. Some of Orvis' clothing is good value. But, I don't like their business model, and I stay away from them for most fly fishing items.
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Orvis is a very old company, that make some of outstanding (or have it made) outstanding equipment. Like IJ said it is fun to browse through there catalogues. There warranty and customer survice the best. No I wouldn't buy a 7K rod and reel outfit from them, or anybody, but some people do. Hell I've sold a few flys for $500.00 a piece just to hang on a wall. All that to say this, not all of the equipment ... more is just for yuppys, I have reels that are still with me from High School and are working good and still look great, and that was a long time ago. The Orvis rain jacket has served me well. Those of you that are thinking of getting into bamboo can find some real bargans on e bay on used Orvis rods. A few are quite nice. (I would rather shell out the money for a Chris Raine, or a Jimmy Reames rod) or in that case many of the other CA.,or OR. Builders. David
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I get the Orvis catalogues in the mail, and I find that they have some very useful products; the key is, you have to wade through all the stuff that is aimed at a target audience a few Benjamins shy of Bill Gates. For example - I am relatively new to this fly-fishing disease, so I'm (gulp) exclusively in the dark side so far...eventually, I will want to try out bamboo, and I'm sure I'll end up buying ... more several - but, there is NO WAY I'll ever shell out 7K for a rod/reel combo, like there was in one recent edition of the catalog. There are a lot of useless nick-nacks to skip over, but eventually you'll find some good deals. The basic Battenkill reels are nice, and the prices aren't bad. Even the rods, for the most part, are in the market range for graphite. Anyway, it's fun to browse through.
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Thanks for the enlightenment. Orvis is like the GM of Fly Fishing. GM makes a ton of cars but I wouldn't want anything they make. And if they made dog beds I wouldn't buy any of those either.
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Clay: I've been to the dark side, done the high-quality graphite thing (years ago) and returned. The key? Don't walk towards the light. Alex: Get ready to have your mind expanded: Orvis is far and away the #1 Fly Fishing company (forget the dog beds and all the other stuff - and they're still #1). Cast in, tie on, check out...
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Orvis? I thought this was a fly fishing blog?
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Welcome to the "dark side" Tom.
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