This product review will be short in comparison to lengthy analyses posted by professional bloggers – but it represents my heartfelt approval for a new fly rod I fished this season for Chinook.
I fished Winston B IIx fly rods for king several years ago; love the series, especially the 10 wt, and always always had my trusty beat-up Winston in the boat when on the estuary. With so many high quality fly rods available, and random chance at play, I haven’t fished winston for several seasons.
Time marched on and I gave my old Winston to my son David as a memento of his ancient Dad’s memorabilia. I know. I inuded a Pfluger 1498 Medalist that I fished with the rod too, so it is fully authentic.
Where was I going? Oh yes – I drifted away from Winston for no good reason, until something caught my eye in their new line of Boron 3 Plus rods just released for the 2016 season. The Jungle Rod.
I have grown increasingly tough on my tackle as my seasons add up. I am not what anyone would call a finesse angler. I fish in the estuary, in bd weather (horrible wonderful nasty windy rainy stuff). I throw 4-6 rods in the tackle tray. They bounce around. I fish shooting heads on many occasions. I cast heavily weighted Clousers. I cast close and long. Long might be 70 feet, probably not more unless it is a wind aided launch. May be capable of a 90 footer but probably not given the conditions I fish.
I catch kings (when lucky) that may be in the 20 pound class. These fish (and a very few larger) tend to get under the boat and want to stay there. They will also head off into a wood pile and seek out the worst collection of snags in a pool. Now always but sometimes.
I regularly break fly rods during each season, some out of operator error and some because I put too much pressure on the fish when in extremis.
I was attracted to the prospect of:
* Longer than usual handle (7 inch)
* Oversized tip and stripper guides (Nanolite, but who cares since i have no idea what this means only that it is probably good if winston uses it and what I get is oversized. Oh, hard stuff, OK.
* POWERFUL. These rods are designed to deliver a fly in close quarters (often the cast casting to rolling kings) and the power in the butt and mid section offers more lifting power and resistance to breakage than any other similar wt fly rod I’ve ever seen.
I called my friend and SIMMS WINSTON rep Eric Nufeld and asked to borrow a Jungle rod. three days later I was fishing the beauty/beast. This rod performs flawlessly and with a combination of lightness and all the power I hoped for. I slapped down casts thirty feet from the boat, and 70 feet out. I twitched the rod tip as my fly swung across the current. I pulled back hard when the fly’s swing stopped cold. The head-shake was sooooooooo, good to feel, assurance that this was not an underwater stick. I pushed the rod hard on many occasions – bottom line – I now consider the 9 wt 9 ft Winston Jungle Rod in the “always carry” in my boat on the estuary.
Think about this rod, it was intended to fish around wood with heavy tippets and wrestle big tough fish out of the brush without exploding on the angler.
Perfect rod to fish for coastal Chinook.
Rob Perkin found the kings eager to grab his flies too on one day we fished together this fall – his boat handling skills and our conversation made for a wonderful day when we turned morning futility into big smiles by the evening.
Closing thoughts: lots of great fly rods out there. The Winston Boron III Plus Jungle rod is high on the list and a personal favorite. I’d be pleased to discuss this and other rod options with anyone who contacts the Caddis Fly Shop.
Meanwhile, it is time to shift gears to winter steelhead, yes?
Best to you all – Jay Nicholas December 2015.