Your most memorable pieces of tackle?

rotenone

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Interested to know what people hold as there most memorable pieces of salmon tackle and the reasons, was just thinking of the fortunes of brass I spent over the last 30 years of proper salmon fishing.on all sorts of tackle and was thinking of the items that really made a difference for me.

Thinking back some of most memorable items would probably be my first Hardy Rod fibalite 10 foot spin, bought for me in 1990 for my 10th birthday by late father. In July of that year I landed my first salmon on the river Liffey using it.

The Original 5000 aero gte shimano baitrunner spinning reel , when I asked for this reel at xmas around the same time in early 90s, the reel was a game changer for bait and spin fisherman, it was the reel I learnt to worm and shrimp fish with and caught many salmon in Ireland using it, the reel gave me countless years of trouble free fishing.

The original flying 'c' lure .
The bait I caught my first salmon on bought in rory's tackle shop in 1990, probably the deadliest spinner ever invented imo, I have caught so many salmon on them over the years but also sea trout , trout and big pike just an amazing bait

Sage graphite 3 piece 15 foot salmon rod.
After learning my trade throughout the 90s with bruce and walker hexagraphs, I was fortunate to be given a lesson with the above sage rod very early in the 2000s, it basically destroyed every salmon rod I had tried I had to save along time to buy it, it was so responsive and light in comparison to every other rod I had used it completely changed my casting style and started me on my journey with shooting heads.

Sage 3600D.
Still the best salmon reel I have used and most expensive reel I have ever bought, I have owned abel, danielsson hardy's and system 2s, but I still use my sage 3600ds they have given me years and years of trouble free fishing, the reel was designed by Jack Charlton of mako reels probably the finest modern reel maker of all time incredibly powerful sealed drag and huge capacity.

Carron jetstream spey lines.
A complete game changer for me, I love fishing and casting proper spey lines and when these arrived on the market they performed like nothing else I had ever tried, still fish and cast with them particularly the twin line.

The original guideline shooting heads.
For me these lines took the salmon fishing world to the next level, for years I was making my own shooting heads cutting and splicing lines from double tapers what a chore that was, these lines revolutionised the salmon line market imho

Moving forward to more recent times.
The modern tackle that has improved my fishing has got to be my gaelforce destination spey rods, I couldn't possibly see how a rod action could be improved for my own tastes even better then the carron rods which I loved. Along with the next cast spey and and shooting heads they just changed the game for me.

But my most memorable piece of tackle has got to be my fly tying vice I received for my birthday about 33 years ago, since then I spent most of my life fascinated with fly tying and flies, in particular salmon flies , I can say tying is an obsession for me I love the tying as much as the fishing.

What pieces of tackle have made a difference to your fishing life?
 

mc andy

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That's a very good question!

Few for me would be my guideline reaction! Loved it from the first cast to the present day, only rod that's every stayed the distance.

I do have a soft spot for the loop multi, cracking action and very forgiving. ( pretty much learned to spey cast with a 14fter). Some might say not that well! :lol: Had the chance to purchase a 12ft 8# earlier in the year I had to snap it up :D. Really didn't need it, but it was a sentimental buy.

Rio afs has got to get a shout out, they talk about game changers now, but the afs was and still is a stand out, or as a ghillie once told me a ability compensator :)

UV flash? Can't explain it but works for me, tie very few flys without it.

Cheers andy
 

Chicharito

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Not salmon gear, but a fibre glass rod of about 9ft and an Intrepid Black Prince fixed spool reel and some homemade quill floats painted with Humbrol paints. Caught my first fish in the local ponds, a crucian carp. One of the happiest days of my life. Spent most of the summer holidays fishing those ponds. Happy days!
 

ArchieL

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As a young fishermen and still at school i worked on the milk delivery float and had to save my tips to buy permits for local river and fish for salmon and if honest i was not very good at it but i absolutely loved being out and talking to the old buys and i only caught the odd salmon on the worm or toby. If i caught 1 salmon that day then you would normally find all the old boys and experienced anglers fishing the same beat as me that day would have caught 3 or 4 to their own rods. One day when fishing a local private beat there was a squad of Englishmen up fishing for the week and i arrived on their last day and i asked them how they had done and they said they had over 40 fish for the week between their 4 rods ???? I asked what on and they showed me these new lures "Flying Bucktail & Flying condoms" which looked amazing , these boys gave me some and told me they had got them from ireland and showed me how to fish them and i got a fresh cock around 11lb after a few hours.These new lures were a game changer and just seemed to help me catch fresh salmon from almost any bit of slack water , fast runs, necks of pools, tails of pools, they seemed to catch running fresh fish to old stubborn residents who had seen every fly and lure without reacting. Not long after these lures were doing the damage the beat banned the FlyingC and worm and i never seen this group of boys again.

I prefer to catch a salmon on the fly but i still spin regularly if conditions suit and i still to this day always have these lures in my bag as they are absolutely deadly if there are a few fish around. Fished square,upstream,down & across they catch fish. PS i would also like to mention my old spinning reels which were the Abu Cardinal 157 , 55, 155 as they felt like fishing with a space age reel compared to my old mitchel 300 hand me downs which kept failing on me. Also a mention to my Hardy Bougle salmon fly reel as caught a 14 lb summer fish one day and the noise of this reel that day as the water was big was outstanding and made the fight more amazing.
 

Handel

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A Scientific Anglers Wet Cel II line that is really a Wet Cel III. Dark green. I guess we would call it a spey line these days but I have had it so long that wasn't a name in those days, there wasn't anything else. I used it every year during the backend on the Tweed. How many salmon have I caught with it? Too many to count. I hope its retirement is only temporary.
 

Durham Ranger

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Terry Thomas 9'6" #8 built cane bought from Bennetts of Sheffield, mail order, for £6 15s 9d reduced from 11 guineas.. funded from paper round. Taught myself to cast (after a fashion) from a Durham library book in a field below Shincliffe using a huge 5 shilling sea reel - eventually got a Hardy Viscount, which helped.. Many years before penny dropped that this was a grilse rod. Last seen in Spain, 30 years ago, used to teach my squash partner how to cast on his swimming pool.

Sage RPL+ 10' #6 for many years my core rod - caught every game species bar charr :), including my first springer, off the Mawddach - first (and possibly still last, sadly) springer recorded for over 10 years. This stunning 12lb fish was 3rd in T&S fish of the month, beaten at the death by two late entries in excess of 40lbs - think they gave it to the Lochy fish.

Harrison blank 15' #11/12. Martin Gresty, may he RIP, taught me to spey cast and I proceeded to do so for about 20 years before grudgingly spending more money 14' LPX #9, Carron lines and Lamsons.

DR
 

Rennie

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I'm off grocery shopping just now, but I'll be along soon-right enough.
Kettle on, fresh packet of Hob Knobs and sit down for a good read!
Pedro.
 

ibm59

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Not salmon gear, but a fibre glass rod of about 9ft and an Intrepid Black Prince fixed spool reel and some homemade quill floats painted with Humbrol paints. Caught my first fish in the local ponds, a crucian carp. One of the happiest days of my life. Spent most of the summer holidays fishing those ponds. Happy days!
Good grief !:wow:
You must be nearly as old as I am.:D
 

Loxie

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I've never been massively concerned about tackle. When I grew up I used what cast offs (if you'll excuse the pun) that I was given by my father. My first spinning rod was made from a broken greenheart fly rod of my grandfather's. I learnt a bit about patience when I smashed it trying to get a spinner out of a tree on the Taw. The tradition of make do and mend ran strong in my family and the best spinning rod I ever had was about 9' of a Caudle and Rivaz 14' fly rod that had been broken and repaired too much so was repurposed. I broke and mended it as a spinning rod a few times too!

The first new rod I owned was a Diawa CF98 11'3 5-7wt when I was 14 or 15. I saved up for ages to buy it and a rimfly reel. I had a bin end sink tip and floater and I used it for everything. I caught salmon, sea trout, brownies, bass and pollack on it and even taped a reel seat up the handle and trotted maggots for grayling in the winter with it. Game changer? Maybe!

Time moved on and my family became wealthier and I could afford decent gear. For my 21st birthday I was given a 13' G Loomis IMX 8/9, and an 11' IMX single hander. The double hander was a game changer for me and lasted 25 years before its spectacular death on the River Hope after landing a 10lb springer. I nearly cried. Actually I may have done. It remains the best proper salmon rod I've ever used. I didn't appreciate the single hander as much, but I do now. An 11' 8/9 wt single hander of 30 year old design is not for the feignt of hart or weak of arm!! I love it more now than I ever have and it serves as my monkey rod. 8 hours of stripping a monkey and you really feel you've done a days work.

Fashions have changed and my tastes have matured. I used to think the Sage SLT 9'6" 8wt was the best small river salmon rod ever made. I still have 2 but they hardly get out now. When I realised most of what I'd learnt about salmon fly fishing was pure bull dust I had an epiphany. Salmon aren't great unthinking insensitive brutes whose capture requires good water and better luck. Now I fish in the lowest water or the highest with equal hope of a fish I have changed the game with my head and not my rod. I've settled on the magnificent Carbotec Omri Thomas deluxe 10' 7wt as the perfect fishing tool for me.

I own a great many rods, maybe 100 or more, made from greenheart, cane, glass fibre, boron, carbon and even metal. They are made for fly, spinning, coarse, shore and boat fishing for all sorts of fish but none of them are much less than 10 years old and I can't imagine ever buying a new one.

I have reels in abundance too. The system 2 was a game changer in its own way but now I use Lamsons and Danielssons but for most of my fishing the reel isn't very important, so long as it works.

The stocking foot breathable waded was a game changer too as are really good polaroids.

I guess the single biggest takle item that has improved my fishing is the Maclean's net. I like the weighing function, but after 25 years of making my living selling live fish for the angling trade I'm pretty good at judging a fishes weight, but it's big, handy and allows me to land and return fish very quickly.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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Shakespeare Graphite #6-8 10’6” Got it from the Gamefair in Aviemore / Boat of Garten in 1987. Cheap with a dodgy whipping It was a bit big for me and I cast it double handed for about 3 years:). Thousands of tiddlers, hundreds of Finnock, quite a few ST, my first Grilse and a few stale Summer Salmon. All caught on the same cracked DT line. It’s not been used in nearly 20 years, but I might dig it out, as it would give Loxie’s Carbotec a run for its money in the ‘soft as ****’ stakes and it’ll do great with a Barrio SLX.

Leeda Magnum 200d A Christmas present from the sports shop in Thirsk. It’s had a few fish and I’ll never part with it, but the reason it’s memorable is that it was the first bit of Salmon tackle that was mine. It got fished until 1999 with a 13’ B&W Cordon Bleau and a #9 DT slow sinker. It’s still got the bump on the rim that happened when I left it on the roof of the car when we finished at Grantown one night. This disappointment in my Dad’s voice; “Was that your bloody reel?” still gives me shivers :D.

Barrio IFS / Rio AFS. 2 shooting heads which totally transformed my fishing. Not sure I’ve caught any more fish, but I certainly enjoy it more. What a revelation.
 

uskgrub

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My first ever salmon 12lb was caught on an ancient metal fly reel of no name loaded with 15lb mono which i was using to spin with lol.
During the fight the line managed to come out of the inner spool and tangle on the outside of the rim:noidea: now this is where the really fun bit started as the only way to get the spool off this piece of junk was to undo a flat head screw in the middle of the spool. Luckily i had a good old swiss army knife in my pocket and some how was able to take screw out, undo tangle and put line back inside spool, replace spool and tighten the screw back up, all whilst shaking like a leaf with my first ever salmon on the end of my line:peace:
25 years later and i still have that reel and it makes me smile whenever i see it!
 

Rrrr

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Got to be my first setup, a shakey firebird kit. Telescopic rod and a maroon painted metal reel.
I remember getting my first fly rod that was actualy mine and not one of my dads and borrowed, we drove over to john norris before my birthday (probably as my birthdays in feb so my dad wanted to stock up on gear too) and i got to look about and pick the setup i wanted. Went for a 9ft whisker with a rimfly reel plus the rest of the kit so i could go it alone. Still got a massive soft spot for that rod and still use it for trout as the slow action works really well when fishing dries.
Modern stuff it would have to be my 13 foot lpxe and barrio iss as its been a game changer, ditched the 15 footer and can still belt a line far enough on the main tyne.

Sent from my SM-G965F using Tapatalk
 

Rennie

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When I first popped into this world crying and farting(still do the latter, never change some folk!) cane was just sliding away and fibre glass was the thing.My early years were always coarse fishing orientated and it was with my dads gear(when allowed!) or 6ft solid glass spinning rods we used in Scotland on our yearly hols.
My own true first item of tackle bought for Xmas by my late Father was the Intrepid Black Prince!, god knows how many bail arms I sawed through with line!, and in Winter it was lethal on yer knuckles!.
Rod and reels came and went, my first Mitchell was a milestone, and then my own first two self bought and financed rods, pair of B+W glass fibre rods, a CTM 13A for the Stick and a Flyer 13L for the Waggler, awesome!, and a 1st Abu closed faced reel too(swedish made, good stuff!).
However game changing stuff?, Carbon rods no doubt in all their glory, right along the line!.My First was a Kevin Ashurst blank- me n me pals did a deal on 3 and made them up ourselves, by now I'd proper Mitchells and grown up Abu's too.I could strip a Mitchell Match and re- spring the bail arm in minutes, used to do them for the team of a morning before a match!.
1st rod that blew me away?, well the Shakespeare Mach 2 Boron, so good I bought a pair, back then £169 each was an absolute fortune but those rods were and are still legendary!.
Next thing would be carbon poles, my 1st one you could've tied knots in it at full length of 10m, but my first true match pole was the original Diawa Whisker Power at 12.3m, dug reel deep for that one(see the pun there?), lucky enough to get one of the 1st into the UK,awsome!
Next big thing would be the Shimano reel revolution, left the Mitchells and Abu's and Diawa's for dead, swopped the lot over as soon as I could.
As the coarse fishing began to fade and the Salmon urge grew ever stronger, like every one I bought some reet ****(there was no t'inter web then) and I was completely on my own here.
However the 1st gen. Powerlite Walker 7/10 coupled to a Hardy Dry Spey, gave me a rod I could cast effectively at last, present a flee and feel confident I was getting a foot in the door.
More than anything, my defining moment was joining Stormont AC in Perth, access to the River Tay, access to brilliant anglers, as much info as one could absorb and fish that I could actually catch!
Second defining moment was watching Bob White with the then brand new Hardy Sovereign at 15ft 6 and a Lee Wulff line.That outfit took me to the very bottom of the piggy bank and a layer of dust on my 2p collection that I'd never seen before.Changed my fishing that one, floater, inty, fast sink lines, made no difference at all, size 14 flee or 3" tube and a size 4 terrible-no odds, just cast it as far as I wanted and more in reserve!.
I've said it before but for me Poly leaders were a huge quantum leap into Salmon fishing, my entire approach revolves almost 100% around them, from any line,I take them as granted on just about any fly fishing set up,I'd be totally lost without them.
I also feel were are now right in the middle of a line revolution and largely its being taken for granted.The new Polyurethene lines are with us now, new tapers, sink rates, multi density lines, non crack, high float ability, any thing you want really.Try doing what we all do today with the plastic lines we used to have!, or worse still silk lines!.
Goretex has led to a revolution in both clothing and waders, even if you don't actually use Goretex yourself, it's influence has changed waders and waterproof coat technology for the better.When I think back to my plastic Elka waders and Hardy wax cotton wading jacket,Brrrr, soaked frequently too!.
I'd have to put a good word in for hooks too.Some of the hooks kicking round certainly when I started Coarse Fishing and latterly and in fact still present in Salmon fishing were/are barbaric!.Thankfully chemical etching and new thinking in hook design have seen the "grappling irons" fading from view.
Lastly I'd put a good word in for Guideline-their gear certainly helped the Scandi revolution here in UK(along with other's) so I think they're worth a special mention, they made catching Salmon a lot easier for most folk both directly and indirectly!.
Just wonder what'll be next to fly off the shelves?, but importantly will there be fish there for us to catch.
Pedro.
 

barbonboy

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Martin Gresty, may he RIP, taught me to spey cast

DR[/QUOTE]

Now there is a name from the past. I remember Martin, very well. I used to go round to his house when he lived in Preston.... Many moons ago.
 

bassfly

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As a young lad I started my fishing on my local canal on the Wrong side so I DIDN'T have to pay. The first set up was a crabbing frame with a bit of nylon attached and a wine bottle cork shaped with a knife. The hooks and weights where from the local tackle shop and the hook bait was worm. I landed a 3.5lb perch and I was hooked. The improvement was when aged about 12 and the purchase of a tank aerial from the Army and Navy Store and fitting a cork handle and a set of rings. The reel was a Mitchell bought from a second hand shop.Floats where made from drinking straws with brazing rod glued in the bottom and cut to cock the float and painted black with either red, yellow or white tops.
I was very late into game fishing and started fly fishing for trout when I was about 30 and my first rod was a David Norwich 10ft 7# with a Rimfly reel with a lot of spare spools and about 5 different WF lines Float, Intermediate and a variety of sinking lines. My next rod, which I still use, was a Hardy Ultralight Plus 10ft 7# three piece and a great all rounder and I purchased 2 Ultralight reels with a spare spool for each.
My local fly fishing shop owner was doing trips to Canada and I was invited to go to Vancouver Island about 17 years ago now. I took my Hardy Ultralight and a Magnum 200d reel. The rod performed well but the Magnum cork drag melted on my second Chinook. Next trip I had a pair of Redington AF 7/8 reels which had a much better drag but my knuckles kept getting clobbered by handle when a big chinook decided to run for the sea.
This was my first great purchase that was a game changer when I bought a Danielsson 7/12 Control reel which made the playing of large fish a dream.
My first double handed salmon rod was a B and W EXPERT 15ft 10# and I used a Wet Cel 2 and a full float spey line both DT. The next rod was a Vision 14ft GT4 Catapult which is still my favorite rod and I can fish with this rod all day. I also have the 13ft and 15ft models and would not part with them.
As mentioned in a previous post the new Scandi lines have been a revelation and I have a large selection of RIO AFS lines from 6/7# to 10/11#
So from my Tank Aerial at £2 to my latest Guideline 6 piece travel rod and my Rimfly to a Selection of Danielssons and Lamson reels which is my most memorable piece of tackle? I think I would have to go with the Hardy Ultralight Plus 10ft 7# because of it versatility as a reservoir bank and boat rod and a small river trout, salmon and grilse rod.
Merry Christmas and a good 2020 fishing season.
Tight lines.
 

Grassy_Knollington

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That Ultralight is a cracking rod. My dad got one of those new and I was amazed he could cast so far so easily with it. Great ST & Grilse rod.

He knocked a couple of rings off and stopped using it in the early 2000s. I took it in to get repaired by Chas burns a few years ago, secretly hoping he’d just suggest I keep it, no such luck, he’s started using it again for reservoirs.;)
 
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Craigk670

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Milboro ghillie and Abu Garcia 3000 original abu blue n silver droppen a ten pun hen back in the 80’s and hooked for life
 
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Aled

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I was a very lucky kid a friend my family was (sadly) dying... the Christmas before he died (RIP Eurwyn dal i feddwl amdanat yn aml xx) and he gave me a ABU Cardinal 57 reel for Christmas (I think he saw a mad keen fisherman in me) I caught some fish with that over the years most notably my first salmon in 1984. However my two best pals (and to this day they are still close friends) went halves on a Wilco landing net for my 18th birthday......i still use it now. Love those guys. So one more piece of tackle ...when I first started fishing Dad gave me a set of artery forceps, they are still around my neck on a piece of old fly line every time I go fishing, and have been for nearly 40 years!!!
Tight Lines All
Aled
 
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wetwader

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Good question and interesting views.
Most memorable?
The bad equipment on my first visit to Norway in 1982 as a Student, to try my luck for seatrouts and salmons and to explore this wonderful country.
No money - only little food, one Salami, a 2 liter bottle of raspberry syrup from my later mother in law, her lovely daughter with me and a tent, useful for Mediterranean environment.
The most memorable fishing equipment together with most memorable camping equipment was pressed into a Fiat Panda ( also useful for Mediterranean environment) ...
From a fishing view only trout and grayling equipment.
The said syrup bottle exploded under my girl friends seat near Narvik, after several thousand of kilometers on the worsest gravel roads of those days in a final deadly deep hole, hided and covered by water like many other holes...
Drinking water was no problem, but food was horrible expensive. I didn’t experience until then, to see a cucumber, parted in four pieces, packed each in plastic and sold separately. We were shocked.
Why I mention this?
I had to give my best in fishing, to feed my girlfriend and me in four weeks of holidays. I was fishing with worms and nymphs in Bavarian “big river trout and grayling technique”.
A Kunnan Match rod, paired with an ABU 506, depth of presentation regulated with a small float.
I caught a good number of Grilse, also a 20 pounder, but mostly seatrouts, also sea fish from the shore.
As full as the holes in the roads were with water those summer, so were the rivers and our tent.
My girlfriend didn’t want to stay in a wet tent all day and night, fighting the mosquitoes and their smaller cousins, coming through every tent hole inside. She tried fishing too, so I had to carry her across the rivers. She had only rubber boots, I had only hip high boots.
Memorable fishing boots. I like waders that keep me dry nowadays.
But fish were running. Tenting at the riversides and seatrout or Grilse on the campfire every day. All together very memorable.

I was seriously hooked in more than one sense. For the fishing alone, all longer holidays in further life ended up north or far in the Southern Hemisphere with comparable environment.

There also was a development in cars and fishing equipment since this first year.
I only kept the most important things, the rod, the reel and this hard proofed brave girlfriend of course.
The Emanzipation found it’s culmination later with own waders and own fishing equipment for her.
But we both don’t like grilled salmon or seatrouts anymore and prefer it done different from year one...

I didn’t miss a single year of fishing since then in Norway. In year two the transformation to flyfishing started.
Most memorable is my Sage RPL 690, built up in DIY with a detachable fighting butt. Some more Singlehanders, Loomis IMX followed, built up with lots of love.
But this said Sage rod stands out and was my weapon of choice for many years when it came to the mystical seatrout night fishing.
And the whole collection of my Hardy Marquis from Farlows of course. I liked them. First they couldn’t be loud enough, later tuned for less noise. I used other reels later on, but each of the memorable Marquis got its place in the Vitrine.
The Sage and Marquis #7 are mounted on the wall between two preparations of my biggest seatrouts of the early years.

Another transformation started, to Spey casting, Underhand casting - from singlehanders to doublehanders, of course Scandi influenced.
It’s strange, but what I feel in sentimentality for my first SH rods, I don’t feel for my DH rods. I gave away my 15‘ rod I caught my biggest salmon with, because performance was not what I expected.
I already mentioned it somewhere else. I see the DH rods more from a view of performance than I do with the SH rods. It must be something of priority’s: casting fun first and casting performance, then the connection to a specific fish. And in actual reality it is simply like that, a lot of casting, less fish...
That’s why most memorable DH rods are ones I still use.
First were an Orvis Graphite 13’ and an 15’. It was a hard way for us three to come together, a lot of work, experimenting with cutted and spliced DT lines, then Air Cel Intermediate. But undestroyable. I still keep them as my first DH rods. Most memorable because of all the start problems and collateral damages on flies, clothing and body parts.
Fun was coming later !
Of course the first real Underhand style rods by Göran Andersson came, the well known Brownies, in cooperation with Sage, the 3piece Sage GII/GIII rods, the different Loop series, the Loomis IMX and GLX Classic series, the Stinger series...
Of course this were real step ups in rod performance and many of us, like me, went through all this rods and series.
I caught fish with all those rods, some T&T rods and Vision rods too, but I don’t see them as highly memorable for me. Just some steps up, some down too, more as a slow process over many years and everything easy to adapt in a flow.
Most memorable for me in DH rods was, when I got the first LeCie rods in hands (first 3piece models).
Oh my god, wow. Now we were playing. It was like two persons of the same temperament and Passion were coming together to sing or dance Rock and Roll, one faster than the other, or talking parallel, but understanding, talking the same and wanting the same.
Of course this may have been ending different for others. But to possess them all said an imperative voice in me.
Most memorable, also some of the LPXe 3piece models, especially for me the 15’.
I still use most of them, all the LeCie 13’7 in 3piece configuration and the 12’6 models. Especially the 13’7 models are still my reference rods for performance.
Most memorable, after going through aIl sorts of shooting heads for me were of course the first Guideline shooting heads, then Triple-D lines, all to be customized.
Real game changer were some of the newer Nextcast lines, SalarFinder for the heaviest of salmon Fishing, on the big sticks as a triple density line, also for adaptability in sinking lines, some WA for lighter rods. Rio SVT and SSVT come to mind also.
Hard to beat. Of course those lines are easier to cast for beginners, as said by another member. But that’s not a negative attribute. If so, we had to go back to silk lines and greenheart rods. The modern lines and equipment in general can also do a lot more for the experienced.
No rod test without a selection of those lines for me.

Most memorable in waders, my first one, a cheap PVC waders. I could wade deeper, but the soles were simple rubber and gave no grip. Young and no fear of risks, wading and swimming was nearly the same, all too often.
In clothing most memorable was the common army outfit, mostly made of cotton - and finally to come away from it !

First breathable waders with boots and grippy soles, breathable jacket, combined with sportswear were a real upgrade in comfort and safety.

Nice memories, nevertheless !
And how easy it was to catch fish with the “wrong” equipment.
 

Walleye

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The first fly rod I used was an old split cane rod. On my 16th birthday I got a fibre glass fly rod. In my early 20's I bought my first fly rod with my own money, a 10'10" hand built carbon fibre fly rod from Blue Teal Tackle shop near Bishop Auckland. I caught my first fly caught sea trout and salmon with that rod. It was effectively a switch rod - the owner of the shop knew the river and the locals very well and that was the style of rod used for single handed fishing for migratory fish where you needed a long rod for high banks and the ability to roll cast.
25 years later that rod is still the rod I use for all of my single hander river fishing. About 5 years ago I bought a newer shorter Demon for stillwaters and it is a nice rod with the right line on it but not as good as my old trusty.

The testament to the quality of the rod and the build is that I really don't look after my gear. I use it hard and most things wear out in a few season. Last season I did my first bit of maintenance on the rod when I noticed one of the rings was loose so I eased it out and popped it back in with glue.
I am sure one day our relationship will come to an end but I still dread that day coming. If it outlasts me, I'll make sure it goes to someone else who will cherish it and fish with it. It doesn't deserve to end it's life in a loft or a garage. It should go out in a hail of splinters as the fish of a lifetime goes into a long run and it finally gives way. That would be nice.
 

Clydebuilt

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Love threads like this!

Out of all the gear (& no idea...) I hold the smallest original Abu Krill closest to my heart, that wee lure killed more fish than acid rain, still got a couple but terrified of losing them these days

And second was/is my 11' #6/8 Daiwa Amorphous Whisker Osprey Competition Special , two piece, screw in extension fighting butt and my first "proper" rod
That rod landed more fish than the Norwegian fleet ,from trout, seatrout, salmon, to mullet, macks and saithe.
No wonder I had Popeye arms back when lol
 
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