Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Rod Review: Wild Water Fly Fishing 9/10 wt

Well, I finally did it. I bit whatever bullet people refer to when they bite bullets, and bought a saltwater fly rod. I've been saving a little money each month. Researching the best options for my price range. Reading reviews. Asking peers. Doing all the things you are supposed to do before making a significant purchase.

The result? I went with an outfit. The 9/10wt 9' 4 piece Wild Water Fly Fishing Saltwater Starter Package. 

Some things you should know about me before we go any further. I've been fly fishing with a pretty flimsy 5wt for most of my fly fishing career. It is a rod I built myself in high school. I've have a pflueger reel on it and it has the same floating line on it now that it did when I first spooled it up. I know. I'm terrible. Secondly, I've briefly fished with a TFO, Sage and a Martin fiberglass 7-8 weight rods that give me my comparison for this review.

Who is Wild Water Fly Fishing? It is a relatively new company (founded in 2006) founded by Eric Dodds to fill a spot in the market by providing better quality rods for less money. Besides selling to individual buyers, it seems like the company is hoping to fill fly fishing guides' rod tubes with a quality rod for the .... unpredictable fisherman :)

So how did this baby hold up on it's first outing? In short, outstanding. The rod blank is listed as "slow," which left me expecting something comparable to my 5wt or the fiberglass. Maybe that was me being naive, but this rod was much faster than I expected. The weight distribution/balance felt very natural, and, when I was able to pull off a decent double haul, the line shot like butter. Smooth.

The cork handle was durable. The reel is sturdy and easy to control. After getting used to the clicking of a pflueger, it is odd to have something so silent. But I liked it. I even dropped the reel on the cement halfway through the day without any consequences (besides just being frustrated with my own foolishness). The rod even held up to a feisty speckled trout that should make its appearance in the next few days...

When I set out to buy a new rod, I wasn't necessarily looking for an outfit, but I was looking for a couple things in particular. I wanted a heavier weight rod. I wanted to spend less than $150 for a rod and reel. I wanted a 4 piece to make travel easier. I wanted a good warranty. I got all of those things with the Wild Water Rod. It has a lifetime warranty. No questions asked. The only stipulations are that it isn't transferrable between buyers. You have to register the rod, and it is $35 to get a new rod when you send it in. Maybe not as good as some warranties but much better than others. $35 for a brand new rod is pretty darn sweet. Of course, I hope to avoid it all together :)

Was I hesitant buying a brand that wasn't as well established as say, Redington, for example? Well, yes, a bit. But from the reviews I read, I felt safe with my decision. So far, I have no regrets, and I don't anticipate any in the future.

Here are the specs from the website:

Complete 9/10 Fly Fishing Starter Package for Saltwater

  • Blank Action: Slow
  • Blank Color: Dark Gray
  • Blank Flex: Mid
  • Length: 9 Feet
  • Line Size: 9 or 10
  • Material: IM6 Graphite
  • Number of Sections: 4
  • Rod Case Length: 31 inches
  • Rod Weight: 6.7 ounces
  • Winding Color: Black

Lifetime Warranty on the rod - not transferrable between owners. You also have to send $35 with the rod when you want it replaced. 
Center disc drag die cast aluminum large arbor reel
Backing and weight forward floating line
9' 0X tapered leader
Rod Case
Fly box with 3 flies (Candy Eel, Red and White Deceiver, and Swimming Crab)

I also tied several clousers for the outing. Here they are, in all their fluffy glory.


  1. nice article man!!!

    1. where are these rods made? seems like theres no way they could be so cheap being made in the USA?