|TFO Rod with a wild small stream brookie|
My first trip out with the rod was during my camping trip this past july. I fished a nearby feeder creek to first try it out and get used to the casting rhythm. I quickly found that the rod does well. As any 3 weight will do, if their is wind, you are going to struggle. But without the wind, the rod would lay out quite a bit of line, and drop it with the softest presentation. When paired up with the SA GPX fly line it performed great. It casts dries and nymphs with ease. However, if you are nymphing with an indicator, it doesn't do as well if the indicator is 7 or 8 feet above the fly. So keep that in mind. However, my first time out with the rod, I didn't have a tangle the entire time. A great sign that it casts fairly well.
In addition, I took it with me on a day hike where I had to cover almost 4 miles with a total elevation change of 800 feet each way. The rod was packed away for the trip, but it being so light felt good when I got to the stream. The stream I fished it on was loaded with brookies ranging from 6 to 10 inches. It did quite well each time, and was able to cast the line to the areas that I needed it to go. The only downside on this trip, is that the rod is a 2 piece rod, instead of 4 making it a bit more cumbersome to carry into the back country than a 4 piece rod, that would attach to my pack.
Most recently I took the rod to my favorite brown trout hunting ground. Here I found that the rod struggles some with large dries. It really does best with the more traditional small 12-16 size flies, compared to a large hopper. On this trip, I hooked into a very large 18" brown trout. Even on a 6 weight this trout would have been a trip to land. On the 3 weight though, I couldn't get any leverage on him. If he chose to head out, I basically let him take the line with pulling against the drag to wear him out. One thing I should note. Multiple times I had my fly line through the leader into my guides, and the guides allowed the line to go back out snag free each time it occurred. eventually the trout was worn out enough that he didn't dive for the depths when my net approached. Though it was difficult to net the fish, as the rod just doesn't have the lifting power to bring his head out of the water much to allow for an easy net job. Though again, that is to be expected with a 3 weight rod.
Overall, my impressions with the rod were excellent. TFO puts out a quality product, and their $25 no fault replacement policy makes this rod an excellent choice for somebody looking to get into fly fishing, or adding an additional rod to their collection.
Based on my impressions, I'm going to the give the rod a 4 out of 5 trouts.