Slow? You have time to consider Trump as president and in control of the world’s second-largest collection of nuclear weapons between each stroke.
Yes, the new custom-built Ijuin Yomogi 7’ #3 glass rod I’ve been sent for review is that slow, in fact it reminds me very much of Bamboo, but without the weight or feeling you’ve gone back in time.
That’s no real surprise considering the man that sent it to me, Callum Ross of Indi River Rods is a renowned builder of Bamboo rods in Australia and now makes several custom glass builds as well.
Slow glass rods are nothing new, of course, but of late some of the newer stuff has picked up the pace a bit and moved from a traditional glass action to a more graphite-like feel.
Whether that’s progress or missing the point would of course come down to personal preference. I’ve tried both slow and fast glass and liked both and wouldn’t want to make the call on which is better.
If your preferred glass action is old school—and this rod makes a strong case for that—the vivid green Yomogi is to glass what bacon is to eggs and I loved every lazy swing of it from testing on the lawn when it first arrived to hammering some boulder-strewn fast-moving picture of a stream I know where a faster four-weight would be more sensible.
It’s truly a wonderful twig.
The action demands that you take your time and not push the rod, but the rewards for slowing down are many. The first is the feeling you could, at leisure, land the fly on a dime anywhere within twenty to thirty feet without a ripple and another is that the rod almost demands that you relax while you fish.
Like fast rods? Need to cast full lines? Stop reading now and have a look at the review of the Sage One 7’6 #3.
After initially testing the rod over grass with a couple different lines I sent Callum an email and asked him for his description of the action and this is what I got back:
“Kazutomo Ijuin (http://ijuin-rod.com) describes it as parabolic and of all the glass rods I have cast, it is certainly the closest to this description. Using bamboo as a reference, parabolic rods are usually described as a stiffer mid and lighter butt to transfer the flex to that area. In bamboo this can generally equate to a powerful loading rod that can require a little more timing when casting. To me, Tomo’s rod allows an easy flex/load that can roll out short leader only casts but still has the reserve power to bang out a longer line. Having said that it is a 7′ 3wt that in all reality should be catching fish within 30′ and then mostly at really short range (freestone feeder creeks?). I do wonder what someone purely accustomed to carbon with think about the deeper flex/lighter action. It is not a line speed thing, just a different feel.”
He could have just said it’s drop dead gorgeous and slow and he would have had my full attention.
The build of this rod is simple, straightforward and as close to perfect as I’ve seen in a custom rod. The reel seat is a nickel-silver sliding band over very beautiful Buckeye burl timer and the large cork grip is his take on a traditional cigar grip. It fit my big hands perfectly and I found it very comfortable.
The wraps are finished in marine spar polyurethane rather than epoxy. It is the same way that bamboo wraps are coated—whatever the material, the end result is very smooth and the build is very very impressive.
In terms of weight and balance, my Abel ‘0’ did the job well.
I tried all my current three-weight lines and also a new Airflow Super Dri Elite Trout #3 that the Manic Tackle Project sent a while back. They describe it as a general trout line and It’s a very good match for the rod. I will be doing a seperate review on this line in the coming weeks as I get more familiar with it, but in the meantime, you can check them out here:
Callum makes rods to order and can build on a wide range of glass blanks from lots of sources in all lengths and actions and with custom hardware to suit. If you can imagine it, Callum can probably make it happen.
The Yomogi he sent is roughly $600 to $650 including a cloth rod bag and tube and a real bargain in the custom glass rod scene—honestly, I thought it would be more when I asked the price.
If you’re interested in a custom glass or grass rod you can contact Callum at:
Like Callum, I’m a very regular reader of the Fiberglass Manifesto blog because it’s the centre of the fibreglass rod revival and always cracking good read – check it out.
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