Hey, it’s Steve Rajeff over here at the G. Loomis fly display at The Fly Fishing Show 2017 in Somerset, NJ. We are talking about the new Asquith Series Rods. What is that? Asquith? Yeah, it’s a weird British name and I don’t know how the folks at Shimano in Japan decided to pick up on it, but that’s what we’re calling this series of fly rods. They use a new method of blank-making patented by Shimano several years ago and it’s the first application on a fly rod.
This method of manufacturing is called SpiralX manufacturing. It takes a very thin sliver of graphite and spiral wraps it on the mandrel (the tapered shaft the graphite is placed on). After this, the unidirectional graphite (the main body material) is added to the blank. On the outside, there is a counter-spiral. So, there is an inside helical going up the rod and an outside counter-spiral, offsetting any possible twist. It makes the rod very stable on a cast. It’s very intuitive. You aim for something and it goes straight there. There’s no wobble in your cast, it just tracks really well.
The actions of the rods are what we call progressive and medium-stiff. They’re not like broomsticks or anything. They load readily with braided line. We offer them in a single handed rod in a four weight through twelve weight. In the two-handed, spey rods they start in a size six and go up through size ten. These progressively get longer, from twelve feet, nine inches up to fifteen feet.
Coming back to this method of manufacturing, this double spiral business and the high-modulus material allows the blank to be extremely light, much lighter than any of our previous generations of rods. That’s one thing that makes a person say, “Wow! I can tell!” This is something so light, with remarkable casting, it recovers right away, it gives good line speed, it takes less work to cast. If you handle, let’s pick a number, an eight-weight rod, and you start working with it and you think it’s only a six weight or maybe a seven. It’s so nice and light in your hand.
So, anyway, we are here at the show in Somerset, talking about the Asquith Spey Rods and there might be a little sticker shock when you hear about it. These start at $1,200 and go up to $1,400 for the fifteen-foot, ten weight. So, a brand new benchmark on that and, I would say, a new benchmark in casting performance.