Amazing UHM Series Rodsby: theangler
As most of you know, I've followed the product development and growth of John Kuehn's Anglers Roost over the last decade or so. What a remarkable story; without doubt, it certainly warrants the thanks and appreciation of fly fishers who have other financial concerns such as family, food, housing, healthcare costs and taxes. Best described as an obstinate bull-headed old fart, John is known to his clients and friends for his integrity, honesty, kindness, warmth, sincerity and love. He is a remarkable man.
Those who really know me, consider me an obstinate bull-headed old fart, too. Unfortunately, I lack John's genius for business. When I think of Angler's Roost , I think of fly fishing products - rods, reels, lines, etc. - all of proven quality and priced to the fly fisher far below the idiotic prices being asked in today's flaky economy and guided by the philosophy, "Let's get what we can and run". (Let me share with you a secret: I find it difficult to believe any graphite rod is worth $700 to $1000 dollars regardless of how much money you have in your pocket.)
But first, the rods...
The UHM term is not just new to the Angler's Roost, it's the new, "Hi-Tech" title for top-end graphite rods maxing out near the thousand buck mark. (Just think: a few years ago a thousand bucks bought you a damned fine bamboo rod.) This is one of the reasons I have so much respect for John; and yet, one man crusades are supposed to have ended years ago. Yep, he's quite the guy. Here we are talking about a new rod with a new fabrication, the UHM series, that uses basically the same general formula of ingredients to build the blank to produce the rod that is every bit as great a performer as rods priced hundreds of dollars more.
I used one of John's new Canadian lines for the majority of the casting tests. The rod performed so well that I jumped line weight up through WF-4F, to WF-5F, using both Cortland's Sylk and Sci-Anglers Sharkskin. Although both lines are different in many aspects, I was surprised at their performance. Not surprisingly, Sharkskin took distance and Sylk took control and special casts.
The big deal to John's new rods will come as a great surprise: all rods of the UHM series will include a perfectly matched tip section at no extra charge. You might want to call some of the big guys like Orvis, Sage, to check the fine print about what they plan to do for you if their mega-buck rod fails... If they suggest you need to carry a backup, I think it's fair to say you may have a problem. (By the way, great fly rods do require an experienced fly fisher to care for them properly.)
"Good Morning Doug, The 11 2-handed ARE (Angler's Roost) rods can be divided into 4 switch rods at 11ft., 4 compact Spey rods at 12 ft. and 3 Spey rods at 13 and 14 ft. The 2-handed rods follow in the same style and manner that you have experienced in UHM singles, extremely light, crisp & clean fly line delivery with the fastest speed of recovery imaginable. The tapers are fast and tippy and yet very fluid throughout the casting stroke. The ARE rod tapers in this new UHM material creates a massive grain window and will allow the caster to go beyond both ends of my very conservative line tables. Hope this gives you some material to work with. All The Best, Steve."
Seems to me that in a few short words, Steve said just about all there is to say about John's 2-handed rods; and, by the way, many thanks for the chart giving recommendations on grain weight(s) for this series of rods.
One of the things that might bother a few fly fishers is the question as to whether or not the spring-and-pawl set up works -- especially in this day of disc drags that many manufacturers would like you to believe can stop Jaws in less than a hundred feet. Since I never had one of them, I can tell you that a spring-and-pall setup won't work either; it will, however wear-down the fish until he surrenders. And if a single spring-and-pawl is o.k., than it follows that two are better.
By Doug Macnair
Added: Tue Jun 25 2013
Last Modified: Tue Jul 09 2013