The three pc decision was made for best flex (solid middle section) and durability while being practical. A 4 or 5pc would travel well but this rod has a rather rough day job and it might be fragile with so many ferrules to watch.
I put this and other rods in a hard case and check it as baggage, keeping a single 5-pc single hander with my carry-on luggage in case I get to some faraway destination and my luggage does not arrive till the last day.
As far as being a good fishing tool I think our call to make it 11ft was right on the money. When holding the upper grip the tip guide is just about the same distance from the hand as a 9ft rod's tip. Based on over 10 years of experimentation I believe another 18 inches (12'6") changes things dramatically in the strip-retrieve and fish landing department, never mind another 48" inches of graphite on a 15 ft'er.
I can honestly say that as I become more accustomed to fishing the sea with a two-hander the single hander seems less practical all the time.
On the flats I thought it would be best to bring the lighter single hand rod when the skies were bright, but recently I've found that I fare much better with the 1109 All-arounder since I can see the fish further away, they can see me better and so I can take more effective lead shots even some of over 100ft on a flat without even breathing hard. The fish don't even know I am there by the time I set the hook at high noon on a bluebird day.
I now believe that the lighter single hander is a better tool for low light since the fish and I don't see each other until we almost bump into each other.
Unless the sun completely disappears and I search for a tide rip or hit the ocean surf, when I really miss the two-hander again. Fishing big waves with a single hander is just plain hard work, and a raging ocean tide rip begs for long casts and high grains to keep the fly from swinging out of the current too fast.
When blind casting, which I try to avoid, I find it much more satisfying to air out casts of 120ft or more. It also keeps the fly "in play" a lot longer and increases the chances of a positive encounter.
I think there is a 'hump' that the adopter needs to overcome before they accept the benefits without reservation. By the time an angler becomes proficient at single hand overhead casting, they're at a point where teaching them a new trick is not as easy. The first time someone throws a two-hander they will battle with years of muscle memory. This same nuance is evident in the Spey casting community worldwide, it's just human physics and nature.
But like Spey fishing, there are distinct advantages for those who get over the hump particularly for those who fish the sea, IMHO.
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