I bought a pair of 18' B&W "Experts" from a guy who walked into the Michael and Young Fly shop looking to sell a bunch of rods! I paid $100 each - CANADIAN! That is a screaming deal in fact Dave, the co-owner of M&Y still hasn't forgiven me for scooping him. Now these were brand new rods - both with the plastic sleeves still on the cork, but they were definitely older generation rods with fairly thin walled construction - that is why I bought the pair - insurance!
I used these rods everywhere and yes Fred, you will have to answer the "how long is that rod" question many times. And yes, you can cast prodigious distances and fish the fly properly way out there. While I still fish it occasionally, it is becoming a rarer occurrence each season. There are a number of reasons for this. The first is that I broke one 2 seasons ago (when I had Juro up on the Thompson) and now I am a bit paranoid about breaking the other!
As well, I have a significant (extravagant?) number of other rods to fish and I don't feel the macho need to impress with the size of my rod (though it was fun). However, I think the most important reason I've cut back is the effort required to fish it on a regular basis. I fished this rod 3-4 days every week on the Thompson for 2 months a season over a 3 year period and though I am big strong athletic guy, the rod eventually wore me out. Now it wasn't that I got tired each day or even each trip, it was the cumulative effect. Eventually, it was my wrists and finally the dreaded "Tennis Elbow". Today I sport wrist braces and a elbow brace for ALL my casting. As others have asked, is it necessary, of course it is not, I catch just as many fish on the Thompson with my 10151 and my 10160 (I can even come close to matching the 18's distance with the 10160). Lots of days I use a 14' Loop or my trusty 9140-3 and do just fine. Yet, on a busy November day I look at all the people and my mind goes for the big gun... in fact I'm still considering a certain 20' Hardy that was offered to me - I think it comes with its own brace system!
Fred, have fun with your new toy - but be careful, it is not to be trifled with.
Tight lines - tyler.
Still Living Large!
Last edited by kush; 01-15-2002 at 12:45 AM.