Tag: tip-flex

Rod Review: Orvis TLS Power Matrix 908-2 Tip-Flex 9.5

gear bagOrvis’s TLS line has been around quite a few years, and has certainly been the target of its fair share of reviews. But we fly fish in a world where four piece rods are the norm, and when I found this Orvis TLS Power Matrix 908-2 Tip-Flex 9.5 I figured it would be an oddity in my gear closet too. Yea, it’s a two piece, but my arm was twisted into giving it a go. The intended use – tromping around Denver looking for big smelly carp, a purpose for which assembly convenience trumps inability to stuff it into a commercial airliner’s overhead storage bin.

Since it’s an older model, I’ll be brief. This will be a single part review too (lucky you) since I’ve already fished the rod several times.

Fit and finish

The rod came in a nice burgundy colored cordura covered tube, complete with a zip away cap and a black cordura carry handle. There was no rod sock included – a simple divider is built into the tube. More ‘less parts’ is fine by me, and the tube is durable enough that a person could re-purpose it for a friendly came of stick-ball if so desired.

orvistlstube

The rod finish is glossy forest green, and just slightly darker around the wraps. If nothing else, green feels good – I now have less green in my pocket but I can probably spin it as part of some environmental cause. There are two black anodized stripping guides – the rest of the [snake] guides are nickel – and the reel seat is gloss black. The finish on the reel seat looks and feels tough – identical to that on several premium saltwater rods I’ve owned for years that still don’t have a scratch on them.

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Review of the Orvis Zero G 906-4 Tip-Flex 10.5 (Part II)

gear bagI whipped this rod around for ten hours straight, just like I said I would. I’m anxious to describe how I feel about its performance, but I think a little primer is due first…

Roughly ten years ago, one of my fanatical fly fishing friends booked a trip to the Bahamas and stuck me with half the bill – so I went, if only to make sure he didn’t bullshit about all the bonefish he caught. We were out on the skiff day one, and he won the flip for first on deck. A few cruisers were spotted, but my buddy couldn’t reach them. Then I stepped up to the plate, and my bat was a rod (sorry – different brand) I had picked up in Miami just a month before during a secret Biscayne Bay practice session. It was a rocket launcher – nearly impossible to load without half the spool in flight, but when she did the bend right it was sayonara Crazy Charlie. Anyway, my buddy sits next to the guide watching, in awe that quickly turned to disgust – finally he gives, and we spent the rest of the day using one rod. When we returned to the dock, I picked up the gear and he sprinted back to the hotel – when I arrived he was on the phone with outfitters on the mainland, looking for that stick. He finally found one, in California, and had the shop do a FedEx Priority (yes, to the Bahamas).

The Orvis Zero G 906-4 Tip-Flex 10.5 may well find itself in a similar predicament. All I have to do is wind up on someone else’s big trout trip – I’ll demand we fish streamers, and then I’ll pull this puppy out. We’ll make sure there’s a company FedEx account handy.
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Review of the Orvis Zero G 906-4 Tip-Flex 10.5 (Part I)

gear bagThere are several people in the world who were tired of my incessant research on a new streamer rod. I’d been searching for months, read reviews until my eyes were sore, and cast at least a half-dozen different models. Sure, I already had a decent rod for streamers (the Sage 690-3 SP), and my short casting stroke and obsessive use of sinking lines and 6-inch pieces of dumbell-ed rabbit strip was pushing it – nonetheless I was pretty satisfied with its performance. I’d been lucky too – no multi-ounce flies had yet knocked a tip off – but I was in need of a backup quarterback just in case. Instead I wound up with what may be a starter – the Orvis Zero G 906-4 Tip-Flex 10.5.

Like my last ostentatious and frivolous purchase rod review I’ll being doing this one in two parts: paint and trim, and track acceleration (reels do the braking). I purchased this beauty from (where else?) Orvis – specifically from the Cherry Creek location. I’d hinted to the folks there that I was in want of a rocket launcher, and a few days ago Kerry Caragher said I had to cast this one. Fast forward to this afternoon – I was back in the shop, BYORL (bring your own reel and line) and out on the grass for a test drive. I’ll have more to report in regards to performance later, but I can say I was false casting 30+ feet of 5 inch/second sinker with barely a twitch of my elbow and some short tugs on the line – you guessed it…I was sold.

Following is the first half of the review, and some pics, of the latest addition to the quiver…
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