Words by Leif Stävmo, Guideline Product Manager
LPs (Light Presentation Series) are Euro nymph/light dry fly presentation rods that offer an amazing experience. We have built these rods from scratch to offer the best balance between cost and performance. The end result is a small series of rods that are very user friendly, extremely light in the hand, not only from pure gram-weight, but also aided by the reel position right at the bottom of the reel seat, small guides and a lightweight blank. All these parts make up a balance that is remarkable in a mid pricepoint rod.
Last January, just when the mid-winter blues is at its most depressing point for most fly-anglers, two of our UK Power Team members, Alex Jardine and Lewis Hendrie, both extremely talented nymph anglers and previous UK World team members, launched the brilliant idea of a winter-grayling weekend on one of their local rivers to help curing the ”mental disorder” that the lack of fly fishing had on a few of us other members in the Team. Euro-nymphing was the way to catch these fish. Presentations and tactics needed to be spot on and it was amazing to be led into a new world of skills I knew nothing about. The thrill of being back at the beginner stage of fly fishing and just soaking up on so much cool, new knowledge and information was a true thrill.
In the cause of that weekend, we all got more and more excited over the results and the fun we had. It didn’t take long before we got into the subject of gear, what was so special for the equipment used for this style of fishing and if there was something that could be improved upon on the gear used today. Lewis, being one of the top competion anglers on the UK nymphing scene and Alex with a world of knowledge from professional guiding along these rivers and others around the globe, brought some invaluable ideas and comments to the table.
That, together with feedback regarding the needs of our dealers by Jim Curry, our UK representative and Chris Rownes who covers mid-Europe with lots of Nymph action in various styles, set the scene for the development of a dedicated, high-performance yet extremely attractively priced range of rods for the novis to intermediate angler who wants to step into the game or improve on their basic skills with a dedicated rod that ticks all the right boxes at the right price.
The rod development process.
During our time on the water that January weekend, we had the oportunity to lay our hands of some of the finest competition rods on the market, as well as fishing with rods of a more allround, compromising character between a traditional fly rod and a nymph rod, like our GL Fario Classics and Elevate rods. It became very evident that in order to perform very well when casting the nymph-rigs and working the very thin 6x and 7x tippets, our GL rods needed to be re-designed from scratch. At the same time, those of us who were new to the game had problems managing the competition rods, as our casting skills simply weren’t there to handle their actions.
We concluded that the best action in the new rods would be hybrid between these two types. It should be possible to create a rod that was relatively easy to cast also for a beginner or an intermediate skill-level angler, while carrying several of the performance features from the top end rods in regards to sensitivity, low swing-weight, fast recovery speed that eliminates any wave-like movement in the rods and also a toughness to the blank that made it possible to put good pressure on fish in need to be landed fast in order to minimize fatigue and stress on them.
We set out to further test and develop the ideas at our work shop and outdoor office (the river) at home, comparing current models with first prototypes both on our rod-wall and during actual fishing . Prototypes were sent to UK for evaluation, new generations of parts were made and tested several times, before we started to get close to the feeling we were looking for. Thanks to the dedication and inspiration of Lewis and Alex, It was one of the fastest and most efficient developments we have ever been involved in.
Parallel to the action development, we worked on the design features like guide types, guide numbers and sizing and not the least the guide spacing. Reel seat and grip area were carefully refined and a custom shape half wells grip courtesy of Lewis Hendries own, hand-shaped competition grip were developed and approved by the creator himself. Finally, after some discussions about the pro’s and con’s, we opted for a downlocking reel seat to place the reel slightly closer to the butt, in order to enhance balance with a small and light fly reel. We finished it off with a smooth and small EVA butt being soft and comfortable against the underarm when working the rod with raised and stretched arm which is so common in nymphing.