LPX Coastal – why 9’3” in length?

Our new Guideline LPX Coastal fly rods consists of totally new materials, a sturdy focus on environment and a new mindset for designing the ultimate rods for saltwater- and predator fishing! Thanks to the new building technique, we can make longer rods with the same feeling of a shorter one. The advanced materials and construction technologies of today make it possible to increase the length of rods while maintaining the hand feel of a shorter model.

With this technology at hand, we wanted to challenge the somewhat “stereotype” mindset that coastal rods have to be 9’ long. So we designed these rods to be 9’3” and by doing that, we added some obvious advantages to the performance according to our way of thinking. In this blog post Guideline Product Manager Leif Stävmo explains the Pros and Cons of 9’3” vs. 9’ length in our new 2021 rod series LPX Coastal.


The new LPX Coastal is the result of 3 years intense research and sourcing to find the optimum and best available solutions for both performance and a “greener” technology in every single component and part of the rod. The advanced carbon layup in these rods features C.A.P Technology (complex axial pattern) paired with a unidirectional carbon fiber structure for maximum strength and low weight. Unidirectional carbon fiber fabric is a type of carbon structure that is non-woven and features all fibers running in a single, parallel direction for maximum strength lengthwise. In a Complex Axial Pattern (CAP) prepreg layers are placed at varying angles to each other to maximize strength and stability in all directions. The properties and technical specifications of the materials used in these rods are the next level up from those used in our groundbreaking Elevation Series. Spectacular performance and strength despite an incredibly low weight.

The Pros and Cons of 9’3” vs. 9’ length in Coastal fly rods.

Sea trout fishing, like many other types of coastal fishing takes place in many different types of settings. Shallow, mile-long sand flats, high coastlines with rock and cliffs sloping into deeper water, fly fishing open water and bays from a boat, belly boat fishing etc. Looking at the different settings above, one immediately realizes that there isn’t one single rod length that will do it all in an optimized way.

Historically when wading up to waist high on coastal stretches and with swell sweeping in towards shore, the need for a longer rod has been obvious and going back in time, rods between 9’6” – 10’ in length were more the rule than the exception. On the contrary, these longer rods have never been useful during tropical- or other coastal situations fishing from a boat. The longer rod then becomes hard to manage both in terms of the increased distance to the water that the boat adds and also because the longer rod will be harder to manage when handling and fighting a big fish in close by the side of the boat. The trend and also the misconception that only 9’ rods work for coast fly fishing has led to a situation where the angler not always maximizes the gear and its potential with the circumstances and conditions/places he fishes.

+ PROS +

With the new CAP M4.0 Technology used in our new LPX Coastal rods, we wanted to challenge this stereotype thinking and decided to test a slightly longer 9’3” length against the classic 9’ length to see if we could gain some advantages from the extra 3 inches in length without sacrificing casting performance. The new materials made it absolutely clear that we would manage to build the same crisp, fast and responsive rods also with the added length. Swing weight was maintained extremely low, in fact the whole weight of these rods is amazingly light.

When casting the rod, we didn’t have any difficulties managing wind or line control in any different way to that of a 9’ rod. This wasn’t so surprising, neither were the interesting advantages we found. The slightly longer rod would be very helpful in keeping the fly line and fly a fraction further up from the water surface, especially noticeable when going for distance and aerializing longer line outside the rod tip. When wading between knee-deep and waist high, the advantages become very evident. It is simply amazing how much difference these extra inches add in reach during these situations.

The same also occurred when fishing from a float tube, where the low position also decreases the distance between the rod tip and water’s surface significantly. The added length in the rod helps keeping the fly from hitting the water in front of and behind the angler when casting. Fishing steep sloping shores where wading is limited also justifies the extra length of the rod, as it helps keeping back cast away from rocks or cliffs behind your back.

Wind has no noticeable effect on the slightly longer rod. It would probably be evident if the rod was 10’, but in this case not. When fishing from a boat, the added inches do not have a specific advantage, but we wouldn’t say that it is particularly negative for the performance either.

There is a reason for keeping the three heavier rod models at 9’ in length though. Being heavier line weights, they are often used with heavier and larger flies. The added weight in the rig puts more stress on hands, wrists, arms and shoulders, so in the cause of a full day of casting, the shorter rod length will help keeping fatigue away. We also expect these rods to be fished more regularly from a boat, so keeping them shorter is beneficial for that also. Another argument is that they will be used for larger fish like Pike, Tarpon, Tuna, Pollack and similar species that require a short leverage in the rod to be able to apply sufficient pressure to fight them efficiently.

– CONS –

None, except people’s misconception that only 9’ rods work for all kinds of coastal fly fishing!

About the different rods in the series:

9’3″ #5 & #6
The ideal tools for use on calm days on the open coast or in sheltered bays and coves where you need to present small shrimps and fry to cruising feeders that will spook easily. These rods have a crisp and very responsive action that casts nice and tight loops and manages fishing with delicate tippets thanks to a sensitive and well-balanced tip area.

9’3 #7 & 9′ #8
The allrounders for coastal flyfishing in Europe. These rods are built to manage larger flies, stronger winds and lines/shooting heads that sink when needed. The low swing-weight and great connection between tip and handle, make them a joy to cast and work during long sessions. The actions are quite fast, but with maintained feel of the load down towards the bottom third of the rod when you challenge them and power up your cast.

9ft #10 & #12
The two heavier models in the Coastal Series lend themselves extremely well to either Sea fishing for Halibut, Pollack and Tuna, or for Tropical fishing targeting, Permit, Jacks, Tarpon and other Gamefish that roam in warmer waters. These rods are strong, yet very light and are built to have enough power to fight big fish efficiently from the bottom part of the rod, while maintaining a good casting action through a more tolerant and flexible top half.

Words by Leif Stävmo – Guideline Product Manager
Images by Alvar G Santillan & Henrik Larsson

Leave a Reply