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Cortland Fly Rods

Joined:
2006/11/16 20:06
From Lebanon County, PA
Posts: 27
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I have only been flyfishing for a few years and I love it. One of my favorite rods is a Cortland Graphite CL 9' 5/6 wt that I use on larger streams and for fishing nymphs and streamers. The rod casts beautifully with plenty of power for dealing with wind. I hear many people raving about the high end rods and wonder what I am missing. Does anyone on this board have any experience with the Cortland CL series of rods? What do you like or dislike about them? Thanks for your help.

Posted on: 2006/12/12 22:54


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/11/7 8:32
From South West FL
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I have never fished a cortland. I'm not going to tell you that you need a 500.00 fly rod either. However, the difference between high and low end rods is tremendous. Fly fishers without a lot of experience usually can’t tell the difference between rods. Many fly fishers have never fished more than 1 or 2 rods before and don’t know what there missing by not fishing them. If you only ever drive a Chevy you don’t know the difference between that and a Mercedes. Higher quality rods are great and once you get used to one you'll never understand how you fished a low end but ignorance is bliss. I loved my first fly rod until I upgraded. I still like that rod but I love my newer one more and so on and so on. This is part of the sport that we love. Anyway, "high end rods" do fish better but if you like your rod now then save the money. SAGE and Orvis rods are great and manufacture models that cast well for around 350.00. But no pressure.

Posted on: 2006/12/13 9:17


Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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As someone who doesn't own high-end rods, I have to say that while they may be more pleasant in the fist, It would take a lot to convince me that they are capable of catching more or bigger fish than the low-end rods.

Posted on: 2006/12/13 9:56
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Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/9/13 18:28
From chester ct
Posts: 506
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Capt - your analogy between cars and fly rods is very apt. For sure, 30 years ago, there was a lot of difference between high and low end stuff. However, these days, there is far less difference, especially in terms of pure functionality.

Cortland has always had excellent value at the various price points, and even their starter stuff (I recall C/L as up the curve a bit?) is quite nice.

Same thing with wines. Even the basic stuff is usable these days, though admittedly with all of these, you can spend lots of money and there are differences, if you are looking for them.

tl
les

Posted on: 2006/12/13 10:43


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/11/7 8:32
From South West FL
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We aren’t fly fisherman if we aren’t looking to upgrade something. That’s why I said ignorance is bliss, the lower end stuff def. works well too. In the hands of a good fisherman any rod will catch anything. It is a rods functionality per each individual that separates who likes what rod and why. I will tell you that on a trout stream there isn’t much difference. On a saltwater flat with a little wind you’ll want a better rod for distance.

Posted on: 2006/12/13 10:58


Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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2006/9/9 17:32
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While I'm not familiar with the CL series I have always liked Cortland products. I think they're an excellent value and fish quite well. Certainly high end rods are great - esp the break 'em and replace 'em option that has become the standard - but effective casting I really think is much more a function of practice and experience. I used to use higher end rods but I am hard on tackle and, after busting a Loomis on Letort in the 80s, I replaced it which a much cheaper Cortland and never looked back. I now pretty much build all my fly rods and use price point blanks and not a whole lot of attention to detail when I build 'em. While I don't get free replacement when I break rods (snapped my 10Wt last weekend ) I can re-cycle many of the parts and enjoy building new ones. Anyway, I have some Cortland products that have served me well and am confident the rod you're interested in will work fine. High end rods have their merits and, esp if you like a fast action, do cast very well but they will hardly make you a better fisherman and won't increase your enjoyment of the sport. I do think some new fly fishermen are a bit prone to gear envy.

Posted on: 2006/12/13 15:10


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/9/11 13:05
From Lewistown
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my first rod was a Cortland. fished it for 2 years and occasionally break it out. It is a 6/7 wt. and I perfer 4 wts. so that's probably the main reason i don't fish it. Jack pretty much said when he stated that a more expensive rod doesn't garrentee more fish. Matter of fact, I believe I have caught more fish in my first 2 years, than the past 2 with my $400 G Loomis; I even fished more these past couple. however, it had nothing to do with the rod. It was the fish that decided what they wanted to eat.

Bottom line -- if you like it stick with it. but it is nice to treat yourself once in a while.

Posted on: 2006/12/13 15:55
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Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/11/16 20:06
From Lebanon County, PA
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Thank you all for your input, I have enjoyed this conversation about low end vs high end rods. Everyone shared some good insights that I appreciate. MKern, I notice you are from the Williamsport area, I do most of my fishing on the Loyalsock in Sullivan County.

Posted on: 2006/12/13 18:47


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/9/10 21:53
From Greensburg, PA
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Quote:

CaptMatt wrote:
We aren’t fly fisherman if we aren’t looking to upgrade something. .


I know an old guy who still won't fish with anything other than his 40+ year old bamboo. He has upgraded to other than silk line, however. About 15 years ago he said he just couldn't keep it clean any longer and the polution was eating it up.

I have a great little 7ft 3wt cortland I bought when I lived in Idaho. It was only my second rod ever. I still like that rod.

Posted on: 2006/12/13 21:10


Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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2006/9/13 12:42
From Altoona, PA
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Quote:
I will tell you that on a trout stream there isn’t much difference. On a saltwater flat with a little wind you’ll want a better rod for distance.


I don't fish the salt, but I do fish for smallmouth. When you are casting big, weighted, air resistant flies any advantage you can "buy" is a blessing. But throwing a #16 adams on a trout stream 20' is much less taxing task.

I don't own a Cortland CL, but I use the Cortland FairPlay outfits to teach casting with my TU Chapter. Everytime I use them I am impressed. They can punch out a good cast a good distance.

I own some nice rods also. I use them and like them very well. But I could say the same of the low end rods I own also.

I'd say it's more important to get rods that compliment your casting style, and your philosophy toward fishing. Don't get a high end rod because you feel you should. Don't avoid them because you should.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 8:46
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Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/12/13 9:28
From Other side of the tracks
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I've had the pleasure to try out some very nice rods belonging to friends. Sage, Winston, etc. and i suppose if I fished big water all the time I might spring for one, because I did find there is more of a difference than I expected with long casting on a lawn. But I don't think the difference is big enough to warrant extra money unless I will use it a whole lot. Most rods are way overpriced. No way should a fly rod cost more than a field grade shotgun? I prefer small streams where the difference is pretty much nullified anway.

My advice is use what you like and what feels comfortable, and don't buy a new rod without casting it first. Many fly shops will allow this. Support the fly shops. Heck, many fly anglers here will let you cast their gear if you hit it off.

I haven't owned a Cortland in quite awhile, so i can't comment on those, but i've owned some really cheap stuff and they caught fish. It is all about what you like.

I own a 5 weight Orvis Clearwater, and a St. Croix 5/6. Both approximately the same length. St' Croix is 8 foot. Between those two, the Orvis is the backup. don't get me wrong, the Orvis is a good rod, but even though the S.C. cost less 9new), I like the moderate action of the S.C. I just don't have the feel with the Orvis. Both were aquired used. the Orvis was a gift. Don't be afraid to look into used stuff if you want to save a little money. There is lots of good used stuff out there that can be had for quite a bit less than new.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 10:06


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/11/7 8:32
From South West FL
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TomGamber -I know an old guy who still won't fish with anything other than his 40+ year old bamboo. He has upgraded to other than silk line, however. About 15 years ago he said he just couldn't keep it clean any longer and the polution was eating it up.

If I could afford a rod like that or aquire an old one, I'd fish it forever too. Always wanted a bamboo rod for trout. I'll bet that guy atleast upgraded his net or forcepts a few times. ha ha.

Posted on: 2006/12/14 12:21


Re: Cortland Fly Rods

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2006/12/19 10:16
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I went out fishing yesterday and (through my own stupidity) snapped the end off my fly rod. I did the same thing last year. If they had beem $500 rods, I would have gone back to bass fishing.

Posted on: 2006/12/19 10:19


Re: Cortland Fly Rods
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2006/9/9 19:16
From Dallastown, PA
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Quote:

ptail1945 wrote:
I went out fishing yesterday and (through my own stupidity) snapped the end off my fly rod. I did the same thing last year. If they had beem $500 rods, I would have gone back to bass fishing.


If they had beem $500 rods, you could send them back for a replacement for about $20 +shipping.

Everyone needs to realize that there isn't much difference between the cheaper tool and the more expensive except that the more expensive uses better quality hardware (more expensive) and are guaranteed. (which means you pay for it twice so if you send it back the company doesn't go broke. BION, lots of people who break rods do not send them back...

Anyway, when buying a rod, you are buying; the action of a blank, quality of hardware, and a guarantee or not. This should help anyone steer clear of a bad value. To me, a $500 rod that doesn't cast well for me is not a good value, nor am I impressed with the rod because of its price. I know guys that are gear heads and name droppers, cheapskates and dime droppers.

I am not impressed by any of it...I would suggest taking a bunch of rods that others may own, tape over the name put them on a table and one at a time, cast them. Chances are one will feel like it is part of your arm while others feel like a broomstick or a noodle. Now you've found your rod. Peel off the label and surprise yourself as to your rod fit. Try to make it fit your value profile, forget about name dropping. I have a Winston, Orvis, T&T, Nobody cares but you. I have some big name rods and some with big pricetags and some of those cast poorly compared to their cheaper counter parts, or better yet, don't fit the type of fishing that they were purchased for, so they end up only coming out for special occasions...during windy days on a smallmouth river or as a back up for steelhead.

Also remember that the discounted rods (still with guarantees) from the major manufacturers were the top of the line last year but now a new marketing name was placed on them with very little performance value added. These are great values because next year, this years line iwll be a year old...in fact unless you bought a rod this year, you have an old rod. Thing is, Unless you are a gear head who has to have the latest greatest "mac daddy" equipment, you will have to settle for what you have. so it might as well be utilitarian and fit your casting style/value profile.

Maurice

Posted on: 2006/12/19 11:44

Edited by Maurice on 2006/12/19 22:23:24
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Re: Cortland Fly Rods

Joined:
2006/9/13 22:36
From Tioga co. formerly of bucks co.
Posts: 5502
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it's funny i downgraded from T3's and TLS's to clearwater classics.and i teach this sport..high end are fine but with the technoligies the lower rods will fish just as good...

Posted on: 2006/12/19 18:00
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