Greys Greyflex M2 10 1/2 7/8 Fly Rod
By Ian Scott
I was invited back to compete in the Canadian Fly Fishing Championships this year with The Ospreys team. This year's championship is all lake style fly fishing, mostly from rowboats with one venue casting from shore into a pond.
With so many great rivers within a short drive for me, I've not really done much of this style of fly fishing and definitely needed to get some new gear if I was going to compete. And then practice with it. On the advice of an Irish Loch fly angler, I picked up a Greys Greyflex M2 10 1/2' 7/8 wt. at J Braddell & Sons Tackle Shop in Belfast, Northern Ireland during my recent visit there.
When I arrived back in Canada, the rod safely making the trip in the solid and sturdy cordura tube, I rigged it up with a Cortland 444 7 wt. sink tip line and started practicing. I have to admit at first, I was a bit disappointed in the rod - but then, wasn't sure if it was me not being used to casting long and heavy rods.
It wasn't bad - but casting the rod, I sometimes felt like the rod was "collapsing" on me while casting the line 50 feet or more. Turns out there were probably two issues.
First, I needed to improve my casting style while sitting in a rowboat. An evening with the great casting instructor Neil Houlding helped tune that part up.
The second issue was the combination of what seems like a soft tip on the rod and the Cortland sinking tip line. Using a full sink (either DI-3 or DI-5) or floating line, and the rod seemed to come to life for me. The other interesting thing to me was that the rod seems to feel really nice when casting the Airflow Sixth Sense 6/7 line, which should in theory be too light. But I've found that combination - this 7/8 wt rod using the Sixth Sense 6/7 lines to add a dozen feet to what I was casting with the heavier line.
I also really enjoy the backbone power in the rod when lifting the line from the water. This can be quite advantageous when casting from a sitting position in a rowboat (competition rules state that anglers must be sitting at all times when casting, fishing, fighting and netting the fish).
A couple of minor issues with the rod:
1. The reel seat only comes with a single locking nut. I think a rod of this size should probably have double locking nuts.
2. I had to fit the ferrules together more snugly than I do with other graphite rods. I noticed a few times that they had come loose - once when it was too late and on a forward cast, the tip section went flying out. But this isn't really a negative for the rod - just something I'll have to get used to being a bit more alert to.
As mentioned above, the rod comes with a very sturdy rod tube - triangular in shape which is a great idea to prevent it from rolling around like traditional round tubes.
The U.K. suggested retail price is 189 Pounds Sterling - close to CDN$400.00. This might be a reasonable price in the U.K., but here in North America it seems a bit high considering it's not the lightest 10 1/2 footer around! But overall, I'm really enjoying fishing this rod once I managed to find the right line combination which include limited use of the sinking tip line.
Greys is owned by Hardy Brothers and Greys rods and gear is distributed in Canada through the Canadian Hardy distributor, Highfields. In the US, there doesn't appear to be any Greys distributors or dealers, so going through the Canadian distributor is probably your best bet.