Spring Edition

Spring Edition
Spring Edition

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Elkhorn 509-4 AMP Rod Review

I finally had a chance to test the new Elkhorn 905-4 AMP fly rod and was pleasantly surprised at the performance. The rod was delivered to me by manager Dan McGann and Jim Cooper of the Elkhorn Fly Shop in Loveland, Co after learning about my misfortune last December when my truck was stolen including most everything I owned, including my guide gear. I was completely blown away at that simple act of kindness, and so grateful.

The first stage of the test was to simply cast the rod on the grass fields of Pioneer Park here in Nevada City, while varying different lengths of line both two-step casting and false casting. The line chosen for the test was a RIO Perception weight forward in a size 5 to match the official rod weight. The AMP loaded quickly and easily with about 25 feet of line out. The rod is tagged as a medium-fast action rod and I found that to be pretty much spot on, except the tip is a bit softer than most rods that I use, which I can appreciate as it protects tippets from breaking off on larger trout. The blank is manufactured in Korea to specific specs and hand built by the Elkhorn staff in Colorado.

The best way I can describe the action is very smooth and crisp, it’s the kind of rod that is just fun to cast. I set up a few targets to cast to and the AMP responded better than I thought with dialed in accuracy. When it came to distance and false casting an excessive amount of line out the tip, the rod did not collapse or wither. It actually excelled with a longer amount of line and the AMP seemed to be in its happy place. The shooting ability of line was also very good. As a big stillwater angler, this rod would easily excel at Lake Davis or Frenchman Lake when casting to far away targets like large cruising rainbows during the damsel migration. 
I fished indicator rigs with added split shot and heavy flies and the AMP could turn over the entire package well, but it even mended better. In my opinion though, it excelled most at fishing dry flies. The way the fly presented itself on the water with a delicate landing and combined with great accuracy now has me reconfiguring my arsenal for this summer. The AMP will be my go to dry fly rod on the technical waters of Northern California. I honestly cannot wait for the PMDs and Green Drakes to pop and have this rod at my side. I have a good feeling about how the AMP will increase my enjoyment for such.

Aesthetically the AMP is a real looker. The rod features a really cool custom reel seat and a glowing olive green color that punches out when the sun hits it just right. Simple snake guides and beautiful wrappings round out this gem. Bottom line and overall review is…impressive and extremely versatile. Here is how Elkhorn Fly Shop describes the Amp on their website:

The new 905-4 is the newest addition to the AMP Series of rods. This 9 foot 5 weight 4 piece rod is designed with performance and aesthetics in mind. This fly rod is finished with an “unsanded” blank which adds strength and reliability to the rod while adding a beautiful olive acrylic finish. This is a medium-fast action rod with a progressive taper that will definitely suit any level of caster with its control and feel. You won’t find a better value in the market from any maker at any price if you’re shopping for a high end rod – Period!

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