Thursday, June 25, 2020
Wildstream Rocky Mountain 10 ft. 7wt. Review & A Special Announcement!
I first learned about Wildstream fly rods at the Tahoe Truckee Fly Fisher’s annual summer BBQ a few years ago. Fellow TTFF club member James Kissinger had a few rods to demo and I gave them a few casts. Knowing they were made overseas like many of the top brands in the industry, I was not surprised how enjoyable they were to cast. James is also the US representative for Wildstream which includes other duties like design, distribution, marketing, and many other details. He’s been a long time loyal follower of mine so a few weeks ago I invited him to go fishing with me at Lake Davis, and he also brought the Rocky Mountain 10 foot 7wt.for me to test. I actually ended up fishing the Wildstream 9 foot 5wt. Horizon model that day (an excellent rod in its own right) but promised James I would test the Rocky Mountain on my own time when I could dedicate my attention to an honest evaluation.
While up at the lake on a catch up day between guide trips, I busted out the 10 foot 7wt. and spent about 2 hours testing it with different exercises and drills. As most of you know from my years of providing fishing reports, I tell it like it is – good or bad. Fabricated fishing reports to generate revenue are not my method of operation. At first while the rod was in my hand, I flexed it and to be honest it felt heavy and sluggish. At that point I thought ok, let’s not be biased here and really give it a thorough work out with an open mind.
I used a Redington Behemoth 7/8 reel, which I’ve used for a while now for large trout in stillwaters, steelhead, and stripers. It’s a large arbor design with an incredible drag for superior stopping power on those big finned athletes. I though the reel would be too heavy and not balance out the rod, but fully lined up it did indeed balance out the entire package. The flex pattern of the Rocky Mountain is a medium action with almost a glass type of feel to it. That’s what threw me off when I first handled it due to fishing so many newer fast action rods lately. Luckily I grew up with slow to medium rods and knew just how to get the most out of it. A rod like this is in its happy zone when loaded and not over powered, especially on the forward cast. Once I made a series of false casts I began to understand its slower tempo, and the cannon was unleashed.
Yep, this rod is a serious cannon – Boom! A 70 foot cast with minimal effort is not a problem with the Rocky Mountain, and if I had greater skills I’m sure I could cast it even farther. I tested the rod at Camp 5 on the west shore of Lake Davis during the heat of the day. Knowing that I would not be catching any trout due to the warm water temperatures, there was a hope that some bass might be interested in my olive bead head Jay Fair Wiggle Tail. Sure enough I hooked into six medium sized bass that gave the Wild Stream Rocky Mountain a good workout. I had on 4x and the softer tip helped to protect the 6 pound test tippet and not one fish broke off, even while I was trying to be aggressive, quickly playing them in. One of the bigger bass ran for cover into some thick weeds after being hooked but amazingly the rod had really good lifting power to bring the bass in, including about 3 pounds of weeds attached to it. (LOL!) The rod also made long roll casts effortlessly and I could mend large amounts of line efficiently too, which the 10 foot length ultimately excels at. Snake guides, alignment dots, nice wraps, a full Wells cork grip, and most importantly a comfy fighting butt that provides the needed leverage for fighting large fish complimented the outfit.
Overall, I’m happy with its performance and really looking forward to using it this coming fall at Lake Davis, and on my annual steelhead trip to the Trinity River this coming November. I’ve always used 7wt. rods on big stillwaters for two reasons – When you hook a slab, you’re in total control of the fight all the way to the net, and if there are gale force winds, there are no worries as the weight of the rod has the power and the backbone to punch through it, providing for a successful presentation.
Wildstream Fly Rods are priced to be affordable for all anglers to enjoy. The Rocky Mountain 10 foot 7wt. retails for $160 including an extra tip section, rod case, and protective sleeve. You can order many different models of Wildstream fly rods from their website here at wildstreamfishing.com, or I’ll have demo rods available for you to fish with while on a guided trip with me in the future.
Special Announcement: I’m honored to be an official Guide Ambassador for Wildstream and a Technical Advisor! I look forward to helping out the Wildstream design team with testing, research, and development to make a better fly rod at an affordable price. Look for more reviews, articles, tips, and techniques in the future with Wildstream and many other companies I represent on my blog JonBaiocchi Fly Fishing News.
See you out there where the wild things are!