The WildStream Horizon 9ft. 5 weight is not just another run of the mill standard 5 weight rod you’ll find in the fly fishing industry. It’s a unique rod that is high in performance and the flagship of the entire WildStream line up. The Horizon would be considered an all rounder model that can do it all, and do it well. Wanting a dedicated dry fly weapon, I tested this rod a few weeks ago on the Yampa River in Colorado to get an accurate feel for it for two reasons – Precision dry fly presentations, and fighting large trout. It excelled magnificently at both.
The construction of the Horizon is made up of IM 10 graphite, a grade 4A cork full wells handle, top of the line snake guides, and nicely blended wraps with a slight flash of single gold bands. It is extremely light too. It doesn’t feel like a powerful rod, but once under load it has the ability to cast at a greater distance as I first found out last June while testing it at Lake Davis. This is a fast action rod that has a semi softer tip. I like my dry fly rods with a softer tip to help protect delicate tippets under large loads which results in less break offs. Faster action rods can definitely help beginner to novice fly anglers be more successful at false casting and distance. The most impressive characteristic to me with the Horizon was the accurate pin point placement of a size 20 dry fly with technical presentations to active targets.
I matched a Sage Spectrum LT 5/6 reel with a RIO weight forward 5 Perception line to the Horizon which balanced it perfectly. If you’re not going to cast over 40 feet with this rod I would choose a RIO Gold line with its half size larger construction, or go a full line size over using a 6 weight line. For delicate spring creek presentations with smaller flies, a double taper line will enhance the Horizon’s performance for that particular situation. Wind can really affect a double taper though and why I’ve always used a weight forward line except for areas like the Fall River where casting far is not that important, but bump feeding a perfect 70 foot presentation is.
Like all new rods, it takes some time using them for the components to settle in like the reel seat, and the ferrules. I found on the Horizon reel seat it is very important to seat the first washer screw firmly, then tightening down the second washer screw on top of it. After an hour of use on the Yampa River, the ferrules settled in with no other issues.
Some rods are more prone to this behavior like my Redington Crux rods I bought a few years ago. If an angler continues to cast with loose ferrules it can cause permanent damage to the port opening. Great care should be taken to make sure this does not happen. This is not a beater rod but a fine precision instrument that commands respect of being gentle while handling it.
I really like this rod, it’s so much fun to fish! Now I have a serious dry fly rod I can count on no matter the situation. Price for the Horizon is $295. For ordering or more information contact James Kissinger of WildStream USA at 775.737.1306, or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org