Homewater Steelhead Rods - The New Standard: Fetha Styx has been around for a few years now, but it wasn't until just recently that they've come up with a line of rods that is turning heads... and fish!
The Homewater Series rods start with North Fork Composite blanks designed by Gary Loomis. You can't just purchase these blanks anywhere though, Fetha Styx owns the spindles and the rights to these blanks so you will need to get a genuine Fetha Styx Homewater Rod to experience these spectacular rods.
The blank is just the beginning however. Everything on the Homewater Steelhead Series has been completely designed with Northwest fisherman in mind, after all, we are the center of the steelhead universe. Lengths have been readjusted to have that perfect feel. Extra guides have been added to not only relieve the rod from undo stress, but this also allows for a lighter, thinner blank while giving the rod more strength. Korean cork makes up the butt section of the rod and you can feel the difference.
The Homewater Rod has hit a home run, these will be the standard to which all other high end rods try and equal.
Steelhead Rods: Fetha Styx has started out with the Steelhead rods and will soon follow with their Salmon Rods. They've designed a dozen rods to suite every style of steelhead fishing and every fisherman's demands.
Rods - The One Two Punch:
When deciding which rods I wanted to fish, I first had to look at my style of fishing. I generally bring at least two rods wherever I go. Usually a float rod and a drift rod. If I know I'm side drifting or pulling plugs then I'll take different rods, but for the most part I think I'll have most situations covered.
For a float rod the choice was obvious for me. I like a light rod especially for hatchery fish and the FS-HW-SH-1022-2S fit my wishes to a T. Rated 6 - 10lbs, 10' 2" in length and moderate action, I'm drooling as I pick up this rod.
For drift fishing I had a hard choice since they all looked so darn good. But going off the recommendation of Fetha Styx owner Bill Boyce, I decided on the FS-HW-SH-923-2C. Rated 8 - 12lba, 9' 2" in length and moderate/fast action. Wow - what an awesome feeling rod.
The Real Test - Fishing:
Every since I picked up these rods I desperately wanted to try them. I'd showed them to friends and fishing buddies and the first response was always the same: "Man these are light rods!".
I finally got my chance after a week of rain and the rivers fell, so off to the Bogy with my friend Mike Z (www.mikezsguideservice.com).
Since my favorite technique is float fishing, I decided to start by drift fishing to make sure and get a feel for the new rod. one word - SPECTACULAR! So light and so sensitive it was unreal. Casting was a pleasure and there was no wobble after the cast that you get with rods that are unbalanced. I could feel every bump, rock and boulder along the river bottom. Just when I was telling Mike how great a feel this rod was, WHAM, fish on. And man did I feel that!!!
What a cool feeling to get back to my roots and catch a fish drift fishing right off the bat. The fish was nice and scrappy and I paid attention to the bend of the rod and watched and felt how it reacted to the fight. No doubt, Fetha Styx got it right. Plenty of power and you could feel every head shake. I'm having a blast!
Mike and I each caught a couple fish then we decided to switch to float fishing. Oh, man, this is it. This rod is so well balance and light it's not even funny. Casting again with this rod was a pleasure and like the drift rod no after cast wobble. It didn't take long and... Bobber down! Whew hoo I'm having fun. This is a super light rod but I didn't feel it stress at all. The moderate action did a great job of wearing down the fish but had plenty of power to turn the fish at the head of the rapids so the fish didn't get the advantage of the fast water. What makes this rod so light but yet powerful is the fantastic blank along with the extra guides that allows for the lighter thinner blank but still has the power. This is the ultimate summer run and hatchery fish steelhead float rod.
We ended up going 13 for 13! Did the rods have anything to do with it? I would say the sensitivity of the drift rod to feel the bite played a huge part of this. The action of the float rod also played a key role. So to answer the question - Yes!
Oh, and I have a new favorite rod. Although both these rods are incredible, I have to give the nod to the 923-2C. I've been drift fishing for over 34 years now and have never been so overwhelmed by the performance of a rod until now.
I can't wait to start adding to my collection of rods with the addition of more Fetha Styx Homewater rods... Spectacular!