Jonathan Tomlinson field tests the innovative new Greys XF2 river rod.
I been lucky enough to give this rod a thorough workout in the last 3 weeks, firstly in Bosnia and then back here in the UK and have to say that I have nothing but praise for it. A very innovative design allows the user to remove a 6” section from the butt of the rod and insert it between the butt and second section of the rod allowing it to become a 10 footer. Not only is this at times a massive benefit but equally you are able to do it while fishing and not have to re thread the line through the rod rings. It also means that the rod tube will fit into a bag when travelling much easier that a true 10’ 4pce rod (I use the medium sized Simms Dry Creek Duffle Bag)
The rod is well finished and very light in the hand and makes a full day on the river anything but tiring.
Many anglers may see the #3 line rating as too light but it never struggled to turn over flies even size 2 stonefly dries. For smaller flies down to a size 26 presentation is excellent and line mending and management is a doddle due to the extra reach you gain. I matched it up with a Rio Gold Floating WF3 and it does nothing but compliment the rod, as a combo it would be hard to beat.
Don’t be fooled when you first pick up this rod as it does bend through to the butt; this rod is remarkably crisp when casting and is very accurate; loop control is superb and makes you feel very in control when playing a fish, this just adds to the protection of your light tippets. Even a big fish on 2 1/2lb tippet in a very heavy flowing river didn’t make me feel anxious that it all might go ping, it just didn’t happen. On overgrown chalkstream despite having what some may view as a rather cumbersome length it helped to clear bank side vegetation if wading wasn’t an option.
A keenly priced product at just £269 the Streamflex Plus rod offer excellent value for money, it is also available in a #4 and #5 if you wanted a slightly heavier line rating. Well done to the guys at Hardy Greys they have come up with a great idea and product and Im sure it will become one of my ‘go to’ river rods.