A lot of new cool stuff from the innovative “Scandi boys” at Guideline

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GUIDELINE fly rods continue to prove themselves as one of the best-selling brands in Europe. This year sees the introduction of several new rod series. GL. introduce a range of budget, entry-level rods named EXP3 and a totally new 4-piece range, ACT4. These rods use extremely high-modulus graphite to achieve some of the lightest and well-balanced rods ever seen at a mid-price point.

Beside Guideline’s well-known Salmon rods like LPXE and LeCie, Guideline has also just launched their new line of US made rods called REACTION. For the many dedicated “Spey geeks” I have noticed some sweet REACTION Spey rods – For me the two models in 13,7’ models for a 7/8 or #8/9 line looks great – A must for the upcoming season..

I’m sure that the Swedish Guideline team again will turn the whole industry upside down, with there innovative and “Thinking out of the box” style.

Matt’s experiences with Fario

‘Exquisite’ is not a word often associated with fishing rods. More typically we are presented with hyperbole such as ‘power’,’ cast to the horizon,’ ‘steely’ or ‘fast.’ The new Fario rod by Guideline is none of these things – it has subtle, hidden talents that make it truly exceptional and I think that ‘exquisite’ is the best description I can offer. My tests with Fario so far have been with the 9’ #5 and the 8’6 #3.

Text & Photo: Matt Hayes.

My first impression was that the finish on these rods is nothing short of outstanding: I particularly like the colour of the blank and the ‘walnut’ style reel seat. A waggle of the rod confirmed what Leif Stavmo, Guideline’s product guru, had told me about them – the Fario has a deep action that is ideally suited to all types of fishing where delicate presentation is required. Since most modern trout rods are made with fast, tippy actions, it was refreshing to handle a rod that has been specifically designed for presentation work when targeting wild fish.

I was to discover on my first outing, however, that Fario isn’t just a rod for targeting small wild browns and grayling on rivers and streams, it is in fact a rod that will serve you well whenever you are not blasting out heavy flies to the horizon. The venue was the Watermark fishery in England’s Cotswolds, a delightful gravel pit fishery that is stocked with a mixture of hefty brown and rainbow trout. The water at the watermark is crystal clear and since many of the fish are what we call ‘residents’ (fish that have been in the lake for several weeks or months and switched to feeding on natural fly life), the chance to use Fario to target some of the bigger, wiser fish was very tempting.

Despite the fact that the session took place at the beginning of March and that the water was incredibly cold (around 3 degrees), I was confident that I would find some fish in the shallow, weedy areas of the lake that would be picking off bloodworm and early season buzzers.

And so it proved! Fishing with a team of flies (a buzzer on the top dropper and an epoxy buzzer on the point), I was able to use fine tippets and not risk getting smashed off by the fish thanks to Fario’s ‘through’ fish-playing action. Despite the deep action of the rod, presenting the small flies delicately at range was well within the capabilities of the rod. Very fast-actioned rods are not well-suited to buzzer teams fished off the bank due to the obvious problem of over-powering and ultra-tiught loops leading to tangles. Long casts with buzzers are best made with softer-actioned rods but there are not many that can handle distance and delicacy. Fario does – and with ease. Casting a full line with the five weight is not a problem and I particularly liked the fact that the rod handles a double-haul and yet still presents the flies so that they turn over gently on the water. As you can see form the photos, I not only caught some of the rainbow ‘stockies’, I also got stuck into some of the big resident browns too – then only browns caught in recent weeks by visitors to the lake.


Delighted that Fario has hidden reserves, my next outing saw me fishing teams of nymphs for wild browns on a small Cotswod stream. My two days out with an 8’6 3 weight convinced me that this is by far the best small river and stream trout rod that I have ever used. As you would expect, it presented dries and patterns beautifully but I was staggered to discover that the 3 weight could also present teams of weighted flies with ease. When I use the term ‘weighted’ I am referring to flies that have tungsten bead heads, including the cased caddis and other bead headed patterns. The rod also coped very well with a team of three Czech nymphs. Light and delicate, the Fario has hidden reserves of power and I found that it sends out roll casts and single speys using teams of flies with minimum effort. To say that I was impressed is an understatement – I was amazed.

Of course, being a member of the Guideline Power Team, you would expect me to say good things about the rod and I will admit to being a rather biased, Guideline ‘disciple.’ Believe me, however, when I tell you that the new Fario is a truly exquisite rod to fish with and bear in mind that I regard myself as a competent but by no means expert fly fisher. For those whom can really cast, this rod will pass every test it is subjected to – for the rest of us mere mortals, it’s a revelation!

Check out – http://www.guideline.no/en/

Matt Hayes, Shropshire, March 2010

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