We tell people all the time at our lodges, especially our female guests, that women typically make better fly casters than men do. Sorry fellas, but that’s the truth. Good casting results from a smooth application of power, not brute force and therefore, women tend to pick it up a little faster. Oddly enough however, there aren’t many fly rods on the market today specifically designed for women, other than a few models differing only by color alone.
However, Mystic Outdoors has released their Sapphyre series of rods tailored to accommodate the needs of the female angler. We recently spent some time one and we must say, we think Mystic hit the nail on the head with this one.. Here’s why.
Probably the most noticeable feature of the Sapphyre series of rods is the grip. Sort of a cross over between a half wells and full wells grip, the grip on the Sapphyre is designed to be considerably smaller in diameter than most rods on the market today to better fit a small to petite hand. Women’s hands tend to be smaller, so a smaller grip on a women’s rod seems like a no brainer to us!
We also found the cosmetics of the Sapphyre series to be on point as well. We like the idea of a female specific rod toting more feminine colors than the drab olives and blacks of most fly rods today. However, we also understand that not every female angler wants to fish a florescent pink fly rod all the time. The Sapphyre sports a ‘sapphire blue’ blank (not a coincidence) with violet and silver trimmed thread wraps. It’s subtle yet feminine, and we think that’s pretty cool.
We test drove the Sapphyre 590-4, that’s a 9 foot 5 weight, and it certainly exceeded our original expectations. We paired it with a 5 weight RIO Gold fly line and found the traditional trout taper to be a good match. However, we also overlined it with a 6 weight RIO Gold line as well with heavier streamers and nymph rigs in mind and found the extra weight to be no problem for the Sapphyre. Although, we thought the rod was best matched within it’s recommended line weight (5 weight to 5 weight).
According to Mystic, it is listed as a ‘tip flex fast action rod’ and actually uses the same blank taper as their popular ‘Reaper’ series of rods. One thing we really liked about it is that although it is a fast action rod by today’s standards, it is not overly stiff requiring a great deal force to be applied in order to load the rod.. Which we thought was important when considering the female angler. Crisp but not stiff was the best way we could think to describe it.
We also found the Sapphyre to present flies delicately at both short and mid lengths, while still maintaining a stiff enough tip to control the line while fishing, making for a great all around trout rod.
We paired the Sapphyre 590-4 with a Hatch 5 Plus Finatic reel and found that it balanced like a dream. The 5 Plus weighs in at 6.5 ounces, and our thoughts are any reel in that ball park would match great with with Sapphyre.
We found the Sapphyre to be a real sweetheart of a trout rod and would certainly recommend it to any female, youth, or any other angler who appreciates a sweet casting rod with a smaller grip.
The Sapphyre comes in two models, a 9 foot 5 weight and a 9 foot 6 weight, and retail for $429.00 at fly shops and retailers in the know.
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