Mystic Reaper Fly Rod – Affordable 6wt

IMG_3702It’s been an incredibly rough month for me here in Colorado. I’ve been sitting on this review for a bit over a month with its posting pending. I wish I could say it was because of poor fishing, but unfortunately it’s the result of me losing my father, who often was my favorite and most frequent fishing partner. Not to dwell on that here though as I’ll write a separate post of what he meant to me. Rather, let’s focus on a post that’s been sitting on the tip of my tongue for the last month.

Lately, I’ve been fishing the Mystic Reaper Fly Rod. The goal being to test an affordable 6wt fast action rod that won’t break the budget but will still provide the performance that is required with that versatile of a weight. It’s hard not be impressed, and I’ve caught some great fish on it over the summer.

IMG_3707Appearance

With bright chrome hardware, a walnut reel seat, and a beautiful deep forest green color, the Mystic Reaper fly rod looks like it would easily cost $200 more than it does.IMG_3705 It’s a beautiful rod with complementing colors. In particular, I liked the walnut reel seat as it really adds a nice luxury to a more affordable priced rod.

The brown thread used on each of the guides looks great against the deep forest green color and contrasts nicely against the chrome guides as well.

Last of all, just the fact that it comes in a compact four piece is a great feature. It packs up nicely into a small case that can easily be transported to the average river you drive to, or as a back-packable rod that you can take into the backcountry. Anything 4 pieces or more is better these days.

Performance

20140526-IMG_4727Fishing the rod in a 6wt, I looked for two main characteristics in my review. 1) A rod that could handle well in the wind or with long casts, and 2) a rod that was sensitive enough for the tippet sizes that I fish on a regular basis.

Designed with a fast action, the Reaper harnesses a ton of power from its stiff lower and middle sections of the rod and then delivers a clean and smooth cast through the flexible upper tip. I fished it several times in the wind and on long casts to finicky fish and it performed excellently. The casting was smooth and the rod created great line loops.

Second, I wanted to make sure the rod wasn’t overly powerful: that it would be gentle enough for the some of the 6-7x tippets I fish on the tailwaters around here. To test its performance, I fished it using 6x tippet and tested it against some of the great sized fish of the Fryingpan river. WP_20140607_004These fish are selective as can be and give a great fight on tiny 22 and 24 sized flies. The rod fished great with such a small tippet and I rarely broke the tippet with its strength while still allowing for longer casts and commanding strength with hooking into fish.

Price

At $230, the Reaper is a serious contender against rods that are easily 1.5 to 2 times its price. It provides a great value and powerful rod for the price.

Summary

IMG_3709The Mystic Reaper fly rod is an excellent rod that provides quality features for a great price. At $200 it is priced as an introductory fly rod but delivers excellent quality and the performance of a mid-priced rod. With clean lines and contrasting colors, this 6wt rod provides powerful strength when fishing your average sized river.

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