I woke up in the morning. The garden was covered in snow and the temperatures rose from high negative values to zero, which forced me to think about a fishing trip and try out the newly purchased Hanák Competition Superlight USG 3100-4 rod - new for 2024. But first I put it on the stove, made my morning coffee and sat down at the vise. I like a calm process.
After tying a five nymphs that I was confident would work and finishing my favorite coffee, I started gearing up. So the classics – quality insulating clothing, two layers for the legs, quality warm socks, a shirt and jacket with primaloft for the body, a warm neck buff, cap, gloves and I could go to the water!
It was still snowing on the way and I was really looking forward to it, even though I knew it wouldn't be a long walk. The weekly frosts reduced the flow on the river, which was also pretty clean, only at the bottom could be seen the consequences of the big water that rolled there during Christmas and adjusted the river bed to its own image. I pulled up on the bank and started twisting into my waders. Then I was finally able to assemble the novelty called the Superlight USG.
As its description states, this is a really fine rod designed for fishing with small nymphs, which follows on from the very successful and popular Superlight SLT range from previous years. The designation USG is based on the English description of Ultra Slim & Sensitive Graphene. It is lighter by up to 30 g compared to regular nymphing rods, which you will appreciate especially during all-day walks. The first thing that caught my eye was the reel seat made of exotic wood with a Graphene "structure" that you could already see on the Superb RS Graphene rods. It is a clear indication that the blank is made of the revolutionary Hexagon Graphene material.
After removing the protective foil, I warmed my palm and fingers against the highest quality cork, which smoothly transitioned through the exotic wood into the blank. The first part contains several useful red-bound markers to approximate the size of the fish caught. I was also interested in the first guide eye and the fact that the last two eyes at the end of the rod are serpentine and the end eye does not have a regular circle, but resembles a droplet with a little imagination. All this is to avoid tangling the thin rigs for which the rod is designed.
The dots on the blank are also used for correct assembly. So assembled, described, I used a Superb RS fly reel with a fine French leader, I made the final rod from fluorocarbon with a diameter of 0.10 mm and hung two "grey" flies tied in the morning - named after the color of the body. They are nymphs based on the original successful Willow fly, but relatively quite modified. Now don't just slip on the slope and jump into the water...
I only waded in up to my ankles and started trying my first casts. A bottom nymph with a 2.8 mm TG head and an outboard nymph with a 2.3 mm TG head - these nymphs allowed the rod to be loaded to give the rig a nice "shot". The slower parabolic action of the rod was noticeable already during the casting itself, which allows the use of thin leaders and at the same time end lines. The bottom nymph sank to the bottom and I could count the stones on the bottom in the palm of my hand. The sensitivity of the rod is fantastic.
After the fourth cast, the shot came and I had the opportunity to experience the first fight with the rod. The fish was not very large and the rod flexed nicely from the tip and responded to the small lunges and all the movements of the fish that took the bottom nymph. Fish 25 cm in size and the rod worked the entire top half - really fine stuff. After a while it started to rain and it seemed to me that the activity of the fish increased. The top trailer also started to take more, but at the same time the cold was getting under my nails.
I spent an hour and a half in the water with the rod, and since my feet were a little cold, I went back to the car and made a coffee to collect all my thoughts. The rod has a really beautiful finish, the red-colored wood of the reel seat is pleasing to the eye in contrast with the black custom fittings, and the matte gray color of the blank highlights the luxurious appearance of the rod.
The hand enjoyed the warmth and softness of the quality cork. If you are a bit of a detailer, the overall impression can be fine-tuned with a black RS reel in size 13, which makes the whole assembly nicely balanced in appearance. In terms of character, everything corresponds to the name of the rod – a very sensitive and gentle rod with a parabolic action suitable for catching smaller fish, but with the potential to take down random larger fish as well. It is suitable for lovers of fishing for small nymphs and micronymphs and offers the user, in addition to accurate presentation, a breathtaking experience of catching each fish. This is a higher-end rod, so a solid transport tube is a matter of course, and the quality of the rod and the design correspond to the price, which is slightly below the 700 EUR.