Before I got my hands on brand new shiny Guideline´s Fario 1004 rod I expected it to be something special and my expectations were confirmed after numerous days spent on the river with it.
I had a chance to fish with a vast variety of fly fishing rods in my career, from really light ones (AFTM #0) to heavier ones, which in our country are usually used to fish marble trout or hucho hucho (danubian salmon). Before I got my hands on brand new shiny Guideline´s Fario 1004 rod I expected it to be something special and my expectations were confirmed after numerous days spent on the river with it.
This Guideline´s rod truely is a masterpiece with its main intention to seduce keen nymphing fly fishermen. And it succeeds by all means. Guys from Göteborg, Sweden put their best efforts and know-how in development of this rod and it is easy to feel that while fishing with it.
Guideline Fario 1004
Action: medium - fast
Usage: Rod was designed and built to suit Czech nymphing techniques and to fulfil the needs of the competition anglers in middle Europe.
Although the rod is custom made to suit Czech nymphing techniques, it is perfectly balanced for casting dry flies and small-medium sized streamers too. But let's leave this for the next section of this review and let's take a look at the design of the rod instead.
Rod blanks come in four parts, all with superb glossy olive finish. Rod is equipped with high quality accessories from the butt section (with laser engraved mayfly on the butt cap), reversed half-wells cork with dark cork ring inserts, reel seat (which includes a classic screw in system) and quality hard chrome lightweight snake guides, which are attached to the blanks really precisely. This rod is certainly one of the most beautiful graphite rods of mass production which I have ever seen.
For easier junction of all four sections, there are alignment dots and rod ID markings on each rod section. That makes it easier to join all sections in a rod. I would prefer thin lines instead of dots here, but that´s no biggie.
You will get your Fario rod in exclusive powder coated Fario aluminum rod tube with logo and engraved mayfly. Each rod is packed in a nice canvas rod bag that accommodates all 4 sections nicely.
I coupled the Fario rod with Danielsson Original series Dry Fly reel and #4 Scientific Anglers Mastery GPX WF floating fly line. I found this combo ideal for upstream short line nymphing which is the most successful way of catching nice brownies at the Slovenian Alpine jewel, the Radovna river, where I tested it. Length of the rod makes short loop casts and other manipulations with a fly line very easy. It is extremely useful where there is a need to switch the line multiple times (for ex. in fast rapids and pocket water) to get your nymph dead drifting without unnecessary movements of the nymph.
Short casts are handled perfectly and line control on short distances is really excellent, but I was a bit surprised that even longer single or double haul casts and loop casts can be handled easily. Due to nice relatively fast action of the rod, distance casts can be completed without too much effort and most importantly - they are completed precisely.
I usually do all my nymphing with quite a long nylon or fluorocarbon leader as an extension of the braided leader attached to the fly line. This rod allows me to control my line perfectly and it also gives a fly fisherman that cosy, comfortable feeling, when he knows that the tool works for him. Even with larger fish on the line at the Idrijca river, rod handled the situation nicely. You probably know those moments when 50 cm+ wild rainbow takes a dry from the surface and the next moment you see it jumping out of the water 20 meters upstream from there (uh, nice memories indeed! :-) )... if you add a 7X tippet and very fast water, you get almost insoluble situation, but... I managed to solve it with the Fario rod really nicely. After a few minutes of fight I landed the fish, took a photo or two and release it gently... I really enjoyed the moment and I really enjoyed the performance of the rod.
I also tried to slightly overload a rod with the #5 Scientific Anglers Mastery XPS WF floating fly line, to see how it handles such configuration. XPS fly line has a nice long compound front taper and small tip for enhanced delicacy and control. It is a little less weighted than a GPX line at the same weight (AFTM), that´s why I used the heavier #5 line. Short casts and shorter loop casts were handled nicely with this combo, but when distance casts were needed, the rod showed slight signs of overload. That´s why I recommend #4 GPX over #5 XPS fly line for this rod.
This rod is my first Guideline rod, so I haven´t had any experience with this company´s products before. But as a keen nymphing fly fisherman, I could hardly wait to try it on a stream. After a week spent on Slovenian rivers with it, I must say that it completely fulfilled all my demands in both nymphing and non-nymphing worlds. It perfectly casts weighted czech or tungsten beaded nymphs and small to medium streamers, regardless of the casting technique being used. It surprised me with superb control when casting distant casts with a dry fly on the leader. Casts can be acomplished gently and precisely, just in front of the distant riser on the other side of the river. Rod transmits enough power to the line, so even the longest double haul or spey casts can be done easily. All these characteristics make the rod a true all-rounder, but with its length I wouldn´t reccommend it for small streams with overgrown river banks, except if you fish from the grassy bank with small bushes, like I did on a typical chalk stream Malenscica creek in central Slovenia. I imagine that this rod will be extremely popular among the fly fishing competitors, but even "ordinary" fly fishermen can find it very interesting and useful for nearly all techniques of fly fishing and all types of water - from medium to large rivers, from smaller to bigger lakes. And it also handles the windy conditions perfectly. So all in all, guys at Guideline made a great product, which will, for sure, set a standard in this category of rods. Highly recommended!