I really had no clue what to expect from the Syndicate 10′ 3 wt fly rod. I’ve been fortunate enough to test out a large number of fly rods and most always seem to fall short in one area or another.
The first thing I noticed was the weight. With competition fishing, or any type of fishing really, a lighter rod means less fatigue and better control. The weight was extremely light. Even less than the 2wt rod I’ve been using on the competition circuit for the last 2 years.
For the record, I’m not big on the actual look of a fly rod as far as the color or finish, but I really like the flat finish on the Syndicate Rods. Not shiny and flashy. All business.
I fished the rod in most of the waters I call home; mainly, Georgia and North Carolina. I landed small wild fish with no bounce and big stud fish with no problem. The real test, however, came at The 2014 America Cup in Vail, Colorado.
My first session was on the Colorado River. We knew going into the competition that The Colorado was going to be a challenge. None of us knew just how incredibly tough of a venue it would turn out to be. I like math, so bare with me. There were 80 anglers at The Cup. Divided into 5 groups of 16 anglers. Each angler fished The Colorado River (along with the other 4 venues) for 3 hours. So that’s a total of 240 man hours that The Colorado was fished during the comp. These aren’t just your average anglers. Using every technique and piece of hardware known to man, these guys (and gals) are on a mission to catch the maximum number of fish possible in their 3 hour session. Also, these are some of the most talented anglers in the world.
In those 240 hours, The Colorado River gave up 172 fish. Brutal stuff. On average, these world class anglers were able to land 2 fish in 3 hours, and 17 competitors blanked. In my 3 hours, I used literally every technique I know of to catch fish. Single dry fly, dry fly with a dropper, dry fly with 2 droppers, streamers, and tight line nymphing. Typically, I would use different rods specific to many of these techniques. One rod for throwing dries or a dry/dropper rig. Another rod for nymphing. Another for streamers. For all of the techniques that I used in that session, I used one rod. The Syndicate 10′ 3wt, P2 1034. I was fortunate to hook and land 6 fish in my 3 hour session and finish in second place for my group behind Lance Egan’s (Team USA) 7 fish. Not too shabby.
North Carolina Fly Fishing Team
Rivers Edge Outfitters