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I have had this rod for about 9 months and had nothing but pleasure every time I use it.
It is faster than many bamboo rods but still retains that classic feel while allowing you to cast into the wind with no problem. Based on the weight I would recommend a reel that weights about 5 ounces to get balance right so you maintain a lively feel to the tip.
I really like the way they maintained a classic look with the reel seat and wraps.
I understand this rod is being discontinued so if you are thinking about one you better be quick!
They are expensive but I think they are well worth the money and I know it's a rod that will be handed down to one of my sons.,Why did I decide to buy a new ORVIS bamboo?
1. Action of the Penn´s creek is quite unique and I have not come across anything comparable in action so far. The Penn´s Creek casts nice with a DT3, DT4, WF5. Fighting a fish is great as well as the sensitivity of the rod. The rod feels not tip heavy at all and is very balanced. I use a British made green anodized ORVIS CFO III Disc reel with it.
2. ORVIS bamboo rods are handsome and yes, the cosmetics are always very spartanic (even in their current Flea and Mitey Mite rods which I also had the opportunity to look at) but still craftsmanship is very high. Mine has not the slightest gluing line or any other cosmetic blemish. The cane has not a single dark spot even in my Madison version. Other rods I own of some great names are richer in cosmetics but also all have tiny flaws. I looked at 2 ORVIS bamboo rods and both where of equal craftsmanship made by the new ORVIS rod builder Charlie Hisey. I think that he has raised the quality of the bamboo blanks made by ORVIS now dramatically. The fit of their ferrules is as good as it can be and much better compared to other current rods I own (all top notch US bamboo, no European rods so far). I measured the tolerances of the ferrules in my company and can assure the high accuracy of their metallographical work as well
3. Bakelit impregnation is very durable
4. ORVIS customer service and attitude against their customers is the highest possible. Yes, they also have stupid people in the call centers (I don´t know any other rod company that has call centers, BTW) and yes, they sell junk but then there are people like Tom Rosenbauer who really know about fly fishing. ORVIS strongly stands behind their products and they will still be there and back up their rods when others are gone
I enjoy this rod most with wet flies, now.,My wife got this rod for me as a 10th anniversary present...over 5 years ago. This rod is not a "generalist", but for my purposes it is perfectly fitted.
I generally fish on small trout streams in Northern NJ. Overhead branches/canopy requires a shorter rod. Clear, shallow water requires delecate presentation. The Penns Creek is perfect for these, such as the Clairmont Stretch of the South Branch, India Brook, and the Black River.
The Full Flex is perfect for the short to mid-range casting needed for the above, whilst providing tippet protection to fight some of these viscious brookies!
Next, and although it has nothing to do with fishing, this is a very good looking rod. Not overembelished, but classic and subtle. Paired with a CFO reel, it would look fine in 1960 or 2016.
Lastly, OK I'm a dullard, and broke the tip when my fly got caught in a branch on my backcast. Orvis had it repaired, back in my hands in less than 2 weeks. No sign of the repair, perfectly done. And the grip was cleaned whilst it was in the shop. Thanks guys!,I love this fly rod. I bought it as a gift to myself after serving a year in Iraq. Though expensive, it was worth it. The rod is beautiful, and very strong. I've landed some fish that were probably more appropriate for a 6 wt than this 4, but the 4 seemed not to notice the difference!
The only issue I've had thus far is that the tolerances for fitting the butt and tip pieces are so tight, that it is often difficult to fit the ferule together so that the male piece fits all the way into the female piece. And then it's difficult to get them apart. Do you have any suggestions? I'm considering taking steel wool to the male end to give a hair more room, but do not want to ruin a work of art.,I own a dozen fly rods. This includes rods made by Winston, St. Croix, Scott, Powell, Orvis, Redington, and a Constable bamboo. The Penn's Creek Battenkill Bamboo that I received as a retirement gift from my wife is my new favorite rod.
It presents dry flies like a feather dropping, but also does well with large crystal buggers, and it has the backbone to handle windy days. It is not that my other fly rods can't do the same, but they don't do these things with the same "feel", or give you the sensation of "everything is right with the world" as you cast them.
The Penn's Creek full-flex action feels like "it was meant to be". I will admit it would not be my rod of choice for larger rivers and large fish (although I did land a 24" rainbow my second time out with it), but it is the one I grab as I head out to the Driftless Area spring creeks.
I agree with the reviewer who pointed out the fit problem with the ferules. I had to send mine back to the Orvis shop for a "fix". While it was there they also touched up the grip, and re-did the personalization. (The first attempt with personalization was not done in the manner that was depicted on the web page.) The grip had a spot where filler had fallen out, so there was a small hole.
However, these were minor problems as the two gentlemen at the Orvis Store handled the situation with class and made sure I was completely satisfied with my new favorite fly rod. It was the "perfect" retirement gift.
The CFO III reel and wonderline compliment it perfectly as well. Can a person retire more than once?
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