fly fishing without a reel
“Did you order more fishing crap?” called out the very supportive Mrs. UA when recently an anonymous gift arrived by one of my favorite brown delivery vans.
Honestly I had not, and I admitted as much. I had no idea what it might be: the box wasn’t long enough to be a fly rod, nor was it small enough to be a reel. I was perplexed. Upon opening said box I was still perplexed, for inside was a short plastic tube containing what appeared to be a two-piece fly rod from Redington. A very short, two-piece fly rod (insert short rod jokes here; get it out of your system now).
Called the “Form”, this diminutive stick is just 50 inches long. Unlike many who exaggerate the length of their rods, Redington actually tells it like it is, although truth be told the Form may even be a just a tad longer than 50 inches. Kudos to Redington for their conservative honesty and self-confidence.
As one might expect from a rod this size, it has a proportionately small cork grip (a mere 6.5″ long) and just 4 snake eye guides (there is no stripping guide). Like other Redington sticks, the Form has alignment dots to help ensure the sections are placed together properly (I wish all rods had alignment dots). It looks just like a small fly rod, except for the lack of a reel seat.
It even comes with a 30-foot length of specialty Rio fly line with a very thin tapered tip. Tied to the tip of the line is a chunk of orange yarn, which may or may not be a strike indicator.
I will say that despite what it lacks in size the Form makes up for with good looks and castability: the one I received sports a handsome, crimson-colored blank (Redington also offers it in blue); the reliable old wiggle test suggests that it’s a slow to medium action rod; you can feel it load down to the cork but it recovers nicely. As for line weight, I’m not sure what it’s rated for because the blank isn’t stamped with a numerical designation. I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest it’s probably not a steelhead rod.
I was curious to learn more so I jumped online to Redington’s website to see what the Form was all about. Turns out it’s not really a working fly rod, but rather a “game play” tool designed for having a little fun off the water. However, just a toy the Redington Form is not: it can be used to practice your casting and improve your form. It could also be a great tool to help beginners and youngsters develop their casting stroke, so keep all that in mind when you’re shopping for your favorite angler this Christmas.
This informational video does a better job of explaining things than I could ever hope to do. What it doesn’t tell you is that the Form costs only 79 cents per inch (that’s just a tidbit of data I calculated—no charge for that).
I suppose the lack of a reel seat should have been an early indication that this was not an actual rod to be used for fishing, because anyone who’s anyone knows that you do not go angling without a reel. That would just be ridiculous.
Then again, perhaps this is Redington’s entry into the Tenkara market.