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Abel fly rods

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#1 dkoenst

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Posted 03 March 2016 - 08:53 PM

I am wondering if anyone knows anything about the rods they used to make....

Where their blanks came from? Quality? Action? Personal opinions in general?

I'm trying to help a friend find more info for a SF 909-3 that he was given. We have already figured out that it is a 9', 3 piece, 9 weight rod intended for saltwater fishing.

Any help is appreciated...

#2 shortstack

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 10:50 AM

If memory serves, those came out in '97 or '98.  The Saltwater Angler in Key West had an intro party for them when Steve Abel was in town, with demos for test casting, a 10wt that was "sacrificed" to test break strength.  I believe that Steve said they were US made blanks.  At that time, I felt they were by far the stiffest, fastest action rod I'd ever felt, with the exception of a line of rods that were hex-shaped in cross section, used for blue-water applications and whose name escapes me now.  And I still haven't found a rod that was so uniformly stiff from butt to tip.  Steve felt that most of the offerings available at the time were soft, weak rods that folded under aggressive casting or heavy lifting.  This was also about the time that Sage went from the very popular RPLX to the RPLXi, which Abel was very critical of and perhaps indicated to him that a market existed for a stiffer rod once the RPLX was cancelled.  I wound up buying two of them (8wt and 9wt) and used them for a few years before giving to a client who loved them.


Reaction to them at the time was very polarizing.  The really aggressive casters who could carry 50-60' of line on a false cast liked them.  Some people just couldn't get the line moving with them.  Most felt they did not have a lot of feel, especially compared to rods like the GLX or Scott STS or HeliPlys.  The Able's were stronger that the GLX, but not much more so than the HeliPlys, both could lift a lot of weight from the depths!  Some who bought them wound up over-lining them, which I thought was a shame.  They were a niche-market rod that had a small but enthusiastic following.


The craftsmenship was top-notch.  Abel machined the reelseats.  Guide layout was perfect.  They were very good boat rods that could take a lot of abuse, as long as you could cast them!

#3 dkoenst

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Posted 04 March 2016 - 05:44 PM

Thanks! Great info in that post.

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