Eagle Claw is a brand name that is probably recognized by every fisherman, even if they don’t use the products. Wright & McGill Co was formed in 1925 in Denver, Colorado to produce high grade fishing flies. Since then the company has branched out to include many different fishing products in its line, most notably its hooks that had their design inspired by a bald eagle perched above founder Drew McGill while he was fishing. Fishing rods were the next product to come into production after WW II, starting with bamboo and now made with fiberglass and graphite rods are made in.
I recently picked up their Featherlight parabolic 6’ 6” 4/5 fly rod to use for the tight small little streams that I like to fish. It’s great for places choked off with trees and overhanging brush. These are the spots that are the most fun but sometimes the most challenging. Yes, gear will be lost, and fish will be lost. But the fish that hide in these holes are often times the biggest in the stream. This has only been half the challenge in fishing places like this, the other part is finding gear that is suitable for places that the masses don’t go to, affordable or not.
Unlike the few other short fly rods that I have found, it is affordable at $21.99, and has the backbone to get fish out of these congested areas. Many rods this size are made for 2, 3, or maybe 4 weight lines. That’s great if it’s over spooky fish in crystal clear streams without branches waiting to grab your fly in every direction. This rod is for all those places that aren’t perfect, that you wish you could fish but don’t want to risk that $400 rod in. This is combat fishing to me. It’s a fiberglass rod, so it has a bit slower action that than the typical graphite rods that I have, and is much more forgiving for the terrible casting form that I picked up fishing these places. But there’s nobody around to give you the evil eye because you aren’t using proper technique, and if you’re catching fish, who cares? I know the bright yellow is the trademark for the company, but it’s not very good for keeping out of the trout’s field of view. This can be partially remedied by taking some steel wool or something similar to rub the rod down and remove the gloss finish so it will at least not be a shining beacon from the sun. The rod is great for dapping, and I might even try it out for my own version of Tenkara fishing. Seems that it could be nice for that, as it will cast a short length of line pretty easily and turn the leader over nicely. Anything over about 30’ isn’t something that you would want to do all day though, since this rod wasn’t built to be light and well balanced – it’s a brute and it’s built for that. If you insist on doing that, it might cast a bit better with a 5-weight line that the 4-weight that I had on hand to try it with.
Overall, I did have a fun time using this rod and if taken for what it is, it was fun. I caught a couple dozen fish ranging from 3-4” to a some pushing 14”. (Which reminds me – I do like the ruler on the rod, it’s a nice touch) For the streams that I was fishing, this would be pretty typical, despite my dog trying to check and approve every fish I brought to hand, I was able to put it to good use without any trouble. eagleclaw.com