Gear Test: Cabela's Rogue fly rod

First impressions of the Cabela’s Rogue fly rod out of the box are all positive…nice rod tube, premium-grade looking components and I liked the matte-black finish.

We’ll see how it flies.

I pushed through a full-on Montana stress test. Chucking streamers in the Madison River in Yellowstone National Park in late fall. Check. Dropping baetis dries on finicky spring creek trout in the Paradise Valley. Check. Landing giant ranch pond rainbows in central Montana. Check. Early season dries on the Firehole. Check. Throwing all manner of dries, nymphs and streamers on the Upper Madison and Gallatin Rivers, my home waters. Check. Even pulling buggers during spring runoff on the Smith River for good measure. Check.

Looking for faults, I can find none. I’ts not what I expected from a rod that costs a third the price of the expensive name-brand rods in my normal quiver. It has plenty of backbone in the butt section for managing wind, big flies and big fish, with great tip feel for delicate dry fly presentation.

Of particular note, whether laying out that longer cast or feeding line to extend a drift, line seems to pour through the guides better than most rods I have used at any price point.

My conclusion: This rod represents an excellent choice for anyone looking to have an all-purpose, fast action, “go-to” rod for all conditions at a compelling price point ($290).

I would like to play with different lines and it would be interesting were to offer the Rogue in longer lengths than just 9 feet—presently, the company does not.

— Mike Ameson

By Chris Hunt.