The idea is to “de-lever” the fly rod. To remove the weight of the reel from the fly rod and make it so you’re holding a single product, not two unique tools for fly fishing.
It’s brazen, I’ll give you that. The Waterworks Lamson Center Axis rod-and-reel combo was perhaps the most curious new product at this year’s International Fly Tackle Dealer show in Orlando. It’s certainly a unique idea, and it’s Waterworks Lamson’s first foray into the fly rod business, not just the fly reel business. Sometimes, risks are rewarded. Sometimes … well… products like this garner some attention, and then they kind of just go away.
Judging by the in-house video produced by Waterworks Lamson above, this might be one of those products that garners a few converts. The big test, to be honest? Will other rod manufacturers embrace the idea and partner with Waterworks Lamson? A supporter or two will be all it takes. If, say, Orvis, Scott or Sage takes a hard look and agrees to make a rod for a center-axis reel (let’s face it, Waterworks Lamson makes reels, not fly rods), this may be the next big thing. If not, well, this may be the last you hear of it.
Either way, the risk and the inventiveness are admirable. I’m interested to see where this goes.
— Chris Hunt