The company line: "If you enjoy the feel of a classic fly rod, with the smooth, easy casting capability combined with the technical advances of the day, our Full Flex rods are going to feel great in your hand. Although this family makes a great beginner's rod, these rods are really designed for those who simply prefer a slower action -- and they are the perfect fit for smaller streams and ponds.
“Son! Stocks may rise and fall. Utilities and transportation systems may collapse. People are no damn good. But they will always need land and they will pay through the nose to get it. ‘Remember,’ my father said, ‘Land.’” (Lex Luthor)
Such is the case when it comes to construction and performance of fly rods, I believe. The less area you have to work with, the more a product’s flaws are likely to show. Translation: it’s easier to build a 9’ 5 wt. that performs well than it is a much smaller rod.
Enter nascent fly rod manufacturer Beaverkill and its 7’6” Legacy Series Full-flex 3 weight. After spending time fishing Beaverkill's offering on my favorite east Tennessee small stream, I've come to the conclusion that they've successfully executed the difficult task of delivering a small rod with excellent performance.
I’m not an expert caster, but at 20-35 feet from the target, this rod made me feel like I was casting well above my grade.
The rod maintained ample power in the lower third, which kept it from feeling like a complete noodle, unlike other rods of all prices in its class. It has a super-sensitive tip section, which is essential for short casts in over-hung environments where space is scarce and accuracy a premium.
The best single word I can use to describe the rod as I experienced it is “intuitive.” It did everything I asked it to do well: roll casts, side arm, nearly under-handed, and standard deliveries. It will also put out 30-40 feet of line without complaint when conditions require it (as long as the wind isn’t howling, mind you).
The fit and finish of the rod is excellent given its $395 price point and it is entirely made in the USA. I'm also particularly fond of the “emerald green” finish, but I’d still prefer to see more rods offered in matte, rather than, glossy (hey, some of us still believe glare from these finishes can spook fish if the light is right).
If you’re looking for a good small stream rod, made in the USA and have $395 to spend on it, go ahead. Buy one of these. And remember, land.
Full details on the Beaverkill Legacy Series can be found here.