I finally added an Allen fly rod to the quiver! If you’ve poked around the site at all you probably know that I am extremely happy with my other Allen products. And although I wish this was one of their shiny new Icon II rods, $600 was not in my budget for yet another 8wt setup. So, the Allen Azimuth is a rod that normally goes for $300, well $319 for the 8wt to be exact. But in my weekly newsletter (which came 10 minutes after emailing the guys asking about this specific model), I was pleased to see a 50% special for their newsletter subscribers on all the Azimuth models. It pays to get Allen’s promotional emails as there is almost always a great deal on at least one of their great products. So for $170 delivered (plus a $100 gift card left over from my birthday), it was an easy decision to finally try one of these rods.
First, let me explain my intended use for this rod. The vast majority of my fishing, from a time on the water standpoint, is throwing streamers at warm water species. But Salmon/Steelhead are my preferred targets in the Spring, Winter, and Fall. I have a 8wt switch rod from Mystic, and a 10′ 8wt single-hander from Echo. The Echo rod has been my primary 8wt for the last few seasons, and its a good modestly priced rod for chuck-n-duck and indicator fishing for Salmon/Steelhead. It has also acted as my secondary rod for warm water species. It is not the most fun rod to cast with. It’s big and a little bulky to be swinging around false casts all day.
I wanted to add a third 8wt for two primary reasons:
- With my limited time on the water fishing for my favorite species, Salmon/Steelhead, it would really be nice to have rod dedicated to the three methods of fishing used most often. Now I can float the river and fish every run with the best possible method, without re-rigging constantly. I can have my switch rod rigged for swinging sink tips. My Echo 10′ rigged for what it does best, indicator nymphing. And the new rod set up for chuck-n-duck. If stripping streamers is the order of the day, I can throw them with the new rod, and turn either of the other two rods into the chuck-n-duck rig. Versatility, I am hoping, will lead to more fish in the boat.
- Having a standard 9′ 8wt rod will hopefully be a sizable improvement for my warm water fishing. The 10′ Echo was an effective caster for distance, but was clunky in both feel and presentation. Having a rod designed specifically to throw streamers should be a big help
Enter the Allen Azimuth. An extra fast action 9′, 8wt rod, that is a streamer throwing machine. At the price I paid, and with Allen’s awesome return policy (If you don’t know, Allen will give a full refund on any rod that you are not completely satisfied with. They only ask that you leave the plastic on the handle), this was a can’t miss proposition.
Needless to say, this rod definitely passed the eye test for fit and finish. In typical Allen fashion, I am convinced I received a great value, and a rod that matches up to its more expensive competitors. I’ve paired the rod with my black Allen Kraken reel in size 3. This outfit is well balanced and looks great. More importantly, it has the backbone and train stopping drag to tame any fish the Great Lakes has to offer.
I will add some on the water observations soon, but the real test for this rod will hopefully come next month. I will be heading north to try and check a box off of my bucket list. Summer King Salmon fishing, stripping streamers in the Betsie River and Betsie Lake. This is a much harder task these days with the Salmon population on the decline, making it even more exciting to potentially watch one of these beasts chase down and hammer a streamer.
Here is the description from Allen’s website:
Sometimes, high line speed is required to get the most out of less-than-favorable conditions. Punch through wind with the Azimuth’s extra fast action blank; designed to get you fishing when Mother Nature’s plans did not align with your own. Even when things are at their calmest, the quick response and straight tracking fires off tight loops that go the distance
- Action: Extra Fast
- Blank Color – Burnt Orange
- The blank is constructed from top end, aerospace quality carbon
- Titanium chromium plated stripping guides for saltwater protection.
- Premium quality, hand made cork handle
- Lifetime Warranty
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