Was finally convinced to get myself a “proper” Czech Nymphing rod and plumped for the new version of the Hanak 4 in 1 Czech Nymphing rod from Unique Flies . I have to say I preferred the finish on the “original” Hanak rods, with the “stealth” matt black finish, but apparently they have stopped doing them like this and their rods are now a glossy green. Its not a solid green more like a heavy lacquer over the carbon blank and apparently it has some strengthening properties to protect the rod against getting hit by heavy tungsten beaded flies.
When you see it in bright sunlight its actually a very attractive rod( though I would still have preferred a non shiny finish). It is growing on me though I admit.
This rod sort of follows on from the concept of the Greys XF2 Streamflex plus which has a 6″ extension piece in the handle, so 9 and a half foot rod can become 10 foot for nymphing. The Hanak though goes further, much further. The basic rod is 9 foot and can be extended to 9 and a half, ten or ten and a half feet by the insertion of either or both of two extension pieces. The only problem with this is that if you want to add the one foot extension on its own, taking the rod from 9 to 10 foot or indeed with the 6″ extension already in, you need to derig the line as the one foot extension has an additional stripping eye.
Its not a huge problem for me at least as I would tend to set the rod up for how I planned on fishing that day anyway, but if you planned on swapping say from Short line Cz Nymphing to a French leader requiring a longer rod, you would need to fully derig the line- then again adding a French leader you would need to anyway!
The extension pieces do not have any integral “mount” in the rod like the Greys for obvious reasons. A few guys who I know have them fit the 12″ section and then put the 6″ in their pocket just in case. the 6″ section can be added without derigging.
The rod is a 3 weight, and having the XF2plus in a 4 weight you may ask- why bother? Well on my recent trip to the Dee I was losing an awful lot of fish and suspect it was because I was fishing the French leader (a relatively stiff set up as you have no line out to speak of) and the 4 weight was maybe a tad too powerful, not providing enough cushioning- thats my theory anyway! The XF2 cast the French Leader well enough though I have to say the Hanak does it better again.
The Hanak can be balanced to match your rod and reel set up to your preference, s it comes with a couple of counter weights for the butt and the butt itself can be replaced with a fighting butt if you want. I have never been a fan of fighting butt’s on lighter rods but will give it a go on this one.
The rod is very soft, the flex extending all the way down to the handle in reducing degrees of amount but does not bounce about to return to its true position. Its very light in the hand and a joy to use.
With the French leader you can send out a long line, an expert will get 9 meteres plus of reach out of this, I am getting most of a 9 metre line out without too much problem. The rod is very sensitive to takes and when a fish is on you feel the rod cushion the fish all the way through its length. Its a real pleasure to fight a fish on.
The handle is a very nice cork item, probably the nicest cork I have on any of my rods with little filler and a nice comfortable width and half wells shape.
The only real criticism I have of the rod is the lack of line up marks on the sections. While lining up the rings is not hard by eye, lining up the reel seat/handle with the other sections is a little bit annoying. I might put some line up marks with a white marker or spot of enamel paint- see how I get on.
The rod comes with a very solid tube- the heaviest by far I have, and a cloth rod bag.
I have not tried it with a dry fly, indeed thats not why I bought it as I really like the XF2 for dry fly fishing but will give it a go sometime. For reference I have paired my rod with a Hardy Marksman 3/4# reel and a Hardy Premium DT3 floating line. I am told its fine with a 4 weight line when the wind is messing you about on a 3 weight.[wcs_qr_code]