By Igor Slavík
In January this year, I was fishing with my friends at Goiserer Traun near Bad Ischl in Austria to test new rods made by the Czech company Hanak Competition. After the arrival at the river, we divided and started fishing. Petr chose a great place at first sight, which was near the parking place and thus very visited. I stayed there with him for a while, he caught a fish, I took a photo and then I walked with Franta a bit downstream. We were carefully fishing in nice places and from time to time we caught something. The water level was under average. Even for this reason we met many fishermen. Therefore, there was a higher pressure on the river and lower number of catches. Nevertheless, we dealt with it and caught fish between 35 and 52cm.
We were using new rods of Alpen Nymph series. These rods are precisely made, from first-class material including fitting, reel pad as well as cork. A few times I heard objection regarding guides. Nevertheless, titanium guides would increase the price by more than € 100. I was really addressed by a small detail on cork in Alpen Nymph rods - called a "thumb" support. Many of us know the pressed cork on various rods on this place. Regarding colours, the rod is tuned in blue. It is the same to the colour of streams for which this Alpine series is intended and also reels are tuned in the same colour. But these are only in the prototype version.
The specification of this rod corresponds to weight categories - #3 - #4 - #5. Regarding typology this rod comes from a successful pattern Multi-length Four in One. Two extending parts can variably change lengths – 9.6/10/10.6/11 feet. This means from the rod for a dry fly to the long nymphing 11 ft. special rods, which I enjoyed during testing on the Traun River. The length of 330 centimetres is really great for controlling of also very long French leader for a long distance. Alpen Nymph rods are medium fast to slower. Casting with a French leader is easy also with smaller fly patterns. Fishing with a dry fly is ideal with the length of 9ft. But you have to get used to the rod, which is a question of a few minutes. The reward is precise casting.
And when we cast, thanks to the length of 3.3m, we lead nymphs in the right corridor. Then comes a take and we play with the fish, which is a real experience. The rod works perfectly and greatly absorbs attacks of even big fish. I did not have a feeling that the rod would get “tough” with a bigger fish. I was changing rods #3 and #4 and Petr was testing a combination of #4 and #5. He was so amazed from this rod that he took #4 for his trip to Chile, where he took part to the Masters (Veteran) World FF Championship. I am also amazed by this series of rods and when you add the future reels matching in colour, it will be a fly fishing jewel available for all.