Rod and reels

Zpey Epsilon

Zpey Phantom flyreels

Don’t believe the marketing of most fly fishing equipment companies. And most importantly, don’t focus on the concept of long distance casting. In all the years I’ve been an angler, almost every company comes out with “the world’s best rod” and the “farthest casting rod” every year. How can that be?

"Distance”"is an overused and inappropriate word and concept in the world of fly fishing. From the birth of the sport fly fishing, distance has never been a major factor. Distance is more important for another sport called casting, and this has nothing to do with “fly casting.” That distinction needs to be made clear.

If you are interested in fly fishing then distance shouldn’t be a factor in your decision about which fly fishing equipment to buy. Fly fishing takes brains, not brawn. Precision and presentation are what make a successful fly fisher. Almost all tackle manufactured these days is able to cast an appropriate distance, but not much tackle is made to enable control and presentation the fly from any position and any depth. This is the tackle that should be bought, and this is my personal design goal.

Zpey HMsignature single-hand flyrod

Rods can be made for different styles and actions. They can be made stronger or lighter, shorter or longer, flexible or stiff. They can, and should, be made for particular situations. And you should buy gear according to your particular situation, environmental and physical. The purpose is the road and you are the driver.

Skills should not come into play. The beginner and skilled angler should use the same functional equipment. Does an advanced football player use a different shaped ball than a beginner? Obviously not. I will, though, concede that more advanced athletes will, and probably should, use higher quality equipment.

However, quality has nothing to do with price. Just because a rod is more expensive it doesn’t mean that it is a higher quality. The equipment that is of the highest quality is that which is the best developed for the particular situation which one faces.

Customer trust and loyalty is gained by making solid products coupled with honest and straight-forward marketing. Sales spin that focuses on distance or looks should tip one off that that product/company might be trying to cover-up for lack of development know-how. My goal is for the products I design to have very clear and accurate product descriptions.

Weight in grams on rodsAdditional factors that lead to bad tackle include lack of universal measurements and/or ratings systems. For instance, the AFTM system that is being used by tackle producers for matching lines and rods is a catastrophe since it is not followed uniformly.

Labeling in Grams is more precise and accurate than the AFTM-system

Over the last few years, many clients and friends have asked me to put together hosted trips to places I’d recommend, having been fortunate enough to have fished extensively in many of the world’s greatest locations. I’ve finally decided to work those into my schedule, yet only those places that I have personally found immense pleasure in fishing and experiencing on multiple occasions. 
Henrik Mortensen: Professional Fly Angler, Fly Caster, Designer, Instructor & Author