A few weekends ago I went fishing with FF Team USA teammate Jeremy Sides and our now mutual friend Joe Schwonke. Joe introduced Jeremy to the Cortland 10' 6" 3wt Competition Nymph rod a few months back and he's been fishing it every since including during the national championships in October. Given that my only other experience with Cortland rods was with a Cortland Fairplay from Walmart that I fished in elementary and middle school, I was deeply skeptical that the rod could be as good as Jeremy was hyping it to be. As we rigged up that morning on the Poudre I shook Joe's rod next to the 4 wt Sage ESN I was about to fish for the day. A couple of comparative shakes later my interest was more than just peaked. The rod performed great that day and I knew that I had to do a deeper investigation. Joe connected me with Brooks Robinson and Joe Goodspeed at Cortland and they were gracious enough to send me the 10' 6" 3wt to fish. I also received some of their new white indicator mono and a couple of their competition nymphing fly lines.
I get sick of magazine reviews where the author has likely fished or worn a product for only a day or two only to proclaim it's life changing superiority. Therefore, I'm going to avoid being a prisoner of the moment and I will bring you a full review in a month or two after I've had the rod out on the water a lot more. For now it suffices me to say that if you're in the market for your first Euro-nymphing rod and you aren't ready to pony up the dollars for an ESN, I think this rod lineup is the one you should be in the market for. Check out what the rod designer Joe Goodspeed has to say about the rods here.
Below are a couple photos of the rod.