I have had the pleasure of using the LST on some exceptional Colorado water. The areas fished have had all the obstacles a trout angler will meet - from hoppers and streamers in wind-swept meadows to midge hatches that will make the most selective trout squint. One recent trip found us in the foothills of the Never-Summer Mountains searching for risers on a windswept ranch pond. Even with the wrinkled water it was apparent that the fish were willing to rise. A closer examination reveled a few sporadic caddis skating the surface and that was enough to convince me that size 16 elk hair caddis would suffice. The fish were not wandering far for food making it crucial to place the fly on the rise-forms. This is when the LST started to shine. The rod flexed its power in its ability to lift 75 feet of line off the water and demonstrated its delicate side as the elk hair repetitively lit on the water with the illusion of a likely natural caddis.
The bottom three quarters of the rod is a fast, power-generating blank that rips extended lengths of fly-line off the water and shoots line with authority. The top quarter of the rod is gentle - dampening the shock of double hauling long lengths of line, produces tight loops and serves as a great cushion when fighting large fish on small tippet. Having the agile tip on a fast rod also allows for trico-hatch precision - three-inch feeding lane accuracy at short distances with a compact casting stroke. When I want to be extremely accurate, I want a compact stroke - the shorter the stroke the less room for error.
The accuracy of the LST was greatly appreciated on the tight accommodation of Ranch Creek. The meandering meadow stream was chock-full of tangled willows, tall grass, cut banks and 16-inch rainbows. The bows wanted the hopper/dropper combo, but survival has taught them to not abandon the safety of a sheltering lie. The low water flows of fall forced the fish under deep cut banks that were covered with a web of grass and willows making accuracy a must. With 15- to 30-feet of line the rod continued to shine by proving its close-range precision. The combination of power to throw long distances and graceful performance at short distances sets the LST apart. Rods are typically one or the other - a fast distance rod or a slow delicate rod.
Besides the performance points of the rod, its easy on the eyes. Every time I pull the rod out, I get some raised sunglasses and eyes saying, "Oooh, that's a good looking rod. What is that?" To save them the humility of asking I offer up the, "Have you guys thrown the new Cabela's LST rod?" As I hand the rod off, undoubtedly the first comment is "this is classy" followed by, "and light weight". I have to admit the woven graphite reel seats (aluminum reel seats on 7 wt. and up), single-foot titanium carbide finished guides, high-grade cork handle and an SIC stripper guide make a stylish outfit. But most importantly, when they cast it, they know there is a lot more there then pretty. With the balance between power and grace - it's like walking into nature's tests with the confidence of an open-book exam.
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