Better yet they can be discreetly tucked into a briefcase for those out of town "meetings." I have a motto derived from the old boy scout adage of being prepared:
"It is better to have a rod and not need it than to need a rod and not have it." Words of wisdom to be sure, and with the new series of Cabela's 7-piece Stowaway fly rods, it is easier to heed than ever before.
It was with great relish that I received the opportunity to field test one of the new 7-piece Stowaway fly rods. The particular model I chose was the 8' 4-weight, and as time would prove, I couldn't have been happier with my choice. I have found this rod to be all most anglers will ever need for trout. I have cast large stonefly nymphs (heavily weighted), tiny dries and about everything in between, and the rod handled them all exceptionally well. The rod has accompanied me on trips for browns and rainbows on streams small enough to step across to large wind swept reservoirs for walleye at night. Was it the ideal rod for punching large baitfish imitations into a stout Nebraska wind for shallow cruising 'eyes? No, I would have preferred a fast-action 8-weight, but the point is, that without the Stowaway behind the seat of my truck, I would not have been able to fish at all. Leaving the extremes aside, this rod is more than adequate for trout in still waters, spring creeks and major rivers.
In the past, the negatives of multi-piece rods often outweighed their positives. The multiple ferrules often increased both the overall rod weight and the stiffness, making some cast and feel like a broomstick. The tip-over-butt ferrules transfer energy better and decrease the overall rod weight, which solved the problems of ealier multiple piece rods. The improvement in the ferrules make it impossible to tell through casting alone if you are throwing a 7 or a 2 piece rod. I matched the rod with a weight-forward 4-weight line and was easily able to place short casts accurately as well as double haul the entire line for distance work. Due to the 40 million modulus blank and the tip-over-butt ferrules, the rod loaded evenly and smoothly with a good balance between a speedy tip and strong butt section.
Not only did the blank stand up to some rigorous tests and strain, but the rest of the rod held up as well and is a nice mixture of elegance and strength. The reel seat is made of beautiful cocobolo wood with nickel silver hardware. The wrapping on both the guides and section ends is first rate and complements the high quality Portuguese cork handle nicely.
As I stated, I chose the 8' 4-weight, but the Stowaway 7 is also available in an 8' 5-wieght, 8' 6" 5-wieght, 9' 5-wieght, 9' 6-wieght, 9' 6" 7-wieght, 9' 8-wieght, and 9' 10-wieght. All rods have the cocobolo wood reel seat and nickel silver hardware, except the 7, 8- and 10-wieghts, which sport anodized aluminum reel seats and fighting butts. The take down length of the 8' model is 15" while the 8' 6" is 16", 9' is 17" and 9' 5" is 17.5". Any of these rods break down small enough to fit into a small day pack, briefcase or shoulder bag.
If there was a disadvantage to the Stowaway 7-piece rod, such as casting performance, weight or price, I would simply use the rod as a small pack rod. Since the rod is moderately priced and casts as well as any comparable two-piece rod I have ever fished, I think the Stowaway 7 series will quickly replace my arsenal of fly rods and will always be with me to take advantage of those unforeseen opportunities. I'm not leaving home without it.