Musky on the Fly.. Its pretty cool to do battle with a fish that would eat your face off if he could. Musky and Pike fishing with fly rods has become increasing popular over the last decade and we set out to design and build what we consider to be the finest ESOX specific fly rod package on the market. Built on the same cutting edge Extra-Fast Action Blank as our STEALTH offerings, these rods can sling the biggest flies you can muster, handle the highest grain lines, and subdue the meanest and largest gators on the planet.
When we started the design process, one thing we noticed about the other ESOX specific rods on the market was that none of them seemed to be designed with toughness in mind. One thing we knew, Musky and Pike are really tough on equipment. Every component on the rod is pushed to the limit in this "combat style" of fly fishing. Job one was to outfit the rod with components up to the challenge. We "one upped" every other rod out there when it came to outfitting the rods with grips, reel seats, guides and finish.
Our 10WT and 12WT rods are built on some of the fastest blanks on earth. This is not important and not even desired for the majority of Musky Fly Fisherman out there. But it was really important for us, and it was also a requirement for a select few who really wanted to achieve maximum line speeds chucking the largest flies with minimal false casting. The action is not going to appeal to the crowd, but if you are like us, we really don't want to work harder than we have to when it comes to casting the big stuff. The blank is tough as nails and very lightweight for what it designed to do. The FT blank is a perfect compliment to the other exquisite components on the overall rod package.
The Grip System
When durability and toughness are the target for a grip system on a fly rod, you gotta get serious. There is simply not another ESOX specific fly rod package on the market that offers a composite grip. We built the ESOX grip using a 4LB Density Polyurethane Core and an epoxy reinforced Fiberglass Sleeve. We have literally run over these grips with SUVs to test the durability. They are the toughest, lightest grips available on a Musky stick. The grips are Stealth Grey and feature ultra high density EVA caps to cushion impacts where the grip meets the reel seat and the fighting butt. The grip system includes a unique ergonomic fighting butt 3.5" in length. We found 3.5" to be the magic length after testing out a whole bunch of fighting butt sizes. This fighting butt felt really good for dealing out figure 8's in the heat of battle. The entire grip system is hand-lathed, and fabricated from scratch here in our shop and is comprised of the toughest materials available.
The Reel Seat
This was another component that seemed to be overlooked by the other rod manufacturers out there. We go back again to the toughness argument. A rod is only as good as its weakest component. We were not going to have a weak point on our ESOX rod. We settled on the RFTS Reel Seat by REC Components. This reel seat is absolutely bulletproof and features a really unique and ingenious Tru-Track system that makes seating a reel foolproof every single time. We didn't care that it is the most expensive milled aluminum reel seat on the market. Our customers are worth it. You can have any color you want as long as its black. Again, a perfect complement to the color scheme and durability of the grip system, and a 10.0 on the toughness scale.
One major complaint we saw on some of the online forums from Musky on the Fly Guys was that the guides on most of the ESOX fly rods were not up to the challenges of doing battle with really mean fish, the abuse dished out by high grain fly lines, and the sheer weight of the flies. An inferior guide setup will inevitably fail when pushed beyond the limits of what some consider "normal" use. No matter what anyone says, there is nothing normal about the circumstances surrounding Fly Fishing for Musky and Pike. It is a gut wrenching siege on our expensive tackle. So the only way to solve this dilemma was to outfit our rods with some of the most expensive, most durable guides on the market. Luckily, we didn't have to do much shopping here. Our Stealth Fly Rods were already sporting some pretty fancy and expensive guide setups. There is an old saying (at least we think its an old saying)-- "you get what you pay for". We outfit our ESOX rods with AMTAK Titanium Stripping Guides. With not a whole lot more said, they are simply the some of the best, and definitely the most durable Stripping Guides on the market. Somebody is going to say, "No they aren't".. But trust us, they are. The Stripping Guides are comprised of a full titanium frame and a braid proof Nanolite insert that is unaffected by textured lines and whatever other nastiness you choose to subject your guides to. We have been using these guides on our Stealth Fly Rods for 4 years with ZERO failures. After the stripping guides we outfit the rods with premium Titanium REC RECOIL single foot running guides. These things can be stepped on, crushed, beaten, bruised, etc. etc., and still retain their original shape. What some call overkill others call necessity. We needed the toughest, lightest guides on the market and that is what we bought for our ESOX rods.
After we put all this tough stuff on the rods, we coat the thread wraps (guides, ferrule joints) and the graphics with premium FLEXCOAT epoxy. Epoxy that truly flexes with deep rod bends is a pretty important part of the process and one we certainly didn't intend to overlook. It has proven itself on our Stealth Fly Rods for the last 4 years and has taken on whatever abuse has been thrown its way. We transitioned our faith and experience with this epoxy system to the ESOX rods.
The Finished Product
After putting all this together, we tried to imagine what an ESOX specific fly rod outfitted with all this great stuff would cost you from one of the premiere rod manufacturers out there. Don't forget, you have to pay their shareholders, the rent on that 500,000 square foot state of the art manufacturing facility, employee health insurance plans, corporate jets, anyway, you get the point. Here in our little shop, we don't have any of that fancy stuff. We use simple processes to assemble exquisite fly fishing gear by hand, one piece at time. So we can offer a truly unique, premium quality, and tough as nails ESOX specific fly rod for less than some of the other guys. Will this concept appeal to many, no. But for a few, the chosen few, who need a super fast action rod, who need a really durable package, who need something out of the ordinary, we think you have landed in the right spot. The ESOX program here at Riverworks is something we are passionate about and we strive to make every one of our rods something you will treasure for a lifetime (even as you are beating the hell out of it)..
ALL STEALTH ESOX FLY RODS ARE SPECIAL ORDER ITEMS, WE BEGIN THE BUILD PROCESS AFTER WE RECEIVE YOUR ORDER.. PLEASE ALLOW UP TO 15 BUSINESS DAYS FOR YOUR ROD TO SHIP.
ALL RODS AND COMPONENTS ARE BUILT IN THE USA
*Both the 10WT and 12WT Models are 9' 4PC Rods
*Both rods include a grey and black cotton rod sock and a premium brushed aluminum rod tube