After reading conflicting reports we were excited at the prospect of compiling a Guideline Stoked fly rod review to evaluate how good this product is. It was launched in early 2020 with a very bold statement from the manufacturer.
“Stoked has taken entry level fly rods to a totally new level of performance“
With a very keen 12 year-old newcomer to fly fishing, this at first glance looks the ideal product for anyone picking up a fly rod for the first time. The Guideline stoked fly rod is also hailed as an ‘eco-friendly’ product which will probably mean that the environmentally friendly features will be matched by other rod builders in time. As a result we were keen to try it out and find out if the product lives up to the fuss.
After returning to fly fishing during the Covid-19 lockdown rules were relaxed I’ve been accompanied by two keen young anglers at every occasion. Learning to cast a fly is difficult, particularly when the first experience of casting is with a vintage Shakespeare Sigma Graphite, an aging Airflo line and a trusty Leeda Rimly reel. After not breaking this old kit, and being trusted with my beloved Sage XP, it wastime to invest in new kit for the fledgling fly-fishers.
After looking around for a quality outfit at a good price I was amazed by the offer that John Norris had for the Guideline Stoked Fly Fishing Outfit. I tried to get some advice from the owners as to its suitability for kids but they didn’t bother to reply. Nevertheless I decided to invest in the kit:
Guideline Stoked Fly Fishing Outfit
This competitively priced fly fishing outfit includes:
- Guideline Stoked Fly Rod (RRP £149.99 to £179.99)
- Guideline Favo Fly Reel (RRP £119.99)
- John Norris Ni1 Floating Fly Line (RRP £14.99)
The outfit is available in a range of sizes from 8′ 6″ to 10″ and AFTM from #4 to #9.
Annoyingly, the ‘outfit’ doesn’t include backing or braided loops. Surely any ‘outfit’ should include everything you need to set-up the tackle to go fly fishing? This isn’t particularly beginner friendly and can only lead to disappointment if this is the first time you’ve bought an ‘outfit’ or you are buying this as a gift for a child.
I decided on the Guideline Stoked 9ft 6in 7 Line Fly Fishing Outfit which is only £169.99. By the time you add braided loops, backing and delivery this means that it costs £190.00 to be ready to fish.
Key Features of the Guideline Stoked Fly Rod
- Blanks are painted in a translucent olive green colour with a hint of metallic flakes.
- New, improved full wells grips without rubber cork reinforcements. This reduces the levels of epoxy-resins needed in the grips. All models except 8’6 #4 and 9’ #5 has fighting butt.
- Metal parts of reel seats are “clear anodized” which is the least toxic process possible when using aluminium reel seats. We use no chrome (lead) or paint in the anodizing bath.
- For the coatings on blank, guides and the mounting glue for grips and reel seat, we use a bio-based low-toxic Epoxy, tested and approved with extremely low levels of regulated chemicals. This also adds to a better working atmosphere in the assembly phase of production, reducing health hazardous odours to a minimum.
- Rods are mounted with light hard chrome guides.
- Rod bag and rod tube cover are made of recycled REPREVE™ polyester.
- The rod tubes are made of recyclable Polypropylene (PP), they are lighter and have 20% lower diameters than standard PVC tubes. This will save space and money when rods are transported both from the factory and by the user. Given its durability and the possibility to melt and reform into plastic pellets, PP is both reusable and recyclable for producing new goods.
- All rods are 4-piece.
We visited Pennine Fishery in Lanchashire to try out the fly fishing outfit. The rod looks amazing, particularly when partnered with the Guideline Favo reel. From the first cast, my 12 year old was able to cast out a nice straight line with great presentation. This grew confidence quickly and his distance increased throughout the day with no tangles or frustration. Apparently this is due to a ‘ a slightly lower modulus carbon’.
These rods have a medium fast action with a sensitive and stable tip. The bend is progressive down the blank which gives you a great feel and you can easily connect to the rod for all types of casts. A fish was soon on the line thanks to a ‘black buzzer’. The rod is very responsive when playing a fish which makes it easy for beginners.
Guideline Stoked Options
|Model||Lenght||Class||Weight||Parts||Handle||Rec. head weight|
|Stoked 864||8´6″||#4||78g||4 pc||Full wells||9-11g / 140-170 grains|
|Stoked 905||9´||#5||94g||4 pc||Full wells||11-13g / 170-200 grains|
|Stoked 906||9´||#6||96g||4 pc||Full wells||13-15g / 200-230 grains|
|Stoked 907||9´||#7||98g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||17-19g / 260-290 grains|
|Stoked 908||9´||#8||99g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||19-21g / 290-325 grains|
|Stoked 909||9´||#9||101g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||21-23g / 325-355 grains|
|Stoked 966||9´6″||#6||106g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||13-15g / 200-230 grains|
|Stoked 967||9´6″||#7||108g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||17-19g / 260-290 grains|
|Stoked 968||9´6″||#8||110g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||19-21g / 290-325 grains|
|Stoked 1006||10´||#6||109g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||13-15g / 200-230 grains|
|Stoked 1007||10´||#7||111g||4 pc||Full wells & butt||17-19g / 260-290 grains|
Guideline Stoked Fly Rod Review
Here are the key points to remember from our Guideline Stoked fly rod review:
- Very well priced, particularly if bought as an outfit
- Excellent rod action which makes casting easier for beginners
- Looks great and is well finished
- Comes with a tiny rod tube which saves lots of space
- There is no ‘hook holder’ to hold your fly when moving around
Where to buy it
Don’t buy the rod. By this an an outfit from John Norris as you get the beautiful Guideline Favo reel and a decent line for only £15 extra.