First trip out with the Cortland Competition Mk2 Nymph

First trip out with the Cortland Competition Mk2 Nymph

My main love is grayling fish, after spending years as a coarse angler chasing big carp , barbel and pike I moved over to exclusively fly fishing around 20 years ago now and it was the grayling that really captured my imagination.

I am lucky to live in the Teme Valley (hence the business name!!) and have a beautiful section of the river just a 3 minute walk from my front door. The Teme is full of grayling but at the moment they seem to only get up to about a pound, one to watch for the future perhaps.

This means I travel in to Wales a lot in search of bigger fish and it was on one of these trips last week that I gave the Cortland Competition Mk 2 Nymph rod available in our store its first outing.

The river I was fishing is medium sized , quite fast flowing and has a good head of specimen sized fish, 2lb fish are quite common with 3lbers not out of the question. What I need from a rod here is that it is forgiving enough to cushion the 6X tippets I use against the lunges of a big fish but also has enough backbone to apply the required pressure when a big lady gets that fin up in the strong flows.

I have used the excellent Guideline LPS rods for a number of years, these were developed by my friend Lewis Hendrie, arguably one of the best river anglers in the UK at the moment. However through Teme Valley Flies I have access to the Cortland range and as we all do I can never have enough rods lol

The model I was using was the 10ft 6in 3wt.

First impressions were really good. The rod is supplied in a high quality protective tube finished in a classy burnt orange colour, along with a good soft cloth rod bag. The blank is finished in a very subtle matt black with stylish gold accents to the whippings on the butt and guides. A small "fighting" butt finishes the rod and definitely helps protect your reel when the rod is placed on the floor.I teamed the rod with a Guideline Favo reel and found the balance was excellent. This is really important to reduce fatigue on your arms when you are holding the rod in a high position all day euronymphing.

The rod made accurately delivering a pair of tungsten beaded nymphs effortless, feedback from the nymphs was also really good being able to feel that "tap tap" of the nymphs rolling along the gravel which confirms that they are working in the strike zone.

I was fortunate to catch a fair few grayling but one in particular put the rod through its pace, a fish of 43cm which i hooked in a very fast run about 2ft deep. The fish immediately put that fin up and just hung there seemingly unmoveable as they do. the rod cushioned the tippet perfectly and after a protracted fight the fish was netted without incident. At no time did I feel "undergunned" or conversely in danger of a tippet breakage.

First impressions are really good with this rod and I am looking forward to my next session with it hopefully this coming weekend (although as I write this the rain is banging against the office window so the rivers may be blown out .....AGAIN).

Is the rod worth its price tag?....100% 


Back to blog