- Slim rod blank is stunning in design and form
- Soft, accurate fly presentation
- Good reach/distance for a slow-action 4-wt
- Made in the USA
- Most expensive rod in the class
- Least versatility in the class
- Longer length can be a hindrance on small streams/brushy back-casting range
A beautiful new rod design, using a super-slim rod blank (significantly smaller diameter than any rod any of our testers have ever used), the Circa performs its role as a dry fly specialist perfectly. Just don’t expect it to do anything else.
Circa uses modern technology to remaster an old, classic style—that of a slow-action dry-fly rod. The Sage Konnetic carbon composite technology helps dampen rod vibrations, thus improving casting accuracy. The technology resulted in a very slim rod blank, colored a rich olive green, that is capable of delivering dries exactly where you want them without raising a ripple. Unfortunately, the technology drives up the price, making this the most expensive rod in our test class, yet also one of the least versatile. In short, the Circa excels at precision dry fly fishing, but you’ll pay a premium price for this single-purpose rod.
Casting Distance and Accuracy
The 8’9” length allows for a long, graceful casting stroke that, with patience, throws line accurately to 50+ feet. Only rarely is a cast of that distance needed to place a dry fly in the feeding lane of a rising trout, but when you do need it, it is nice to know the Circa can deliver. Our less experienced tester found his distance peaked at around 40 feet as he had a bit of trouble mastering the slow metronomic pace of the casting stroke after fishing the more common (now) fast- or medium-fast action rods during his entire angling career.
While the Circa excels at placing dry flies gently on the water where you want them, don’t expect it to do the same with big dries, weighted nymphs or multi-fly rigs. The extra weight of those lures cause the slow-moving line to wobble and tangle once more than 25 or 30 feet of line is put into play. The Circa is a dry fly tool, pure and simple.
How We Tested It
Fishing for rainbow trout on the tailwater fishery of the Upper Yakima River and the Rocky Ford spring creek, both in Washington state. We also fished the Metolius and Crooked Rivers of central Oregon. Testers included long time outdoor writers, game wardens, western fishing guides, and a few select blog readers.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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