I recently had the pleasure of receiving a 7wt Blue Halo Rod for Christmas from my wife. I asked for a 7wt model for my upcoming trip out west for trophy trout. For those of you who are not familiar with the Blue Halo Gear company, they are a company based out of Orem, Utah. This company is getting into what I like to call the new wave in fly fishing. They’re bringing an old style fly rod up to date and doing it in style. Fly fishing as we all know evolves over time, from your grandads bamboo rod, to your father’s fiberglass rod, and not moving on to more advanced graphite rods we see nowadays. The fly fishing community is seeing trend in popularity of “retro” style gear. Fiberglass rods are making a comeback, and in a big way. Fiberglass rods are known for their heft and ability to launch large flies with ease due to the backbones of the rods. Echo got on the band wagon a while ago introducing their echo glass line, which also includes a switch and spey model.
Another trend many of us may be seeing are these small satellite type companies popping up here and there. The first one I noticed was the Allen Fly Fishing company several years ago. They have since seen a great deal of success and have quality products. Another company I saw popup was Cheeky fly fishing in 2009. Cheeky set out to make an impact with bold colors on their reels. Cheek specializes in reel manufacturing and recently added a new line of reels, the limitless series. I own a few cheeky reels and they are superb. Now let’s talk blue halo. A relatively young company, Blue Halo specializes in rods. Specifically fiberglass rods. I think the biggest thing to note about Blue Halo, is their attention to detail, and their ability to make a fly rod into a piece of art. After receiving mine, I know this is something I want to be a family heirloom for years to come. They’re that beautiful.
Blue Halo offers three rod weights; 3, 5, and7. Three solid representatives that can target a variety of species. They also offer two options for their products. Either purchase a completed fly rod from them, which I did, or purchase the blanks and build your own. Either way, you’re getting a quality product. The company has their RetroFlex Gen II technology. Which the company says combines feel with sturdy reliability.
Aesthetics (Complete Rod from Blue Halo)
The Blue Halo rods are aesthetically pleasing to look at. The guide wraps are all done in a baby blue color. I opted for the “Raw” blank color for my rod. That rod black with the light blue wraps is, for lack of a better word, dead sexy. The cork grip is very nice. The 7wt model, which I own, has a nice fighting butt. The reel seat is simple, yet satisfying on this rod. No fancy hardwoods or metals on these bad boys, but to be honest, they aren’t necessary. The rod comes with a uplocking reel seat, with single locking nut. The reel seat has a shiny nickel finish, which helps accent the rod in my opinion. The dark nickel colored guides on the rod are very nice.
Guides: 1 stripping guide, snake guides, and tip top.
Handle and Reel Seat: 7wt model has fighting butt, all cork handle, nickel reel seat.
Pieces: 3 pc. Rod.
Wraps: Light blue guide wraps.
Initially I am super impressed with the Blue Halo. I own several rods, G-loomis, Scott, Sage, Echo, Cabelas, and so on. I’ve been able to cast a myriad of rods and feel that I can give an honest assessment of this rod. I have not had to opportunity to cast this rod yet, but I will post an update once I have been able to fish the rod for several outings. This 7wt rod can cover a variety of species and techniques. My first trip with this rod will be for winter steelhead. The nice thing about the 7wt rod is you can use the rod on a variety of rivers and lake for trout, bass, small pike, steelhead, etc. This is a great all around rod weight for chucking large streamers and heavy nymph rigs.
So what are my initial impressions? As i stated above, initially, the rod seems solid. Out of the box it feel great in hand. The full wells cork grip is great for the 7wt. I prefer a full wells grip on all my rods. They are a little beefier and I feel my casting is better with a rod that ha a full wells grip. The Blue Halo is a heavier rod, even though it is only an 8’6″ rod. The heft is due to the fiberglass, so the addition of a beefier reel will help balance this sucker out. I am currently going to run a Cheeky Mojo 425 on this rod. The reel is a little on larger side for a 7wt, but the added heft balances the fiberglass nicely. I Prefer my rods to balance about 3/4 of the way to to blank on the cork. Just my preferred hand location during casting.
The rod feels like it has a moderate action. Which is common in fiberglass rods, but most have a slow action to them. Slow to moderate action rods are great for heavy nymph rigs and streamers, when line speed and tighter loops from a fast action rod may not be necessary. Unlike the fast action rods of the new age, the fiberglass rods are not meant to cast great distances. Think of the fiberglass rod as the sniper rifle of your arsenal. Fiberglass rods are great for slowing down your casting stroke, making the rod do the work, and placing a fly accurately where you want it. Fiberglass is becoming extremely popular for dry fly fishing. Where accurate casts to finicky trout is essential. I am not jumping to conclusions about this rod, but I can assure you I am not looking to make extremely long casts with this rod. For my purposes, I plan on using this rod for shots anywhere from 30ft to 50ft. If I want a rod that I can chuck out to 75ft, I’ll grab my Scott Meridian.
I plan on doing some test casting with this rod to really find it’s sweet spot. I will add a more detailed technical post once I am able to do that. For right now, I am giving this rod a tentative 3.5/5. Mostly because I haven’t fished it yet. These rods have great reviews from customers mostly 4/5 to 5/5 on their website. That being said, I can’t give a 4/5 or 5/5 initially out of the box for this one. I have to cast the rod and really feel it. This is a moderately priced rod at $329 without the no fault waiver. With the no fault waiver, you’re looking at $425 dollars. The no fault waiver only covers two occurrences of rod breakage. Which states that it doesn’t matter how the rod breaks, even if it’s your fault, it’s covered. The Blue Halo company offers a limited warranty. Which boils down to a defect in the rod and it’s covered. Other than that the no fault insurance waiver will kick in. A nice feature, but not a super great warranty. I personally own rods that have better warranties that Blue Halo, but I am not complaining about theirs.
The 3.5/5 stars is a tentative review based solely on aesthetics and out of the box quality. These truly are beautiful rods and I hope it lives up to it’s reputation on the water.