After the MiniMag’, the BVK, the TiCrX, Temple Fork Outfitters continues to surprise us with their new series : the Mangrove. This series is said to be handy with big flies (popper, big bugs, and other bulky kind of things) but with a rather fast action, and pretty tough to face the badass conditions of predator flyfishing. A true saltwater rod, that has more and more fans in the pike flyfishing world… And what’s coming in our mind is « You bet !!! »
The Mangrove is rather sober, with a nice burgundy blank, a cool signature, old-school american style. Ok, we may not be blown away by the aesthetic of the rod in its whole (for this price, we may not ask for the Moon) but everything is clean and nothing looks bad. The handle doesn’t move, the reel seat seats the reel, and the ligatures and varnish are well done. The varnish of the blank is a little bit special, it is supposed to help protecting the blank against potential impacts of a leaded fly. Well, that is surely true, but since it’s only supposed to help protecting against impacts, and not guarantying against impacts, you won’t blame me if I didn’t actually tested this particularity. The guides are also designed to be resistant to the rude fishermen that we are, and to the braided backing that run way too often through the guides in saltwater.
A particularity of this rod (as for many other TFO rods) is that they come without a tube. For me, and for this article, this is very convenient because generaly, there’s not much too say about the tubes that come with the middle-priced rods. Appart from the fact that it’s here, and that you can store the rod in it.
Action of the rod
For a saltwater rod, the action is much more parabolic than the average. From those classical and strongly marked tip-curves, this is more an intermediate between a tip and a med-tip curve. Roughly, the upper third works the most, and the rod bends until the half of the rod when you pull hard on it. This is a rather fast to semi-fast action, that typically fits in those modern profiles of rods that are « fast but comfortables, not broomsticks ». This is a very well designed action. And moreover, the blank feels very light.
On the water
This might be a little bit too consensual for the punk rebels that we are at Le Mouching, but I totally agree with TFO on what they say on their rod : it is a delite with big flies, and big flylines, and it’s fast. Loaded (as usual for the pike tests) with Airflo Sniper #10 lines, and also with a Monic GSP Skyline #11, it found itself very handy in all conditions. For the newcomers at pike fly fishing, who are used to the fast tip-curve actions of their saltwater or stillwater rods, the Mangrove is closer to this kind of action than the very typical pike fly rod action (much more parabolic and often slower). About it’s ability to handle the fish… I won’t have much to say because, frankly said, the pikes that I caught with it where not really of the kind of size that will threaten this kind of rod. Well, I know it’s not my day of glory today, but, you know, it’s fishing.
The TFO Mangrove is an astonishing rod, in the good sense, for very interesting price. The 9’#10 has been on field testing for a couple of days of fishing, but I also tried the 9’#5 and the 9’#12 at the Paris Fishing show, and my impressions on both models are very good. TFO has made something great with this rod, at such a price. If you count on investing in a rod for big flies this year, at an affordable price, find an occasion to try it…