Slightly under the radar here in mainland Europe, that is how we feel about Snowbee’s products

For a number of years, though, we have kept a close eye on Snowbee’s quite affordable range of products, our fellow British angler friends telling us to give this or the other rod, reel and line a try.

Fueled by the generosity of the company, we were able to try out a complete set of fly tackle, namely the 10-foot 7-weight rod from the Geo Nano range, paired with their new machined Spectre reel and an excellent long cast fly line. The venue for the test was nothing short of difficult: the banks of the legendary North Umpqua River in Southcentral Oregon, distance roll casting Grand Central for tough summer steelhead.

The rod comes in a cordura-covered triangular rod tube and separate canvas rod sock,

functional and appealing (only to be “discarded” for the trip – we like to stash all our rods into a large rod tube that fits into our piece of luggage for overseas travel). The rod itself has sober but nice cosmetics, a grey metalflake finish with well-executed thread wraps, really good cork, a pretty and very functional ALPS reel seat and a fighting butt of perfect proportions.

The guides are all perfectly aligned (two lined stripping guides) and the medium fast yet powerful, pleasing action make for a great performing rod. 10-footers can be tip-heavy with a weird swing weight to them, not so the overall lightweight and strong Geo Nano, which definitely is a plus.

It was time to put a line through the guides to dest drive the thing. The reel came pre-spooled with a newly designed line with a somehwat longer head and a thin running line keeping expectations high, we were not to be disappointed: with the right timing and amount of line on the water, long effortless roll and switch casts with good leader turnover are possible, to cover most of the steelhead lies the river has on offer, the extra length of the rod improving line control.

Mission accomplished!

 But wait, what about catching a fish (or two) to see how the rod performed in that department? Well, the river seemed to be generous and yielded fish on two occasions (finally) : a 5-lb hatchery fish that was to enrich our menu as well as a very pretty and strong 7-lbs-ish wild hen that managed to put a deep bend in the rod and to pull line against the smooth drag of the reel, perfect! The somewhat softer tip prevented the fish from falling off the hook as only barbless hooks were used. Two steelhead in three days of fishing can be considered quite good in August on the Umpqua’s fly-only section, something must have been done right…

Readers will now want to know how the rod will perform while overhead casting, after all it can be considered a prime reservoir/stillwater rod… Well, paired with that Snowbee line, it just simply shines! To say we were able to make long, accurate casts is an understatement: after a medium-long carry and accelerated by a slight haul, the line just zips out there with a very narrow loop, effortlessly, way into the very long running line. On one occasion, our companion and guide on the river felt we must have done this a couple of times before… We have no reason to believe the rod won’t perform with intermediate or sinking lines, on the contrary! Yes, the rod is fun to cast and to fish with, lightweight, powerful, fast and accurate, without being stiff at all. Oh, and it comes with a lifetime warranty as well.

Snowbee have created an excellent, balanced line of fishing tools here which we can only recommend. The new line of lightweight Spectre machined reels has a generous capacity and a great, smooth drag and compliments the excellent line of rods.

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