By Andrew Derr
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]magine this: a rod company that carefully builds handcrafted premium graphite fly rods here in the United States but sells them for 1/3 less than their competitors whose massive advertising and marketing campaigns bulk up price tags and help sell their t-shirts and other logo’d merch.
That company is Beaverkill Rod Company, the brain child of owner Anthony Magardino. Based in Scarsdale, New York, the company produces the rods entirely in the United States with facilities in Naples, FLorida – Maryland and New York. Magardino’s philosophy simply put: “My intention is to sell a $395 rod that could easily sell for $600-$700, and make it here, on shore, (at a price where) people could buy it, add it to their collection of premium rods and still have a few dollars left in their pocket.”
Currently, Beaverkill offers the truly wonderful Legacy line of rods from 3- to 12-weight. The lighter weights come in slow and medium actions. The 5- to 7-weights come in slow, medium and fast actions. The 8- to 12-weights come in medium and fast action. All are under $400 except the $425 tag on the 12-weight.
Tip Flex Legacy #9
So I got my hands on the this sweet stick right about the start of our striped bass flats season that really is red hot in the months of May and June. This type of fishing requires accurate casts in shallow water – hopefully in bright conditions. This time of year, there are some very large and intelligent fish in the neighborhood. It is a necessity to bring your “A game” and a 9-weight rod capable of delivering a small fly accurately and capable of fighting an angry 20- to 30-pound striper, many of which inhabit the shallow waters of Peconic Bay at this time of year. These are bucketlist bass and you need to be properly outfitted, literally and mentally. The Legacy is a perfect rod for this fishing.
With it’s fast action, the Tip Flex Legacy gets through a head wind but has enough flex in the tip to avoid major splashdown when throwing at these sometimes very skittish fish. The backbone in the butt section is quite considerable while avoiding that clumsily thick build that some manufacturers employ. I find the rod flexes quite fluidly through all three sections (all Beaverkills are 3-piece rods) and avoids the arm fatigue that is sometimes associated with casting fast saltwater rods. If I were to be given the keys to the design room, I wouldn’t tweak the taper in any way on this stick. It is a winner.
Aesthetics- Classy not flashy…
These are great looking rods. Subdued dark green blanks with green wraps. Every wrap on the rod we tested looked perfect. There is nothing flashy about these rods. The conservative and attractive appearance harkens back to early days of our sport. The quality components are attractive and the cork on the rod we tested was of nice quality, without the excessive filler found on many rods these days. Frankly, it is hard to find a fault with these sticks. Throw in a really competitive price tag and it feels like a no-brainer.
Beaverkill rods sport:
•’Super-grade’ Portuguese cork grips
•Stripping guides are high frame three-leg, one-piece stainless steel with a silicon carbide molded ring
•Snake guides, the side-mounted hook keeper, and tiptops are stainless-steel-coated with groove-resistant titanium carbide
•Lustrous emerald green proprietary blanks using a slip ferrule system are hand-crafted in the USA.
•Forest green Beaverkill nylon-covered carrying case with integral dual-pocket rod pouch.
And while all of their rods have the features described above, depending on the size of the rod, specific hardware features vary as follows:
•3 through 6 weight have a titanium-coated aluminum reel seat with channeled bird’s eye maple insert.
•7 through 11 weight boast a ‘saltwater-ready’ uplocking black anodized aluminum reel seat with a 4″ cork fighting butt.
•12 weight has the same ‘saltwater-ready’ uplocking black anodized aluminum reel seat as the 7-11 weights, but features a 3″ ‘ball-style’ fighting butt.
Aside from the insane urge to go catch a very large tuna on a fly rod, Beaverkill has designed a rod for just about every fly fishing application. If the rest of the lineup is close to as thoughtfully designed and meticulously built as the 9-weight Legacy, I see good things for this small company from Scarsdale, New York. I recently spotted Michael Keaton looking lustfully at a dainty Beaverkill 4-weight at a Bonefish and Tarpon Trust fundraising dinner in New York City. I imagine that thing is now gracing the beautiful haunts that he fishes out in McCloud, Montana. I too will seek out the other rods that this rod maker is designing and producing at truly fair prices. With a name like Beaverkill, one can surmise that their trout rods are a major focus for them. We look forward to getting our hands on more of these killer sticks. We will be sure to let you know what we think.
In the meantime, contact your local fly shop or go directly to their site (www.bkrod.com) to get a Beaverkill Legacy bent as soon as possible.