[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he Level X saltwater fly rods are the creme de la creme of the Rise Fishing lineup. Rise really cut its teeth in the saltwater market and their latest generation rod, the Level X, is proof positive that they are maturing into a company that cares tremendously about the nuances of design, function, durability and customer service.
Steve Brechard, president and head rod designer at Rise Fishing had this to say about the Level X, “With the Level X, we wanted a rod that could punch line through the wind but yet had the touch to present a fly with precision and accuracy. The Level X delivers and like all of our rods, it is designed to feel and cast like a rod that costs twice as much.”
The Level X is a fast action rod with major lifting power in the butt section and just enough flex in the tip to allow for feel upon presentation, also cutting back on arm fatigue. The 10 weight I tested was a a breeze to cast throughout the day. I rigged it with an Einarrson 9/10 Plus and the Rio floating tropical permit line WF-10F. This combination is perfect for my tastes and those of my clients that also found the Level X easy casting and powerful.
The Level X that I received for testing is adorned with an anodized saltwater-safe seat and oversized, lightweight guides for easy shooting of fly line. I could shoot 35 feet of running line with little effort. The fighting butt and full wells cork handles are made from cork of high quality and composite accents. The Level X rods are four pieces with three ferrules that were all manufactured with precision fit and quality energy transfer for piece to piece. A simple cordura covered rod tube completes the package and protects your investment when stowing it easily in overhead compartments of trains, planes and buses.
I spent much of my time while testing this rod fishing for brutishly large bluefish and medium sized striped bass. The Level X allowed me to put the screws to these fish in short order. We threw large streamers and poppers with great results. Fighting false albacore tuna was buffered by the stout butt section that packs impressive lifting power. The X’s fast action helped me push bushy deceivers and other baitfish patterns through windy and rough conditions with both intermediate and floating fly lines. The floating 10 weight Tropical Rio Permit line paired particularly well with the Level X’s fast action.
Rise Fishing has hit paydirt with more than a few of their designs and the Level X falls right into line with that trend. We are looking forward both to fishing the Level X more in the coming times and to finding out what is next to come down the pipe from Rise.