The Tactical Pro 9' #5/6 has an anodised aluminium up locking reel seat, AAA cork reverse half wells grip and is built on a matt black blank, with Fuji SIC and REC Recoil TM titanium/nickel guides. Black whipping with a turn of red thread and white alignment dots pick out the joints and make for a no nonsense, professional finish.
The rod is light and responsive with a fast recovery but a smooth progressive action that allows for nice loops at low speed and elegant presentation casts. When a long line is aerialised the rod bends into the butt and delivers distance with ease.
It's non reflective finish and progressive action is perfect for rivers and stillwaters delivering a fly with delicate precision at close range and having enough grunt to effortlessly cast a whole flyline (if that's your thing).
I have only two negative points: 1) The grip is a little too thick for my liking, but 30 minutes with a fine sandpaper sorted that out. 2) The rod tube is square with a zipped flap, square tubes are more easily crushed and the zipped flap offers little protection at the end. For a rod of this price I'd expect a better tube to protect it. These are small niggles and it certainly wouldn't stop me from recommending this rod, it's really very good.
Retail price at time of writing £500
Available from www.flytyingcompany.co.uk
Now generally speaking I like Vision fly fishing gear and there are many positive reviews of their products on my blog. However I'm not keen on the Vision Sprinter wading boots. There are some plus points to them and only one major drawback but for me it's a deal breaker.
So on the plus side the boots are very comfortable (they seem to have an abundance of spongy padding), fairly light, surprisingly supportive (for a low cut boot) and well made. So lots of good stuff.
But they take absolutely ages to dry, During the winter they take weeks, literally weeks, to dry and in the summer they take several days to dry, even in direct sun. Now this may not be a problem for the occasional angler but I'm out at least a few times a week and want gear that dries quickly, to minimise transfer of invasive species. All that padding just doesn't dry, and wet boots not only have the potential to carry bad things but also have a certain unpleasant odour! So I've got myself a pair of Redington Prowler boots. I'll review them after I've put them through their paces.