Leviathan Prophet 5 Weight Fly Rod Review
Do you like to be different? In the world of fly rods, a handful of brand names take up a huge amount of market share. There's no doubt that these companies produce some absolutely awesome rods, but some anglers just prefer to step outside the box and fish gear that's much less common. To satisfy this desire for uniqueness, an easy solution is to seek out a custom rod builder. But who to contact?
If experience and premium materials matter to you, Leviathan Rods would be a candidate. In this review, we take a look at what kind of fly rod CEO Eric Gomez and his Leviathan Rod company can churn out. My partners over at TackleTour.com recently wrapped up a review of a Leviathan swimbait rod which can be seen right here, so now it's time to give the fly side of things some attention!
Length: 9 feet
Line Weight: 5
Measured Weight: approx 3.93 ounces
Stripping Guides: Fuji K-Series Tangle-Free Alconites
Snake Guides: Mike McCoy Universal Snakes with ECOating
Reel Seat: Aluminum and Graphite
Rod Tube/Sock: Yes/Yes
Of course being a custom builder means Leviathan can craft a rod to any customer's precise specs, but they also currently offer ready-made 5 and 8-weight fly rods for purchase. One of those models, the 5-weight Prophet, is the rod being reviewed here. Please note that even though fly rods are not shown on the Leviathan website right now, they DO offer them in both glass and graphite.
What immediately grabs your attention when you look at the Leviathan Prophet 5 weight? My guess is the carbon grip! Configured in a half-wells style shape, it's definitely unlike most other rods out there. While the handle is firm, it has a slight bumpiness/texturing to it which makes it more comfortable and provides a surer hold. In addition, Portuguese cork is available as an option, too. Attached to the grip you'll find an ALPS marine-grade reel seat which consists of a graphite barrel and black aluminum hardware with hints of silver trim.
The blank of this rod is a North Fork Composites LMX which is comprised of a 40 and 50 Ton graphite blend. We here at Demystifly/TackleTour have always been fans of NFC blanks, so the fact that Leviathan is using these obviously piqued the interest meter long before the rod even arrived at the door. The surface of the black blank has that obvious spiral patterning and textured/ridged feel which is indicative of an unsanded blank.
Leviathan outfitted the rod with chrome snake guides and a pair of swept tangle-free Fuji stripping guides with Alconite inserts. In keeping with the stealthy theme, all the wraps are black while at each ferrule there's some silver trim and large white alignment dots. There's also a decorative black band and fly located on the blank between the stripping guides.
My test rod exhibited a solid build quality with straight guides, clean craftsmanship, and ferrules that fit together with no noise or excess play when flexed.
I tested the Prophet 5 weight with two fly lines: an Elite RIO Gold WF5F (30' head weight of 146 grains) and even a WF6F RIO DirectCore Flats (30' head weight of 185 grains) during a brief stint of unseasonably hot weather. Before the rod shipped out, CEO Eric Gomez notified me that this blank is more of a "multiweight" or "hybrid-powered blank" in that it was made to fish both 5 and 6 weight lines effectively.
If you're looking for a VERY stout 5 weight then you've come to the right place. There is no lightweight feel or forgiving, delicate action here. This is a powerful and weighty fast action rod that packs a solid punch.
Rigged with my WF5F line, I felt the rod performed much better at medium to long range. This is a very fast, stiff rod so accurate close-in casting is not its strong suit as it doesn't offer much feel here. The Prophet definitely performed better for me starting at more typical moderate casting distances and can throw some nice compact loops with high line speed. Power is strong here and that fast action means it can also cast a solid distance—as in the whole line.
In my opinion a hefty WF6F line is the way to go. With the extra grains of the 6 weight line, performance was much improved at all distances. The blank loaded much more efficiently and I noticed better feel, especially at shorter distances. To get this rod to really work at optimal performance, I found the best results with a short, quick casting stroke which should come as no surprise given how fast this rod is. The Prophet also has some swing weight to it while casting—this is not a rod that feels very lightweight.
I was initially worried about the carbon grip being uncomfortable and possibly slippery. I was pleasantly surprised in that comfort was pretty good and the textured surface is actually quite grippy to hold onto. That soft, smooth feel of cork still reigns supreme in my mind as far as fly rod grips go (as mentioned it is available in lieu of carbon), but one nice thing about the Prophet's handle is that you won't have to deal with unsightly discoloration or pitting that happens to all cork.
Want to hear something really special? As a former foster child, Eric donates 10% of profits from every Leviathan rod sold to a company called Foster Village which helps local foster children and families in central Texas. Needless to say, it's always a good feeling when you can purchase a product while also helping out an extremely worthy cause at the same time!