Asquith Rods- Every so often, a product comes along that's especially unique. At the IFTD show this year, Shimano and G. Loomis have teamed up to bring us such a product. The new high-end Asquith series of fly rods is said to be "The Most Technologically Advanced Fly Rods in the World." If you're a fly angler and that doesn't grab your attention, I don't know what will!
Both G. Loomis and Shimano have collaborated to bring us these ultra-premium rods. Developed and hand-finish in Woodland, WA and rolled in the world's only Spiral X production facility in Kumamoto, Japan, these rods are loaded with features and technology for awesome performance. So what aspects of these rods makes them so unique?
One of the major features that goes into Asquith rods is the use of Shimano's proprietary Spiral X technology. By utilizing a core layer, longitudinal middle layer, and reverse-axis fiber outer layer, rigidity is increased (without increasing weight), ovalization of the blank is reduced, and power transmission is practically instant. This all translates to better durability, tighter loops, and better accuracy.
Aside from Spiral X, other features include titanium stripping guide frames with SiC inserts, REC recoil snake guides (Snake brand chrome snake guides on spey rods), aluminum reel seats with bamboo inserts on 4–6 weight rods, aluminum reel seats with Ci4 inserts on 7–12 weight rods, and an aluminum rod tube with sock. All rods are fast action. Single-handed models are all 9-foot 4-piece and range from 4–12 weight. Spey rods go from 6 to 10 weight and measure 12'9"–15'0" in length. These rods don't come cheap, with the MSRP starting at $1,000 and topping out at $1,400. Look for them to begin shipping around Sept/Oct.
Asquith Reels- The new product introductions don't stop with just fly rods. Shimano is also bringing the new Asquith series of fly reels to market in 3/4 and 7/8 sizes. Designed around the Hagane Body Technology, Asquiths tout a frame machined from aluminum for rigid operation. In the "guts" of the reel you'll find a carbon disc-drag system that's fully sealed along with two anti-rust bearings (ARB). The drag adjustment on the 3/4 is on the front of the reel, while the 7/8 is in the traditional rear location. Finally, another noteworthy feature is the use of Ci4+ material in the reel's handle design. Look for prices of $279.99 for the 3/4 and $379.99 for the 7/8. Both reels are R/L hand interchangeable and also include a neoprene pouch. Expect them to be available around late August/early September.