I can't remember ever casting a fiberglass fly rod before getting my hands on the Diamondback Meeker. Other than lawn casting a friend's old bamboo fly rod many years ago as a kid, my personal experience has been centered around good ole graphite. However, with the big resurgence of fiberglass fly rods the last few years, it really got me curious. I've always considered fiberglass as somewhat of a sloppy, heavy material, but I was hearing great things about this new generation of sticks on the market. With this in mind, when I spoke to the good folks at Diamondback Rods several months ago about getting some demo rods to test, I knew one of the three samples had to be a glass rod. In this third and final Diamondback review (for now anyway), I take a look at the 7'6"
#3-weight rod from their fiberglass Meeker series.
If you want extravagant cosmetics and components you're not gonna find them here, but what you will find is a clean, simple, quality, attractive rod that's pleasing to the eye. The 3-piece blank is made from strong E-glass pre-preg and sports a gloss black color scheme. Chrome snake guides and stripping guides with Hialoy inserts provide smooth line flow, all secured to the blank with dark red wraps and red trim accents. Each ferrule showcases the signature diamond-shaped alignment logos to ensure straight assembly each time.
Moving down the rod there's a clean cork handle of good quality coupled with an up-locking aluminum reel seat with burled wood spacer. If you can't get enough of the diamond logos, you'll also find them lurking on the cork itself along with the reel seat insert and butt-end of the reel seat. From tip to butt, everything works as it should and was assembled without any glaring quality control issues.
Now for the "meat and potatoes" part—the performance! I'm accustomed to graphite rods typically of the fast or extra-fast variety, so I had to slow down a bit when fishing the Meeker. The rod is soft and flexes deeply, but it wasn't sloppy like I had imagined it would be. It felt very well-composed, precise, and was easy to get comfortable with while casting a WF3F Cortland Precision Finesse Trout II line. Dare I say it even felt somewhat crisp! The short length, action, and line weight surely hold it back from extreme distances, but it's a sweetheart for short to medium range fishing. This is a glass rod so it's not super trim or lightweight in-hand, but I didn't feel like the added heft detracted from the overall experience.
I have to say that this rod was a delight to fish on local water throwing small flies at small fish. I never stumbled upon any "over-sized surprises" to truly test the rod's fish-fighting prowess, but the Meeker 3-weight makes even the little guys fun. Sensitivity is decent, and the rod flexes and bounces eagerly with even tiny ticked-off quarry on the other end. For things like delicate trout fishing or panfish pond-hopping adventures, this rod deserves a look.
Other Diamondback Meeker rods include:
6'6" 2-piece #2 weight
7'0" 3-piece #3 weight
8'0" 3-piece #4 weight
Priced at $295, all Meeker rods also include a rod bag and protective fiberglass tube.