Just spent the day on the water fly fishing from my kayak in SW Florida with my new, untested Maven Mission 7’6” fly rod. I initially was a bit perplexed when trying to find a suitable fly reel and fly line for this light fly rod. I normally fish 9’ fast action rods from Sage(Sage X and NRX) and Gloomis(Asquith, NRX) as well as T&T’s Horizon II when desiring a tad softer feel in calmer conditions. A few days ago when I received the rod I thought I would see how this new 7 wt. casted. So I stepped out the door after putting a NV-G 7/8 holding a new Orvis Pro Smooth Saltwater line in a 7wt. Immediately this setup was way to heavy for this short 7 wt. I then tried a NV-6/7 with a 7 wt Rio’s Flats Pro. The weight was much better but still a bit heavy. I then stripped off 30 feet of line and began false casting. I totally overpowered the rod with my normal casting stroke. Surprise! This beautiful work of art is not a fast or even a medium/fast action fly rod. Most of today’s newer lines are about a half of line weight over there stated line weight to better match the fast action rods produced by today’s leading rod makers. The Rio Flats Pro Line is made for today’s fast action rods and quickly was not a good choice.
I replaced the Rio Flats Pro 7 weight line with an old Orvis Gen3 Wonderline 7 weight line on my NV 6/7 and added about a 9.5’ fluorocarbon leader with a 20# bite tippet. I planned to use this rig for redfish in skinny water with lots of drift algae on the bottom.
So today I would see if I could make the necessary casting stroke adjustments to get some decent casts in the 30-55’ range. Fly of choice was a rather air resistant gurgler in a B10S #4 hook. It wasn’t easy or pretty, but the rod seemed to handle the weight of the reel and line okay. This fly rod responded well when I lengthened the casting stroke, accelerated slowly and smoothly, and dialed back on the power. It paid off as it handled a 25.5”(6pounder) redfish very well. The butt of the rod has a lot of strength and can easily handle this size of fish.
I did get out of the kayak to wade fish and try casting from a standing position. This was much easier to do and achieve good distance and decent loops. This shorter rod should help with accuracy. It should come in handy blind casting the pockets along a mangrove shoreline for snook or other critters. I will have to work on finding the proper fly line and adjusting to a softer fly rod, but it sure will be fun doing it!
It’s too early to say if this 7’6” Mission in a 7 wt is enough stick for the flies and this fishery. This model in an 8 wt would likely have been a better choice. Since it is made in Auckland, NZ it is basically impossible to know before one pulls the trigger. These are gorgeous rods any way you look at it. If considering a Maven Mission 7’6” fly rod, I would lean towards the heavier rod, ie. an 8 wt instead of a 7 wt.
Looks excellent, very well made!
Have not used the rod as my water temperature is 40F. My season starts about April 15th.
Ok guys. Finally had a chance to put my new Maven 9 wt to the test at Andros Island, Bahamas. You guys hit a home run with this rod. First two days of fishing were struggles due to poor weather and low to no visibility, but the weather cooperated on the last day for me to be able to put this rod through it’s paces. The guide stops at first flat of the morning and I’m staring into a 10-15 mph direct headwind. I’m thinking what have I done to the guide to make him mad at me, but in his defense, he had to get the sun behind us. First shot of the day comes at 12 o’clock at 50-55 feet. I’m just an average caster at 63 years of age, and this shot is not one that I normally execute. However, the Maven rod performed beautifully, and the fly turned over as it should with plenty of power to spare. The bonefish obliged as well, and I had the first fish boated with one cast. This rod has a lot of power. My line hand lost the line a couple of times on the back cast haul because of line speed that I normally do not generate. Interesting, the Maven rod also performed well on the shorter casts of 20 -25 feet or so. For a rod that has this much power and backbone, it also has the needed feel for the in close shots. My guide practiced with the rod at lunch, and he stated he has never thrown as much line as he did with the Maven rod. He was also impressed with how light the rod felt in his hands. At the end of the day, I hooked 14 bones and boated 13. The Maven rod performed flawlessly. I’ll be ordering the 8 wt version of this same rod for Christmas! Congratulations. You guys nailed it with this rod!
J B Benton
My buddy and I first started fly fishing in the Bahamas for bonefish. However we had never fished our home stream ( Tellico River in The Cherokee National Forest). So thanks to Drew Chicone we decided to try a Maven Mission 7’6” Fly Rod for this. This Rod is amazing being so lightweight and so sensitive for the trout we would be catching. Importantly, the customer service for the company was second to none. Our rods shipped separately and they were very responsive of our questions. We couldn’t be happier to have chosen Maven for our first fly rods to fish the Tellico River.
Fitted the rods up with Van Staal VR series reels and by far the best spinning rods rods I have thrown. Cant wait for Tarpon Season.