Fresh in stores is the new Primal Zone, specialist euro nymph rod range.
At the heart of all Primal rods is a helical core of Nano matrix prepreg. In simple terms the first layer at the core of the fly rods are off-axis fibres that give the rods incredible hoop strength as well as torsional stability. This makes the rods not only strong but means they cast a very smooth tight loop with very little tip bounce and exceptional tracking. Basically this means more control, more stability and a more responsive, fishable fly rod that you can set hooks with all day.
Bringing a specialist nymphing rod to the range packing this tech was a no brainer, however as I’m no expert on the finer points of euro nymphing, we thought we’d call in the big guns for their views on the new, Primal Zone, specialist euro nymphing range.
The 10ft 2 Weight - Technical Performance With Johnny Gummer
The past 2018/2019 fly fishing season called for a rod arsenal makeover, upgrading my carbon friends to the Primal rod range and never looking back. Running the #4, #5, #6 in the raw freshwater range and the #10 in the Mega salt and all have performed flawlessly. Performance for the price is a little sinister thinking about it. Naturally when the chaps at Manic mentioned a euro style technique specific rod range, I was very interested to see how they turned out, especially after my solid impressions of my existing Primal rods.
I knew the Primal blank characteristics had the ability to make a great euro rod providing the 10ft change would turn out as well as it’s shorter Raw and Mega brothers. After a bunch of days on the water I can confidently say I’m looking forward to fishing this stick at the 2019 World Fly Fishing Championships in Tasmania and here’s why.
Colour - Simply couldn’t be better. Matte grey and no shine for those under the rod tip presentations.
Balance - That downlocking reel seat dials the in-hand rod balance to all new levels. As a result, I noticed a super low swing weight, faster hook setting, much greater accuracy and less arm fatigue. Amazing.
Ultra thin single-foot guides - No more leader sticking to the blank when wet. First guide on the first rod section - reduced line sag between guides and better contact with flies. And finally line up dots on a low price tag rod!
Thin cork - Amazing feel of the flies and those micro fish eats.
Action - Soft tip for sensitivity, lightyear tippet protection and light fly/leader shotgunning. Lazer speed fly firing. Authoritive Butt section for confident hook-sets, casting heavier flies and ultimate control over fish in fast water.
Recovery - virtually no rod bounce. This is super key for leader presentation without those shockwaves in the line. Allows immediate set up of the leader/sighter for the drift without the rod tip still wobbling like ya Gregg’s instant jelly mix from last nights dinner.
This Euro stick has been thought out to every last degree. Performance/price ratio is impressive to say the least. If you’re serious about your lightweight Euro game, the Zone 10ft #2 really is the good oil.
The 10’6” 3 Weight - The Ultimate All Rounder With Tarn McEwen
So picture this, you’ve just fished a pool with nice uniform currents and sure you’ve pulled a fish or two out with your standard nymph/indicator rig or dry dropper but at the head of the pool you’re faced with a swirly mine field of currents and you spy that big brown nymphing away down deep against the far bank. It’s only natural to want to put a few drifts over him but no matter which angle you approach from your fly line and leader are inevitably being dragged around by the various currents in the back eddy, your flies drag past and the fish slinks away never to be seen again. If only there was a technique and more importantly a tool that could put that fish in your net right? Well I present to you the Primal Zone 10’6” 3wt.
The Primal Zone is one of the nicest euro nymphing series of rods currently available to us in NZ. The 3wt in particular being 10’6” with its extra length will allow you to suspend a long euro nymphing leader off the water at a long distance with only your flies and tippet entering the water thus bypassing any currents between you and your flies making that impossible drift possible. It’s also incredibly lightweight for a rod of this length which will reduce fatigue from casting and suspending your rig/leader all day. Everything from the lightweight guides to the fighting butt and down locking reel seat have all been thought out to perfectly balance this rod. Don’t be fooled by the term ‘3wt’ either, these rods with their length have the power in the butt section similar to that of a 5 or 6wt rod and will handle those tanks no worries whilst still maintaining the finesse of a 3wt in the tip. I personally got to put this to the test a few weeks back on some hard-fighting pocket water rainbows and didn’t lose a single fish all day so no complaints there! When testing it I trialled a range of different weight flies and it performed great with all, but especially stood out with the lighter flies as I was able to drop them on a dime in the tightest of pockets.
The last thing I’d like to touch on is that even though this rod is designed for and is the ideal tool for the job when it comes to euro nymphing it is not only limited to just that. It cast a standard 3wt floating line with tight delicate loops and can be used to deliver tiny to medium sized dries to fish sipping under the willows. As well as swing wee wets and even slightly bigger streamers. Once again the extra length helps makes a single hand spey or roll cast a breeze. This 3wt is seriously the all rounder of the series! Now all that’s left for you to do is go add one to your kit and put that fish in your net.
The 10’ 4 Weight - Big Water Power With Lubin Pfeiffer
Every time I go to NZ I’m faced with the decision of taking one rod with me out on the river. Coming from a competition fishing background this is always a tough ask, as I need a rod that covers most bases while out on the water. I need to be able to euro nymph, cast dries of various sizes and work the water with a dry/dropper if need be. Earlier this year I had the pleasure of testing out one of the new Primal Zone 4wt 10ft rods. This thing is a weapon! It’s not often, if ever, that you get a rod that covers such a wide variety of techniques but this is it.
Over a couple weeks of testing I caught more than 350 trout with the Primal Zone. It is just outstanding for working pocket water with euro nymph techniques. I was able to effectively control a range of both heavy and light flies with the 4wt, and it had plenty of grunt for stopping large rainbows that went charging downstream. I also used the Primal Zone 4wt 10ft during the filming of Big Angry Fish catching sipping trout on the Mohaka with tiny dries and light tippet. It was awesome. If you asked me which one rod I’d take to NZ, the Primal Zone 4wt 10ft is without a doubt it.