If I had to summarise my thoughts on Primal Fly Rods into one sentence, it would be this:
‘They make you look really good, even though you’re probably not.’
While somewhat self-deprecating, this anecdote remains true. It’s often said that in flyfishing there are those that cast, and those that fish. I belong to the latter category, with my loops often resembling a long-exposure photo taken of a toddler waving a sparkler in the air. But with the Primal series, they start resembling loops not unlike those found in high end magazine articles and fly fishing films.
This is no doubt thanks to Primal’s unique construction which, sparing you from a techy sales pitch, drastically reduces the sideways movement of the rod blank and bounce in the rod tip. This, combined with the rods’ fast taper and recovery speed, mean casts are powerful, smooth and deadly accurate. If you got the impression my casting wasn’t all that great, placing my fly anywhere other than into vegetation also a challenge. However, with my Primal Raw #4, I can place my dry fly exactly where I want it time and again; something that is vital on the heavily vegetated ‘twig’ water I often fish in the Central West of NSW.
The power these rods generate is similarly impressive. Last year, I struggled an inordinate amount with an old #6 outfit to cut through the wind on my favourite stillwater fishery. This was hugely frustrating as it meant I couldn’t get my flies ahead of edge cruisers, and either missed the opportunity or had my line collapse on top of the fish like a handful of spaghetti. The Primal Raw #6, however, eats those westerlies for breakfast. Matched with a slightly more aggressive line, like Airflo’s SuperFlo Dash, I can get my flies to where they need to be with relative ease.
And finally, the cosmetics. I’m a big fan of a sexy looking rod (fly rod, thank you) and the Primal doesn’t let me down here. The machine cut skeletal reel seat, fantastic quality cork and titanium framed SIC stripping guide combine to create a rod that is both aesthetically pleasing and high quality. I’ve found that many rod manufacturers skimp on componentry and build quality on their lower-to-mid priced rods, as a point of difference to their flagship series. This is not the case with Primal Rod Company.
The old adage of ‘you get what you pay for’ definitely doesn’t ring true with Primal. With these rods, you get so much more for the price. I’m still amazed (but thankful) that these rods, that so clearly punch above their weight, are priced the way they are. If you’re in the market for an upgrade, want to add a new weight to your quiver, or simply just want to buy a new rod, I’d sincerely recommend looking closely at what Primal can offer you.