I’ve fished with Gloomis flyrods almost exclusively for over two decades. I simply love them and always have. In my humble opinion the 6wt stream dance and 12wt NRX (older and new models) are impossible to better in their weight categories. Of course, fishing is no different to say golf where my preference for equipment may be very different to someone else and I completely accept that but for me Gloomis has always been the benchmark. Unfortunately owning a Gloomis is SA often means poor after sales service and this led me to look at alternatives when buying new rods and that’s when I ‘found’ CTS. I was first introduced to the Kiwi rod blank scene by professional fly-fishing guide and influencer Andre van Wyk who was waving his EPIC rods around like it was Friday night at the Playboy mansion and this led me to explore further. It was a few months later around a campfire after catching zero clannies that Garth Wellman started waxing lyrical about CTS and the rest is history.

I had a few casts with Garth’s 7wt and immediately got in touch with Derek Smith to build me a 7-weight using the Affinity-X carbon blank.

Since the 7wt build I’ve added two more rods to the arsenal and am especially impressed with my 9wt that I recently put to the test. Derek used the jet-black blank and a dark blue wrap which came out beautifully. The rod is fast and casts big flies in the wind extremely well. I’ve been fishing heavy tungsten dumbbells recently and the rod casts them with ease. Granted the rod hasn’t been put to the test in demanding environments such as the tropics but as far as South African estuaries go this is now my go-to 9 weight. Hopefully the festive season will bring with it some fishing cheer and further testing of these awesome sticks.