Stan Moore reviews the new 10ft 3wt Opti K2 nymphing rod from Loop on a late winters trip to the River Tweed.
After some dilemma I came to the conclusion that the River Tweed would be the chosen location to try out LOOP’s new 10ft 3wt Opti K2 nymphing rod, a lightweight rod that has a progressive medium action. Like most I have found the grayling fishing over winter to be pretty difficult and the catching of high numbers has been a challenge. With the river being low and clear, I wasn’t expecting a red letter day by any means, but perhaps a day where I could at least hopefully manage to christen the rod and fully check out the rod action by playing and landing a fish.
With the water so clear, I decided my best approach would be a French leader setup, a long clear tapered leader, with a small section of indicator material attached to 0.10mm diameter tippet with small tungsten nymphs. The majority of grayling I’ve caught over the winter have come from the slow, almost canal like water rather than the rifflely type flow. Fishing like this would also give me a chance to feel as to how the rod handles catapulting lightweight nymphs at distance but still being able to keep control of the drift in water, which can often be difficult to fish.
The day started slowly and speaking with other anglers along the bank, the general consensus was there hadn’t been a single grayling caught, but as with any angler with a new toy, I was happy just to be on the water and I was confident that my perseverance would pay off. With a few changes of location and changes of flies, my patience was rewarded. As I felt the nymphs trundle along the riverbed, I felt and saw the faintest of takes and I was into a nice grayling.
With the Opti K2, I felt I was in total control of the fish when playing it and not at all concerned in the light tippet breaking or the fish bouncing off, the rod action isn’t too tippy but a bend almost starting from the base of the rod in a consistent curve. After the fish was netted, a few snaps were taken with the camera and the grayling was carefully returned to water. I was happy to break the duck and I was extremely satisfied with the way in which rod handled, both in its casting and while playing a fish.
The four-piece rod comes in a robust pentagonal tube and cloth bag, has dot markings on the ferrules to ensure correct assembly and a high-grade cork handle that sits well in the hand. Its slim profile handle also aids sensitivity. Double coated, chrome snake guides decorate the ultrasensitive, aesthetically pleasing, gunmetal blue-grey blank and with the rod only weighing 88 grams, it makes a great match with the Opti Creek reel. The downward locking reel seat that is often sought after, also gives it an enhanced balance.
The designers and developers of the Opti K2 nymphing rod, who are based in Sweden, have clearly put a great deal of effort into making sure this rod meets the demands those anglers, who like me, want to feel more connected with what is going on underneath the surface of the water and this rod did not fail to impress.
England born Stan Moore is a Loop Ambassador. He currently resides in Scotland and fishes extensively across the UK and Ireland targeting trout, grayling, salmon and sea trout. Rivers and loch-style are his favourite disciplines competing nationally south of the border. Like most, presenting a dry fly to a wild fish, is his preferred method of fishing.