LLBean Silver Ghost Fly Rod and Shearwater Reel Review
This summer had the privilege to test out LLBean's newest and lightest fly rod, the Silver Ghost. It's more durable and 20% lighter than it's predecessor the Orion Rod. I chose an 8 weight rod for Sockeye Salmon and Steelhead. LLBean offers the Silver Ghost in a package with the Shearwater Reel, with line and backing (and cases) for $495. That's a screaming deal for an fly fishing outfit of this quality.
LLBean Silver Ghost Fly Rod
The Silver Ghost is a 4 piece rod. A lightweight, yet durable storage tube comes with the rod. Despite the feather-like weight, the rod still has good action for all types of casting.
Here's the Silver Ghost in action. The tip of the rod is just above that Alaskan sized Bee (I call them Grizzly Bees). Notice the stiffness in the base of the rod. The rod is beefed up about 6 inches above the cork for the purpose of solidly holding fighting fish.
It's hard to tell, but this day I put the rod to the test. The Sockeyes were running thick, but the wind was howling. I was still able to cast into a very stiff headwind. I had to time my casts between white caps that were washing up on the shore. I was always checking the ferrules to make sure the rod was holding together with the wind and fighting fish. No problems.
We also tested the Silver Ghost while Steelhead fishing on the Middle Folk of the Salmon River. Here you can see the casting distance of the rod. Steelheading involves a lot more casting and mending (and patients) than Sockeye fishing. After a few hundred casts, you get a good feel for the rod. The Silver Ghost casts with very little effort.
Beautiful Steelhead Caught on the Silver Ghost.
Early spring mornings in the Sawtooth Mountains can be brutal. Here all I caught was ice. Even with the eyelets iced up like this I was able to cast.
LLBean Shearwater Reel
The Shearwater Reel is a solid pairing for this rod. The reel has a large arbor for quickly reeling in slack when you have a fish on. The aerospace-grade aluminum helps keep weight down without compromising the durability of the real. The drag is really easy to operate and it has a number displayed so you can check the drag setting. It's a nice feature, but I didn't use it much. It's much easy to feel the drag, than look down and see what number the reel is set at.