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Alright, Region followers, here are my reviews of the new Region Big Sky fly reel 5-7 weight and the San Juan 5-weight, 9-foot, 4-piece fly rod. We fished them hard and put them through big fish after big fish, and I could not believe how well they performed. We fished so hard my body hurts today—my arms ache and my back is sore—but the equipment is still like it was when we took it out of the box. Realistically, most anglers will never do what we did to these rods. I personally landed at least three fish over 10 pounds and one over 15 pounds along with numerous 5-8 pound trout in fairly strong currents. The Big Sky drag was cranked down and never buckled and never slipped. I could not believe how smooth that drag was even under extreme stress. With full confidence, I can tell you to buy a Big Sky Reel. They are built for abuse and will be your favorite reel for a very long time.
Now on to the San Juan fly rod. Being honest, I should have been fishing my 6 weight, but I fished the 5 to stress it out and see how it holds up. There is nothing I would do to change this rod. At a price of $ 274.99, it is such a great deal you should own a couple in different weights when they come out. Can it handle a 10-pound trout on a streamer, you ask? YES! Ambassador Nick Hixon achieved just that. Can it hold up to a 15-pound trout in strong currents? YES again!! As an experienced fisherman and guide, I am telling you we treated those rods like they were stolen and they took all the abuse! Seriously, INCREDIBLE. I fished a Region Fluro 3x leader. It showed some signs of stress but never broke. I fished one leader all day where I literally caught 30-plus fish, with the majority being over 5 pounds, and it never broke or twisted.
Region encourages us to have test days to ensure our equipment is reliable and works. They will take that information and make changes where needed. If this equipment can stand up to our abuse, we have full confidence that it will not disappoint you. This gear took everything I could throw at it, and that is why I am proud to be a Region Ambassador. Go expand your Region with equipment you can trust for that fish of a lifetime.
-Andy and Nick