Luckily, it turns out, I broke my rod while fishing Rutland in May. It didn’t feel lucky at the time though! In the panic of realising I was without a backup rod I bought a Greys GR30 rod from the tackle shop at Rutland and got back to fishing for the rest of the day. On my return I contacted Greys to get a replacement tip for my trusty old GRXi, but, being a 10 year old rod, they didn’t have replacement parts any more. However, they did offer me the GR50 for half its retail price so I bought one of those. Now I have the GR30 and GR50 and while having 2 different but quite similar rods feels like a real extravagance it has been very interesting to use them side by side.
I’ve got into bad casting habits over the years and this year I’ve tried to go back to basics and start again to try and improve consistency and iron out old habits. Old habits die hard though so its been a few months of swearing and perseverance and trial and error. Finally I think I’ve ditched the old ways and feel a little more ‘in control’ of my technique. All of this means I have a bit more of an educated opinion on what rods feel like to cast with so, on with the review…
Greys GR30 fly fishing rod
On the day my rod broke it was like fishing in the middle of a hurricane at Rutland so not the best conditions to try out new gear. In the few hours that day the GR30 felt like a great rod. On the Sunday morning we fished Eyebrook and using the GR30 again was a real joy but trying to hoof it out as far as possible resulted in some strange rod tip wobble. Back then my casting wasn’t in great shape and I’ve improved a lot since.
The GR30 is a great rod, well finished, light and easy to fish with. It is a soft action rod and so it has to be fished gently. Trying to push it too far results in some wobble and it feels like the rod is struggling with the line weight or amount of line in the air. For gentle, sensitive fishing on small still waters and from boats it is a really good rod though and at the price of £100 is a real bargain.
GREYS GR50 FLY FISHING ROD
The GR50 didn’t get delivered for a good few weeks so I’ve only used it 2 or 3 times now but I love it! It feels very different to the GR30; more robust, stiffer but responsive at the same time. It looks and feels like an expensive rod, which it really isn’t at £150, and performs very well indeed. It definitely throws a line out much further with more ease than the GR30. I think this is because it suites my casting style a bit better. I tend to be a bit heavy, putting quite a bit of power into the rod when casting distance but the GR50 seems to handle it well without any of the wobble I get from the GR30.
When I go out fishing now I tend to reach for the GR50 first. I’m sure I’ll use the GR30 again but it may be a rod I use just from boats or for specific types of fishing such as buzzers where you want a bit of extra spring and suppleness to really feel those small takes. Its nice having both so I’ll continue swapping between them but for me the GR50 is the favourite.