Gear Review: Ross RX
The Ross RX getting bent on a false albacore off the coast of Nantucket
What we say
I first fished the Ross RX off the coast of Nantucket, MA casting giant squid patterns for false albacore. I was first using a textured line that absolutely ripped my hands apart. I quickly moved to my back up reel – and completely burned out the drag on the next albie I hooked - and puked off the side of the boat. Despite all the line and reel mishaps, I walked away from that trip not thinking much about the RX. It performed nicely, but throwing a huge squid pattern with a sink tip isn’t exactly finesse work. It was more of a chuck-and-duck kind of day and the RX got the job done.
Fast forward to Guanaja, Honduras a few months later. The first morning on the flat we were stalking a school of tailing bonefish. I was casting a floating 8 weight, WF line with a 9 ft leader and a 10 lb fluorocarbon tippet. I cast to these fish and presented flies as I had in Belize, Mexico, and the Bahamas… but received very different results. I was soon BLOWING UP pods of fish. I changed up my presentation and began presenting flies to fish at a much greater distance – and I was still spooking fish. I switched up to smaller flies. I lengthened my entire terminal leader/tippet system. I switched up to lighter flies. I cut my plastic eyes off my smallest size 8 flies to ensure when they landed in the warm Caribbean like they were small stealthy Navy SEALs. Still… I was blowing fish up.
Although frustrating, this whole experience gave me a greater appreciation for the RX that I did not have before. This rod is fast enough to deliver punch and distance, but also delicate enough to make precision casts at relatively short to medium distances when needed. I ended up figuring out that these fish we were casting to were just really, really spooky fish – like PTSD spooky.
Here is what we figured out. If we saw a bonefish feeding at 80 feet away and tried to deliver a long bomb cast - that fish was spooking the moment our fly line hit the water. They were very well versed in what that looked, sounded, and felt like. But… if we closed that same 80 ft gap on foot, and made a much shorter, accurate and delicate cast – that same fish was more likely to hold and continue to feed. This was a great lesson because it taught me that being able to put a very, accurate stealthy cast at a shorter distance, was more important then trying to chuck by entire fly line a country mile – which is what I tend to try doing when I go to practice casting or try out a new fly rod.
The lesson learned from Guanaja with the RX: being able to make a very low profile cast at a shorter distance seemed more important than trying to make a long range cast that would perhaps tip a fish off with a big fly or fly line splash.
In conditions with low to moderate wind, this is a great salt-water stick. If you were going to be fishing on a day with strong and sustained winds, you might want a rod that was a bit faster (and at which point, the delicate presentation capabilities is probably not as important).
I’m leaving for Ascension Bay, Mexico in four days, and the RX will once again be my go-to fly rod for bonefish on the flats.
The same Ross RX taking a breather from spooky bonefish in Honduras
What they say
The RX is our premium fly rod series. Cast just one of these exciting new rods and you'll want to own it! This 4-piece rod series has a beautiful deep amber finish with nicely appointed silver accents. The reel seat is carbon fiber with anodized aluminum hardware, and the handle is hand-shaped premium cork. The proprietary Rx™ graphite design is a fast action taper that rivals the most expensive rods on the market today. These rods are lightweight, perfectly balanced, powerful and precise. The RX is one of those series that no matter what distance you cast, you will always feel perfectly connected with the rod, and it will never fall short on power. The RX series dispels the myth that all premium fly rods come with a premium price. This is an extraordinary fly rod series that won't leave you with sticker shock!
The RX rod series comes with the following standard features:
- Ross proprietary RX graphite design
- Fast action, progressive rod taper
- 4-piece design — great for travel
- Lightweight, perfectly balanced, powerful and precise
- Titanium oxide, super strong guides
- Rod piece alignment dots
- Carbon fiber reel seat with anodized aluminum hardware
- Half wells handle (3wt. — 6wt.), full wells handle with fighting butt (6wt. and up)
- Cordura rod case
- Lifetime warranty