Do you have an Outdoor Product you want us to Test? Call 1-866-529-1736

The Outdoor Lodger

Return to Test Results Index

Buy This Product Now!

Wild Water Fly Fishing Rods! First Impressions by Jim Abel! - Home Page

Wild Water Fly Fishing Rods!


First Impressions


First impression – “Wild Water” HX5-090-4 Fly Rod

There are a lot of fly rods out there, from “Starter Rods” to “Bank Breakers”. I’ve been using mostly mid-range rods in recent years, some good, some not so good and a few that gather dust only in coldest of months. I got my hands on a “Wild Water” HX5-90-4 about a month ago and passed up two chances to try it before taking it with me the middle of last week. Who knows what the “HX” refers to but the “5” is the line size, the “90” denotes the length (9’0” I’m guessing; as opposed to “95” for 9’6”) and the “4” is the number of sections. So much for all of that.

This trip required less hiking than my two earlier trips and seemed to be safer considering the disappointment a bad rod might bring after a long walk up and a longer walk back. For me, fall in Montana means a transition from hoppers to hopper-dropper combinations or size 16-18 dries. I still need to work on my nymphing skills so I decided to combine approaches and tied on 2011’s magic hopper with a size 12 nymph dropper 15” aft. The water was clear and 55 degrees. Flow was dramatically down and finally about right for early September though it was already early October. As expected, there were no cars in the access site’s lot when I arrived about 10:30 AM. The weather report had warned me of an approaching cold front and it was hanging over the mountains to the west as I began the 400 yard trek upstream to a flat that almost always produced fish.

On the third or fourth drift my hopper-indicator took a sudden dive thanks to a hearty Whitefish (I call them Prairie Trout). I had to remind myself that I was working, not fishing – what an awful distinction to have to make. I wasn’t yet making casts more than about 30’ and could really not sense any difference the “Wild Water” had over other rods I regularly used. It felt about the same as the $200 versions I frequently relied on but it retails for $108. The only difference so far was the smoothness of the cork handle, partially due to its virgin condition and partly due to the texture of the cork itself. It had a tighter grain and was “smoother”. Seems that is a good thing.

Fishing was typically slow for the edgy weather and I increased the length of my casts to reach areas others might not throw too. The “Wild Water” reached my spots with relative ease as it should but, as I continued to stretch out, I noticed the butt cap (behind the reel seat) is configured in such a way that it would catch my watchband. That was a first for me and is an unfortunate design. Compared to a dozen rods, the lip of the cap is prone to snagging. Is that a big deal? Would it keep me from buying a hundred-dollar rod? Probably not.

Most rods have a hook keeper wound in front of the winding check at the top of the grip. The “Wild Water” does not. And, speaking of the winding check, it looks cheap. Now I can see how saving a penny or two helps keep the asking price near a hundred-dollars, but some economies are just silly. I am into appearance. Would I want my wallet to appear fatter at the sake of a cheaper appearance in my casting hand? Again, probably not. I do have to say the matte olive finish of the rod takes me back the other way. It doesn’t look cheap at all. It looks great. Hopefully, it will hold up.

So, I’ll take a grinder to the butt cap and apply some bright red nail polish to the winding check. And, I’ll put my watch in a vest pocket. Then maybe no one will recognize that I’m using a hundred-dollar rod. After all, in its maiden voyage, it cast like a champ.

I’ll keep using the “Wild Water” on occasion and report back. If you don’t hear more from me in a year or so, that will be a positive review. If you do, “probably not”. One thing for sure, I won’t be giving this rod as a gift to anyone I suspect might check to see how much I spent on it.

Jim Abel

Whether you are pursuing panfish in your neighborhood pond, trout on famous tail-waters or stripers in the open ocean, Wild Water Fly Fishing offers an HX series rod to match any fishing situation. Through the use of high quality components and top-notch assembly techniques Wild Water presents a match-grade rod system designed to satisfy the rigorous mandates anglers of all skill levels command.

Wild Water’s HX line of rods offers a new choice in fly fishing and no longer leaves anglers wondering what rod best fits their needs, skills, and budget. All HX rods are constructed from high quality, 4-piece IM8 graphite blanks in line weights from 3wt to 8wt with a handsome green, matte finish. The medium-fast action allows anglers to effortlessly produce well-placed casts while providing a powerful fighting platform for fish that are reluctant to slide into your net. With stylish finishing touches and details the HX series not only helps you fish more efficiently but pleases your eye, as well. Sturdy and elegant uplocking reel seats with handsome Rosewood inserts, smooth, high quality western-style cork handles, chrome-plated stainless steel guides and an aluminum oxide stripper guide ring round out each rods stylish and functional features. Additionally, all HX rods include a branded Wild Water Fly Fishing cloth rod sock and dark green; nylon covered and lined rod tube with internal padding and sturdy end caps.

Each HX series rod is covered by a “no questions asked” lifetime warranty against breakage, even if “your dog” happens to slam it in the car door. Offered at an exceptional price all Wild Water rods embody the true definition of value.

Wild Water HX5 9 foot 4 Piece Fly Rod

The bread and butter rod of fly fishing, perfect for a wide range of situations and species. From small streams to rivers, ponds, to lakes. If you fish for small trout, panfish to bass this is your rod. The medium-fast mid flex blank is a Wild Water design made from IM8 Graphite. It is finished in matte dark green with dark green wraps. It is rosewood insert reel seat and Western style grip. Comes with FREE rod case, Free rod sock and is covered by the Wild Water Fly Fishing LIFETIME Warranty.


Action: Medium Fast
Color: Dark Green
Length: 9 foot
Line: 5 Weight
Material: IM8
Sections: 4
Rod Case Length: 32 Inches
Rod Weight: 3.5 ounces
Color: Dark Green

Wild River HX7 10 Foot 4 Piece

We are pleased to add this amazing 7 weight, 10' fly rod to our line of freshwater fly rods!! The medium-fast mid flex blank is a Wild Water design made from IM8 Graphite. It is finished in dark green with dark green wraps. It has an anodized aluminum uplocking reel seat and Full Wells with but extension style grip. Comes with FREE rod case FREE rod sock and is covered by the Wild Water Fly Fishing LIFETIME WARRANTY. Please use the drop down menus to make your selections.


Action: Medium Fast
Color: Dark Green
Length: 9 foot
Line: 7 Weight
Material: IM8
Sections: 4
Rod Case Length: 35 Inches
Rod Weight: 4.0 ounces
Color: Dark Green


Read Above




Montana Crew!
Jim Abel

Suggested Retail

5 Weight...$108.00
7 Weight...$108.00

Backoffice Friendly

Return to Test Results Index

1 pixel spacer

  © Copyright 2005-2006 Montana Test. All rights reserved.