Small Dollars, Big Fun.

The Most Expensive Part Of This Rig Is The Line.

And even the line was cheap.  Here is the breakdown.

Rod: Eagle Claw Featherlight $29.99

Reel: No name ebay single action Net Cost $3.75

Leader: Umpqua Freshwater Shorty $2.65 ($4.99 minus $2.34 store credit)

Line: Scientific Angler Frequency Magnum $49.95

Tippet: Orvis Mirage Fluorocarbon 3x $5.00 (Normally $14.95)


That means, with sales tax included this rig is $98.87.  Fully fishable, out the door, and less than the cost of an entry level St. Croix Rio Santo ($109, rod only)

This is a great set up. Overlining the Featherlight really helps it come alive. The click of the single action is a war cry when a fish has earned being put on the reel.

I’m also impressed with the Frequency Line from Scientific Angler.  They are offering some tapers previously relegated to the higher end series of lines. I was able to cast across the river with relative ease and minimize false casting. The line shot out so easy; forgetting this was a bargain setup was inevitable.


The best part? It caught fish. Lots of them too. Come to find out, they weren’t disappointed to not see “Sage” or “Thomas & Thomas” on the rod that subdued them. Fish don’t check the price tag of your gear.  The performance is what matters and this set up has it.  I will be hanging onto this rig for a while.

custom cheap fly fishing rig









Budget Set Up


Maxcatch V-Explorer Review

My Maxcatch V-Explorer 6wt cheapo Chinese rod and line review.

$24 for the rod and $7 for the line shipped.

Today I came home to a package at my door (12 business days from ordering) and I got a little excited like I always do. The clear plastic tube was harder than I expected and was wrapped in bubble wrap, foam, and tape. I was expecting the cheap plastic sheeting that is usually stapled together and used for packaging but it was not. The tube is actually pretty solid with the caps on.

At first glance you can see that the quality control is non-existent. There are many flaws in the rod itself and many missing thread wraps on the guides. They also overdid it with the epoxy in a few spots (may be a good thing with the missing thread?) and it looks pretty sloppy.

I haven’t removed the plastic from the cork handle but you can see that it is mostly filler. We will see how it holds together with a wet hand. I have sent back a Cabela’s RLS rod before because of this very problem so I guess it will be no biggy for a $24 rod without a spine. Yup, there is no spine, some pieces want to bend one way while others prefer their own way.

The line looks and feels like a typical low-cost line. The coating even seems to slide over the under-filament (whatever it is?) like they thread it in themselves.  It has 2 loops but the inside line does not extend all the way through. Where the loops are bound to the side of the line there is a void inside and the coating kinda folds like an empty hose would. I doubt the loops will last and do not trust them so I will switch to a nail knot.

No water test yet (not for a few weeks) but I did take it out back. On Aliexpress they advertise the rod as a fast action but on eBay they categorize it as moderate fast. I disagree with them both and would call it a medium/moderate action. Though it does mostly flex like a moderate/fast it does bend a little deeper, even deeper than my CGR 7/8 does. My opinions can be flawed though because I have been only throwing a BVK for the past few weeks and my judgement is off.

With their 6wt line on it I was throwing 60 feet easy but it is hard to get a tight loop and the wind was getting me beyond 60. Any target within 60 feet I could hit easily and the rod was even able to make a decent roll cast off of the grass.

Hey! For 24 bucks I shouldn’t complain. It can cast a line and I wouldn’t cry if I lost it while kayaking.

Eagle Claw Featherlights are a much better buy. If you already have a Featherlight, hey these are cheaper.

The grip

Thanks for reading,