The Seven Foot Excalibur
The seven foot rod is an important asset in any quiver for fly fishers especially in the North East. The seven foot cane rod is by far the most used rod if you fish smallish, brushy, tight stream environments. It is the size I most gravitate to if I'm hiking in to a stream, up in the Tennessee Valley, bouncing around PA, or bush wacking in West Virginia. The seven footer is also one of the most talked about tapers. After many years of rod making I have come to the conclusion that there is not an “Excalibur” taper that exists out there in the rod making world for the beloved seven footer. We can assume that there are just too many variables when it comes to windage, caster, line types, and the list goes on down to the length of the casters arm and other physical attributes. What I have found is a handful of tapers that seem to hit the size sweet spot. I developed a seven footer that I use in calm conditions relative to windage. I have a taper that I use to punch larger flies out in the spring. Then there is my mainstay that I use throughout the summer months that seems to bear the adversity that suits me best with a wide variety of smaller dry flies.
The quest for a better taper never ends in a rod makers life. We get as close as we can to a rod we can call “Excalibur” I suppose these are the rods that bear the moniker “Special” or “Favorite” and for me that's close enough!