Diamondback Ideal Nymph Fly Rod
The Ideal Nymph series from Diamondback is the brainchild of Joe Goodspeed, the designer who was largely responsible for the well-known T&T Contact and Contact II series of fly rods. Joe has used Euro style/tight line nymphing and streamer methods for many years and he brings that experience to designing nymph rods. From the stealthy matte finish blank to the guide spacing to the Curly Koa wood used in the reel seat, nothing was haphazard about the design of these rods. The Ideal Nymph rods recover quickly, protect tippets and fight fish with the best of 'em. If there is one common characteristic shared across the range of models, they feature very stiff/powerful butt and 2nd sections. The stiffness in these sections increases the recover speed in the rest of the rod and provides power to land large fish. In their price range, you would be hard-pressed to find a better performing nymph rod on the market today.
- Matte finish blank with dark amber wraps and titanium metallic accent wraps
- Single foot gunmetal guides plus three snake guides below the rod tip to minimize tangling of micro leaders
- Curly Koa and matte titanium colored reel seat
- High density, premium quality cork fighting butt and handle
- Rods are four pieces and come with a fabric-covered rod tube
- All Ideal Nymphs we sell will come with a complimentary container of Loon Grafitolin ferule wax. We've found that the matte paint on the rods makes the ferules prone to slippage. A light application of wax on the male ferules remedies this problem.
Here's what Diamondback has to say: "The Ideal Nymph range is a series of tactical nymphing rods that has been thoughtfully designed in every possible aspect to be the most effective and pleasant feeling nymphing tools. The rods have a non-glare matte finish, down locking matte titanium color hardware with high density premium quality cork grips, Curly Koa wood spacers and compact fighting butts. Rod accents include dark amber color primary wraps and titanium metallic accent wraps. Guide selection and placement on nymphing rods is critical to performance, and Ideal Nymph rods have the right components in the right places. There are three snake guides below the rod tip, which helps counter leader-wrapping problems with long leaders. Two lightweight single foot stripping guides create a smoother surface at the most critical contact areas while the rod is heavily flexed fighting a fish. Dark colored single foot guides cover the area between the snake guides and the stripper guides. Guide placement is optimized with a stripping guide on the butt section to minimize potential line sag. Ideal Nymph blanks are designed to maximize recovery speed and feel, while still flexing enough to load with mono rigs and lightweight nymphs. All Ideal Nymph rods have a firm backbone that allows for a quick hookset and great fish retention, while having the smooth power transition that allows anglers to apply firm pressure to fish without fear of breaking light tippets."
I (Devin) was fortunate to fish prototypes of the longer rods during Joe's development process and have fished the 10' models as soon as they were available from the factory. Below is a quick rundown of my experiences with each model.
10' 10" 3 weight: This rod is very stiff/powerful overall but has just enough softness in the tip to protect tippet. Given it's length, it provides very good reach and allows you to stay further from the fish. I like this rod a lot for floating the sighter methods where tuck casting is paramount. It is also excellent at fishing heavier nymphs and streamers. It does have swing weight that feels like most 11' 3 weights so I suggest pairing it with a reel that is at 5.5-6.5 oz to provide balance in the cork. When I fished it with a lighter reel, I found it more difficult to make quick casts and hooksets and to hold the rod extended. With the heavier reel, it fishes much more comfortably.
10' 10" 2 weight: This rod is my favorite of the bunch for fishing micro leaders on wider rivers where reach is important but loading a cast with light nymphs is still necessary. It has plenty of power to fight large fish. So far, I landed a carp of around 7-8 pounds and a rainbow that I taped at 25" on this rod. The cushion in the tip allowed me to handle both of them on 6x tippet without much trouble. It is a very good all around nymphing rod as long as aggressive casts are not mandatory. The soft tip does recover slower than the 3 weight as you would expect, so I find I need to wait a bit longer for the rod to unload on my back cast to maintain accuracy. This characteristic means that it also performs best in calmer conditions as it is difficult to punch accurate casts into the wind or to tuck cast with authority. Given its length, it also performs better when paired with a reel in the 5.5-6 oz range for balance but it does have a bit less swing weight than the 10' 10" 3 weight.
10' 2 weight: For smaller rivers, this is a very good choice as an all around nymphing rod. It has more power than most other 2 weight Euro nymphing rods I've fished, and quick recovery, so it is possible to land large fish and accurately cast into tight quarters. I have enjoyed using floated sighter methods and dry/droppers on a Euro nymph leader on the smaller waters I frequent. It tuck casts well and is very light in the hand. With its shorter blank and light overall weight, a reel between 4.2 and 5 oz is sufficient for balance.
10' 1 weight: This rod is a ton of fun for small water. I compared it to a couple of 10' 1 weights that other friends have, and it has a lot more power in the lower end of the rod but still has a lot of cushion in the upper half of the rod. It protects light tippet very well and makes smaller fish a lot of fun on the line. It loads really well with lighter nymphs and propels them without a lot of effort. It does lack hook setting authority compared to the stiffer and longer models so it is not a great choice if you fish a lot of larger heavier wire nymphs and streamers. Similar to the 10' 2 weight, it doesn't need a lot of weight to balance it and a reel over 4 oz will probably do the job.