TL Johnson SLP 9ft 5wt Fly Rod Review

The TL Johnson 9ft 5wt 4pc was the second rod I tried at the International Sportman’s Show in January 2010. Again, the rod was light in the hand. I went through the same warmup exercises with about 20 feet of line off the tip. This warmup with a short line and doing false casts while you watch the loops is a good way to learn loop control. The casting strokes must be short and easy on power to do this exercise. The 5wt SLP again performed this exercise nicely.

At 40 feet, the 5wt still cast easily and would perform an adequate roll cast. However at 70 feet, the rod seemed to have a soft spot during the forward stroke. Jim one of Terry’s assistants at the show cast the rod. Later we were looking at the line we had been using and decided that it was a 4 wt line and not a 5 wt line. Jim restrung the rod with a 5 wt line and I headed back to the casting pond.

What a difference the 5 wt line made on this rod. With the 5 wt line there was no more weird feeling in the middle of the power stroke. The rod had easy power to lay out 70 plus foot casts while maintaining a light easy balanced feel in the hand.  Often rods are designed to be uplined or downlined one line wt. With this rod, I would suggest sticking to the recommended 5 wt.

Compared to my Orvis Clearwater II 9ft 5wt 7.5 mid-flex rod, this TL Johnson SLP 9ft 5wt was much easier to cast on long distances than my Orvis rod. However the only true test is on stream.

The SLP series are manufactured in Colorado using a propriatary high modulus graphite resin system combined with a carbon helix wrapping system for strength and light weight. This technique produces superior hoop strenght to reduce blank deformation under load and keep the tip traveling in a straight plane resulting in more accurate casts. The exclusive ferruling system reduces section to section flat spots, swing weight and improves energy load transfer of the blank. The medium fast action fits a variety of casting styles and is good for nymphing to dry fly presentation. All SLP Fly Rods carry a limited lifetime warranty for the original owner.

If you are looking for a solid performing 9 ft 5t fly rod suitable for medium to larger streams with a nice touch for nymphing, the TL Johnson 9ft 5wt SLP is an excellent choice.

Tight Lines and Good Fishing,
Marshall, Editor
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