The Clouser Rod Series are built with parabolic actions. That means the bottom sections are softer than might be anticipated (as can be seen by the narrow profile where the rod comes out of the handle). This design allows the caster to easily throw a more open line loops, which is often a preferred technique for casting weighted flies with sinking tip lines. This avoids tailing loops and the resulting "spaghetti" with the line/leader, or worse yet a ding in the rod from a weighted fly or a wind knot in the leader. The reason for using weighted flies and sinking lines is to get your fly deep where big fish live.
TFO Rod Rep, Dick Sagara says:
"The positive responses to Bob's rods became apparent as soon as I handed the rod off to people to cast late last year right after the rods were released. Simply put, just about everyone who cast the rods really liked them. I'm a skeptic of the "newest and greatest" proclamations that are constantly bantered about and I'll admit even I was surprised by the extremely positive response to the Clouser rods.
Enough hype from me. I wanted to see what a couple of individuals who fish a great deal thought about the rod's casting and fishing properties. I asked for field testing from Doug Rose, a full time guide & well respected author from Forks, Washington (you know the place where the Vampires from the Twilight movies hang out, along with giant steelhead), and Joe Warren, a Columbia Basin biological services technician, writer, and passionate angler. I chose these two because I knew that both of them are well rounded anglers who fish a great deal for a wide variety of species, i.e. steelhead, salmon, searun cutthroat, rainbow, bass, etc. I also chose them because I knew both would be very candid in their feedback about the Clouser rods.
Here's what they had to say about the TFO Clouser rod:
Doug Rose's comments:
"I fished the 5-weight Clouser for seas-run cutthroat in saltwater. The beach I fished was in northern Hood Canal and it was during the March chum fry out-migration. I immediately liked the rod's action, with its sensitive tip that tapers quickly into a strong, stiffer middle and butt. It is perfect for sinking lines, in particular the full length intermediate I use about 80 percent of the time for cutts in the salt, and sink tips. Its muscular design also made it easy to quicklynergetic fish in strong currents- an important consideration with precious wild fish like coastal cutthroat in saltwater. Because seas-runs eat a wide variety of marine creatures- -from 6-plus-inch polychaete worms to tiny krill, cutthroat flies range from large, articulated patterns, to Clouser-type streamers to size 16 invertebrate dressings. This rod handled all these flies easily and was a pleasure to cast. In particular, I liked it for roll casting, which I frequently do to bring the line back to the surface in saltwater fishing. My other saltwater rods are longer and I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to roll cast or mend as easily but that wasn't the case at all. In fact, I really didn't notice the difference except it was easier to land fish than with the longer rods. More subjectively, I like the way the rod looks, especially the blue color."
Joe Warren's Comments:
"Mr. Clouser is the designer/tyer of the famous Clouser Minnow, you know, the ones with the big barbell eyes. Unless you have perfected your timing in your cast, along with a well balanced fly line and rod, turning over a streamer type fly like the Clouser Minnow could place you in the form of the infamous, "chuck and duck".
I recently acquired a 5 weight Clouser fly rod at 8'9" (the lightest of the bunch) for fishing smallmouth bass and trout in the Columbia River and regional lakes. First off, the Clouser is so well balanced and smooth you don't even notice its shorter length. My recent experiences with fishing the rod have been great. Using fast sinking lines I had no issues of the rod lagging behind to turn over my large streamers, many of which had barbell eyes. And when it comes time to fight and play the fish, the rod is not so over-powering that you can't feel the fish. For stillwater presentations using a slow retrieve, the sensitivity is very good for detecting subtle strikes.
The Clouser is definitely remaining in my arsenal for the heavy work but at the same time I would not hesitate to switch over to a floating line for dry fly fishing either!"