Leeda Volare IV 11 foot fly rods


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I have a very old 11 foot Leeda rod for a 7 weight line and I use it for most of my fishing and love it. I do have rods with much bigger names, and bigger price tags, but there is nothing to beat the Leeda on a windy loch or on a Hebridean salmon or sea trout river. My only regret concerning it is that I didn't buy 2 or 3 of them.

Anyhow, recently I decided that it might be good to have a spare and as the Leeda rods remain good value I thought it might be worthwhile giving them a try. I had a reel with a 4 weight line in the house and so bought an 11 foot rod in both a 7 weight and a 4 weight.

I have since fished both of them and can't recommend them enough as a fishing rod, they are not however like the American broom sticks and so even the "fast" action 7 weight is slower than some of the rather nasty casting machines you can import from American for many hundreds of pounds. Of the two the 4 weight is the slower rod but despite this it casts well even with a moderate wind, or what you English people would refer to as "a real hooley," and the action feels very nice indeed for loch fishing plus I'm told it makes a good rod for nymph fishing on the rivers. Even with smaller trout the 4 weight gives good sport and my intention is to try it for the smaller sea trout that come in later in the season, it would be serious sport indeed to fish for the 1.5lb sea trout with a 4 weight.

The 7 weight is another animal altogether and is a little faster plus has a little less "feel" than the 4 weight. At first when I put it up I wasn't sure but then I found that it casts a lot of line effortlessly and while there is always a bit of messing about with a new rod it wasn't long, given a favourable wind, before the whole line was shooting out. It also shoots line well even if you've only picked up a relatively short length meaning that if fishing small rivers for salmon then no false casting is required.

At £60 each these rods are excellent value and while they don't quite have the fit and finish of my rods built by the late Dave Lewis they are not badly put together plus for my fishing they are fantastic rods in use. The slightly slower action of the 7 weight and pretty soft and slow 4 weight will not suit all casting styles but if you are looking a good rod for the lochs plus grilse and sea trout, or a spare rod to keep in the car, or a rod for a beginner then these are well worth a try as I've been most impressed.


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I have never seen an 11ft #4 rod

I have a 9ft #4 Greys which I use for so much more than the reason I bought it.

I have some Daiwa rods which I also rate highly and were cheaper than even the "british" options in the low to mid range

I have kids growing into the sport so all the nice rods are at the back of the cupboard!


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Clearly I've no experience of this actual rod but, as a general comment, there does seem to be a big drive in America to release a new rod, with new features that every angler must have and to do this each and every year.

I have a Sage rod in 10 feet for a 4 weight and it is no such a casting rod in the real world as the Leeda. Now, of course, part of this will be down to the fact that I'm a far from perfect caster but when you stand on a Hebridean loch in a 40mph wind with a 20 foot bank behind your head being a perfect caster is no advantage, the advantage comes in being able to get line out whatever way you can.

Dave Lewis, who built me two rods, was a fantastic American rod builder who died in 2009. However his web page is still up and running as he wrote some journals, with lots of photos, documenting his fishing adventures. Needless to say you can't buy any rods from him anymore but the journals are well worth reading. So, if you are interested in rods and in fishing in places totally alien to me then sit down with a cup of tea and have a read as it is far better than the fishing mags which are always trying to sell you something: