Burkheimer Classic Trout Spey Review

I normally don’t subscribe to the whole “he who spends the most has the best fly rod” theory. I try to find good qualities in all rods at all price points. I work in the industry and it’s no secret that I get some decent deals on equipment. With that said, I generally, for the most part, only own and fish with mid-range equipment. Why? Because there is some good equipment available and I’m a little... well, cheap.

Recently, I had the absolute pleasure of fishing a two-handed rod from the legendary CF Burkheimer Fly Rod Company. Specifically the 4114-4 Classic Trout Spey.

The first thing I noticed was how nice it looked. A pleasing blank color, not overly flashy, with muted guides and reel seat. Second was the handle, wow! The cork felt perfect, as if it was shaped for my hand. Then I noticed the weight or lack there of. An 11’4” spey rod sitting shy of 5 ounces. This could be, dare I say... perfection.

My immediate impression casting shocked me a little. I’m used to trout spey rods being more of a switch action. Meaning, they tend to be tip stiff and lack the deep loading feel of a longer rod. Not in this case. Admittedly I flubbed my first two casts until I could adjust my tempo. Once I made the adjustment I couldn’t believe how effortless it cast. What a rocket!

Burkies are known for having a tremendous amount of feel. I can honestly tell you this is an absolute truth. Deep loading, forgiving action that recovers quickly. Don’t assume this means a slow action because it doesn’t. Their web-site describes them having an “oomph” or “grunt”, or “whump” or “hooahh”. That’s the Burkie feel, I’m a believer and you’ll feel it too.

These short spey rods are better suited to the new shorter heads on the market now like the RIO Trout Skagit/ Scandi, OPST or Airflo Scout series and 10-12’ tips. With a tight compact well tempo’d stroke even the beginner angler will have great success. And the seasoned veteran will never be disappointed.

A premium rod deserves premium attention. They roll there own blanks and the cork is hand assembled and hand finished also. They use only premium components. No mass production is done at Burkheimer, each rod is hand crafted from start to finish. Let me say that these are pretty sticks to look at. The Rods come in three variations. Vintage, Presentation and the Classic. Each variation offers a choice of aesthetics that will please every taste.

Fish Tales has been a dealer for Burkheimer for a while now and I definitely will be having a closer look at the rest of the line up. This may be a turning point for me. They have always had a good following in the Steelhead community but with a line up covering all areas of fly fishing I suggest you have a look regardless of what species you fish for.

Kelly R

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