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I recently had a chance to demo a couple of rods from Mauser Fly Fishing. John at Mauser sent over two demo rods, a 4wt Arete (486) and a 6wt Waterman (690). When I got them out of the tube the Arete felt light and had a really soft flex to it, the Waterman was a little stiffer but both rods seemed to be very well and the jade reel seat on the Arete looked pretty sweet. So before we dive into my experience on the water with them let’s get a little background on the Mauser and their rods.
If you haven’t heard of Mauser Fly Fishing they are US company manufacturing USA made fly fishing rods. If you make it to their website and read their story you can get the feeling that he and his team really have a passion for fly fishing and they love what they do. Their rods are made in the USA using premium components, like their rolled graphite blanks that are hand sanded, and they put all the finishing touches on them by hand adding to the value and care of each rod. Great group of people at Mauser Fly Fishing.
Now on to the meat and potatoes of using the rods. I took both rods to the Dolores River and some feeding creeks for the day. The 486 Arete was a great rod for landing dry flies with grace on the water. I did catch a few fish on it and it handled them well the softer action makes you really in touch with the line and fish on the other end. The shorter rod was great for the small creeks and sneaking up on spooky fish. I have fished a wide range of 4 WT rods from budget rods to expensive high end, and Mauser did not disappoint as some others did. I was very impressed with the Mauser and it’s definitely worth every penny.
The Waterman 690 was a little stiffer than the Arete and was perfect for chucking out bigger streamers and handling my sinking line. I took it to a lake known for big Pike and it performed outstandingly. I caught 2 smaller Pike, didn’t get the big ones on this trip, and it handled the fish well. On the Dolores river trip in the bigger sections, I used it for some nymphing and actually did throw a few dries with it. I think for my non-streamer fishing style of fishing I would prefer the finesse of the Arete or a smaller weight of the Waterman but the 690 did well for what I did on this trip. Overall, I think you could use one of each, but sometimes the budget isn’t there. For an all-around rod the Waterman would be my pick, but if you're more into dry flies the Arete is the way to go.
These Mauser rods did not disappoint at all and I was sad to send the demos back, but my next rod purchase will be a Mauser. They are very well made and if you want a high-quality rod that is made in the USA you should check them out. They have a great warranty which is similar to other quality rod manufacturers and do a great job of explaining the warranty on their website. If you are in the market for a new rod and want to support a smaller USA company ran by great guys check Mauser out. I think you will be pleasantly surprised with them.