TFO BVK Fly Rod Review – Second Helping

| December 30, 2012

I can’t believe it was November of 2010 when I first reviewed the TFO BVK fly rod that first time – in a five weight. I had heard rumblings about the seven weight BVK being the “real deal” among the new line of TFO offerings, but they were pretty hard to find.

Now, the TFO BVK is a well established, tested and true fly rod. The buzz is all but gone, but a few weights in the line are considered somewhat enchanted (think excalibur). Among those, and still standing is the BVK nine foot four piece seven weight fly rod.

About the middle of this year, the seven weight found it’s way into my shop, and there it sat, neatly wrapped, sealed and waiting for a trade to another rod of bigger name and USA DNA. That trade never materialized as the US economy seemed to be in a coma this election year, and my horse-trading business was no exception.

I did become enamored with the five weight BVK I used in the Kayak Fishing Chronicles Episode 1, and you can certainly see it work during that sequence where I was nymphing along a deep run. That five weight will handle a lot of situations, although it’s overkill for trout around here. It could certainly be a good pond and (smaller) bass rod.

After the seven weight BVK sat for awhile, it decided it wasn’t going anywhere. So, I pealed the plastic off the handle, making it now officially used. While my expectations were decidedly low, I was needing another seven weight that wasn’t the brutish, but brittle Sage XI2. I was two tips deep into the XI2, and literally beginning to fear that rod, fear breaking another tip. After two tips in a few months, I was getting a clue as to why they had discontinued XI2 the line, and I was also approaching full retail cost after adding two tips.

Seven weight is settling in as my daily weight of choice during prime months of fly fishing for largemouth bass and common carp on Lake Ray Roberts. (There’s room to think about creating a rod chart that runs weights of rods against primetime fly fishing in Texas lakes.)

The BVK will startle you immediately as the weight is in a whole different lightweight class from anything TFO has ever produced. The cork is better than average, and the color (I could care less) is just fine. Reel seat and guides are just about like you have come to expect with TFO – completely satisfactory.

I loaded the redfish saltwater line, and let it loose. Whoa. This rod is different. It may be labeled a seven weight, but it was doing the bidding of an eight – distance, feel and spine. Just like with any shifting of gear(s), you have to listen to the rpm’s and adjust. Going from a heavy duty Sage XI2 to this rod means; let off the gas. I even shocked this rod a few times while I was getting the feel, but once I tuned down my motion, settled in to a more deliberate, relaxed pace … the rod launched. The BVK has that kind of deliberate “straightness” you get in a, dare I say, Sage ONE, leaving you to wonder if it really can handle the salt.

I hurried to the lake and put it to use on a larger carp within a few minutes of walking in. These days of smaller carp call a seven weight into question, but when you are in the 8-pound range (my good fortune on this outing), this rod is just the right brut to do the job. I smell something new coming from TFO in 2013, but you can believe that the BVK is going to be around for awhile.

NOTE – Seven weight may be the daily driver for freshwater bass and carp, but I find myself woefully short on a saltwater eight weight going into 2013. I will be looking to do a shootout this spring, between Scott S4s and the G.Loomis NRX Saltwater. Who knows? I may even get my hands on an Winston B3SX fly rod or an Orvis Helios 2 fly rod as part of this showdown. I am guessing something will come along of the fast flavor from some other manufacturers as well. As much as I liked the Hardy, the fact it’s made in Korea and costs upwards of $800-dollars kind of irks me. Is the Euro really that bad off?

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Category: Equipment, Fly Rods

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