HORIZON’S NEW TACTICAL SERIES RODS

In the summer of 2018 and the autumn of 2019 Frontier Fly Fishing will release its new generation of HORIZON fly-rods. The new generation of rods will replace the hugely popular HORIZON MRS, TRS and XRS rod ranges.

The new range of HORIZON rods was tested and retested by the staff at Frontier Fly Fishing until all the testers we happy with the rods that were to go into production. The rods feature the latest NANOHOOP technology and use only the best quality components including AAAA cork in the rod handles and where applicable, fighting- handles and butts.

The rods will cover all fresh- and saltwater situations that anglers will encounter while fishing South Africa’s interior as well as coast, from the diminutive 1-wt TFS rod to the behemoth-besting 15-wt TSS rod. The saltwater rods will also find their place on rivers like the Zambezi as well as on the saltwater flats of Mauritius, the Seychelles and just about anywhere saltwater fish swim.

In addition to the two new HORIZON rod series (TFS and TSS), Frontier Fly Fishing has also launched a new range of rods for anglers fishing competitively. The HORIZON Tactical Competition Series features two new rods  – both 10’0” rods for a 3-wt and 6-wt line.

Horizon Tactical Competition Series

Horizon Tactical Competition Series

View and Shop TCS Rods

Horizon Tactical Freshwater Series

Horizon Tactical Freshwater Series

View and Shop TFS Rods

Horizon Tactical Saltwater Series

View and Shop TSS Rods

What Our Customers Are Saying

Korrie Broos

Korrie Broos

Bio

Korrie has fished with 7 World Champions, managed the Protea team to 2 World Championships and captained the Commonwealth team.  He is known for his passion for the sport and loves to share his knowledge with everyone. He is highly respected in the fly-fishing fraternity for his open and honest opinions.

 

I recently saw the new HORIZON Tactical Competition Euro-style Nymphing rod on the Internet and as a self-proclaimed nymphomaniac I was very interested in the new rod and was really curious as to how it would compare to some of the other rods I had that fits into this description of a fly rod.
The package arrived and when I opened it, the black Cordura rod tube with the bold HORIZON black-on-black embroidery looked impressive. I opened the Cordura rod tube and my first impressions was, “Wow, this is a beautiful rod”.


The blank is finished in a matt black with single foot guides. Most Euro Nymphers believe that single foot guides improve the performance of the rod (less vibrations and quicker recovery) and the cork looks top quality. The reel seat is down-locking (which helps with the balance of the rod) and has a small fighting butt. Sitting in the office with a new fly rod is not conducive to productivity! I assembled the rod and did a couple of imaginary casts and flicks. The balance felt good and the action crisp.

After two days I finally managed to get to cast the rod and played around with it. The finish is top class on this rod. Full marks to Frontier Fly Fishing for the look of the rod. I tried the rod with three different reels (Sage, Redington and a Stealth) as some fly fishers believe the balance has to be “perfect”. For me, the perfect balance is not that important as you do not have to go and buy a new reel every time you buy a new rod. If a rod requires an extra 5 grams in the butt section to make it balance in your hand then you should not be fly fishing. That’s just my opinion.

What I do not want in a Euro-style Nymphing rod is a rod that wobbles and snakes after every cast and then vibrates to a standstill. The HORIZON rod does not do any of this. After you have made the cast the rod comes to an immediate standstill, with no wobbling or vibrating. NOTHING. Dead Still. I tried the rod with very light nymphs and very heavy nymphs  – 2mm tungsten beads right up to very heavy nymphs tied with 4mm tungsten beads as well as lead wraps. There was no wobbling along the blank – NOTHING. I did the “normal loading” of cast, drift, back cast and forward cast and the downstream-behind-you water-loading. Every time the rod was perfect. The rod is a touch on the fast side, which made me change my normal casting stroke a little. But after four or five minutes I got the fly to land in the proverbial cup and saucer diameter area. With the action a bit faster than what I was used to, the sensitivity was something different to me. I am a firm believer that you must fish a rod a couple of times to find the sweet spot for casting, and to get all the “feels of the rod”. But since more than 90% of the takes in Euro-style Nymphing are via sight-fishing or watching the indicator, it is not a game breaker. The HORIZON rod has a good backbone in the bottom half of the rod, which will make playing and landing big fish very easy.

 

I also fitted my reel with a dry fly leader and dry fly and tested the rod with this setup. I was pleasantly surprised. It handles the dry fly setup so well. Clean, crisp and accurate casting.  Short, delicate presentations were fantastic. Even with a long cast, shooting out a 3-wt fly line to targets that where 15 and 20 metres away was a pleasure. This rod will be able to handle delicate Euro-style Nymphing techniques as well as delicate dry fly fishing with a 20 foot leader- and tippet setup without any problems. The advantage of the longer rod when dry fly fishing is that you do not have to mend the line so much and you can keep more fly line off the water.

 

To summarize: this is a GREAT rod with excellent finishes, it casts very well with enough backbone to land big fish but is delicate and soft enough not to bounce off small fish. At a retail price of R3,350.00 the rod is a definite winner. It competes with rods that are three to four times more expensive. But it gives you everything that you will find in the more expensive rods.


Will I buy and fish this rod? Definitely, as I think this is the best value for money Euro-style Nymphing rod on the market at the present moment. Even better than most rods at double or three times the price.

Mark Yelland

Mark Yelland

Bio

Mark is the winner of the silver medal at the 2001 World Championship and has been selected for an incredible 10 consecutive World Championships and named captain in 2010.  Having retired from competitive fly fishing he is currently the coach of the SAFFA team, casting instructor and a full time guide. Mark has fished in 26 countries and 5 continents.

 

The 990-4 HORIZON TSS 9-wt is an absolute gem and I have purchased a couple for my clients for an upcoming Zambezi trip. I fished and cast it recently and was very impressed! This is the first fish I landed on the new HORIZON! A largemouth yellowfish of 8.2 kilograms/18 pounds!

Gary Glen-Young

Gary Glen-Young

Bio

Gary is the most capped Protea angler, 13 times, and has fished in 10 World Championships, he is a former national champion and is currently a national selector. Gary is well known for his meticulous attention to detail, thorough evaluation of fly fishing equipment in varied conditions and his in-depth knowledge of varied products.

 

When Frontier asked me for some input a while ago on a new line of competition-style rods I was as normal happy to give my thoughts and comments on their prototypes.

Having now fished a new 10ft 3wt Horizon Tactical Competition Nymph rod I must say that I am very impressed. Much of my input and those of others have been listened to.

I like that the rod comes in a tube with a rod bag that is marked with the rod name, length & weight which makes loading multiple rods into a single tube for air travel or trips a lot easier & safer.
An unvarnished blank with black single foot guides & line-up dots and 20/50cm measurement wraps is exactly what is needed on this style of rod for competition use.
I appreciate the narrow cork handle, which allows a more relaxed grip with the rod resting in the palm, as opposed to having to be held onto by the grip. This reduces fatigue over long hours of fishing and is something I do to most of my rods. The down-locking reel seat means you can fish a lighter reel and still have a balanced outfit, so I can use the same reel I use on a 9ft 3wt for dry fly work on this rod.

Rod action is middle to tip, with a strong butt and sensitive tip section for both take detection as well as reduced lost fish due to bounce off’s. Rod sag under its own weight is minimal and blank recovery is quick.

I fished this rod with indicator, dry-dropper and euro-nymphing rigs and came away seriously impressed. Casting was smooth, accurate and the butt held enough power to lengthen casts when required. While euro-nymphing the sensitivity was there and I could feel the light takes of smaller fish easily. Larger fish were easily subdued by judicious application of power in the lower section of the rod and the small neat fighting butt.

I believe this is a rod that an experienced angler can also successfully use on the Vaal system for smallmouth yellowfish, since it has the butt to subdue those fish.
This rod firmly slots into my nymphing arsenal between a number of higher priced, more well known brands and may yet replace some of them.