Fenwick AETOS Fly Rod Review
Fenwick Fly Rods are steeped in tradition dating back to fiberglass rods in the 1950s. Perhaps your father or grandfather fished a Fenwick fiberglass rod in the middle part of the 20th century. Fenwick turned to graphite like many other rod companies in the 1970s and have continued crafting top-notch rods since. One such rod is the Fenwick AETOS, a low-priced rod built for functionality and purpose. Does the AETOS pay homage to the Fenwick tradition while continuing to drive contemporary fly rod innovation? We think so. Read on to find out why.
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Fit and Finish
The AETOS is a low-priced rod. This means Fenwick’s goal in the fit and finish category was functionality, not necessarily high-end componentry. The rod sports an anodized aluminum double uplocking reel seat but is missing the burled wood insert you’d find on higher end rods. The rod also has a standard reversed half wells grip, and includes a handle made of practical, ‘AAA’ grade cork. The AETOS blank is blue with black trim wraps, carbon flake accents, and alignment dots. Standard stripping and snake guides add to the rod’s quiet composition.
The AETOS weighs in at 3.44 ounces, heavy for a 5wt. The swing weight is a bit more comparable to other 5wt rods at 61.7 gm2. There are certainly lighter rods out there, but at its price point, the AETOS holds its own against the competition.
Usually mid- or low-priced rods don’t really have the backbone to get the job done at distance. The AETOS is different, however, and an efficient blank taper produces a rod with lots of power and strength. I’d hesitate to make this my only distance trout rod, especially because it’s a bit heavier than other rods proficient at distance casting. I wouldn’t want to spend the entire day casting an AETOS at 60 feet. That being said, the AETOS is perfect for the occasional hero cast to a rising trout on a far river bank.
The AETOS really thrives at close/middle distances. The rod is superbly accurate and easy at close distances, especially for the angler with a quick casting stroke. Move the AETOS back to the core trout distance of 45 feet and this rod maintains its accuracy and feel. The fast-action blank of the AETOS promotes accuracy at longer distances, too. This rod gets an A+ in the accuracy category and is one of my favorites regardless of price.
Flex and Feel
The soft tip of the AETOS produces tight loops at close distances and an easy, quick casting stroke. The angler can really feel the strength and power of Fenwick’s fast-action blank working for him/her at distance, too. This rod is super caster-friendly and offers a pretty forgiving build for novice and experienced anglers alike.
We recommend lining the AETOS a bit heavy (½ line size up). Added line weight helps load the rod and draw better performance out of the fast-action blank.
Limited Lifetime Warranty
The AETOS has quickly become one of our favorite rods here at Trident. Perfect for the value-driven angler, the AETOS allows a low price entry into flyfishing and encourages superb accuracy, feel, and performance for an extremely low price. We feel this rod outperforms many mid-priced and even some high-end fly rods. Fenwick’s ability to wrap timeless tradition and modern performance into a rod really shows through in the AETOS.
- Accurate and caster-friendly at important distances
- Missing high-end componentry
- Heavy overall weight