As posted last week, I recently picked up a pair of "entry" level Cabela's Cahill combo's (5wt & 8wt) specifically for fishing some the local rivers and streams. The late week warm up allowed me to take the 5 wt out for a test drive and I decided to post a quick review as I didn't find any extensive Cahill combo reviews outside of the Cabela's site. So let's start with the finish. Not a bad looking rod, the coating was even, no drips, waves, exposed blanks or sharp edges at the base of any guides. The corks felt solid, no residual dust. Once locked in, I worked the rod for about an hour and when I returned home, the reel was still locked in the seat. So all in all, I would have to say the rod looked and felt like a rod that cost significantly more than $40.00.
The reel was surprisingly better than I expected. It had an adjustable disc drag, not a click and prawl, but quite honestly I wasn't expecting much as this will be a warm water/panfish rod and I prefer palming most anything that pulls significant drag. Again, better than expected.
The reel is sold ready to fish: spooled with backing, WF-5 floating line and a leader attached. Out of the box, no practice the, rod did not cast well, but after laying the line on water a few times it began to perform flawlessly. In all fairness this rod was literally out of the box. I unboxed/wrapped it in the parking lot and headed out the water! So, I suspect the initial difficulties were due to casting an unconditioned (cleaned/lubed) line and partly to my rust as well. That being said, I was able to cast size 6/8 beadhead buggers, clousers and nymphs. After I warmed up I tried a few double hauls and the rod performed well. Cabelas refers to the rod as "mid flex" but I would say it is more mid-tip flex (moderate-fast). I am also going to try overlining with a 6 wt Clouser line. I have a feeling that it was slightly underlined out of the box. That being said, this combo exceeded my expectations for a $40.00 outift! I would definitely reccomend it. In fact I can pretty much guarantee this rod will see more action than my fast action rod which are more suited to long casts ......... Even at the regular price of $59.00, I am going to grab a pair to teach my sons. One con: It does not come with a rod sock or storage tube. But really, would you complain at this price?