by Guide Blog


Here in the UK, the Stillwater fishing fraternity loves a fly rod with power; the ability to gain those extra yards in stillwater fly fishing is something that we all strive for; it gives us an advantage, an edge if you like.

This is even more paramount within the competition scene, either from the boat or bank! Having a fly rod that allows us to cover the water with our flies before others, especially our boat partner, is a huge advantage. The Still Hero has an action that lets you do this with ease. It’s effortless at times, even in a flat calm, the rod features a fast tip recovery which in turn shoots any fly line a tremendous distance.

The brand new Vision Still Hero 10-foot 7-weight is an out and out powerhouse of a fly rod. For all the stillwater anglers out there, trust me when I say this, it’s going to be nearly impossible to find a rod with such a fast, powerful action, which delivers exceptional performance at this price point!

This Still Hero ( there are other Hero’s in the range ) is an incredible rod for the money, and it blows pretty much everything else out the water when it comes to all our various Stillwater fishing applications. But there’s more, it’s got looks, a fast action, sublime cosmetics and it pretty much delivers at all levels!

As fly line manufacturers seem to be continually developing ‘punchier’ head sections, higher density sections, and super thin running line to boot, the competition angler needs a rod that can cope. The Vision Still Hero powers out long lines, very long lines whatever the weather conditions, the super-fast recovery, ensures that distance casting is easy, the rod – obviously with a little help from the user – seems to be able to do all the work.

There are times – on the bank – when you are faced with a ‘head on’ wind, and in this event, getting a line out can be tough. But with a little timing on the forward cast, I found that I could punch a good, long line out with the Hero. Sadly, when attempting this with other rods, the whole cast, but more importantly the leader, can collapse. To be successful, it’s far better that your leader turns over, that way, you are fishing from the very start of the retrieve. These are all marginal gains that put more trout in the net.

False Economy

In the past, I have seen some anglers that will overload the rod, using a fly line that is too heavy for it. The thinking behind this is that the additional line weight will load it faster, leading to faster recovery and extra distance.

However, it’s a false economy. Most fly rods have a single line rating, and this is because the manufacturer knows that particular line weight is designed to get the optimum performance from their blank. By choosing the correct rod in the first place, no one should have any need to upping the line weight to load the blank. Overloading a fly rod this way leads to breakages, so please don’t do it; it’s also going to hamper your cause when it comes to warranties!

Sunk Line

Rant over, getting back to the Still Hero, the rod’s speedy recovery through the tip lends itself very well indeed to ‘sunk line’ work. It’ll let you throw out a 40-yard fly line without batting an eyelid; fly lines with aggressive front tapers are this rod’s thing. When it comes to these types of fly lines, a rod with some backbone is essential, it lets you know when the road is loaded. Also, there’s so much more feeling than a rod with a softer action, you know pretty much straight away when the head of the line is out, something that can be tricky to gauge on a softer fly rod.

The Still Hero has the type of action that means you only need a couple of false casts to get the head of the fly line out to load the rod. In competition-style environments, this gives you a huge advantage over your boat partner. A rod of this calibre, with its powerful action, has the added benefit of allowing you to set the hook, even at distance. I often see anglers after a day on the water, and they’ll tell me about the number of takes that they had, but sadly they’d only managed to land a few trout, they could have caught so much more.

When fishing a sunk line, there’s often a curve in the line, it’s the way they are designed; when a trout takes a fly, then this curve has to be straightened to connect with the fish. This means you’ll often feel takes but don’t actually connect, as there is often quite a few feet of slack. The action of the Still Hero means that you can feel the takes far quicker but it also has the power there- even when fishing at distance – to pull that hook home. 

It benefits ‘The Hang’ too, as you’ve far more chance of hooking a trout that takes close to the boat. With softer fly rods, it can be extremely difficult to do this as the whole blank can flex, and by the time it does, and there’s finally a connection, it can be too late. The Hero’s fast action means that any movement, even just minimal, ensures a far speedier connection, crucial for hitting trout as they take on ‘the hang’.

A More Subtle Approach

As you’d expect with most modern fly rods, the Still Hero is designed to cover all fly fishing applications. When it comes to dry fly fishing, the rod’s super-fast recovery allows for pinpoint accuracy; at times, it feels that you could put a fly through the eye of a needle! The faster tip recovery equates to a tighter casting loop, which in turn allows the angler to gain more distance and put the fly exactly where it needs to go putting the odds hugely in my favour.

As a caveat, I would say that when you are fishing dry flies and nymphs with a fast action rod of this calibre, I would always make a point of having plenty of stretch within my leader. There needs to be some give between the rod tip and the fly; if there’s none there, the outcome is obvious.

By building some stretch into your leader, I like to do this by using a copolymer tapered leader or Rio Powerflex as my tippet, both have some elasticity which helps massively, you will be able to fish your flies with confidence.

There are so many attributes to this incredible fly rod that makes it stand out from the crowd.

The performance is superior to anything that you’re likely to see when it comes to an entry-level fly rod, the look and cosmetics which have been chosen, complement and enhances the appearance, then there is the incredible price tag that offers exceptional value for money.

Although the rod is a little bling, how often do you see a gold blank, the Hero is deserving of its elaborate hue. The Hero should be no.1 on the podium and there’s only one colour that goes with 1st place, gold!

Steve Cullen

Steve Cullen Fly Fishing

Steve Cullen YouTube Channel

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