Most salt rods are built for pure power and ultimate strength—that is table stakes for the venue and the discipline. With our new R8 graphite, adding 25% more strength-per-weight was the easy part—a simple function of material advancement—but one that also increased the fight in the rod even down to our six-weight. We increased the pure pulling power without the need to add more material, fillers or reinforcement. The outcome is simple, providing the ability for faster landing times - reducing fish fatigue and catch-and release stress on ever so delicate ecosystems. More strength and fight were an obvious upgrade, yet few salt rods, especially in the heavier weights, achieve the importance of feel for fine touch shots and precise presentations. Shaping a taper that brought this increased touch into the equation took more time. Yet after a long residence in the birthplace of saltwater fly fishing, and working directly with the experienced guides there, our rod designers found the right profile and fiber alignment that delivered strength, fine touch presentation, and a more intuitive sweet spot to a class of rods that have long had a reputation as unwieldy, unforgiving, and difficult. With the SALT R8, gone are the days of sacrificing the feel and touch in your saltwater rod.