What is the Guideline Kaitum fly fishing kit?
The Kaitum fly fishing kit includes a fly rod, fly reel, fly line and leader and a combined rod and reel case. It's supplied set up and ready to use - all you need to do is tie on a fly!
While you might associate fly fishing kits with low-quality gear aimed at fooling gullible newcomers, these new kits from Swedish manufacturer Guideline actually comprise high-quality components that few hardened fly fishers would turn their nose up at.
Guideline has a reputation for specialising in making very stylish fly fishing gear, mainly for fishing rivers and is very popular in the salmon angling world. Its new range of fly fishing kits includes outfits focused at trout and grayling fishing, as well as the salmon and sea trout tackle for which Guideline is probably most associated.
What fly fishing kits are in the range?
Guideline's fly kits cater for those fishing for stillwater trout, carp pike, as well as trout, grayling, salmon and sea trout in rivers and include three different fly rod ranges: the Kaitum single handed fly rods for trout fly fishing, the Epik single handed fly rods for pike fly fishing and the Laxa range of fly rods, which includes single-handed, switch rods and double handed rods for fishing larger rivers. All are four piece rods and all come with the excellent new Guideline Favo fly reel.
I'm using the Guideline Kaitum single handed fly rod in 9' #6, which is the perfect size for most UK stillwater trout fishing, and equally capable on many larger UK rivers.
|Range||Rod type||Length||Line weight||Line type||Reel|
|Guideline Kaitum||Single handed||9'||#5||WF floating||Guideline Favo 46|
|Guideline Kaitum||Single handed||9'||#6||WF floating||Guideline Favo 46|
|Guideline Epik||Single handed||9'||#9||WF floating||Guideline Favo 79|
|Guideline Laxa||Single handed||9'6"||#7||WF floating||Guideline Favo 79|
|Guideline Laxa||Switch||11'||#7/8||Multi Tip WF||Guideline Favo 79|
|Guideline Laxa||Double Handed||12'||#7/8||Multi Tip SH||Guideline Favo 79|
|Guideline Laxa||Switch||12'6"||#8/9||Multi Tip SH||Guideline Favo 810|
|Guideline Laxa||Switch||13'7"||#9/10||Multi Tip SH||Guideline Favo 810|
What is the Guideline Favo reel like?
The Favo is a new reel to the Guideline range and sells on its own for around £118. In this price bracket, it's arguably one of the most stylish looking models around. Like other reels pitched at this price, such as the Sage 2200 series, the Favo is a die-cast reel which has been CNC finished and then coated to create a more resilient finish.
The design is inspired by Guideline's posher Fario and Vosso models, so you do get a really good looking bit of kit for your money. It's definitely not the sort of fly reel you usually find bundled in a fly fishing kit. It's fitted with the usual disc drag and it works very well and is very easy to adjust. Retrieve speed is good, the drag is effective and the clicker not too noisy. Just what you want in a reel, really.
The larger 79 and 810 models have a rim cage which serves to stabilise the frame of the reel and also helps the thin running line used behind shooting heads from getting caught between the frame and the spool. When you buy the reels on their own they come with a nylon reel case, but the Kaitum kit includes an integrated rod and reel case instead.
See our Guideline Favo fly reel review here.
What is the rod like?
The kit I'm using includes the 9' #6 Kaitum fly rod, but other kits in this range use the Epik pike fly rod or the Laxa switch and double handed rods. Mrs Fly&Lure has the Kaitum rod's predecessor - the Guideline Kispiox - and likes it, but the Kaitum is a step up, despite being largely similar in appearance and feel. Like the Kispiox, the Kaitum is a medium fast fly rod with a nice action. It's ideally suited to beginner and intermediate fly fishers and it's just as well made as the older model.
The Kaitum rod is a dark grey colour and is varnished to give it a high-end look. The rings and guides are silver and are neatly whipped and varnished. While there are no marker dots on the blanks to help you align the guides when setting up, there is a hook keeper to hold your fly between spots and the rod feels nicely put together. The reel seat is a shiny silver aluminium affair with a darker insert featuring the Guideline logo. It looks cool and the cork handle is comfortable and well made, with better quality cork than you usually in rods of this price.
Does it come with a good fly line?
Fly line choice can make or break a fly fishing kit. The model I'm using is supplied with a Guideline Kaitum #6 floating fly line with an exaggerated weight forward profile. This pale blue-green line has an 8.5m or 28-foot head, which is shorter than average. This means it loads quickly with less line outside the tip than, making it ideal for short and medium range fly fishing. The design is not a million miles from that of the Barrio Smallstream fly line, and like this short-headed line, the head is thicker than your average fly line to add the extra weight required up-front.
Despite the modest extra thickness, the line feels fairly soft and supple off the reel and there's very little memory or coiling. It hangs nice and limp, lays flat and casts well. Mine did feel a little bit lumpy and uneven when first taken off the reel, which I assume is just because it's been wound onto the reel and left sitting there for a while before I got to use it, but a gentle stretch did reduce this and it was then much smoother. There were no imperfections noticeable in the line itself. Once the head is out, it shoots well, so you can get medium distance casts out very easily. I found it enjoyable to cast and it zips through the rings really well.
The fly line comes pre-attached to the spool with just the right amount of backing and is even supplied with a 9' 3X tapered mono leader, neatly attached to the fly line with a loop-to-loop connection. This is really handy for newcomers, as it's easy to put coils in your fly line and ruin it if you don't spool it up correctly. You also end up with an outfit designed to be perfectly balanced and fishable.
What is the rod case like?
The rod case is great. Far cooler looking than your average Cordura tube, the Guideline one reminds me of those posh Simms rod tubes as it allows you to leave the reel on the rod. The main section is made from the usual solid tube, but the bottom end is a large padded pocket which takes the fly reel and any other bits and pieces you're carrying. As there's no rod sock inside, just some compartments for the sections, it's very quick and easy to set up and put away your rod.
What is the Kaitum fly fishing kit like to use?
Unlike some other fly fishing kits on the market, this one isn't made from cheap components and everything included is very stylish in appearance and feels like it's made to a decent quality - even if it's considered the bottom of the range within Guideline's product catalogue.
It's a nice rod to cast and feels very capable. I'd be more inclined to see it as a rod suited to stillwater fly fishing than to the river, but it worked there too. While the #6 Kaitum is definitely not the lightest rod in its class - the swing weight felt a bit on the heavy side compared to the other #6 fly rods I use - it does have a forgiving action that would be well suited to novice and intermediate fly fishers. There is a little bit of noise as the line goes through the rings.
I personally prefer a faster, less "tippy" rod, but I know when I was a newcomer that I struggled to get on with fast action rods and really only got to grips with my casting and timing when using a slower rod with a load point that I could easily feel. The Kaitum, being medium fast, would, therefore, fit the bill quite well for the newcomer.
The short-headed line provided would also be a good fit for newcomers, since it loads the rod quickly, letting you feel what the rod is doing. This means casting is quite easy at short to medium distance. I can see novices feeling quite comfortable in casting one of these and it's the sort of set-up that should help a new fly fisher progress their casting a bit, I reckon.
How much does this fly fishing kit cost?
The Guideline Kaitum fly fishing kit in #5 and #6 costs just €259 (about £227), while the bigger kits for pike, sea trout and salmon cost up to €419 (about £368), depending on size. Although the Kaitum rod itself may not feel like the lightest fly rod in its price range, it is easy for novices to handle, enjoyable to cast and is supplied with a very good reel, a decent line and a great carry case. Overall, it's one of the smartest fly fishing kits you can get and is well worth considering if you're after an easy-casting fly rod to learn the ropes with.
More information: Guideline