- 1 Diamondglass Rods by Diamondback
- 2 Discontinued Rods
- 3 Rod Blanks
- 4 Reference
- 5 Reviews
- 5.1 GLR502 5‘, 2 weight, 2 piece
- 5.2 GLR605 6‘, 5 weight, 2 piece
- 5.3 GLR663 6’6”, 3 weight, 2 piece
- 5.4 GLR703 7’, 3 weight, 3 piece
- 5.5 GLR704 7’, 4 weight, 2 piece
- 5.6 GLR763 7’6”, 3 weight, 2 piece
- 5.7 GLR804 8’, 4 weight, 2 piece
- 5.8 GLR805 8’, 5 weight, 3 piece
- 5.9 GLR864 8’6”, 4 weight, 3 piece
Diamondglass Rods by Diamondback
Diamondglass is a line of S-glass two and three piece rods. These rods can be ordered from your local fly shop or directly from Cortland (607) 756-2851. The following marketing descriptions (and the picture below) were taken from the Diamondback website, courtesy of Cortland Line Company.
Diamondglass rods are a medium progressive action made from S2 fiberglass. Diamondglass rods are finished in black gloss with polished rosewood reel seats and stainless chrome guides with a hialoy insert in the stripping guides:
GLR605 2pc: Short and light, this 5 weight provides for greater flexibility when fishing a variety of patterns. It's a great terrestrial rod that can also throw beefy streamers. Two piece 6 foot for #5 line, weight 2.0 oz, $325
GLR663 2pc: Diamondglass rod designed for ultra-light presentations to trout, panfish, and other small species. A great choice for mountain stream Brook Trout fishing. Two piece 6'6" for #3 line, weight 3.1 oz, $325
GLR704 2pc: This seven footer is perfect for small stream trout fishing where a slightly longer rod is required for casting dry flies and nymphs in sizes 8 to 18. Incredibly strong and lightweight, this fly rod will also handle the unexpected larger fish that often surfaces in native trout streams. Two piece 7 foot for #4 line, weight 3.2 oz, $325
GLR763 2pc: This fly rod is a perfect match to crystal clear running streams which often require the lightest tippets and longer casts for a successful presentation. Two piece 7'6" for #3 line, weight 3.3 oz, $325
GLR804 2pc: This four weight rod will handle longer casts in windy conditions. Designed for larger trout, this rod will also perform flawlessly in most smaller western streams. Two piece 8 foot for #4 line, weight 3.4 oz, $325
GLR703 3pc: This seven footer is perfect for small and medium stream trout fishing. Incredibly strong and lightweight, this fly rod will also handle the unexpected larger fish that often surfaces in native trout streams. Three piece 7 foot for #3 line, weight 3.3 oz, $325
Sometimes available on the secondary market:
GLR502 2pc: The new lightweight in Diamondglass, this five footer is the perfect backpacking companion for tiny mountain brooks. Two piece 5 foot for #2 line, weight 1.6 oz
GLR805 3pc: This five weight rod will handle larger trout and windy conditions. Designed as an excellent all-around packable trout rod. Three piece 8 foot for #5 line, weight 3.5 oz
GLR864 3pc: An outstanding dry fly rod for smaller streams. This rod is fuller flexing to protect the smallest of tippets. Three piece 8'6" for #4 line, weight 3.6 oz
Currently, no additional Diamondglass rod production is planned. Dglass, is only be available on the secondary market.
Permission to use material from the website and photo, personal communication with Nancy Stout of Cortland Line Company.
I've copied reviews from Fiberglass Flyrodders postings about Diamondglass rods. I often combined information from multiple posts by an author and I edited for brevity. This summary is taken from dozens of posts and threads on the Diamondglass rods. Given the number of posts, we must really love these rods, despite the Western grips!
GLR502 5‘, 2 weight, 2 piece
The rod itself is absolutely sweet, but it is definitely more suited for small flies size 12 and smaller. The rod is a blast with any size bluegill, and would really be the perfect small stream brookie rod. But I just don't have that kind of fishing in my neck of the woods. I fish mostly size 10 foam sliders, wets, and tiny Clousers. The 2 weight line is just too light to handle these flies.
I cast the 5 foot, 2 weight and came to much the same conclusion you did - neat little toy if you're casting size 16 and below. But it can't handle a size 12 with any authority.
I have a factory 5 foot, 2 weight. I use it on small brookie streams with a DT-2 or 3 throwing the leader and up to 15 feet of line, often a thread furled leader and 5 feet. It loads very well, relatively soft. Mine has a cork cigar grip and aluminum cap and ring over cork. Frankly, it may not be enough rod for small bluegill poppers at more than 20 feet - even that might be a bit taxing. Seems to me more of a rod to fish brookies on streams it would difficult to drown in with little dries....
GLR605 6‘, 5 weight, 2 piece
Rod review: The rod seems to be a true 5 weight, as it was very smooth and effortless at 30 feet out. Beyond 35 it was capable, but began to require my conscious effort to keep things together. I was able to hold line in the air out to about 45-50 feet, but this rod is not designed for that. The rod has a progressive flex pattern (similar to other Diamondglass rods) and would be considered moderate action - it flexes into the mid-section of the rod. I would call its action "deft" or "quick" for a glass rod, yet it loads easily off the tip at short distances and possesses the traditional glass sweet feel. It's feel and flex are similar to the other 2-piece Diamondglass rods - designed more as an "all rounder." Those who have fished the Fenwick Fenglass 6' for 5 weight rod will find the Diamondglass a bit quicker in action. I found the Fenglass less capable over 20 feet but I enjoyed the sweet feel it had at short distances. What the Diamondglass gives up in "sweet feel" it adds in control and accuracy, particularly in the 20-35 foot range. I roll cast the rod out to around 20-25 feet with no problem - the line unfolds nicely in a straight line.
GLR663 6’6”, 3 weight, 2 piece
The 6'6" is moderate in action - the flex is primarily in the upper 2/3 of the rod and the recovery feels noticeably faster than the Diamondglass 7' 3 weight rod. Its action is similar to the 7’6” 3 weight and other 2 piece Diamondglass rods. I really enjoy this rod. It is more capable and versatile in my opinion given its more moderate action but a bit more limited by its shorter length. It does everything well I think - roll casts, dries, nymphs, etc. It even handles a bit of wind while still possessing the sweeter feel of glass in the hand.
I published my review on the Diamondglass 6'6" 3 weight and Cortland Sylk fly line for those of you who might be interested. Thanks. Fly Fish Ohio.
GLR703 7’, 3 weight, 3 piece
The 7' 3 weight, 3-piece flexes into the lower third of the blank as compared to the 6'6" 3 weight. It recovers more slowly as well and is thus a slower rod. As a result if feels more "smooth" in my hand. This rod would not hold up well to wind or bigger flies. It roll casts nicely in close (out to say 25 feet or so) and for small nymph fishing works fine in fairly close (30-35 feet or so). It is not a wimpy rod - just medium slow. Of course it is also great that it is a three-piece. I'm not sure why rod makers produce 2-piece rods any more. The 7' for 3 weight, 3-piece is the most enjoyable dry fly rod I have ever used and the 7 1/2 footer is the best all around small stream rod I have ever used.
The Diamondglass 7 foot, 3 weight, 3 piece is one of my go-to rods small stream rods. My only wish was that the grip and seat were of better quality, but it is a damn fine rod for smaller streams and shorter casts.
My go to rod for dry fly fishing on small streams. Literally paints the fly on the water with a furled leader. Struggles with any signifigant weight or with size 10 or larger flies. Moderate - slow smooth action, but not lamiglas slow. If you use a short leader and add a haul to your stroke, you can punch it in those tight spots.
GLR704 7’, 4 weight, 2 piece
I too have the 6'6" 3 weight and 7' 4 weight Diamondglass rods. If it's me choosing between the two, I'll take the 7' 4 weight. I fish my 7' a lot more than the 6'6".
Though I really liked the 6'6" 3 weight, it always took the back seat to the 7' 4 weight. The latter did everything I liked the 6'6" to do and more. In the face of a moderate wind, I was still able to cast a small hopper-dropper combo and get the reach I needed. I use my 7' 4 weight Diamondglass (really a 3/4 weight) on smaller streams and think it loads best with a 4 weight DT when I'm fishing close quarters.
I like the 7', 4wt., Diamondglass... use it on the numerous spring creeks in central PA... nice for close work but could use a bit more "zip" for those essential tight loops when casting to risers lying beneath low (12"-18") hanging branches... I just adjust position and approach to compensate and drop to a 3wt. line...
GLR763 7’6”, 3 weight, 2 piece
If you don't have ANY glass rods, consider the 7'6" 3 weight. Short enough for short, long enough to hurl some line, and capable of throwing a WF 4 weight as well. It could be a good "all-rounder" for you. I've fished tricos and tossed beetles with mine on the same trip. The 7'6" 3 weight will toss hoppers, crickets, beetles and light nymphs with little effort.
I have that same rod and I fish a SA DT3F and it performs great. I do not think the rod feels like a 4 weight at all. I don’t recommend that rod for big fish, but if you happen to get one on it will hold up.
I cast the 7'6" Diamondglass with several lines and Iiked it best with a Wulff TT3/4 line. It was OK with a 3 weight WF mastery XPS and I liked the 4 weight Sylk line. I personally think it's a 3/4 weight rod more than a 3 weight.
GLR804 8’, 4 weight, 2 piece
Like all the 2-pc Diamondglass rods, it's a little faster than the 3-pc models. I'd classify it as a nice, crisp glass rod that's fairly light in the hand. Not quite as good at technical, light-tippet fishing as the 8’6” 4 weight, but a really nice all-around rod for small rivers and medium sized streams. The 8' 4 weight is a great all-around rod, maybe just a tiny bit slower than the 7’6” 3 weight, which I didn't like as much. I think the 7’6” would fish one line weight heavier at very close range, but I'm not sure the 8' rod would fish well one line weight heavier. I like longer rods so I like the 8' 4 weight better -- but then, I like the 8’6” 4 weight best of all.
I own and fish the 8'6" 4 weight, 7'6" 3 weight, and 7' 4 weight. I've also fished my buddy's 8' 4 weight. It's a good all-rounder that'll handle a larger fly, some shot, and some wind. I prefer my 8'6" 4 weight though. Mind you, I live in PA. I used my 8'6" 4 weight on the Madison for tricos last year, it's the only time I DIDN'T like the rod. Wind is such a big factor out west... I'd opt for the faster 8' 2 piece for out west.
Have the 8' 4 weight - love it - fish it with a 5 weight often - great all around rod.
GLR805 8’, 5 weight, 3 piece
I think the 8' 3 piece 5 weight has plenty of reserve power and a nice smooth medium action. Mine does fine with weighted flies and in the wind. It cast a DT5 Sylk with ease and a 6 weight with big heavy streamers. The rod casts flawlessly with dead on tracking and that smooth slow action of a rod that flexes into the butt. The components aren't as nice as some other rods in this price range, but the action of the rod is dead on. If any of you want a sweet feeling glass rod with some reserve power for heavy nymphing or streamers, I think you will like this, especially if you like the full flexing action of bamboo without the weight.
I have the 8 ft 5 weight and you could fish it with a 6 weight without difficulty. Might even fish a little better, although with a 5 weight it’s pretty sweet. But when I do have a complaint it is that it feels a bit fast with a short line out. A 6 weight would work well then. This rod has plenty of oomph to spare if you need to lean into the butt section.
This rod for me has a nice softer tip that asks for a 5 weight or even a DT4. Not saying a WF6 would not work, but this rod is more of an easy casting dry fly rod than a nymphing/bugger action. Since acquiring this one and the 8’6”, it is difficult to justify owning more than two bamboo rods. I got the factory rods with the western grip and uplock reel seat. The rods handle so nice I am thinking about pulling both grips off and doing my favorite grip with a down lock seat. Keepers for sure.
I fish a DT 6 weight on mine. I do a lot of streamer fishing and 6 weight feels just right. It has a soft tip. The Diamondglass has a very smooth medium action. It is not as full flexing as my Lamiglas, but not nearly as fast as the SA System 5 I have cast. It is definitely one of the best close range rods I have ever cast. The rod surprised me when I was casting streamers maybe 50-60'. It seemed to gain power as the rod flexed further down. Also, I am not positive that the line I am using on it is a 6 weight, it may be a 5 weight. The rod has a reversed half-wells handle which I dislike. Personally I prefer a cigar or better yet a half wells grip. Reversed half wells grips do not give the platform needed to push off with your thumb. If a rod is going to do a little bit of everything then this rod is perfect.
Moderate slow action yet handles a mild wind well. Keep in mind I fish in PA. Great for dry flies. Can turn over a hopper/dropper or a nymphing rig decently. Definitely prefers longer bellied line. I can cast surprisingly far with this rod.....85' to 90' with a dbl haul.....outperforms several of my graphite rods in this regard, and this was a completely unexpected, but pleasant surprise.
GLR864 8’6”, 4 weight, 3 piece
I originally bought the 8’6”, 4 weight as a backup to my bamboo rods. I have said to a few friends that if Diamondback had built this rod 15 years ago, I could have saved a bundle on cane rods. I think it's a true 4 weight -- I fish it with a 444 DT4 line. It's a very smooth rod, but also a fairly soft one and it might be one of the best spring creek/pocket water rods going right now. I recently used it to fish a dry in the tiny slicks and seams in pocket water, and the tip was soft enough to put the fly exactly where I wanted it, even though I often had only one or two feet of line out. This is where bamboo and glass really shine -- the material has enough mass to load a soft tip, making a good "leader only" cast a possibility. It's not the strongest rod I've ever cast, but you can really lean on a fish without breaking him off. Great for technical and midge fishing. If I was fishing big flies on windy days for big fish, I'd look for something bigger. I haven't yet found a glass rod that feels entirely cane-like -- probably due to the similar modulus but lighter weight -- but I can say that fishing my Diamondglass 8.5' 4 weight is a similar experience -- I can feel it flexing under the cork.
…that Diamondglass 4 weight, it's not your average 4 weight...
I'm with Tom on this Diamondglass 8’6” rod. I love cane, but this rod should be called "Baby Bears Model" as its just right!
It's been over a year now that I've been fishing the 8'6" 4 weight Diamondglass. It's become my "go to" rod without hesitation. It goes with me on nearly every trip. Rolls, mends, and cast with authority. I think the rod's a true 4 weight. The only thing I don't like is the grip.
Many posters own more than one Diamondglass rod. But these three gentlemen are definite fans.
Favorite Four Diamondglass Models: In order of preference in case you limit me to less than four would be the 8’6” 4 weight, 3 piece; 8' 5 weight, 3 piece; 7’6” 3 weight, 2 piece; and 7' 3 weight, 3 piece.
Favorite Four Diamondglass Models: I have four. 8’6” 4 weight, 3 piece; 7’ 4 weight, 2 piece; 7’6” 3 weight, 2 piece; and 6’6” 3 weight, 2 piece.
Favorite? 8’6” 4 weight has the dirtiest grip.
I currently own all five of the Diamondglass rods between 6' and 7'6". Now every one of those five rods is wonderful. I purchased one every year since 2003 and with every purchase I sold graphites in the same configurations - out the door went Winstons, Orvis Superfines, Scott Gs and Diamondback Classic Trouts - I probably should have kept a few of those, but in side by side casting I preferred the Diamondglass for the fishing I do (the Mad River in Ohio and occasional ventures to Montana and Vermont). It was my first venture in to glass and the Diamondglass rods felt like the rods I had always wanted but could never find.