Gear Review: Diamondback Ideal Nymph Rods

Source: Diamondback

There’s a new sheriff in town for Euronymphing rods, and it’s Diamondback.

I’ve been fishing their 1-wt. and 2-wt. extensively the past few weeks, and I am completely sold. I reached out to rod designer Joe Goodspeed after hearing many, many people say the Ideal Nymph rods that he designed were unique and offered incredible value for the money. And, the praise is accurate. At the $525 price point, I think these are the best Euro rods at that intermediate price level.

While at Thomas and Thomas, Joe revamped their rod line, including the famed Contact I and Contact II rods. I’m not sure what magic he has brought to Diamondback, but I am sold. I’ve been fishing the 10′ 1-wt. and their 10’10” 2-wt. and have been thrilled every time I cast them.

Like all of Joe’s rods, the Diamondback products feel light to arm, which is crucial for the long outings I like to do when my back is willing. They’re also extremely accurate due to a lack of reverb. And I just absolutely love how stout they are, and I have not had a problem turning a fish’s head even in heavy current and to land trout as quickly as possible.

Another differentiating feature? Quick repair times. If you break a rod, you send in a photo, and they ship a new rod piece in a few days to you. Now, I still love my Thomas and Thomas Contact II. But the process for repairs for these handcrafted and beautiful rods takes effort: you have to mail in the entire rod, and the last repair timeline for me was three months.

During my last two Montana trip, I broke the tip of the Contact II at the beginning of each trip while fighting a big fish in heavy current at coincidentally at the exact same run at the Upper Madison. It was a total bummer, and I’ve learned to always travel with a back-up Euro rod.

USA team member Devin Olsen has a detailed review here and below, and I don’t think there’s much that I as an amateur can add.

Run, don’t walk. Try out these rods at you nearest fly shop. They’re gems.


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6 thoughts on “Gear Review: Diamondback Ideal Nymph Rods

      1. Thinking about trading in my Contact 3wt for a Diamondback 10’2wt. Hopefully Upcounty will have one to try before I buy. Mostly used my Hardy Ultralight 9’9″ 4wt this year WHEN I could get in the Farmington!!

        1. They’re both amazing rods. Diamondback’s quick turnaround of repairs is truly a game changer for anglers!

    1. Well unfortunately I haven’t had the opportunity to fish it yet. Spent the last 2 weeks visiting family in Montana. Flew home Saturday and today I tested positive for Covid, so who knows when I’ll get to fish it

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