First Take: The LK Legacy fly rod from Temple Fork

I can’t write a proper review of Temple Fork Outfitters’ new LK Legacy fly rod without first telling you to ignore the catalog description.

My friends at TFO describe the Legacy as “the ultimate ‘big water’ trout rod for intermediate to advanced casters.” But sorry, guys, I think it is much more. There are several models, starting with the 8-foot 3-weight, that are perfectly suited for panfish as well as trout. And those of you who chase black bass, whether largemouth or smallmouth, will also find several good options.

I would even recommend the Legacy for the salt. Though somewhat limited by the fact that the series ends with a 9-foot 8-weight, that’s still plenty of rod for many saltwater applications such as most redfish and speckled trout.

So don’t be pigeonholed. Whatever species you pursue, the Legacy is worthy of your consideration.

I’m limiting this review to the one-hand Legacies (there is also a two-hand series), and there are 11 rods in the series:

1) An 8-foot 3-weight, retail $269.95
2) An 8-foot-6 4-weight, $269.95
3) A 9-foot 4-weight, $279.95
4) A 9-foot 5-weight, $279.95
5) A 9-foot 6-weight with a reverse half-wells grip, $279.95
6) A 9-foot 6-weight with a full-wells grip, $279.95
7) A 9-foot-6 6-weight, $299.95
8) A 9-foot 7-weight, $279.95
9) A 9-foot-6 7-weight, $299.95
10) A 9-foot 8-weight, $279.95
11) A 10-foot 8-weight, $299.95

TFO describes the graphite rod shafts as matte gray, though they seem to me to have an olive tint (then again, my wife has said for years that I’m incapable of recognizing color or anything else having to do with fashion). And the anodized reel seats get braided graphite inserts. The stripping guides are stainless steel rings with black frames, and the snake guides are also stainless steel. The alignment dots are color-coded by line weight.

From 3- to 5-weight, the Legacy comes with a reverse half-wells grip of Flor grade cork. The 6-weight is available with both half-wells and full wells. The 7- and 8-weights get full wells grips.

And in case you were wondering, yes, the Legacy comes with both a rod sock and protective tube.

What about the action and casting?

TFO rates the Legacy actions as fast, though I would say they tend toward medium-fast. And the power is nicely balanced. In other words, I don’t have to labor at loading the 8-weight on short casts, and yet, I can lean into an 80-foot cast without collapsing the rod (I didn’t try anything longer, because I’m lazy). If you have a really aggressive casting stroke, you might want to consider a different rod series such as the Axiom 2-X. But I find the Legacy’s loading is very comfortable, and the power is where it should be for most anglers.

Among the lines I tried on the 9-foot 8-weight was Cortland’s new Tropic Plus Tarpon. The Tarpon 8-weight is rated at 210 grains, right where industry standards say it should be. Then I tried the less aggressive Tropic Plus Bonefish, which is also 210 grains, and a Tropic Plus Redfish, which has an aggressive taper and weighs 225 grains. Each line performed nicely.

Then I loaded the 7-weight Legacy with a 7-weight Trout Boss, which is overweighted at 210 grains, versus the industry’s 7-weight standard of 185 grains. Again, the Legacy responded beautifully without feeling overwhelmed.

The Legacy feels a bit heavy compared to TFO’s Axioms but lighter than the Mangroves, and that’s confirmed by the official stats. The 9-foot 8-weight Legacy, for example, is reported at 4.1 ounces versus 3.5 for the Axioms and 4.4 for the Mangrove. The 9-foot 5-weight is 3.1 ounces compared to 2.9 ounces and 3.5 ounces.

My conclusion?

This is a very nice rod series, suitable for a variety of applications. And it is priced right if you’re on a budget but still looking to move up in quality. For really aggressive casters, I would probably steer them toward the faster Axiom 2-X. But the Legacy’s action should match up well with most anglers.

The LK Legacy is a winner.

7 thoughts on “First Take: The LK Legacy fly rod from Temple Fork

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