The Kildare Series
December 17, 2017

The Chuck Kraft Signature Series

Rated 5.00 out of 5 based on 2 customer ratings
(2 customer reviews)


After more than 30 years of guiding in the Mid-Atlantic and Chile, Chuck teamed up with Reilly Rod Crafters to design a fly rod that is the perfect “fishing rod.” The rods were designed to be extremely accurate, turn over larger bugs with ease, provide good tippet protection, load as well at 10’ as it does at 70’ and, (and this is the kicker) be a rod that absolutely anyone at any skill level can handle proficiently. Three years later and more scrapped graphite than I care to think about and the old man finally says “This is the best damned rod to be on the market…period.” Hearing this come from a man whose professional life was carefully guarded with intentional understatement, means that we better start building these guys fast!

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Bob Clouser calls Chuck Kraft “one of the best smallmouth bass guides in the country” and Flip Pallot says he is the “definition of a smallmouth bass expert.”

Of course Chuck is far more than just a smallmouth guru, he is equally as deadly with trout and salmon and has several great “trophy flies” to his design credits. Clawdad, Kreelex, Crittermite, CK Special, CK Baitfish, etc…

The series was first envisioned to be 6wt, 7wt, and 8wt only but along the way a 5wt popped out (from an almost abandoned 6wt taper).

All of the rods are 9’ 4pc and feature flor grade cork grips. All of Chuck’s rods have a full wells grip and the 6wt – 8wt rods have have an added fighting butt. All of the rods have aircraft grade aluminum reel seats with a light TiCh finish and dual locking rings. All of the rods also feature 3 stripping guides. The guides are all slightly oversized (including the tip) and have dark TiCh finishing. The blank is finished with a transparent high performance pigment (root beer brown) and have multiple topcoats of a gloss UV protecting clear finish. Each of the male ferrules are capped with mil-grade black silicone. The rods come with embroidered sleeves and a rod tube with the CK Signature Series logo printed on the side. As with all of our rods, they are warranted for the lifetime of the original owner.

Part NoLine WeightLengthSectionsGrip StyleCaseWarrantyPrice
CK055wt9’4pcFull WellsGraphite Tube and SockLifetime$495.99
CK066wt9’4pcFull Wells w/ FBGraphite Tube and SockLifetime$495.99
CK077wt9’4pcFull Wells w/FBGraphite Tube and SockLifetime$495.99
CK088wt9’4pcFull Wells w/FBGraphite Tube and SockLifetime$495.99
Rod #

CK05, CK06, CK07, CK08

2 reviews for The Chuck Kraft Signature Series

  1. Rated 5 out of 5

    Mark Kendle

    I got to meet the owner and rod designer, Chris, this past weekend at an event at a local fly shop. He brought with him the line of Chuck Kraft signature rods. I’ve got to say, that getting to demo a fly rod with the rod designer standing beside you is something that I’ve never done and it was a bit nerve racking, but Chris genuinely cared about my thoughts and feedback on the rod. We had time to play with different types of lines and grain weights and at the end of the day I ended up going home with the 7wt.

    I am usually not a fan of modern 7wt rods. To me they are big water sticks and only excel in throwing long casts with no feel or finesse for in close work. Necessary for when you want to fish a bigger or heavier fly, but not really enjoyable to fish. This 7 wt however, is something special! It has a whole lot of feel in close with a ton of backbone to fire long shots or keep that big brown out of the brush when he decides to eat. I throw mostly intermediate and sinking lines on my steamer rods for trout and smallmouth bass in western Maryland, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. A lot of those shots are no more than 25’ to 40’. Because of this, I tend to lean towards fast action 6wt rods, but end up wishing I had more power in the butt section if I do need to make a longer cast, switch a heavier / larger fly, or muscle a bigger fish. This is the first stick that I’ve cast that can do both!

    The first thing i realized when demoing this rod, is that with no fly attached to the end, it needs to be cast with a 200 grain line. This bothered me a little in the fact that it was being designated as a 7 wt rod, as most 6 wt sinking lines are at 200 grains. The 240 grain 7 wt line seemed to heavy and to me, made the rod feel a little sloppy. However, the moment I tied a weighted streamer on the end, everything changed. The 200 grain line was fine in close but felt under powered when making longer casts. It would throw the fly but required a good bit of effort from me and my arm. If you’re used to slinging streamers all day long you know how tireing it can be when you’re struggling to get the fly where you need it to be. Going back up to a 240 grain sink line with a streamer on the end however, made this rod come back to life and settled it right into the line weight designation that Chris has given it. It is effortless to throw long shots with one back cast and still has the finesse and feel in close without being over powered. The rod is very accurate and has a great recovery speed! The tip feels springy and lively without being overly fast making it extremely forgiving and accurate for people of all skill levels. It is a rod that is just plain enjoyable to have in your hand. To cast it feels purely instinctive.

    The fit and finish of the CK Series rods are top notch as well. No corners are cut and they are constructed with only top grade components and flor grade cork grips. The attention to detail that Chris and the other builders for Reilly Rod Crafters put into each and every rod is something special even right down to the high quality tube the rod comes in. Chris also took the time to explain the process he uses to spine his rods prior to wrapping in the guides in order to achieve the most accuracy out of each blank. To find a rod of this quality that is 100% made in the USA, at the price point in which Chris sells them, is a real treat. I can’t thank Chris enough for taking the time to let me pick apart his creation. I look forward to demoing some of the other rods in his catalog as well.

    If you are in the market for a new streamer stick you owe it to yourself to look at the Chuck Kraft series of fly rods by Reilly Rod Crafters.

  2. Rated 5 out of 5

    Vernon Wilson

    Got to spend some time with Chris & Chuck today, and throw some of the CK rods. I can say a lot of great things about these rods. As a surf fly rodder I can say that the 8wt is a laser pointer that will pick apart rip currents. The 7wt is a Dream Stick, and will definitely be my next 7wt. The 5wt was incredibly smooth to throw with pin point accuracy. You just can not beat these rods.

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