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August 14, 2021 10 min read
The Beulah Platinum G2 (Generation 2) single-hand fly rods are a three rod series available in 4, 5 and 6 weights. The three options cover virtually any freshwater trout scenario from small mountain streams to large western rivers. The Platinum G2 single-hand rods are retail priced at $550. The G2 Platinum's hit the market in 2019 and replaced the original Platinum which had an impressive 10 year run. Beulah's are designed and tested in Oregon and manufactured in South Korea. Fin and Fire Fly Shop has a long history with Beulah and have been a dealer for the last decade.
Although for this review we tested the three freshwater single-hand rod models, the Platinum G2 series also includes 3 Switch rods, 4 Spey rods, 3 Trout Spey rods and a Euro nymphing rod. Look for reviews of those rods in 2022.
All Platinum G2 rods use a very nice dark blue color blank that Beulah calls Black Iris. The Platinums are fitted with titaninum stripper guides and Snake brand guides wrapped with attractive blue thread wraps. The 4 and 5 weights are fitted with a wood burl reel seat while the 6 weight sports an anodized aluminum reel seat. Beulah uses AAAA cork for their grips and some small composite touches in high pressure areas. There was a fair amount of filler used in the cork in one of our samples that gave the cork a weathered look pretty early into its use. The Platinum G2 rods come with a quality Cordura rod case and a cloth rod sock.
One of the biggest changes to the G2 Platinum's is the addition of Graphene to the resin. This material is used by advanced semiconductor, electronics and composite industries and has filtered down to the sporting goods and flyfishing world. Graphene has seemingly made the Beulah blanks lighter, stronger in stress and strain metrics, and heightened consistency. All this translates into an improved rod with excellent tracking characteristics and added durability while still providing solid tippet protection.
I was fortunate to extensively use all 3 rods during the back half of the famous salmonfly hatch and into summer caddis hatches of June and July on the Lower Deschutes River in Oregon. The 4 and 5 weight Platinum's also saw Green Drake hatch action on the Metolius River. The 6 weight was mostly employed on the Upper Deschutes upstream of Bend while hunting elusive large browns and heavy reservoir bows that reside there.
The Dry or Die rod.
The Beulah Platinum 8'8" 4 wt is quite simply a smooth rod. Pleasant. Lovely. Crisp. Smooth. These are some words that help describe this rod. If you are a dedicated dry fly angler who might occasionally throw a light nymph or dry-dropper rig, the Platinum will leave you with a big smile on your face. Very light in hand with a quick recovery, the Platinum 4 wt. is best suited for matching wits with rising fish that are not easily fooled.
Early in the season when the huge salmonflies were splatting down on the water, the 4 wt Platinum patiently sat on the bench waiting for its turn to hang with the big kids. As salmonflies faded into the rearview mirror, caddis appeared and trout moved into backeddies and underneath overhanging foliage. As summer hatches progressed and flies got smaller, this rod got the nod and proved to be exceptional in pinpointing 20-50 foot shots where accuracy is more important than distance. Not that the rod can't reach out and hit an occasional long homer, but its job of hitting solid line drive singles was of the utmost importance. This rod feels very light in-hand and is best paired with a lightweight reel such as the Lamson Speedster, Lamson Guru S or a Ross Evolution LTX in size 4/5.
Dry fly fishing:
Although a capable performer with light dry-dropper rigs and small indicator set-ups, this is a dry fly rod. At 8'8" length you are going to find its short stroke tempo coupled with a moderately-fast action and quick tip recovery, this rod is accurate and confident in approach. You need to hit a quick 40 foot shot along bankside grass with some wind? No problem there. How about an off-hand cast in a backeddy for a solitary bruiser rising to spent caddis? No problem. This rod is a killer mid-range sniper rod with plenty of capabilty across realistic 4 weight ranges.
Although this rod is mainly going to be employed by dry fly anglers due to the 8'8" length, the Platinum G2 is a very capable rod for small stream nymphing. The 4 wt. performed well with New Zealand Indicators or 1/2" Air-Locks but we mostly fish dry dropper tactics in our region. With a Hi-Vis Micro Chubby and #16 tungsten jig, the rod handled them surprisingly well and took many fish up to 18" on the Lower Deschutes. Tippet protection is excellent and tested often as we fished 5x or 5.5x tippet to the dropper nymph. This rod is notably light in hand with good balance and is a pleasure to fish.
It is really hard to find a line that this rod doesn't cast well. In general, you can't go wrong with a Rio Elite Gold but a line to consider for short to mid range shots that feels crisp is the Rio Premier Perception. The Gold will be a little better choice if you need to hit the long ball but how often you need to do that with a 4 weight is up to you. For everyday fishing scenarios give the Perception a try.
Other lines that match up well include the SA Trout, SA Infinity and Rio Technical Trout. Even overweighted lines such as the SA MPX and Rio Grand are easily accomodated by this rod.
The All-Around All-Star
Like the buttery 4 wt. Platinum, the 9' 5 wt Beulah Platinum G2 is silky smooth with plenty of reserve power to handle the bigger stuff. This is a wonderfull all-around player that is very good at anything you need to do with a five weight rod. The rod feels very light in hand and has an outstanding light swing weight. In a crowded field of outstanding 5 weights, this is a hidden gem.
The original Platinum was a very good stick but this 5 weight is the most improved rod in the G2 lineup. Although this is not a fast-action rocket launcher (like a Sage X or Loomis NRX+), it's an all-around angler's rod that is fun to cast and fish. The rod loads well up close and is at home in the 30 to 60 foot range. You will find this rod is exceptional at anything you expect a 5 weight to do. You will reach for this rod on your way out the door anytime headed trout fishing. This rod will pair best with light reels such as the Speedster from Lamson, Nautilus X in the XM size or a T-4 or T-5 Galvan Torque.
Dry fly fishing:
From throwing small caddis dries, large golden stone patterns or Chubby Dropper rigs, the 5 weight Platinum G2 will handle them all. I really like how you can fish 5x tippet and a size 18 caddis emerger and change up to a size 6 Stimulator and 3x tippet and not miss a beat. Tippet protection is excellent on this rod. There's a lot of soul here and its flex pattern forgives rapid accelerations from a trout on the move. The rod is very intuitive and provided lots of user feedback and can be cast well by a wide range of casting abilities. This rod was crazy fun during our stonefly hatches of May and June. From bow and arrow casts in the "jungle", stiff afternoon winds and off-shoulder casts, this rod had our favorite hatch dialed. Although there are 5 weights on the market that can throw tighter loops and cast further, I don't think you'll find a rod that is more enjoyable to fish and catch fish with.
The 5 weight Platinum G2 is a good nymphing stick and really shines with the increasingly popular Chubby Dropper method (Hopper Dropper). This is our favored tactic for covering water and prospecting here in Central Oregon. The light in hand feel coupled with a pleasant progressive flex allows the angler to throw accurate open loop casts which prevents the dropper nymph from hitting the rod or line during the forward stroke. You can also throw moderately weighted nymphs/indicator rigs with some split shot. Small streamer fishing is also solid with the Platinum G2 especially buggers and the smaller Sculpzilla in size 8.
Just like the 4 wt. Platinum, you'll have a hard time finding a line that doesn't match well with this rod. The G2 rods seem to cast a remarkable number of fly lines well. Its up to you to decide what you want the rod and line combo to accomplish. For a great dry fly line for small dries look no further than the Rio Elite Gold. Its a great match and matches beautifully with this rod. The SA Amplitude Infinty is also outstanding and is a slightly better indicator line.
If you mostly fish smaller creeks you'll like the Rio Premier Perception as it loads the rod quickly. If you fish fairly large bugs (hoppers or weighted nymphs) the SA Amplitude MPX will help with turnover. For the Chubby Dropper tactics we almost always use the SA Titan Taper Long. Its an amazing line for tossing heavy payloads but not useful for presenting delicate dry flies.
Packs a punch and takes no prisoners
Whereas the 4 and 5 weight Platinum G2's are lightweight all-around western trout rods, the big fella packs a serious punch. This a big river stick. There's nothing delicate or subtle about the 9'6" 6 weight Beulah Platinum G2. From the large grip to the anodized aluminum reel seat and fighting butt, this rod is suited for targeting fish with big appetites and bad attitudes. This is truly an "Alaskan-level" 6 wt. that is a large incremental jump in power over the 5 wt. Platinum G2.
Although this is not my first choice for everyday trout fishing, you should highly consider this rod if you target fish measured in pounds and not inches. If you lean heavily on larger nymphs or streamers to get the job done, the brute strength of this rod will be a huge asset. Although labeled as a 6 weight, this is a very powerful 6 weight that certainly felt like a 6.5 weight. You can safely fish reels designed for 6 or 7 weights as you will be targeting large fish with this rod. A Galvan Torque T-6 or T-7 or a Hatch Iconic 5 Plus will make a great match.
Dry fly fishing:
There's not a lot of scenarios where you'll reach for this rod to throw dries. It is certainly too powerful and lacks the necessary tippet protection to throw anything other than large Chernobyls or Hoppers on thick tippet no lighter than 4x. If you fish out of a boat with larger hoppers this will certainly perform admirably. You can also run a dry dropper rig but you will be limited to larger diameter tippet and you'll need to avoid the 5x or lighter. If you fish small dries, grab the 5 weight Platinum and you won't be disappointed.
This is where the 6wt Platinum G2 shines. This is as much a roll casters rod as its is an overhand rod. Water loaded casts and d-loops will be commonplace for angler's that pick this rod up. Big weighted nymphs, heavy split shot, large indicators and strong wind are no problem for this big boy 6 weight. This is a great rod for controlling the "junk in the trunk" which is important on larger western rivers. The 9'6" length is excellent at line control and this particular rod really seems to shine when you are really trying to reach out and hook fish at distance. Line control and mending is outstanding at longer distances and hook setting is sure-footed. You can really use the impressive backbone of this powerful rod when setting the hook.
Streamer fishing with Beulah G2 6 weight is also tons of fun, especially tossing large wind-resistant flies. If you're the type of angler that is lookng for the thrill of targeting predatory-size trout that like to smash their prey, the G2 is an excellent choice. With streamer fishing, just like nymphing, this rod really excels at long distance efforts and likes to be worked hard. Don't be afraid to put the Double in the Double Haul with this powerful rod. Lastly, this rod would make a good stillwater rod either from shore, boat or float tube. It can elevate and carry lots of line with only one false cast and its 9'6" length keeps you above the waterline.
As a very powerful 6 weight, you are going to need to make the right choice of lines for this rod. Do not underline this rod with a basic trout line such as the SA Trout, Rio Gold or Technical Trout. If you are a dedicated nymph angler and one that uses roll casts regularly, my first choice is the SA Anadro Line. This is an outstanding roll casting and mending line and really shines with long distance stack mends using plastic indicators and heavy nymphs. The 6 weight Anadro has enough mass to load the rod well but if you are fishing tight quarters or need some extra mass to lift large rigs, you may want the 7 weight Anadro. The 6 weight Rio Xtreme Indicator line is another good option. Its really useful with heavier rigs but doesn't quite mend as well as the SA Anadro.
The SA Titan Taper Long would be my first choice for a versatile all-around nymphing and streamer line. The Titan isn't quite as good a long distance mending line as the Anadro but it gets the job done at mid-range. I like the 6 wt Titan but a 7wt isn't too heavy either.
For a dedicated streamer line, the 6 weight Rio Outbound Short or Rio Predator lines are excellent at propelling heavy streamers a long way. Turnover will be excellent with open loops or as tight as you can muster without hitting the rod with a hook. There are sinking options available in the Outbound Short and Predator and having different depths covered is critical to successful streamer fishing. From mid-sized Kelly Galloup flies to the #6 Dolly Llama, the Outbound Short coupled with the G2 will make a formidable pair. You can also turn this into a really fun single-hand swing rod by pairing it up with a running line, sink-tip and a shooting head such as the OPST Commando Head (try the 225 or 250 grain), Rio InTouch Skagit Trout Spey or the SA Spey Lite (Skagit or Scandi option) series of lines.
The 8'8" 4 weight Platinum G2 is your "Ride or Die" for the dedicated dry fly angler. An absolute sweetheart of a trout rod.
The 9'0" 5 weight Platinum G2 is the All-Around All-Star that just flat-out wins games. Versatile and capable across many venues. Potential for sneaking into the Hall of Fame after a long career.
The 9'6" 6 weight Platinum G2 is ready for battle with big fish on big rivers. The Designated Heavy Hitter with incredible power is always ready to win the game with one cast.
Written review (and a few hack photos) by Paul Snowbeck
All quality photos by Arian Stevens
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