In this in-depth review, we’ll look at the Snowbee Diamond² 9 foot 5 weight rod in detail. We’ll also see how it fishes and who should consider buying it.
The Diamond² is Snowbee’s mid-priced rod in the $200-$300 range. It’s designed with the freshwater angler in mind. There are currently eight models in the range, ranging from an 8′ 4 weight to a 10′ 7wt.
In this review, I’ll focus on the 9 foot 5 weight, which is, in my opinion, a great all-rounder.
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Why Trust My Snowbee Diamond² Review?
I must mention that the friendly people over at Snowbee USA sent me this rod for a test and review. For this reason, I only spent about three full days on the water with the rod, but I feel that I have a good understanding of what it’s all about to give you some proper feedback.
It’s winter here in South Africa, which means it’s time to focus on stillwaters and lakes, so I chose to fish the Diamond² with a buddy at a local trout venue. I paired the rod with a standard 5 weight reel and a Cortland 444 floating line. Attached to the end of the fly line was a 12-foot tapered leader from Stroft and between 3 and 6 feet of 5X tippet.
Where Does the Diamond² Shine?
So, let’s look at where the Diamond² 9ft 5 weight shines.
Great Value for Money
The single best thing about the Diamond² is the excellent value it offers. I loved the way it fished, and I didn’t feel that it restricted me in any way. It casts a good line at standard fishing distances, feels durable, and handles all real freshwater fishing scenarios with ease.
Where Does the Diamond² Fall Short?
There are some minor details on the rod build that are not 100% perfect, but they don’t impact the performance of the rod at all. I’ll go through these when I get to that particular component in the rod’s build later in the article.
Watch the Snowbee Diamond² Review
What’s in the Box?
Apart from the rod itself, the Diamond² comes with the following:
Snowbee ships the Diamond² in a slender solid Cordura covered tube, which also has a small leather patch with a traditional trout fly embossed in it. The rod’s length, number of pieces, and line weight are shown on the top of the cap, but not the Diamond² name.
Once again, same as the Snowbee Prestige G-XS, the Diamond² comes in a quality rod sock with all the rod’s details printed on its side. It’s a nice feature if you’re carrying multiple rods in a tube.
Snowbee Diamond² Features and Specs
So, let’s look at all the rod components in more detail, starting at the bottom of the butt section.
The Diamond² has a solid anodized uplocking reel seat with two locking rings that keep your reel firmly secured in place. Inside the aluminum skeleton, you’ll find an olive burl wood insert, complementing the blank’s color.
The half-wells grip is of reasonable quality, but perfect for the price you’re paying for the rod. It has rubberized cork rings in the front and rear that add some durability.
The blank is constructed with what Snowbee calls Tri-Modulus carbon, which in essence means they use three different carbon materials, each with a different modulus. This technology enables them to use carbon materials with the best characteristics suited to specific parts of the rod.
The color of the blank is dark olive.
This is the only area where I could detect any imperfections on the Diamond². The clear coat applied to the blank is thinner in some parts of the rod, revealing some of the carbon texture. However, this doesn’t impact the performance of the rod in any way.
For those that prefer alignment dots, the rod does not have any.
The first two stripper guides are located on the second section of the rod and have Silicon Carbide inserts. The rest of the snake guides are pretty tall, allowing line to travel through them much more easily. The wire used on these guides is thick, so they’re pretty durable.
The Diamond² comes with a lifetime warranty to the original owner. However, if you look at the wording on Snowbee’s website, this might be slightly confusing, so let me explain.
If there are any defects in materials or craftsmanship within the first 12 months, Snowbee will replace that section at no cost at all. After this initial period of 12 months, if the rod breaks or fails for any reason, you can return it to them with a shipping and handling fee of $40, and they’ll sort you out.
Fishing the Diamond² 9ft 5wt
As mentioned at the beginning of the article, I tested the rod on a couple of trout ponds close to where I live.
Let’s look at the most important features of the Diamond² 5wt that influence its fishing ability.
It is 9 feet in length, which makes it very versatile. This length allows you to fish rivers and lakes, and it’s still short enough to be used off a drift boat.
Now, I played around with fly sizes and weights quite a bit, and the rod handled them without any issues. Obviously this is also a function of the line and leader, but I didn’t feel the rod hampered me in any way.
I threw large poppers and buggers at bass and generated enough line speed to carry them to my target. The trout I targeted were very weary as they’ve seen a ton of flies thrown at them, so I had to step down to size 20 nymphs and slow my cast down. The rod did a great job with this too.
The Diamond² 5 weight will handle any standard-sized freshwater fish you throw at it. The pulling ability is pretty similar to most 5 weights out there. I didn’t get to push it to its limit, though, but I reckon it won’t let you down.
So, after testing the rod on some stockies, what are my final thoughts?
- The Diamond² 5 weight offers exceptional value.
- The rod seems very solid and well built.
- On the cons side, there are some minor imperfections on the clear coat applied to the blank.
- The rod also seems to run out of power when you push it with casts farther than 60 feet. However, this does depend on the line you’re throwing, and I didn’t test it with a good long-distance line.
The other question is, how much of your fishing realistically happens at 60 plus feet?
Who Should Buy the Snowbee Diamond² 9ft 5wt?
The 5wt Snowbee Diamond² is the perfect option for the beginner angler who wants to buy one rod and know that it will last. The action is ideal for these anglers, as it’s slow enough to learn the timing and feel of a cast, but it will allow you to generate more line speed as your casting improves.
I hope that you found this review helpful and informative. If you have any experience with the rod, please let me know what you think of it and what fish you’ve caught on it at the bottom of the page.
Until next time!