Originally Posted by Frank Whiton
As far as I know only the Ascent and Vapor rods are made in China. Unless things have changed recently all the other rods are built in Montana. It was the China rods that caused the long time bamboo guys to jump ship. Winston had that information on their web site at one time. I also think that the first Ascent rods were of poor quality and Winston had a problem with them.
The Ascent and Vapors are outsourced to China though they are not labeled so on the rods or the cases. FWIW, I have a 5wt vapor and enjoy it though it's a bit on the fast side it does cast nicely, accurately and can still cast well in up closer though with some work. I also recently cast the Winston LT and BIIt in a 5wt 8'9" or so configuration along with the Orvis Helios. Surprisingly the LT casts very similarly to my Vapor, a feeling the shop owner reinforced!? It cast farther than the BIIt but not by much though it lost out to the BIIt in feel, sensitivity and casting ability 50ft all the way to 10ft. That BIIt is nice. I wish I had the Helios with the Winstons to compare but I felt very favorable with the Helios save for it's premium tag. I think when I get closer to buying a 5 wt 8' 6" (or so) 4/5 pc. I will just have to have all the rods side by side on some water and see how they do. The parking lot is just not the same for true feel and performance. I would compare the following; Sage ZXL, Z Axis, Winston WT/BIIt/BIIX, Orvis Helios/T3/? and some offering from Scott. I do have a 3 wt SLT and LOVE this rod, though it would terrify me to hook a 18"+ monster on it for the rods sake.