Originally Posted by barham
I know this sounds like a broken record on my posts, but perhaps you should check the Albright A5. I know their pricing policy is annoying but I have a 9' 5wt that I have used for years and it is a really nice rod for ca $150.00.
Right now they are offering their higher-quality EX model (I forget whether it's EXR or EXT, one is saltwater and one is fresh) for the same $150 price as the A-5NS. Nobody here seems to have actually fished one, though. So if you want to take a flyer on an Albright, and don't need the 5-piece configuration of the A-5, go with the EX instead.
The bigger issue than brand, I think, is what length and action you want. George Anderson's 2102 4 weight shootout surprised some people by picking a lot of rods 8' 6" and under ahead of any 9' ones. The top scoring 9 footer was the Orvis Helios mid-flex (since discontinued and replaced by the Helios 2). I suspect those results may reflect a supposition that the main purpose of a 4 should be accuracy and delicacy at closer distances and in more restricted quarters, while power and distance can be better served with a 5 or a 6 even while retaining plenty of delicacy for spooky fish. (Even if that's not Anderson's reasoning, it makes sense to me.)
Given what you you already have, I think you might want a shorter rod rather than a 9 footer, and the 8'6" Zenith and BIIIx that topped Anderson's list of all-rounder 4's ought to be at the top of your list too if an all-rounder is your preference, but as mentioned above they may be too close to the Scott you already have. If that's a concern, you should either go shorter or longer. The 7'9" Sage TXL also placed high in Anderson's rankings, but if you want a powerful 9 footer for wind and big water, you might look at the Sage One, the Orvis Helios 2 (both tip- and mid-flex), and the Loomis NRX. In particular, blogger/critic Tom Chandler has called the Loomis IMX 9' 4 wt (now several model generations ago, but I've still got mine) one of the 10 best fly rods of all time and the rod that started the original competition among builders for powerful lightline rods, and if that's what you're looking for in a 4, the NRX is a worthy successor.