Re: 9" 8# what you like
These two series of rods were designed a decade apart from one another, in that time much has transpired in the rod market. In the weight, crispness & dampening arena, the round goes to the lower priced and newer T.F.O. In build quality and smoothness, the Scott wins my vote.
I have some of the very first S3 and S3s Scotts made available and while many rods have come and gone from my collection, to this day I still reach for those S3s Scotts more than any other saltwater rods I own. Amongst the S3s line, Iíve always felt the that 908/4 and 907/4 were among the best of the series. While designed as saltwater rods ( and theyĎve seen plenty of action there. ), theyíve proven to be very effective as broad river steelhead rods and they absolutely love a relaxed stroke uplined 1 or 2 with low to high density shooting heads. Although there are much better LC-13, T- 11 & 14 rods available today. They respond better to a long smooth powerful stroke, rather than a punchy tip cast. The S3 ( freshwater / general purpose ) series, accepts a shorter quicker tempo cast, more so than itís saltwater cousin, the S3s. Although, with a S.W. floating line or Int. F/S and in the right hands, the S3s competes very favorably with the other saltwater rods of itís era. Thatís the rub, of itís era.
Put into some historical prospective, the S3s was introduced right around the dawn of the new millennium, during the latter reign of the Sage RPLXi and XP series, at that time the first generation Powell ( Rancho Cordova, CA ) Tiboronís had been on the market just a short time, having the distinction of being the first American production rod to leap across the $700.00 line. Loomis had the Nautikos and GLX rods on the shelves. T.F.O. existed as company to be sure, but they didnít have the widely diverse product line up or dealer network they enjoy today. Put into the context of the rod makers market place of that time, using what technologies were available and the climate of what rod buyers were looking for. Upon itís introduction, the S3s had an audience waiting in the wings. Yet like every series of rods ever developed, it has itís loyalist and itís detractors.
Today, those same $600+ dollars can buy you a great deal more performance, than they could then - for some, todayís build quality seems to be the wild card in the performance vs. price equation.
In short. Iím not giving up my S3 or S3s rods, but I soundly appreciate some of the modestly priced rods offered today.
Good luck with your selection, TT