Re: 2013 5-Weight Shootout
This Shootout needed more time and editing no doubt. To my bud, db Cooper's, point above; the Loop and Zenith as well as a 3rd rod a several rankings down are fabricated in Korea by J.S.Co., they, however, do not share mandrel, taper or material technology. This is a top flight rod shop that has been making some high performance, well crafted rods for years including the old Albright EXS which still would blow the cork off a bunch of rods in this test. The Artisan, though it shares technology with Zenith, is built at Hardy's shop in Britain from the blank up (hence its lofty price tag). It is a beauty but in my side by side casting of it next to Zenith, I preferred Zenith's taper which is more progressive while Artisan has a stiffer tip but softer upper mid section, parabolic anyone? As "Perfect 5-Weights", I would have rated the handsome Circa and lovely Tom Morgan somewhere below the Clutch as they are highly specialized, shorter length and shorter casting rods.
Regarding Sage ONE I quote; "Good, but not great. Heads up, the NRX LP, the Zenith, Orvis Helios 2 and the Hardy Zenith were a lot better. The One does have good power at long range but it seems too parabolic in action to me to really let you jam the power in precisely. It just needs a quicker, more flexible tip." Lets see, the Zenith as well as the Hardy Zenith were better and it needs a quicker, softer tip. Huuh? I own this rod as well as the Zenith and the Hardy Zenith (sorry, couldn't help myself) and I fish the Zenith when I wand a sweet, softer tipped #5 for doing lots of enjoyable casting and I select ONE when I want the most responsive, quickest recovering tip for the ultimate in technical presentation. They compliment one another very nicely but, hey, this is my subjective opinion. Oh, and I fish a straight #5 line on both of them not a 5.5 and certainly no 6.