Re: 2013 5-Weight Shootout
I think its hilarious when anyone says "_____ is the best rod on the market!" There is NO best rod on the market. Every fisherman is different, and we all have different tendencies within our casting strokes, each person has thier own "best rod on the market". Yours may be a $800 sage one and mine might be a $400 orvis access. Also, if a rod scores poorly on the yellowstone shootout, does that make it a terrible stick? The guys over at yellowstone angler have made it abundantly clear that in order for a rod to score at the top, it must be a fast action rod with a soft tip, so in reality its a biased shootout. Rods that flex lower down the rod blank with stiffer tips score poorly in the rankings, but this doesn't make them bad rods. My favorite 5 weight is easily the sage vxp, it fits my casting stroke well and I don't feel like the rod is doing all the work for me, such was the case when I owned a loomis NRX 5 weight, it threw a perfect cast everytime without fail, but for me it made casting too easy and felt souless. For me it took the fun, the challenge, and tradition out of fly-casting, therefore I don't like it. However, the NRX placed far ahead of the vxp in yellowstone 2011 shootout. What that should tell you is; yellowstone angler's opinions may not match your own.
When reading these shootouts do yourself a favor and hold them at arms length, they can serve as a decent guideline but ultimately you'll need to get various rods in your hands and try them for yourself. Fishing, being a very personal art, means you'll need to decide which is best for you, letting yellowstone angler decide for you could result in an "unhappy" rod purchase. There are a lot of good rods on the market, each have thier own set of pros and cons. Avoid listening to some guy who says, he knows which is the best rod on the market, chances are they need more experience trying out various models. Or they simply are not a seasoned fly-angler. Either way, that's my two cents love it or hate it fellas.