Originally Posted by sweetandsalt
The progenitor to the WT I was referring to has no parts suggestive of broom handles (except the reel seat insert). Over-lining a soft tipped classic Winston might actually disqualify one from fishing with it. Ironically, were I to elect to fish my early 80's 8 1/2'/#6, I would probably start off with a modern 5.5-weight line like the new Gold. The tips are very easily collapsed on these early Tom Morgan designs and, as with any fly rod, this is to be avoided.
Burk, Have you introduced your friends in Michigan to the 8 1/2' Zeniths? And I would include the contemporary Loomis Streamdance GLX 8 1/2' rods in this elite, shorter presentation rod category too. These rods have subtlety in taper transition, absence from oscillation, superior tip recovery and greatly reduced mass relative to the Winston in my collection. I am inclined to suspect that the feel Morgan achieved in these earlier designs was somewhat influential on Rajeff and Croston when they dialed back their high performance designs to develop these sweet, smaller river rods.
The 8 1/2 4 weight Zenith was a rod that sold pretty good for me at Gates on the Holy Water, although the 9'4 and 9'5 sold better. And while I never had the chance to fish my sample, casting it, it definitely had some WT like qualities. One of the things that amazes me about the WT 8 1/2 5 is how much reserve it has. I can throw a good size bugger or small streamer with it in a pinch. Although you have to remember on the Holy Water 40-45' is a long cast.
Loomis has very little market presence in the MW. As far as I can recall from my latest travels on one fly shop in the territory (in Indy) carries Loomis. they make some great rods. but you just don't see them in the MW anymore since the Shimano purchase.