Re: Who designed the Winston WT and LT?
I wish I knew what I'm doing wrong. I have a few BIIx's in different line weights and they just plain work for me.
Maybe I should ruin the action of them by using a crutch line that is overweight then I can witness first-hand the softness and propensity to fold that others have mentioned.
Or maybe I should use the force needed to make stiff rods behave and act like fly rods but really, with my easy casting stroke I get 100' out of a plain old 9', 5wt. BIIx. On the other hand when using very light tippet for small flies and big fish I can land the fish rather quickly without losing them to straightened hooks or busted tippet. That's the kind of range the old Loomis GLX classics had that were my go-to rods for years.
The first BIIx I got was a 9', 6 wt. and as I do with every rod I test I tried it with the line I would like to use and at normal every day fishing distances. It felt so good at 20-30' right away I thought it had no starch and couldn't possibly handle a long cast. 2 or 3 hauls later the entire line was draped across the road with backing knots clicking through the guides. That was something that was pretty much unheard of back in the day when most rods were one-dimensional in their abilities. You got either fast rods and slowed them down with crutch lines or softer rods that couldn't hold up to the heat of a long cast. Winston (whoever the heck designed them) hit it right with the BIIx and now most every big name maker has rangy rods. I feel the secret to making the BIIx work is to tip cast for short casts then work your way down the blank to where the meat is for throwing distance. When doing so the tip simply gets out of the way and like a good 8 speed, dual clutch transmission it seamlessly shifts as more power is needed.
Horsing these rods brings about all sorts of issues such as tails or collapsed casts. I find myself doing that sometimes when I really try to push the rod past its and my comfort zone. When I relax and let the tool do its job it works and works quite well.
I can name at least 4 people who bought 8.5’, 4 weight BIIx’s after trying mine, true story. Maybe those rods should have come with a re-education program to wean people of the habit of using brute force to get the job done. Even back when the BIIx was fresh and were part of a very popular 5 weight shoot-out I read the revues thinking those doing the testing had their own expectations of what a good fly rod should do. For them, they were right in their choices but I’m not so sure one-size-fits-all when it comes to desirable fly rod characteristics.
I will say this though, when you do find the rod that becomes an extension of your arm it's a wonderful thing indeed. I think 'Oh what a feeling' has been taken but it applies here too.