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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 06-18-2011, 09:46 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

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Originally Posted by chicagojohn View Post
Thanks for the review.

I have heard consistent high praise regarding the Xi3. The blank itself is beautifully finished. I have been entertaining the idea of a 9 weight saltwater rod for bonefish, permit, and large freshwater monsters, but I didn't want something that would lack subtlety for bonefish presentations. Granted, it isnít going to be the 8 foot, 9 inch, five weight that Sage offers, but it is nice to hear that it is versatile enough to go from bonefish to stripers and a heavy sinking line. Ultimately, Iíd compare it to the Loomis NRX, St. Croix Legend Elite, and Hardy ProAxis. Any usable technical information I can glean from the 8 weight shootout is helpful. In the end, my decision has to be what I can cast and feel comfortable with. It sounds like saving for the Xi3 would be better than finding the Xi2 on discount.

I wonder how the Scott A3 would compare if included in the shootoutÖ..that may be too many rods for Yellowstone Angler to have to purchase from Scott! At $335 you can buy two for the price of one of the Loomis, Sage, or Hardy Rods and still have money to burn. The thing I like about Scott Rods is that even their entry level rods like the A3 have nice reel seats and hardware. The Scott G2 is probably my favorite rod I do not own. It looks nice and has a great feel. Even the new Orvis Superfine Touch rods seem to have copied the look of the Scott G2. Personally, I havenít been able to break away from Winston green in my trout rods.

Iím up in the air as far as a saltwater rod is concerned. I would not rule out looking at a Winston B3X (if they didnít skip the 9 weight) and B2MX for saltwater purposes, but saltwater is a totally different animal. For my purposes, strength (without feeling super stiff) and versatility are my two main points of interest when purchasing a saltwater rod. It seems like the Sage, Loomis, Hardy, and St. Croix certainly bring those two qualities to the table.
I'm with you on Winston Green for trout rods. They are the standard. For SW check out this video of Andy Mills fighting 150 pound class spinner sharks with a Hardy Proaxis. If you like the way the Hardy's cast ( I suspect it would be hard not too) than the durability factor must be considered. I don't believe anyone else is making a high performance SW fly rod with this level of durability.

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Old 06-18-2011, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I have seen the Hardy videos and they continue to impress me. The new Fortuna X reel that will be released in the near future is capable of up to 32 pounds of drag force in the largest size. You will need a rod as strong as the ProAxis if you tighten such a strong drag and go after spinner sharks. It doesn’t hurt to be a champion tarpon fisherman like Andy Mill either.

The footage below shows an angler fighting a shark on a Hardy Sintrix 9'6", 7 weight rod. The torque that is exerted on the rod during the fight is amazing. It would be interesting to see some of the other high end nano-resin rods put through the same fight.


The video aside, what drag force is normal on a reel for a saltwater application? The Lamson Vanquish can apply up to 20 pounds of torque. From my reading the Vanquish and Fortuna X are two of the strongest drags on the market. It seems that anglers can use much lighter rods and target larger species with some of the new technology that is emerging in rod building, provided that the lighter rod can cast the large flies that may be required.
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Old 06-19-2011, 03:32 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

no matter what anybody says, I really enjoy reading it.
whether they are biased or not, I like what one has to say about different rods.
I don't see anybody else doing it?
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Old 06-19-2011, 01:07 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

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Originally Posted by wonderfulremark View Post
no matter what anybody says, I really enjoy reading it.
whether they are biased or not, I like what one has to say about different rods.
I don't see anybody else doing it?
Yep, I have to give them credit. In the case of the Zenith they had not committed to carrying it until they tested it. With the exception of Fish and Fly none of the Fly fishing journals in this business will dare be critical of their advertisers. And just as bad, they won't acknowledge your existence if you don't pay them big bucks in advertising.

I happen to know of a recent fishing expedition that included several journalists from a few well known mags. They have all written articles about the trip praising the destination. And despite the fact that most of them fished with and raved about the value and function of a few certain products while on the trip, not one of them mentioned them in the article, and only one blogger pictured them.

The other writers managed to only get other rods and reels which were seldom used on the trip (from companies that adv. with them) identifiably in the pics and never mentioned any gear. There is very little if any free advertising in this business.
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Old 06-20-2011, 06:55 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

My predicted trifecta from Mr. Anderson:

#1 G.Loomis NRX - a brilliant technical bonefish rod.

#2 Sage Xi3 - much improved over Xi2, sweeter but not as hard-core as NRX

#3 George might not, but I would put Scott S3s here, a very fine rod but NOT with SA Bonefish (it prefers Airflo Ridge Tropic), so I look for a dark horse here, St. Croix Elite ahead of Proaxis by a nose?

I like and respect these "Shootouts". It takes guts, hard work and a thick skin to put these comparative evaluations together.

---------- Post added at 05:55 PM ---------- Previous post was at 05:49 PM ----------

PS: I would put BIIIx just ahead of Helios mid-pack, both beaten by TFO's best effort yet, BVK (whatever that stands for it).
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Old 06-20-2011, 10:00 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

BVK stands for.....Drum Roll Please ..... Bernard Victor Kreh, aka Lefty Kreh.

Regarding "Bias":
There is certainly going to be a bias in these comparisons, but we should not confuse that with being dishonest. George and the guys clearly state their preferences in a rod, and you can take it from there.
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Old 06-21-2011, 07:42 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

Thank you, Frank. And NRX is "Nano Resin Experimental".
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

Like Bill Kiene the owner of Kiene's Fly Shop says repeatedly...Rods cast differently depending on the casting stroke of the person casting it, regardless how good they are. Then as Dennis and Mojo pointed out the line that is being makes a significant difference as well.
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Last edited by FlyBum; 06-21-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 06-21-2011, 10:53 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

True enough, Trout Bum, it is often opined that "different strokes for different folks" makes comapring fly rods a fools game. Also for sure, switching fly lines can dramaticly alter a rods performance characteristics. And we have differnet skill levels, tastes and angling environmnet applications too.

Despite all that, there are (sort of) objectively quantifiable performance profiles withing set parameters for fly rods. Think of the "Shootouts" as analagus to a Car&Driver Sports Sedan comparison. You may want an SUV not a sports sedan but Anderson is comparing sports sedan fly rods and says so. Accuarcy, distance, weight and "feel" are measurable opinions when several skilled anglers compare like sized and catagagorized rods. Personal opinion only counts for that person, well defined comparative analysis provides a yardstick for more of us.
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Old 06-26-2011, 03:28 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I believe there's some bias built into any comparison test, whether fly rods, cars, or refrigerators. That being said, I appreciate Anderson's shootouts because he makes an attempt to use quantifiable data. And he's pretty transparent about what he's looking for and how he tests.

But that doesn't mean his results will agree with my opinion or anyone else's. There's the subjective "does it feel right to me" score that is individually unique.

I wish there were more of these comparison tests. I would also like to see blind tests - if that's possible. Remove the brand and rod price from the equation and see if the results are the same. I'm not convinced that all rods over >$650 are better than all rods less than $300, regardless of what the industry tries to tell us.
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