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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 06-26-2011, 07:58 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I believe a blind test would be interesting as well. Less expensive rods have meandered their way up the charts of a few shootouts. The St. Croix Legend Elite is $300 less than the Loomis NRX and Orvis Helios that it beat out in the 5 weight shootout. The Winston Passport was another rod at $199 that beat the Orvis Helios and Sage TCX at $700, as well as a few other rods in the $300 to $500 range. Unfortunately no test will ever be blind. Even if a blind test were done, you would still have differences with respect to line weight and taper.

I do like these shootouts; however, because they offer feedback that is more detailed than other sources like some of the fly magazines. It is clear that this shootout will reveal opinions. George doesn't mind verbalizing his thoughts. It is simply a few individuals constructive criticism at its best. Take it or leave it, usually there are useful bits of information, even if some biases are present.

I will be interested in learning what separates the top four rods in the shootout. I imagine the top three might consist of the Loomis NRX, Sage Xi3, and Hardy ProAxis in any order. The fourth place rod could consist of a Loomis GLX series rod or St. Croix Legend Elite.

The dark horse in the whole shootout now depends on whether or not Yellowstone Angler had a chance to test the new Sage One 8 weight rod. The last 5 weight shootout was released in conjunction with the new Hardy Sintrix rods, and I’m sure the shop had a ton of calls after the Zenith came in first place. The buzz would continue if the Sage One is everything that the publicity is making it out to be. I imagine that if they test the rod it will fall slightly behind the Xi3, and possibly in the top 4 overall. If the new Sage One were to beat the Xi3, it would eliminate the need to purchase the Xi3, and that’s where the bias comes in. But what does bias really matter when it costs $700 either way?

For me personally, the shootout provides a few bits of useful information about the characteristics of each rod in a specific price range. I will look forward to reading it, providing my own constructive criticism, and then finding a local shop where I can test my casting stroke with a few of the top contenders in order to dream about finding the cash to purchase the one that is best for me. If I find that I like the Xi3 better than the Loomis or Hardy, then I'll be extremely happy, since I will only have to wait a few months to a year before Sage determines that the Xi3 is old and releases an Xi4 along with a new Sage "One/Two, Axis/XP". Then I can get the Xi3 for 30-40% off!!!!!
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:46 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I wonder if Allen Co. got in on the shootout? Justin said he talked to them. Would be interesting to see how the Nano stacks up against the highend rods.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by hookworm View Post
I wonder if Allen Co. got in on the shootout? Justin said he talked to them. Would be interesting to see how the Nano stacks up against the highend rods.
I would certainly be interested in hearing about it. I shy away from buying a rod without casting it. If it ranked highly in a shootout such as this, I would probably consider taking a chance on one for the price.
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Old 07-17-2011, 04:19 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

So there's a big suprise in the 8 weight shootout results.....the Temple Fork BVK came in 2nd, although it did not score as favorably as others in the "performance only category". The St. Croix Legend Elite also continues to impress, especially at its price point. The biggest shock for me is the rating for the Hardy ProAxis rod. The results were as follows:

Overall Results (note also the performance only category on the website)
1) Loomis NRX
2) TFO BVK
3) Sage Xi3
4) Loomis CrossCurrent
4) St. Croix Legend Elite
5) Orvis Helios
6) Redington CPX
7) Loomis Native Run
8) Scott S4S
9) Sage VXP
10) Hardy ProAxis
11) Orvis Access
12) Winston BIIMX
13) St. Croix Imperial

As far as performance only criteria were concerned, it appears that the Loomis NRX and CrossCurrent GLX rods were the best, along with the St Croix Legend Elite, Sage, Xi3, and TFO BVK in the second grouping. The biggest downside for the BVK is that there isn't a case that comes with the rod, however for the $250 price, you could purchase a case and still have money to burn.

It seems like George was more objective in this shootout and focused on rationalizing the results of the shootout, while mentioning that price and individual style come into play when purhcasing a rod. I definitely give him kudos for that. Does anyone have any thoughts or feedback on the results? I'd be interested to hear if others experiences with these rods have been similar.

Additional info can be found at: 8weightshootout.saltwaterflyrodreview.flyrod.compa rison.flyrodtest.LoomisNRX.HardyProAxis.BVK.St.Cro ix.LegendElite.SageXi3

YouTube video explanation of results:

Last edited by chicagojohn; 07-17-2011 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 07-17-2011, 07:54 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I thought it was a good read, I didn't find it any more or less objective than the last test. To me the suprise was the subpar placements of both the Winston B IIMX and the Hardy Proaxis. I have spent very little time with the eight weight Proaxis. They are in short supply-someone must like them.

I do know that he loved the Hardy one piece, rating it the best rod he tested overall. I know that my six weight four piece Proaxis is a cannon, and it does like aggressive lines. It's interesting that he tested the eight weights with 250 grain heads. I throw 200's and 250's all day streamer fishing in MI with the six. Here's Bob Linesmans take on the six weight

Quote:
At the top of the list is the amazing Hardy Pro Axis 9' 6wt at $685.00. This rod is fast and powerful and will punch out big flies through rough weather all day long without beating the angler into a fatigued and twitching pulp. It is a saltwater design (Hardy engineers and famed angler Andy Mill) with oversized titanium "recoil" guides and a flawless, bulletproof finish.
Bob Linsenman's Au Sable Angler: 989-826-8500: Michigan fly fishing shop and flyfishing guides on Michigan's Au Sable (Ausable) River in Mio, Michigan. Serving flyfishers with fly rods, fly reels, fly lines, trout flies, flyfishing accessories, and g
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Old 07-18-2011, 07:08 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

A 250 & 300 grain head seems to be standard for faster action 8 weight rods. Rio rates their density compensated fly lines at 300 grain for 8&9 weights, 250 grains for 7&8 weights, 200 grains for 6&7 weights, and 150 grains for 5&6 weight rods.

A 300 grain line overpowered a one of my medium/fast 8 weight rods. A single handed spey cast / roll cast would have been the only way for me to throw a 300 grain line with my 8 weight. Aeralizing a 300 grain line would have been ugly, however the 250 grain line worked nicely. I imagine a 250 grain would be more representative across a broad spectrum of 8 weights, while allowing distance casting.

On narrower rivers, a 300 grain sink tip would work best out of a drift boat so the line isn't aerilized over a guide's head. It isn't necessarily that the rod can't cast a heavier sink tip. I think the shootout expected each rod to not only cast a sink tip, but also achieve a certain distance. I am sure that faster action rods like the Hardy ProAxis, Sage Xi3, and any of the Loomis rods could have handled a heavier tip nicely. I am assuming that when Yellowstone Angler uses a sink tip, it is to probe larger rivers, while many who fish in Michigan use a heavier grain to get a streamer down as fast as possible in a narrower river utilizing roll casts instead of double hauls and false casts.
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Old 07-18-2011, 08:18 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

It is just my opinion, but I believe this test is nothing more than a marketing ploy to get lots of people talking, therefore get this business a whole lot of "cheap" advertising. I believe the scoring is tainted in order to come up with whatever is going to get the most people talking and has zero to do with their honest opinions of the rods..

Looks like it worked!
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Old 07-18-2011, 09:48 AM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I don't think George Anderson is being dishonest at all, nor is he trying to get free advertising. If you watch the video above, Anderson says, "Go to your local fly shop, and find which rod is best for you." In fact, he says it a few times.

P.S. The shootouts do get people talking, but that's a good thing. If you go to my local fly shops, the owners and employees
will not offer advice in the organized manner that Anderson does. One shop's advice is "Buy Winston"...period. Why? Because that's what they like, and you should like it too. The other shops are Orvis dealers, and you can guess which rods they like. I
forgot to mention that in the above video, Anderson says that some people are only interested in casting an 8wt in close, and
others out far, and the shootout results have to be viewed according to your needs.
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Last edited by FrankB2; 07-18-2011 at 10:15 AM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 12:34 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I certainly applaud their efforts, but if you think their reasoning is not based on marketing of their business, you are crazy. Nothing wrong with that, it's very smart really, but I don't find the tests they do to really determine anything about how much I will enjoy fishing a rod or how well it will perform in real life situations. I honestly don't think that test exists except for someone to fish a rod themselves...

Like I said, it's just my opinion, if it isn't clever marketing, they sure stumbled upon it by mistake...

I haven't really looked over this latest shootout, but the last 8 weight one that was released, they themselves later stated that their own personal opinions, contradicted the results of the test results, so if they themselves admitted that, why do it again, if it's not for marketing?

Last edited by kwb; 07-18-2011 at 01:14 PM.
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Old 07-18-2011, 01:45 PM
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Default Re: New Yellowstone Angler 8 Weight Shootout Discussion

I'm no more crazy than George Anderson is dishonest. Being a former retailer, it's no surprise to me when people question the motives of business owners. What is surprising is that Anderson gets trashed by folks for making an effort such as this, and is dismissed as being: self-serving; too lazy to try each rod with every line on the market; biased toward fast/stiff rods; etc. I'm lucky to even get a nod from some of the employees at local fly shops, and here's George Anderson going out of his way to provide information on a number of rods from several manufacturers. He does offer most of these rods at his shop, but tells people to go to their local fly shops. In the first 5wt shootout, Anderson noted that the Winston BIIX was his best selling rod that year, yet he still pointed out what he saw as a number of flaws in the rod's design and performance. The members of the Winston forum were ready to tar and feather Anderson for those comments, but praised his assessment of the BIIIX last year.

People have reacted to Anderson's shootouts according to the rods they currently own, or are thinking about buying. If you own one of the rods reviewed, and it doesn't fare well, Anderson is biased. If your rod does well, you made a smart purchase. Finally, there are those people who are looking for a new rod, and find the shootouts useful. Anderson didn't just get into fly fishing last week, and he's a very well respected figure in the industry. I suppose I could ask the kid at Bass Pro Shop which rod he'd suggest for my bonefish trip, but that's not likely to happen.

"Clever Marketing" is something that Anderson himself addresses in these shootouts, and he says he's trying to look beyond the hype. Sage refers to their Generation 5 material as a "Miracle"! I don't see any evidence that Anderson is going beyond standard business practice with his shootouts, and trashing his best selling rod is one example that he might be doing just the opposite. James Anderson commented on the Winston Passport in the latest 5wt shootout, and said that he's going to have a tough time telling a customer to spend $550 more for a rod that doesn't perform much better. If they wanted to cash in on these shootouts, they'd behave more like my local fly shop: Tell people that you need to use 6 or 7x tippet to catch
the educated trout nearby, and that means you need to buy a Lamson Lightspeed reel (no start-up inertia), and a Winston BIIX (soft tip) to protect the tippets. They do not put price tags on rods and reels, saying that doing so is an effront to the dignity of the product!!! I'M 100% NOT KIDDING! You have to ask for the price of every rod and reel in the store, and that answer includes a song and dance about the virtues of each product. There's no way in he!! that they'd rate a TFO rod #3 from the top, and wouldn't even discuss a rod from that company.

Anderson is a business owner. Anderson offers comparisons of various rods from several manufacturers. Anderson tells people to go to their local fly shop to test the rods for themselves, as everyone has different needs. Anderson might sell a few extra rods from the publicity generated by these shootouts. He certainly didn't score any points with Winston owners, and that seems more like honesty than clever marketing.

Do you think Anderson's evaluation of the BIIX might have caused Winston to redesign the rod into the BIIIX? Have you read the response on the Winston forum to the new BIIIX? The same people that cursed Anderson are now praising the BIIIX, and are now saying that the BIIX did have the exact weaknesses that Anderson outlined (while not citing Anderson).

Compare the Yellowstone Anglers Shootouts with the nonsense that most magazines publish (mostly text taken right from manufacturers), and I'll take Anderson's (et al) comments every time.
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