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Old 08-22-2012, 12:42 PM
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Default Re: Anyone cast Scott S4, Winston Boron IIIX, Sage One

Thanks, Mike. I read Red's customer response results and have been a supporter of Yellowstone Anglers efforts at semi-objective "shoot-outs". Sage and Winston as brands both enjoy long-established reputations and loyalty among fly fishers. Including me as I have written glowingly in these forums on the casting/fishing attributes of ONE. Red's makes an interesting unstated point though; brand loyalty is a huge factor in rod selection. I maintain we have let a golden era element of rod choice slip away. Back in the days of cane, one was an aficionado of the design style of a particular rod maker. Didn't matter if Jim Payne made rods that said, Abacrombie & Fitch or William Mills on them, it was a Payne, or Gillam or Garrison that a fly fisher wanted. Rod designers come and go and new designers come on the scene today and an established brand name on a rod does not inform the customer like familiarity with designers did in yesteryear. One of the reasons that Hardy has jumped to the forefront of graphite rod performance if not that George Anderson extolled their virtues (though that sure was great free advertising) but that Howard Croston, Hardy's designer, got rods out in front of American fly fishers by virtue of the establishment of Hardy of North America. The spectacular Jerry Siem at Sage designers rods with a very different feel then seminal Jim Green did. Winston's former designer, Sam Druckman, passed away this summer but his heritage lives on as does Tom Morgan's and we will see what happens when someone new takes the rod design helm at that company. Steve Rajeff and his brother Tim are also designing great rods at G.Loomis and Rajeff Sports respectively. I think some of the new Loomis NRX rods have gotten a short look because they intentionally lack the classic aesthetics of cane-inspired cosmetics at Winston, Sage and, newly rejuvenated Thomas&Thomas but get past it and cast one, they are great rods! Find the DESIGNER behind a brand whose style suites yours most ideally and become a follower of his work and you will grow a great quiver of rods.
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Old 08-22-2012, 03:57 PM
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Default Re: Anyone cast Scott S4, Winston Boron IIIX, Sage One

Good point about the designers, S&S! The canoeing community definitely knows who designs which canoes, and those designers develop a huge following. David Yost is the first that comes to mind, and he designs canoes for several companies. I've had two of his canoe designs, and bought another fantastic David Yost designed carbon/kevlar canoe a few months ago. Lacking a garage, it resides in my living room.

The contemporary bamboo rod builders I'm familiar with mostly use the tapers of older (i.e. dead) designer/builders: Dickerson, Payne, Leonard. Many have their own tapers that they offer, but I don't know how far they deviate from the more established tapers. Of course, not all bamboo is created equal, so the builder plays a large role in selecting his materials very carefully, and in being very familiar with the tapers' characteristics. Even then, they don't all turn out the same. That's one of the things that makes bamboo interesting to me. There's a shop not too far from me, and the owner is a 70-something year old bamboo lover. He has a wall lined with older bamboo rods, and while the price is fair, he's not giving them away. It is nice to be able to go there and wiggle an older Leonard, but he keeps his higher quality reserve in the back room....
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Old 08-22-2012, 04:38 PM
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Default Re: Anyone cast Scott S4, Winston Boron IIIX, Sage One

Thanks Frank. I do not own one but I am a great admirer of Per Brandon's finely crafted rods. His tapers are his own and fabulous, the rods are hollow-built butt to tip and light. Workmanship is outstanding and the waiting list is long but someday I hope to fish his 8'3"/#4 on a regular basis.

The graphite designers too are dependent of the quality craftsmanship and material science of the rod shops to which they are linked. As with cane, taper alone is not sufficent to produce a great rod, materials and quality work are integral.

I have yet to cast a Circa or H2 but I am looking forward to doing so.
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Old 08-24-2012, 10:07 PM
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Default Re: Anyone cast Scott S4, Winston Boron IIIX, Sage One

All great points guys. I've even fallen victim to brand hype. If I was to start this whole fly fishing excursion over again I would got to a well stocked fly shop and ask them to cover the manufacturers labels with masking tape and go cast a half dozen rods. I would pick the one with the best feel for me and buy it. Let 'em peel off the tape and reveal the winner.
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