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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 10-11-2013, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

coohand you describes radian rod and I think that radian and zenith are very similars
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Old 10-11-2013, 12:27 PM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

Coolhand is doing an excellent job in my view of describing the attributes and limitations of some of todays elite rods which I anticipate Radian joining. It is important when discussing dry fly rods which also embrace power that you must take line weight into a different kind of consideration than in general terms. A great example is the NRX; an almost softly responsive but fast recovering tipped rod with lots of mid and even more low end grunt. I find the NRX #5 a little too heavy and powerful; it fishes almost like a 6-weight but with a true 5-weight line. I was thinking of NRX as a heavy line size rod series only (the #8 is flat-out fantastic) until a friend suggested I try the #4...which I did and it was love at first cast. It performs many of the functions a #5 is usually called upon to do but, again, with a #4 Gold. It has become my preferred low wind, big river, dry fly rod. It weighs more than my ONE #5, but I don't "feel" it when fishing it. I do not consider the ONE too fast or stiff for dry fly work, to the contrary, it is more lively than stiff. Super fast recovering, absolutely, but that facilities unequaled line-leader-tippet control and I do not believe, in two years fishing it, I have popped a single fly off on a fish's take. ONE does require engaged focus to fish though; it is unforgiving of casual technique but when you have a cagy bank-feeder requiring the ultimate in precision presentation, ONE is the one. My quiver is more about incremental, specialized performance than covering the gamut and I, again, can't wait to try Radian as I would love it to shoehorn right in there in its own perfect niche. It will have to go toe to toe with Zenith though.

My 9'/#4 NRX with Galvan Torque and RIO Gold and a memorable Loch Leven who was hidden behind a bankside rock from this past season.
Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by sweetandsalt; 11-19-2013 at 08:31 AM.
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Old 11-18-2013, 12:16 PM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

Freak or others, have you received your 9' 5 weight Radian yet? I hoping to hear more reviews on the Radian, especially compared to the ONE.
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:20 PM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

Quote:
Originally Posted by sweetandsalt View Post
Coolhand is doing an excellent job in my view of describing the attributes and limitations of some of todays elite rods which I anticipate Radian joining. It is important when discussing dry fly rods which also embrace power that you must take line weight into a different kind of consideration than in general terms. A great example is the NRX; an almost softly responsive but fast recovering tipped rod with lots of mid and even more low end grunt. I find the NRX #5 a little too heavy and powerful; it fishes almost like a 6-weight but with a true 5-weight line. I was thinking of NRX as a heavy line size rod series only (the #8 is flat-out fantastic) until a friend suggested I try the #4...which I did and it was love at first cast. It performs many of the functions a #5 is usually called upon to do but, again, with a #4 Gold. It has become my preferred low wind, big river, dry fly rod. It weighs more than my ONE #5, but I don't "feel" it when fishing it. I do not consider the ONE too fast or stiff for dry fly work, to the contrary, it is more lively than stiff. Super fast recovering, absolutely, but that facilities unequaled line-leader-tippet control and I do not believe, in two years fishing it, I have popped a single fly off on a fish's take. ONE does require engaged focus to fish though; it is unforgiving of casual technique but when you have a cagy bank-feeder requiring the ultimate in precision presentation, ONE is the one. My quiver is more about incremental, specialized performance than covering the gamut and I, again, can't wait to try Radian as I would love it to shoehorn right in there in its own perfect niche. It will have to go toe to toe with Zenith though.

My 9'/#4 NRX with Galvan Torque and RIO Gold and a memorable Loch Leven who was hidden behind a bankside rock from this pat season.
Click the image to open in full size.
Im going to jack the thread here for a second, so please excuse. SweetN'Salt; I was reading your review of the NRX and how the #5 felt too stiff for a good all round 5. I should also tell you, I owned the NRX #5 about 6 months back, and I really didn't like it. However, it was a fantastic fishing tool, but I felt that the rod was A. too stiff like you said and B. That it casted in such a way that corrected any timing mistakes in my casting stroke, I would purposefully make a mistake in my cast and the rod would correct that mistake "automatically" and snap out a perfect laser loop every time. I felt that the rod took the challenge and enjoyment out of casting, I know this sounds strange but I felt the rod did all the casting for me if that makes sense. Hence, I couldn't get over that and eventually ended up selling it for lack of "soul" and that it made casting "too easy".

Now, I felt the same way about the orvis H2 #5, but love the H2 #4, in fact it sounds like the same story as you and the NRX #4 and #5 situation. Do you feel that the NRX #4 is far more lively than the #5? I am now interested in going back to the NRX and trying the #4. Is there anything else you can tell me about the differences between the NRX 4 and 5 that you didn't mention in your post, or that would apply to my gripe with the NRX #5? thanks sweetN'salt.

Regards,
Lush
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Old 11-19-2013, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

Wow, Lush, a rod that you exercise poor timing with and it auto-corrects into a tight loop? It sounds like the newer Microsoft spell check auto correct feature (which a bad speller like me likes a lot). As I have written before, and this harkens back to the Golden Era of Cane, I emphasize the accomplished creativity of the rod designer when experimenting with new rods. Steve Rajeff is not only the World Champion caster but a Master Rod Designer. I suspect he would demure the ability though to design a casting technique correcting rod though. I also suspect your cast was better than you are suggesting. Rajeff did not design NRX to be an all-round rod for everycaster; it was intended from the beginning to be a high performance rod for demanding casters. It was with the 5-weight that he established some stupid long distance record...210 feet or some such unimaginable number.

May I suggest that one of the problems we have in comparing rods in this Forum and elsewhere is the perception of "high performance" being a positive virtue...better than "low performance". Well, not necessarily. High performance rods as Jim Bartchi's Radian, Jerry Siem's ONE and Steve Rajeff's NRX being discussed in this thread are brilliant at generating very high line speed and super tight loops especially at mid to longer distances for technical, compound dry fly presentations but are less optimal choices for dead drifting sunk nymphs or tossing hopper-dropper set ups or swinging soft hackles which benefit from a lower line speed more open loop shape and more compliant tip to detect unseen, subsurface takes. "Performance" describes particular, relative levels of capabilities and, to employ my frequently used automotive analogy; fun as it might be to carve curvy apexes at substantial speed while stirring the manual gear shift in a high performance sports car, I much prefer our rather low performance, high center of gravity, softly sprung, numb handling, auto-slush box Chevy Tahoe for transporting me and my fishing partner, our camping gear and multiple fly rods down dirt roads to our river side camping spots. Try towing a Clackacraft with a Carrera GT...forget it! On a Mountain Laurel chocked, birch canopied high country brook, no one would want my NRX.

Now my sense is that you may like a softer tip than I do, in part because you nymph which I do not. Rajeff, like his mentor Gary Loomis, also likes a sort of soft but quick recovering tip but supported by lots of lower taper power, something Loomis occasionally did not emphasize as much as Rajeff does now. Consequently, even though NRX employs the 3M Silica Nano matrix technology, Rajeff uses it for structural integrity not light weight achievement. Lead with your elbow on a nice compact stroke with strong stops and line zings out the tip top of these rods with amazing control. Though true to line weight rating, over lining them degrades tip control, they fish as if a line weight or two heavier outfit normally does. Even reading G.Loomis's NRX web site description for the 4-weight they write:

"12029-01 NRX 1084-4 G 9' B 4 4 Fast Medium-Stiff $745.00
An incredible 4-weight rod for fishing larger streams and stillwaters with dry flies...9-foot length gives you casting range and line control that is almost unheard of. Surprisingly powerful and able to punch out 60’+ casts, it will fish tippets as light as 6X no problem."

The key phrase here is "larger streams". This is not your mountain brook 4-weight, it is a big river 5-weight substitute with the delicacy of a #4 line on a rod with 6-weight power. A strange beast not for ever one? Indeed, yes. Most all series of rods have their "sweet spot" models and though George Anderson knocked this model in his 2012 4-Weight Shootout for use on his local spring creeks, it is just perfect for me on the Delaware, Henrys Fork and even the Missouri (on a calm day) as a small dry fly specialty rod. I have yet to try an NRX LP but I have a feeling I am still going to prefer this hard core model. I remain, however, interested in the H2 8 1/2'/#4 as a counterpoint, smaller stream companion to this rod, a roll currently ably filled by Howard Crostin's Hardy Zenith and Rajeff's earlier Streamdance GLX rods in this size designation. But a year can not go by without adding couple more rods and H2, Radian and Siem's newest Method have piqued my interest.
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Old 11-20-2013, 11:02 PM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

I know that sounds strange, I just don't know how else to describe my experience with the 590 NRX, it just felt like it castes "too well" and took the challenge out of fly casting. I was able to cast way further than I should have been able to. I guess for most people this would be a good thing, but for me a lot of the enjoyment in fly fishing is casting and feeling the rod flex and the energy transferring through the graphite and into my hand. I've been at this for some time, and have realized, like you said earlier sweetsalt, I like a softer tip, or a rod that flexes into the mid section or is more progressive. Which is why right now my favorite rods are the sage VXP 590, sage z-axis 590 and orvis H2 490. I have to be honest I felt the NRx 590, sage one 590 were no good for me even though they are hot with performance they just don't flex in a way that suits my casting style. However, this discussion has me intrigued to try the NRx 490.
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Old 11-21-2013, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

Quote:
Originally Posted by thenewlushlife View Post
I know that sounds strange, I just don't know how else to describe my experience with the 590 NRX, it just felt like it castes "too well" and took the challenge out of fly casting. I was able to cast way further than I should have been able to. I guess for most people this would be a good thing, but for me a lot of the enjoyment in fly fishing is casting and feeling the rod flex and the energy transferring through the graphite and into my hand. I've been at this for some time, and have realized, like you said earlier sweetsalt, I like a softer tip, or a rod that flexes into the mid section or is more progressive. Which is why right now my favorite rods are the sage VXP 590, sage z-axis 590 and orvis H2 490. I have to be honest I felt the NRx 590, sage one 590 were no good for me even though they are hot with performance they just don't flex in a way that suits my casting style. However, this discussion has me intrigued to try the NRx 490.

Lush, if I can call you that;
You and I have spoken on the phone about this, but I'd to amplify a bit and get other perspectives. I'm not nearly as knowledgeable about the technical aspects of modern fly rods as you and several others are, but I have casted a lot over the years and am able to cast decent with slow, medium or fast rods. Like you I also like to feel the rod, not just the line.

This summer I posted my issues with my Z-Axis, reported on test casting the ONE and Radian as well as my trusty old G-Series. I'm curious how some of my testing seems to go against the grain of what others have felt with these same rods. Ok here's where I'm coming from; at first wiggle the Z-Axis, ONE and Radian are all considerably stiffer than my G-Series. The ONE is reported to have a stiffer tip than the Z-Axis and Radian. All three are considerably lighter than my G-Series with the ONE and Radian slightly lighter than the Z-Axis. Reading a number of reviews comparing the Z-Axis to the new ONE and seeing there was a bit of a cult following for the Z, I expected it to be that "fast with feel" rod, soft tip and all, but when I actually cast my 590 Z-Axis it lacked feel to me. I actually feel about the Z-Axis the way you feel about the NRX, not that I would complain about a rod that corrects casting mistakes. It's hard to describe, the rod just launches the fly out there without effort or feel. I know that sounds like a good thing, and S&S has tried to talk me into elevating my game to a higher level where I am feeling the line, but I don't get how to do that without the rod transmitting that feel.

Anyway, with this impression of the Z-Axis inn mind I was nervous about the ONE, after all it's even stiffer, right? Well to my complete surprise both the ONE and Scott Radian seemed to have more "feel" than the Z-Axis. Am I wrong about this? I am close to paying off a 590 ONE I have on layaway. This is crazy but I'm seriously considering the purchase of a 905 Radian. It is full on winter here, it was two degrees F here this morning, so I won't be fishing until Spring, and probably won't even lawn cast the rods until then. I have sold the Z-Axis, so would have the ONE and Radian. Another thing I could do is get either rod in six weight and the other in five. What are your thoughts on all this?

John
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Old 11-21-2013, 11:03 AM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

As I described in my above post; "performance" is a value loaded word. Very few of us fly fishers, including me, are out there every day working on our casting the way a competitive tournament caster or FFF Certified Master Caster might be. Very few of us, at our sharpest, extract anything remotely resembling the full performance potential from the high performance rods being discussed in this tread. Scott's Jim Bartchi makes a resonant marketing phrase by describing Radian as "fast with feeling". He is tapping into a recognized characteristic of these rods that their quick recovering tips and steep tapers mask the instinctually comfortable sense of the mass of the road perceptibly loading. A rod that surprises you with its casting output as you describe with NRX#5, is saying to you; OK, that was easy, now let see what you've got. It is inviting you to grow into it and discover what you have previously been unable to accomplish with distance, line control, accuracy and focused engagement that can enhance your potential on the water. What these rods are asking of us with their transparency of communication with the line's motion is to step outside our known comfort zone and take it to the next level where you articulately feel the LINE's mass in motion as opposed to the ROD's mass bending.

Do we NEED such a level of performance? I want it when enjoying the utmost in technical presentation engagement during an emergence on the complex, high fish prey visibility, currents of the Delaware, Fork or Missouri. And so do many other anglers that ply these wonderful rivers. These rivers, and others like them, have long been the proving grounds for the state of the art in tackle design. The top designers emerge from attaining the skills such rivers demand and as each new material advancement and rod building technique develops, they strive to advance beyond the best former achievements. This is the crucible that Radian, NRX and ONE are forged from. And it is when I rig up Sage ONE #5. Other times I am more inclined to fish a moderately high performance 5-weight rod like Zenith or Z-Axis which have all the performance I really need plus are pleasantly intuitive to fish without requiring an unblinking focus and extraordinary care in how I feather the throttle.

Lush, I invite you to experiment with this mind over matter, line over rod perception of casting and see what you develop and Glacier, how about Radian in #5 and ONE in 6-weight? I was writing this simultaneously with your above post, Glacier, and will say I do not like "stiff" rods. ONE is very lively in hand due to its very low mass and quick reflexes and, as I have been fishing it in its 5-weight version since its introduction, I am now looking forward to casting Method in a 6-weight at January's Somerset Show here in the also Wintering up East.
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Last edited by sweetandsalt; 11-21-2013 at 11:21 AM.
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Old 11-21-2013, 05:47 PM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

Ok, just returned from my once or twice a month trip to town and various fly shops. I left home with some cash in my pocket and a plan to trade cash and a nice bamboo fly rod for a 9'- 5 wt Radian if the shop owner would go for it. Well the owner was out, they have had my bamboo rod there for a few months, but the guy running the shop couldn't do a trade on his own. That plus they only had one each 9' 4 weight and 9' six weight Radians on stock. So then being as impulsive as a teenager I was trying to talk myself into one of those two rods. The problem is I already have a 4 weight Scott G, my favorite rod, and two six weight graphite (Scott G and Echo 3) plus my old 7 1/2' Silaflex glass rod.

On the drive home I called Frank Stanchfield a lifetime Bighole River outfitter about all this. He basically talked me out of it saying the 590 ONE would handle all my needs down there and didn't think adding a six was necessary. I should have asked what necessary had to do with this, but he is probably right. He also thought I could over-line the ONE a bit if I needed a six weight due to wind, though the 10' - 6 weight Echo 3 would probably be better. I guess I'll spend that money on a new pair of waders which belongs in another part of the forum

John
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Old 11-21-2013, 08:59 PM
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Default Re: Scott Radian

My last major rod purchase was in 2002. Rod tech has come a long way since then, so I may be in the market. That's why I like reading threads like this one. I only hit the like button on one post in this thread. The poster mentioned performance on the water. Casting in the parking lot tells me nothing. Sure, I might be able to throw a tuft a mile, but can I control it? Can I roll cast it? How does it play the fish? Can I mend? Air mend? Belgian cast? These can only be answered on the water.

Before I spend big bucks on a rod, I will fish it. I did that in '02, and I'm still happy with my choice.

CAB
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