Winston GVX 9' 4-weight thoughts
I’ve seen a lot of these rods on eBay for discount prices. I’m not sure if people don’t like them, or if they just aren’t different enough from what they have to keep them. So, I bought a demo, fished it most of last year and am audacious enough to think somebody might like my 2-cents about the Winston GVX 9’ #4.
Most reviews start with how the rod casts, how it does close in, far away, in the wind, what kind of action it has, etc., etc. That’s not really where I want to start. I’m starting with, “Is this rod fun to fish?” My answer, after fishing with it a lot this last year, is not just, “Yes,” but a big-ol, “H***, yes!!” Here’s why. This rod has a wonderful suppleness that makes it feel like a shorter rod when waving it around on the stream. It feels light in the hand and right away I noticed how easy it was to mend line. It made getting a good drift seem almost effortless, automatic. The 9’ length made hook setting a simple movement of the wrist – and then, fish-on nirvana! It is so much fun to catch fish on this rod. Big fish, little fish, it will handle them all. There’s enough strength in the butt to control bigger fish (my biggest this summer was an 18” football-shaped brown), but the soft tip makes even 5-inchers fun! The rod is excellent at protecting light tippets. I got into a couple of caddis hatches that I fished by swinging emergers and cracklebacks. There were many vicious strikes on a tight line with no break-offs, even on 6x. Wonderful, supple, fun rod.
So what about performance? Well, since I’m not a great long caster, I couldn’t throw any more than 60’ with it. And I think a good strong wind will make you have to shorten up your casts considerably. This is not a gun. But, hey, I don’t fish a 4-wt to throw long lines or fight gales. At my normal fishing distances this rod casts very well – very smooth, very controllable loops at all normal distances. It has a progressive action that goes well into the butt, though it’s not a noodle – very pleasant to cast. It also excels as a roll caster. For fishing small to medium nymph rigs it was awesome. Up-lining to a DT5 makes it an even better roll caster. For dries and un-weighted rigs, it loved the SA GPX#4, which is a #4.5 weight line. It will drop a dry fly with that GPX#4 like a falling leaf. I tried a DT4 on it, but it didn’t seem to load as well as with the GPX.
All in all, this is a really fun, capable fishing tool. Everything I needed it to do, it did well. Dries, emergers, nymph rigs, small-med streamers – all good. If you want a really good 4-weight for most situations, you can’t go wrong with the GVX 9’ #4.
Last edited by markfrid; 12-24-2013 at 08:10 AM.