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Old 03-14-2015, 04:52 PM
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Default Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

As a few of you know I've been on the market for a 9'- 7 weight Saltwater capable rod for Streamers for trout with heads up to 250 grain, and an all around Smallmouth rod. If cost was no object for me it would be the Hardy Proaxis or Loomis NRX. But alas cost is very much an object right now. All of these rods retail south of $500, the Mangrove is half of that, but an import.

So I've narrowed it down to four rods, which I casted today at the MI fly show. First despite the order of finish, none of these rods are bad rods, and ALL of them would handle the application, and they all seem to have their strengths and no real weaknesses. I also wonder if line had an effect, as I used different lines (the reps) on each rod, although I did cast the same line, a SA GPX with the Tidal and Nexus. I threw the Sage with a Rio Bonefish, and I have no idea what the TFO rep was using for a demo line.

And now my very subjective ratings in order of finish.

1) Sage Motive: This rod was a surprise to me frankly, I haven't owned a Sage rod in quite a while, and while I realize feel is very subjective I have found most of their later rods to fast and lacking in feel in close for my taste. But this one was the best all around of the group. It felt great inside 40' and roll casted well (on our rivers roll casting big streamers with heads is common). And it made longish casts of 60-70' easy. It didn't seem to run out of gas although I can't imagine any application for this rod for me where I'm throwing more than 70'. It also was the lightest rod in the hand of the group. The workmanship was quality and the rod was a good looking rod.

2) Winston Nexus. I love Winston Trout rods (at least the WT's), but from the BIIx series on, their rods always seemed to run out of gas. The Nexus did not have that issue, it felt great in close (but not as good as the Sage or Scott), but threw at distance with ease. I was able to make as long of casts with the Winston as the Sage but my leaders didn't turn over as easily, the Sage also seemed to aerialize more line easily. I wonder if the line or leader itself contributed to this problem? I will say this much the Winston Nexus rods seem to have more gas than previous Winston rods. I was tempted to rate this one 1A, it was that close to the Sage in performance. I actually felt that for this application the Sage was more appealing cosmetically, that and a little extra punch casting is what gave it an edge. I must admit I've casted one other Nexus (9'-6weight) and was very impressed. Winston has a winner with this series.

3) TFO Mangrove. This one had the most power of any of the rods tested. It almost seemed to muscle thru the casts. I may still go with it, it's a great value and it threw line with relative ease. It was also the heaviest rod of the group, but not to heavy to make it tiring. It handled the roll cast well, and if I was to have any complaint, it had the least amount of feel with 50' or less line out. It made those casts just fine, but it didn't transmit what it was doing as well to your hands. I like the cosmetics, but the cork did seem to have a bit more filler. It was also a rod that had been used a bit as a demo.

4) Scott Tidal. This was my favorite rod of the group cosmetically. The classic unfinished Scott blank, oversized guides and high quality of components just said Scott SW too me. When I first casted the Scott I liked it a lot. It had by far the best feel inside 50', you didn't have to look to know what the line was doing (the Sage was #2 in this category). But the further I got beyond 60' the more the Scott folded. While on the casting pond I had no issues making a 70' cast, I suspect on a windy day it might be a bit more work with the Scott. It was a softer rod and it showed. Ironically I threw this with the same line and reel that I threw the Winston with (the Winston reps 7 had been grabbed by a shop). And the Winston was clearly more powerful.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:09 AM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

Sage VXP on closeouts for 350ish at many places.
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Old 03-15-2015, 06:40 PM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

I'm hoping my new Motive cast like my old RPLX. I only paid $250 on fleabay.
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Old 03-15-2015, 11:10 PM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

Was at the show Saturday myself, by chance did you try out the Orvis Recon in your tests?

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Old 03-16-2015, 10:03 AM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

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Originally Posted by grtlksmarlin View Post
Was at the show Saturday myself, by chance did you try out the Orvis Recon in your tests?

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No I didn't but it kind of failed the "shake test" before casting. It seemed softer than the other rods tested. I am impressed by the trout weight Recons, but not as impressed by the SW rods. And in this case I'm looking for a SW rod. When I was the rep I had a Hardy Proaxis 9-6 that did the job admirably.
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Old 03-16-2015, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

How about Rajeff Sports ECHO3S#7? Were they at the show? That rod is built in the same shop as the Proaxis, powerful but not as fast.
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Old 03-16-2015, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

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How about Rajeff Sports ECHO3S#7? Were they at the show? That rod is built in the same shop as the Proaxis, powerful but not as fast.
I do not recall anyone selling them there (though they may have been, I blew through it rather quickly).

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Old 03-16-2015, 07:48 PM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

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Originally Posted by grtlksmarlin View Post
I do not recall anyone selling them there (though they may have been, I blew through it rather quickly).

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The Echo rep was there, he has Winston too. I know him pretty well, his selection of Echo was pretty small, mostly new this year stuff. I didn't ask and he didn't mention.
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Old 03-16-2015, 09:51 PM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

Although not on the list I use a 7wt 9'9" Beulah Platinum off our beaches and it's a great rod for coho to 20lbs
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Old 03-17-2015, 07:56 PM
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Default Re: Steve's middlin 7 weight shootout -Tidal-Nexus-Mangrove-Mostive

I would go hands down with the Scott Or a TFO not the bvk not the mangrove but the Profesional2. I just went on a trip to South America I took a 10 wt bvk what a broomstick way too stiff no load at all. My friends one had the Scott in 8 wt the Tidal It was loading beautifully a much way better rod. another guy had the Professional 2 it was also nice but did not had the backbone.
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