I tested the Winston 9', 6", 7 weight BIIx today for use on smallies and steelhead and for throwing bigger bugs out on the pond.
I confess to being nuts about the BIIx series and this rod simply makes me nutser.
Some call them fast, others say they're too slow but dang.... this series still does far more than I expect of any rod within their weight range.
It weighed in at 3-1/2 ounces. 'Nuff said about that!
Unlike other BIIx's I own, this one did not come with ReCoil guides. It should have, IMHO. Those flexy guides are handy for snapping off ice. Some folks said they made a squeaking noise; mine only did once when I over-cleaned a line with detergent and didn't dress it. Some say REC couldn't keep up with production, others that they were getting too many customer complaints for one reason or another. Whatever the case, I wish ReCoils were an option.
It had sleeve ferrules that didn’t appear to have any effect on the action.
The wraps and coating over them were near-perfect to this non-rod builders eyes. Clear wraps with deep red tipping were neat and tidy and not ostentatious. Epoxy neatly covered every nook and cranny around the guides to help prevent water/salt/ice infiltration.
The cork is some of the best I’ve seen… bar none!
The real seat has a green carbon fiber spacer with nicely machined and anodized hardware. It has two lockdown nuts.
In casting, just as with the other BIIx's I've used, from the get-go it loaded and felt great at the 20-30' mark as I made my first casts with it. I tagged the leaf I was aiming for on cast #1, not a bad way to start!
Also as in the other BIIx's I've tried, I got to wondering if it really had the starch to throw a long line in the pretty stiff breeze that was blowing. It does. I had a Rio Windcutter on it and, as advertised, it cut though the wind like the proverbial hot knife through butter.
This rod is going to be FUN!
The action on this 7 weight ran true-to-form to their other line weight rods. No surprises there. So far every BIIx I've cast had the same general feel. That ain't bad. Plus, as in the other BIIx’s, a 4 weight is a true 4 weight, a 5 weight a true 5… all the way up through every rod I’ve tried in this series. I’ve never felt the need or desire to up or downsize a line to make these rods work.
Winston had a blip on their build quality a few years back during the 'Boo Boys debacle. There is no sign of that on this rod any of the others I've looked at over the past couple of years. I may not be too particular in what I drink or who I call friend, but I am particular about my woman and my fly rods. You could go over this thing with a 10X diopter and be hard-pressed to find a flaw. They have production rod building figured out.
This may read like a big ad. It kind of is but I don’t make a red cent on it. It’s just a review from a guy who got blown away today while trying out a new rod.
Other BIIx owners know how I’m feeling!