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n1ksn 04-18-2013 06:28 PM

How fast is Winston VSL?
I need a 7'6" 5 weight rod to fish the streams and small rivers in central Wisconsin. I want a 5 weight because that's what I'm used to. I want a short rod due to the overhangs and brush in many of these waters. I prefer a double taper line with a shortish front taper (5 to 6 feet).

I don't want the rod to be real fast, more a medium fast. I've seen that Winston has a 7' 6" 5wt in the VSL series, as does TFO in the Professional II series. There is also a St Croix Rio Santo with that length and weight.

The Winston would be a big step up in rod quality for me, but it is listed as "fast." However, I'm given to understand that a Winston "fast" may not be the same as a Sage "fast." Would the Winston be a decent choice for a somewhat relaxed casting stroke? How about the TFO Pro II and the Rio Santo (which is listed as moderately fast)?

One other possibility is the TFO Finesse 7'9" 5 weight. I've seen many reviews of the 3wt in that length, but not the 5wt. Anyone have the 5wt, and if so how do you like it?

Anyone have experience with any of these rods?


Ard 04-18-2013 10:38 PM

Re: How fast is Winston VSL?
Hello Andy & Welcome to the forum.

I have not cast the rod in question but have discussed actions with the rod tech department at Winston in the past. What you say is what they (at Winston) told me; that their rods are more along the line of medium action when compared to many others.

The only way to know will be to cast one.


n1ksn 04-19-2013 11:58 AM

Re: How fast is Winston VSL?
Thanks, Ard. Your comments have been quite helpful. I wish there was a fly shop in my area that was set up to try rods, as test casting a rod should be a part of any new rod sale, IMHO.


newby 04-19-2013 01:09 PM

Re: How fast is Winston VSL?
I have not cast the VSL either but can confirm what Ard says. What Winston calls fast differs greatly from what Sage calls fast.

My BIIt, for example, is described on the website as "Medium-Fast action" but is without a doubt a true medium action rod with a few tendencies that can make it feel even a bit slower depending on the cast.

mattwolf 04-20-2013 01:39 PM

Re: How fast is Winston VSL?

My recommendations to you would be to call a fly shop somewhere. Most staff at the fly shops are eager to help you out and will not think you are waisting their time. If you want to try the rod I know Leland Fly Shop will ship you the rod and reel and let you try it out. If you dont like it you just ship it back to them. I think they even cover the shipping. All you have to do is give them a credit card number so they can bill you if anything happens on your end. From my experience the best people to ask those types of questions to are the professionals in the industry. Not sure where you are from, but if your in the east somwhere try TFO Fly shops or in the west try Leland Fly shops. Any good fly shop will be able to help you out though.

IMO I like the sage TXL-F series for a small stream fly rod. I purchased a 3wt in the 6 foot 10 inch model and love it for roll casing from 15 to 40 feet away from the rod tip.

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