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gvillevol 08-14-2008 10:57 PM

Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?
First Post!!

Just curious....My brother is looking at a new rig and has had numerous people tell him that Winston's Boron is the only way to go. I told him he needs to cast multiple rods before he makes the investment. I bought a Sage ZXL 3wt with a Tibor Light loaded with Rio double tapers line and wouldn't do it differently. The rod and reel have blown me away. We are both wet/nymph fisherman and the Z-Axis and TCR were a little too loaded for me. The ZXL has enough backbone for me to double haul with two bead heads on etc. but that isn't something that needs to be done. I have fished windy conditions and landed two fish over 7lbs on this rig since I got it in December and it has handled everything with ease. Just curious to see what others think. Thanks for the input.

BlueDun 08-15-2008 08:23 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?
Welcome to the post! You asked a great question and you are correct. Your brother needs to cast as many rods as he can before making a decision. Everyone has different casting styles and preferences. From a personal perspective, I love Winston rods. I don't think they get enough attention when people ask about rods on forums, but they are expensive. To be a little more specific, I tend to prefer Sage rods in heavier weights and Winston in lighter weights. When choosing a 3 wt, I did try the ZXL and loved it, but when I tried the Winston Biit, I loved that one even more. You can't go wrong with either rod, but for me, the Biit has a little more "oomph" for casting into wind (not that you need much for where I use a 3 wt), but I also just liked the feel of the Winston in my hand and the way it responded to different types of casts. I also have a Biix in a 4 wt. I preferred the Biit for a 3 wt b/c I wanted a slightly slower casting rod for the streams/fish/conditions where I use the 3 wt. Again, these are just my personal preferences.

If your brother hasn't already been there, have him check out the Winston forum. There have been numerous discussions about the differences b/w the various Winston rods.

Frank Whiton 08-15-2008 08:32 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?
Hi gvillevol,

I am not familiar with the boron rods. Joni and Mojo are Winston fans and they can help you out. If they miss this thread send Joni a PM.

I can't say that any rod is "the way to go". Some people love the Winston action but I prefer Sages or Scotts. When you spend this kind of money the buyer is usually experienced and has specific things they like or don't like. Your recommendation of casting the rods before you buy is great advise. If your friend is looking at a 3wt the Winston could be a good choice but so is the Sage ZXL and the SCott G2. How does your friend like your ZXL?


wtex50 08-15-2008 09:56 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?
I was under the impression that Winstons blanks were now being made overseas - am I wrong in that? I think I remember reading that that was one of the reasons the Boo boys at Winston went out on their own - the current managements change to emphasising profit over quality. If true - that may be a consideration for some who prefer US made. I don't own a Winston but have Cast the Boron and it is a sweet rod.

Joe D 08-15-2008 10:54 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?

If your brother wants a rod he should pick one by testing it out first. I know many people who like the Winston BL rods and know many who like Sage Z-Axis and others Orvis Helios... they are all well made high end rods. But as has been said before, the caster should cast the rods first and select the one(s) he likes the best.

gvillevol 08-15-2008 11:26 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?
Thank you everyone for the warm welcome and responses. I agree with most everything said. I casted numerous rods before I purchased my ZXL. Looked at Orvis, Scott, T&T, etc. but it really does depend on what you fish and how you cast it to determine the right rod.

He just had a few guys pushing the Winston on him and bashed the Sage ZXL, Z-Axis, and TCR. I told him that was a bunch of bull **** and that I would put Sages line of rods with G5 technology against any rod on the water. I also told him that the reel makes all of the difference too. You aren't going to buy a $700 rod and put an $90 Orvis Bar Stock reel on it. Nothing against that reel but it just doesn't jive with me. If it weren't for the drag on my Tibor reel I would have lost some large fish, especially on the initial take.

Any other reel recommendations would be appreciated too. I have A couple Ross, a few Orvis (when they were still made in England), and now my pride and joy Tibor. Ted Juracsik's detail he puts into his reels and the fact that they are US made still mean a lot to me. Same with Sage rods (at least I know their high end). It blows my mind to think they spend over 30 days hand making each individual rod still.

Thanks again for the input.


Frank Whiton 08-15-2008 11:35 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?
Hi wtex50,

As far as I know only the Ascent and Vapor rods are made in China. Unless things have changed recently all the other rods are built in Montana. It was the China rods that caused the long time bamboo guys to jump ship. Winston had that information on their web site at one time. I also think that the first Ascent rods were of poor quality and Winston had a problem with them.


Joe D 08-15-2008 11:40 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?

One thing that seems to hold true... anyone who bashes rods made by Sage, Winston, Scott, Orvis and a few others assuredly doesn't know what he's talking about. Take no advise from them ;)

gvillevol 08-15-2008 11:42 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?
[QUOTE=Frank Whiton;34199]Hi gvillevol,


As far as the ZXL goes, I have been blown away. It is the 8'6" 3wt with a Tibor Light Spring Creek and loaded with Rio Selective Trout II double tapered line. The rod puts the fly exactly where I want it and has done things I wouldn't expect it to do. Fished wide open waters (like the Tuckaseegee River in NC) on windy days and had no problem. I have messed around with a nymph, weight and bead head on and could still double haul it with ease. I also caught two fish over 26" on MLK weekend this past year and although I couldn't horse these fish in the ZXL and Tibor had no problem getting them to the net. Sage is just doing amazing things in my opinion.

wtex50 08-15-2008 11:49 AM

Re: Winston Boron IIt or IIx rods?

Thanks for clarifying which Winstons were made overseas. My old memory ain't what it used to be....but I remembered the Boo Boys being upset with management at Winston for shipping production overseas.

The point of the whole thread is....test a bunch of rods and get the one that makes YOU happy.... what works for one desn't necessarily work for someone else. I tried the Sage Z-Axis and while it was a nice rod..I just couldn't force myself to spend that much on a graphite....not with all I have invested in bamboo.

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