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Thread: Compare 3 wts

  1. Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    Quote Originally Posted by cooutlaw View Post
    What is your favorite three weight and why?
    How many three weights have you fished, your opinion on them, and in what configurations?
    What new three weight are you eyeballing as a prospective purchase?
    How many three weights do you own?
    Do you also prefer the 3 wt as an all around light weight rod? If not what do you prefer?

    Aaaaaand Gooooooo...........
    I only have (1) 3wt. Built it myself. Love the rod. Thinking about retiring it and buying a TFO.

  2. #82

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    Well - I should have a 3wt 7'6" Pure + Brookie coming my way in a week. Now to scout the Arroyo Seco area in the Santa Lucias...
    Last edited by krooj; 03-28-2019 at 04:55 PM.

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  4. #83
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    I'm going to take the liberty of reviving my own thread a bit here. One of the thoughts behind this thread was to share feedback and comparison on the forums favorite 3wts out there. I launched the thread but never contributed about my own arsenal or offered comparison, so I'll do so now and maybe this can serve as a template for others to offer greater comparison within their quivers.

    The following are the 3 wts that I have fairly recently thinned down to - this has been an effort to prepare for downsizing and retirement in the hopefully not too distant future 3-4 years or so (hopefully key word here).

    6'6" 3 wt. 3pc. Winston IM6....a lovely little rod that I use with a Ross San Miguel 1 and Cortland 444SL WF, for brush ridden and tighter confined streams. Throws surprisingly larger than you would guess and has a profile and action that would rival most any glass rod for these purposes. If I need smaller than this, those roles are fill by a smaller sibling 6'6" 2 wt. 2pc Winston IM6 (one of only two remaining 2pc rods that I still own) or a 7'0" 2 wt. 3pc. Winston WT which is bar none my personal favorite 2 wt of all time- again, glass has nothing on these tiny Winston's in my opinion. If you can get your hands on any of these....I do not believe you would be disappointed.

    6'10" 3 wt. 3pc. Scott Original G 703 "Murray Mountain Trout"- This rod was a cooperative effort between Harry Murray and Scott to develop this small stream specialty's a gem, with better tracking and recovery than any original G I have owned or cast. Far more like a G2 in those facets. This rod really fits the bill when a rod between a 6'6" and 7'6" is called's irreplaceable to me, that's all I will say. It's partner in crime is an Abel TR1 with either a SA VPT 3wf or a Cortland 444sl WF.

    Winston BIII LS 7'6" 3wt & Winston Pure 7'6" 3wt.....These rods are currently scrapping for position, I've owned the BIII LS for awhile and it's a sweetheart little rod, the Pure is new to the family and although cast plenty, I have only fished the rod once. They are VERY similar...perhaps too similar, ok, dang near identical, I might not have even needed to cave in during a week moment fly shop visit and purchased the Pure at all....BUT, I somehow ended up with both and will be making this tough decision of which stays and which goes as spring allows more water time. Both rods currently share a deep green Abel TR1 and 3wt SA Trout.

    Scott GS 773- 7'7" 3wt. 4pc. The newest G series in the second to smallest version behind the 772, this is a great smaller water stick. It does everything you would need it to well, very well. It will throw bigger flies than you'd think and will also throw with a dropper rig and any cast at surprisingly decent distance, allowing it to even step up to larger water in a pinch. I really like this rod. It currently shares the MMT Scotts Abel TR1reel with a 2nd spool of SA Trout WF3. I am currently drooling over the new Abel TR2/3 in a Bronze to match the wraps....I'm just struggling justifying the Abel's cost for another reel when I have one that does the job already. To also note: I bought two of these one for my son to use...he was on the fence about it, then finally fished it, and then couldn't part with it.....unannounced to me, it was the one rod that went off to College with him, I think so he could ensure it wouldn't get sold while he was away. He called me after returning back to school after break to let me know he had it and planned on keeping it indefinitely. Dang Kids.

    Sage Dart 376- 7'6" 3 wt: My newest acquisition. I have spent a decent amount of time casting this rod, and all of the Dart series configurations other than the one shorter model. I have not, as of yet, fished it. This rod is recommended by Peter Knox, one of the series designers, to use either RIO Creek line, a heavier over line size and taper designed in conjunction with the Dart, or for greater distance a DT. I have cast all of these lines on it and they all perform well, but surprisingly so does an older, shorter taper, original SA Trout line in a 4wt. Yup, a 4wt. I really feel this rod is a 3 1/2 wt rod. It DID NOT load heavy with or display ANY indications that the 4wt over lined it, and it aerialized the line without so much as pause or hiccup. This makes me believe the RIO Creek is a full line size heavy, although I can find zero published stats on the creek line. I almost want to consider this rod a "light" 7'6" 4wt. Obviously it is not, it's simply a "faster" 3wt, not FAST at all, more akin to a baby Sage X type fast. I am looking forward to trying to wear out this rod as soon as the sun shines regularly again.

    Winston IM6 8' 3 wt 3 pc. One of the classic IM6 designs, a small-medium water 3wt, and in a 3 piece the rod is stouter than in a 2pc. Many familiar with IM6's consider the 3pc 3wt 8' to be nearly identical in action to the 2pc 8' 4wt TMF -often called a 3.5wt, I owned both and can tell you that I am in this camp as they are twins in my's soft, smooth, mellow, delicate, and can dust the head of pin at 30' with no wind present. It is a classic action, dry fly purists, 3wt. Akin to bamboo. The rod pairs with a deep green Abel Creek 1 and a 3WF Cortland 444 (in my opinion the Cortland and Wulff lines are a period correct IM6 pairing that marry nicely with these rods).

    The final and last 3wt that will enter the family will be the acquisition of a Scott GS 843 or 883 yet to be determined or acquired, but on the near Radar. NOTE: I have fished and cast both of these excellent rods several times, and I still cannot decide between them. Either of these will handle long leader, uber small tippet, micro flies, and pickiest/spookiest of fish...on small-med water.

    I still have quite a bit of thinning to go as I downsize, but I am happy to say that my 3wt collection, which was one of the larger weight categories of rods I had collected, is now somewhat under control and for the most part, settled and able to handle my needs for the remainder of my days in any 3wt water I may fish.

    Sooooooooooo....with that....let's hear some similar comparisons of overview, opinion, and usage of your 3wts or even 3wts you are interested in. Ready....Gooooooo....

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  6. #84
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    Here you go, Outlaw...the 3wts that are active in my 3wt rod collection:

    Zhus Bamboo 6’ 3wt rod.It is a two piece with two tips with a cap and ring cork reel seat. I bought this rod a few years ago for $70….and it cast like a rod that would cost much more than that. I fish this rod a lot because it loads easily for close in work on tree covered small streams. I have it mated to a CFO II reel with Rio Gold WF3F line. Don’t let the cheap price I paid bias your judgment…it’s a fun rod for the money.

    Winston Glass Retro 6’6” 3wt rod. This rod has a cork reel seat with cap and ring nickel silver hardware that was a custom order from the factory. It is full flexing and quite a joy to fish. Handling little wild browns and native cutts is a whole bunch of fun with this rod. It has a Tibor Spring Creek reel with a Rio Lightline WF3F line.

    Orvis Superfine Glass 7’ 3wt rod. This is an s-glass fiberglass rod that is very impressive for casting short or long with both touch and accuracy. The rod has some power to it and can easily handle those occasional 15-18” inch trout I find in my small streams. I have it paired with a CFO II reel with Rio Gold WF3F line.

    Orvis 7’6” ZG Helios ION 3wt rod. This is a mid-flex medium firm rod that has some nice power to it….was my primary 3wt rod for several years. I just updated the reel seat hardware on it and converted it to cap and ring setup…that modification is posted in the rod building thread. I always fished it with a CFO reel but will use it this year with a Bauer SST3 reel. The rod fishes great with Rio Gold WF3F and also with a Rio LT WF3F.

    Sage X 7’6” 3wt rod. I bought this rod last year for my primary stick and it has lived up to my expectations….it is a medium firm rod that still yet is sensitive enough for my small streams. May be the best casting rod I own based on the loops it throws and the accuracy of setting a dry fly in the spot I’m targeting. I have it partnered with a Galvan Brookie reel and currently using a Rio Perception WF3F line.

    Winston Boron IIt 7’6” 3wt rod. I bought this rod a couple of months ago because it became available at a crazy low price….happy I jumped on it. Although it is an old model, the rod was never fished…basically NOS. I’ve only had it on the water once and instantly knew that I will be loving this rod. It has fun quotient with traditional action and some power in the butt end!!! I have it paired with a Bauer MXP1 reel and an Orvis Superfine WF3F line. This rod is going to give that Sage X a run for its money!!!
    MIKE ADAIR - Exploring New Mexico landscapes through fly fishing, golf, and art.

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  8. #85
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Blog Entries

    Default Re: Compare 3 wts

    A wonderful summary and a great grouping of rods and reels there Mike!! Thanks for sharing. Those BIIT's had a pretty large following back in their inception. I bet the retro glass is a hoot to fish, and that little X should be a really versatile and sweet stick, looks like your arsenal is in great shape !! Most of my small Winstons are also cap and ring/ slide band downlockers too...I like your style!

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  10. #86
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Northern Virginia

    Default Compare 3 wts

    I only have one 3wt and it’s actually a 3/4wt, but I really enjoy it on the brook trout streams in Northern Virginia. It’s a Hardy Sirrus 7’ 3/4wt glass rod paired with a Hardy Duchess.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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