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  1. #1

    Default Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    I have been thinking about this Scott rod for quite a while. Well, not quite back to when I first fished its predecessor, ancestor really, in 1977, the Scott Graphite…a long time favorite. That was Scott’s original and seminal graphite rod, a rod that permanently influenced fly rod design by recognizing the unique property of graphite lending itself to longer and lighter line weights than previous cane and fiberglass standards. But at least before last winter’s big Fly Fishing Show at Edison, NJ, this third generation of Scott’s core series had my attention. Time cannot stand still and rapid advancement in material, resin systems and blank building methodologies create opportunities to expand and improve on already good ideas in fly rods. Visiting Scott’s both though, I was disconcerted and so were they that there was no demo sample of this rod was present. They even went so far as to go to one of their dealers at the Show who also did not have one there. So in lieu of this model I test cast it’s also excellent 8’8”/#4 sibling. It was though the shorter model I was fascinated by and Scott promised they would make a sample available to me before mayflies began to emerge.

    My strong preference is for a fly rod to be matched with a reel that not only provides gravity neutral balance but a personality match in performance and aesthetics. And so, also at Edison, I had the good fortune to be visiting with the Abel/Ross and Scott leadership while these friends and Montrose, Colorado neighbors were vising with one another. There was an immediate and positive consensus that Ross’s Evolution LTX 4|5 was the perfect companion for the GS…as if made for one another with mutual respect and coordinated black anodizing. And so it was established that this is what I was to eventually fish.

    W19 167 BSC GS-Evo LTX vs.jpg

    The GS 844/4 is a popular model and mine arrived shortly prior to my June trip to Montana just in time for me to do some lawn casting with it and a handful of different 4-weight fly lines prior to packing up the rod travel tube. SA Trout rose to the fore as an optimal match much as Scott had predicted.

    While I expect all good fly rods to provide a degree of versatility able to fish environs both larger and smaller than their design intent as this Scott does, it is my preference though, rather than fish a fine rod everywhere, to match a rod to its optimal habitat. This 8’4”/#4 has a progressively deep flexural profile and though it flexes its full length, you feel it bend into its cork, it is not “slow and soft”. Actually it recovers with a grace and precision belying its profile. The tip feels light in touch but sharp with no undue counter flex or wobble, very stable and true tracking. Its action allows it to load up quickly with a short amount of true to weight line out facilitating in-close presentations with plenty of feedback. Simultaneously it smoothly reaches out to 50’ and beyond not posing any artificial limitations on the angler. Even on smaller streams and spring creeks where this rod is most at home, one frequently has to present a fly upstream or down at a
    distance greater than the width of the steam itself. Its taper transitions are impeccably smooth and fluid, genuinely a fun and intuitive rod to cast well. I encountered no circumstances including fishing this little Scott on water a bit bigger than it is ideal for where it really ran out of steam either by reaching out or putting the screws to larger than typical small stream trout. After all, I did fish this rod in Montana.

    W19 063 Missouri R. Brown vs.jpg

    Because this rod flexes into its butt section, its reserves of lower taper power are finite. Therefore this is not a big river, high line speed champion. Conversely, due to its taper design, it
    offers communicative feel of the fly line without applying muscle to the cast. It wants to load up and unload smoothly with the caster as the director not the long distance hero. Don’t punch your GS, let it do the smooth loop unfurling for you, just apply the stroke timing.

    When I did feed a fine trout with this rod, it did what it was supposed to do seamlessly, enhanced by the equally smooth and consistent drag of the Ross Evo LTX. Zero inertial startup was
    detectable, nor was fade or tightening of the drag setting, and quick uniform line retrieval from the properly narrow, large arbor spool is on tap. Fishing this outfit confirmed the opinions from the concrete floor of the cold weather January Show that this rod and reel are a perfect partnership. Oh, I was told the black anodization of the reel and rod’s reel seat where a color
    match but only in use to I realize the bronze-orange accent on rod and reel were also the same.

    W19 198 BSC GS-Evo LTX.jpg

    The GS 8’4”/#4 features, like all Scott’s, a lightly sanded natural graphite blank revealing the resin scars from beneath the tape wrapping applied before the curing process. This third generation version is updated with the advanced multi modulus, advanced resin fabrication as employed for Radian. It reel seat is indexed thus does not rotate when mounting the reel. The top quality cork grip is a classic western style fitting the hand ergonomically and at its front is an epoxy coated composite cork ring exactly as on Scott graphite’s in the late 1970’s, I like it. Also the thread wraps are epoxy coated in a nice, thin, level manor, no unnecessary extra finish bulk to add weight. If I have a caveat it is that there is a marked thread wrap indicating a 12” length…what is that supposed to measure?

    W19 244 BSC vs.jpg

    There are not very many small stream optimized graphite fly rods that also cast really well. Having a rod specifically designed for going up into headwater creeks that adroitly addresses the closer quarter presentation prerequisites of these beautiful and often remote habitats, that is also a joy to fish is rare. But it exists, and it is the Scott GS 8’4”/#4.
    Last edited by sweetandsalt; 07-25-2019 at 07:49 AM.

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  3. #2

    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    A big Thank You to my old friend and fishing partner, Dillon, for his invaluable assistance in testing and helping photograph this review.

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  5. #3

    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    Beautiful images- nice looking combo

    Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

  6. #4
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    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    That's a handsome looking combo, right there.

    In your final sentence, S&S, I think you meant to say 8'4"/#4, rather than 8'8"/#4. I will vouch for the GS 884.

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  8. #5
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    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    S&S, The 12" rod markers (and 24" also standard on some rods-optional on all rods) are just nice angler friendly gauging points for measuring fish, they are uniquely thoughtful and handy too, particularly in pictures. The 12" wrap is 12"s from the butt cap....so for instance in the photo you show with the GS and the marker present on the rod, even though the fish is not perfectly aligned with tail to rod butt cap, it is still easy to estimate length....for instance the fish shown in that photo is approx 19-20 1/2"s based on the marker and photo. Just a nifty extra.

  9. #6

    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    (Laugh) Yes, cooutlaw, I was making fun of the 12" marker in lieu of the plus size of the depicted brown. I like the idea and as an aside, I've long thought I could get rich by producing an angler's tape measure where each inch was really 3/4 of an inch. As a west coast friend likes to ask when you tell him of a big fish..."Did you tape it?" Dillon and I played a game in which I guesstimated the length of a fish and so did he then he taped it. I was generally accurate to within a half inch or so but he said I guessed my fish to be bigger than his...(Laugh)

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  11. #7

    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    Nice review s&s... although it has reminded me how frustrated I am... my 8’4” 4w is currently being repaired!! Not sure how but I must have caught a guide pushing through undergrowth, no idea when, but one of the feet broke free
    I’ll be glad to get it back, it’s perfect for my SW England rivers... average sized rivers over here, but small spring creek sized in Montana terms. Like you say, in the tightest of spots I can cast with just the leader out the rod tip, or out to 50’ if required. Admittedly there is only one spot on all my local rivers where a 50’ cast is even possible, unless you stand 20’ back into a field

  12. #8

    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    S&S,

    Aside from length, did you notice any major differences between the 8'4 and the 8'8? I'm considering one of the two in a 4wt for small stream (with some bushy banks) fishing in the Driftless area of Wisconsin. I want a specialty rod for this area, of which the 8'4 seems tailor made, but would the 8'8 be just as deadly while also being able to handle larger water should I fish outside of the area?

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  14. #9

    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    S&S,

    I am also interested in your views of the 8’8” version. Did you opt for the shorter version due to the size of the water or did you like the action better?




    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  15. #10

    Default Re: Scott GS 8’4”/#4 and Ross Evolution LTX

    I have only test cast the 8'8"/#4 GS and found it a lovely rod. It has long been a sweet spot in the G line-up, however, in the design up-date to the current GS series the 8'4" version got special attention and resultant accolades, piquing my interest. Personally, in my working kit I have two 9'/#4's NRX, a great big river 4-weight and SKY, delightful on medium sized rivers, a duty it shares with my beloved 8 1/2'/#5 X. My go to spring creek specialist for streams like Silver Creek has been Sage ONE 8 1/2'/#4, a super precise, technical dry fly instrument with enormous personality and capability. Below this rod sits two specialists, choked brook habitat 7 1/2'/#4 DART and equally infrequently fished, my oldest rod still in use, 1985 8'/#4 Orvis Western.

    I have been intending to update this 8'/#4 for sometime but, just as back in the mid 80's when I choose it over the same size Tom Morgan Favorite, graphite rods of this configuration are scarce. I may have missed an opportunity with the Sage Little ONE 8'2"/#4, a rod I've never even seen much less cast. Then Winston introduced twin 8'/#4's Pure and AIR which I cast side by side and I liked but did not love them, with a slight nod to the AIR. So it became my intent to compare them last season to the also new shorter #4 GS but once casting the 8'4"/#4 it was clearly no contest...Scott's GS rods may be the best series Scott makes and the best moderate action rods to date. I will add a caveat, I have only cast one new Sage T LL, the 9'/#5 and am looking forward to casting the 8 1/2'/#'s 4 & 5...regrettably there is no T LL 8' or 8'3"/#4 as I had hoped.

    And, czando, I did test cast 8 1/2'/#4 Avantt and did not care for it, much preferring your 9'/#4. Now G-Loomis is poised to introduce an 8 1/2'/#4 NRX+LP, and Taylor too may have a rod of this size coming but still no new 8'/#4.
    Last edited by sweetandsalt; 10-10-2019 at 08:35 AM.

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