Rod Suggestions Please

Hardscrabble

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If you haven't made the journey to Fly South in Nashville it might be worth your time. It is no doubt one of the premier Fly shops in the country. And he carries lots of different Fly rod companies, as far as I know just about everything but TFO. And he has not only a lot of high tech stuff for the tail-waters over there, but he carries the more traditional stuff for the creek guys.
Thanks. I’ve known Jim for 25 years and enjoy visiting down there. Too far to go except when I’m down for other reasons, but thanks...I’m down there fairly often.
 

Hardscrabble

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I tested 3 rods today: Sage X 486, Scott Centric 486, Scott GS 484. All 3 were impressive. It’s worth mentioning that these rods were only tested with a Rio Perception line. IIRC these lines have a short, heavy head and are good for fishing close. It didn’t feel overweighted, but I won’t state that as fact.

The Sage X, while I wouldn’t necessarily judge it as fast, it was by far the fastest of these 3. It put me in mind of my Z Axis, with a softer tip. It was windy and the X was superior punching into the wind, but I didn’t try to put enough line out to say it would do a good job in the wind. I had some trouble hitting a hula hoop target with this rod. I would have blamed it on wind, but it was obvious that I was moving the rod tip in funny ways. I have an X 976, my new streamer stick. I haven’t fished it, and I’m anticipating a learning curve. It would have been the same with this 4wt. I moved on to...

The Scott Centric, which is much more intuitive and, for me, very precise. I really, really like this rod. I read someone’s comment here about a rod putting the fly where you want without even thinking about it. This is the closest I’ve ever experienced to that state of affairs. I was talking with the guy at the shop and plopping the leader down dead center hoop cast after cast without paying much attention. Again, it was windy. I moved the hoop around so I was casting with and against the wind, same results out to probably 50ft, where the wind took over. That’s enough, I’m after a creek rod here, I have 5 weights for windy days and a little more distance. I upped my TU membership to lifetime recently, taking advantage of their offer to send me a Centric 5 weight. I’m way, way looking forward to it now, after trying the 4 and I hope they feel similar. It was really the G Series I was hear to look at, though.

Which is a different rod from the Centric, also awesome. Very light in hand. Very ‘bendy’ throughout, without feeling like a noodle. The tip didn’t feel much softer than the rest of the rod, but is soft. Surprisingly, I thought it tracked extremely well, especially after the X, where my issues seemed located at the top of the rod. A joy to cast, almost effortless. Felt in control of the line 100%, something else I can’t say for the X. In the wind it had the range of the longer (by 2”) Centric but that won’t prove out in calm conditions. It wasn’t as dead-on accurate as the Centric either, but close. My overwhelming reaction to it, though, was the fun factor. 6” brookies and 8” rainbows are going to be way fun on this rod. It’s shorter by 2”, mostly a plus in the mountains, especially hiking. I wonder how it will fish a light nymph/indicator, but I suspect it will be fine as long as the ping pong ball sized air locks stay in the bag. I liked it enough I brought it home.

I own several Sage rods, which have always been my ‘go-to’ rods. The Centric today was the first Scott I ever touched. I was determined to test the G Series rod because there were several positive comments in this thread, and reviews online are all complimentary. I agree. Both these rods hit my sweet spot. I’m not one to notice the consistency of the wraps or the quality of the cork or the neatness of the epoxy. I’ll leave that to others.

I should add that I have no business at all being critical of the Sage X 4wt. I can’t pick up even a moderately fast rod and get it to work out of the gate. I have no doubt I would have given this rod higher marks after a day or two on the water. It’s not, however, my idea of a creek rod. Also, I make no claim as to the usefulness of these remarks to anyone else, and most definitely do not present myself as an expert.

I’m still way interested in the Stickman, Taylor and Douglas rods. I will surely own a Stickman near term, all the comments are too good.
 

partsman

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Thanks for a very informative review. I’ve been considering a small water 4 wt. myself Something to compliment my nrx 4 wt. keep us updated on your thoughts of the Scott.
Mike.
 

Meuniere

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Hi, Hardscrabble - congratulations on the G! I think you're dead-on- it will be a fun rod to fish, and that really, really matters. By the way, keep posting here - your writing conveys a particular approach and sensibility to this stuff that will benefit everyone here who fishes similar water/rods. Thanks for your perspective-
 

sweetandsalt

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It is rewarding when we have a discussion about a class of rods with all our varying opinions and the OP responds with a thoughtful comparative observation and a selection, good job.

On GS 8'4" try an SA Trout or RIO Tech Trout, it favors a true to weight line. Perception, I am not surprised, would overload the fine tip on the X, partially collapsing it. Did they have a Trout LL for you to try?
 

Hardscrabble

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It is rewarding when we have a discussion about a class of rods with all our varying opinions and the OP responds with a thoughtful comparative observation and a selection, good job.

On GS 8'4" try an SA Trout or RIO Tech Trout, it favors a true to weight line. Perception, I am not surprised, would overload the fine tip on the X, partially collapsing it. Did they have a Trout LL for you to try?
Thanks!

I have 2 trout tapers in hand, a Rio Tech Trout and a SA Amplitude Trout. Both are on reels and I’d like to try them this afternoon if the water has come down some.

I was disappointed the shop didn’t have an LL to test. If I haven’t already said It too many times, my fav rod is an old 4wt LL. I looked for the receipt some time back to see how long I’ve owned that rod but couldn’t find it. It must be 30 years. It’s my next-oldest remaining rod (my RPL is on permanent loan to my son). It made a permanent impression on me, to the point I have a ‘thing’ with stiffer rods and have trouble moving between them. It seems I can pick up about any ‘strange‘ mid-flex rod and immediately cast with authority, but if I have to work to flex a rod it takes me a while to adjust. This may be common among fisher folk, IDK.

I thought the new LL might be just the ticket. Your endorsement, jayr, OKplus, among others in other threads are pretty high on the rod and I’ve formed the impression it is likely an improvement (lighter, crisper, etc than the original). Im pretty careful to avoid accumulating ‘stuff’, but ask The War Dept how that’s working out for me (and her). I have discovered that the newer rods, at least some of them, are better performers than most all of my at least 20-year-old set of rods. That doesn’t mean Im replacing all of them, but a new 5wt Centric (on the way from TU thanks to my upgraded lifetime membership) and a yet-to-be-determined longer 4wt (I am thinking hard about 9’ 4wt Stickman) are on the horizon.
 

sweetandsalt

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Yes, the closest relationship between original LL and the new one is the name, taper and material construction are totally different. Of course the same is true between you new GS and the original late 70's model it is descended from.
 
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