Sage LL vs Scott GS vs Winston Pure Comparison- Solid info from Telluride Angler

2rjs

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I always enjoy Telluride's reviews and find them accurate based on the rods I have experience with.
 

sweetandsalt

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The comparison article came out today- here's the link:

Winston Pure vs Sage Trout LL vs Scott G Series - model by model review[/Q

Thank you for posting this link, I went and read the whole comparison. And a conceptually interesting one taking three class completive rod series and matching them by size and line weight. The one thing that confused me overall, and I admit to trying to read between the lines as I know they don't want to write anything negative about any of these individual rods, was their reference to "line speed". They seemed to imply that high line speed, tight loops were somehow counter appropriate to delicate presentation when talking about the 8 1/2'/#4's while one that I know to be a mush tip would lay a fly down more gently...ummm, it is the opposite I do believe. Now I have only cast a few of the rods referenced in this comparison and while I hear them and concur on the 8'4"/#4 GS, I do not on the mostly lackluster Pure (except for the 8'/#4 except the GS is clearly a better design) and, the only T LL I've cast is their loved 9'/#5 which is very nice but in my opinion is NOT a great all-round #5...not for me anyway. I can only hope as I look forward to sampling additional T LL's that they are applying an alternative set of fly rod performance values/opinions, perhaps more freestone biased, than I do for slicker, more technical waters.
 

steveid

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With my T LL on the way, I’m very happy to hear that it doesn’t compare to the Winston Pure.

Someday I’ll try the Scott, but the unsanded blanks don’t appeal to me. I’ve been in the carbon fiber business, and cellophane marks on carbon harken to an unfinished product/WIP to me.
 

cooutlaw

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Although I personally respect and trust Telluride Anglers reviews and opinions (mostly because I also know the reviewers first hand) far moreso than I do a YA shootout or similar, I also believe that any review information given by vendors or online media sources must be taken as merely a guideline opinion or baseline from which one can form a familiarity of product by extracting the various takeaways presented on each. Merely a gauge by which one can start to form their own opinions of possible best environments of usage and basic depth of capabilities for each rod. This said, I also realize that like of a rod varies by every individual set of hands that touches it, and what may float one's boat, doesn't even leave the dock for another.

Further, when many of the reviews are written, they must do so to cover a broad spectrum of readers from the first rod novice to the seasoned veteran fly fisher. They also must make a decisive baseline of what "average" or "all around" fishing conditions are.....which is perhaps the most challenging aspect of a review...what is "average" or "all around" water size for every angler on the planet? Because it varies so dramatically, large, medium, and smaller water could mean very different things for many anglers just by their geographic location and/or the waters they prefer to chase quarry in....especially for well traveled anglers. And although reviewers, TA included, will sometimes make reference to "great rod for Patagonia"...this is refrained from on general reviews as the merit of such verbiage is limited in value to mass readership.

As such, I believe the challenge comes to reviewers in forming a baseline of fishing conditions and environments with which to call "average" or "all around" in forming usage of product. IE: an all around rod in CO is not an all around rod in WA, FL, AK, or even MT for that matter. Tailwaters vary from Freestones, vary from headwaters, vary from monstrous watershed holdings.

In TA's instance, the test waters vary from the Gunnison, to the Delores (upper and lower) and a myriad of other waters including high country streams and creeks. None of these are Missouri or Delaware size water but many are highly pressured and require specialty techniques for successful angling, especially the lower D where any angler on earth will test their metal on very educated and particularly finnicky fish, requiring long leaders and extremely light tippet with perfectly placed casts of micro flies in the 25-40' range is the norm. The Gunnison Gorge is very rugged and tough country, and after hiking miles of canyon to enter, one would not want to have forgotten any equipment, including a rod assortment for varied fishing techniques.

For new anglers in Colorado, most shops will recommend a moderate 9' 5wt as an "all around rod", this is because an all around in CO must fish small tailwaters (or even streams) to mid size rivers and be able to nymph, throw dries (micro to hopper- droppers), and light streamers....versatile enough for all, specialized enough for none. Arguably, this same rod could be left at home if fishing MT. Most anglers will then be encouraged to further build their rod collection to better serve other fishing needs and environments.

Point being, extracting one's take on "all around" rod is difficult....with TA I understand their baseline for "all around" being centralized around Colorado based angling experiences and the needs that involves. Albeit biased to CO water size it does provide we readers a baseline- but obviously environmental adjustment is the appropriate way to digest their insights and opinions.

As always, reviews and comparisons should be baselines for individuals to form their own more in-depth research and more importantly their own opinion of what works best for their unique needs and preferences.

Shy of casting all of these rods for ourselves, these comparisons are nice, and helpful, for garnering a feel for what rods might potentially interest us individually. In general, a monumental undertaking, perhaps saving us time in our exploration of potential new rods.
 
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ixoye

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I am glad i bought Scott GS 773-4 for my medium creek fishing, it is really something special, a fantastic versatile rod.
 

sweetandsalt

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Well, I know that you, cooutlaw, go and cast the individual rods yourself and builld a specialized collection of excellent rods tailored to your habitats. Me too. You also know that when I write about a rod, I am specific in where and how I fished it and what it was optimally suited to do...likely not how versatile it might be.

I do not know the gentlemen at Telluride Anger but I do prefer their approach to Yellowstone Anglers know-it-all competitiveness bracketed by perverse biases. Folks from all over read their reviews though and while I haven't fished the Gunnison in some 35+ years, I don't think the 9'/#5 I might fish there would be different from the one I'd fish in Montana, NY or for that matter Argentine Patagonia.

Every rare once in a while I get to test/fish a new rod that has yet to be reviewed by anyone, sometimes not even released yet. This year it was Taylor's Truth, last year DART in final prototype, pre-released form. Fishing a rod with zero expectations or coloration of potential, all insights being yours alone, is fascinating. Once the rod is professionally reviewed, inevitably you are comparing your impressions against those of the pros.

I believe many of us do not trust our own opinions on many things. We are buying a new mattress (its is mattress sale time now) and while I know a little I am still inclined to take the advise of the professional sales person that sells multiple brands. Do we listen to what our politicians or candidates really are saying or what TV journalists are telling or interpreting for us what they said? Many fly fishers do not believe in or trust their own casting analytic skills and are disproportionally influenced by commercial on-line reviewers. And then, when they spring for the newest and bestest and some one says no, THIS one is the best...they become defensively irritated as their choice has been questioned. I suppose it is the world we live in today.
 

cooutlaw

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Well, I know that you, cooutlaw, go and cast the individual rods yourself and builld a specialized collection of excellent rods tailored to your habitats. Me too. You also know that when I write about a rod, I am specific in where and how I fished it and what it was optimally suited to do...likely not how versatile it might be.

I do not know the gentlemen at Telluride Anger but I do prefer their approach to Yellowstone Anglers know-it-all competitiveness bracketed by perverse biases. Folks from all over read their reviews though and while I haven't fished the Gunnison in some 35+ years, I don't think the 9'/#5 I might fish there would be different from the one I'd fish in Montana, NY or for that matter Argentine Patagonia.

Every rare once in a while I get to test/fish a new rod that has yet to be reviewed by anyone, sometimes not even released yet. This year it was Taylor's Truth, last year DART in final prototype, pre-released form. Fishing a rod with zero expectations or coloration of potential, all insights being yours alone, is fascinating. Once the rod is professionally reviewed, inevitably you are comparing your impressions against those of the pros.

I believe many of us do not trust our own opinions on many things. We are buying a new mattress (its is mattress sale time now) and while I know a little I am still inclined to take the advise of the professional sales person that sells multiple brands. Do we listen to what our politicians or candidates really are saying or what TV journalists are telling or interpreting for us what they said? Many fly fishers do not believe in or trust their own casting analytic skills and are disproportionally influenced by commercial on-line reviewers. And then, when they spring for the newest and bestest and some one says no, THIS one is the best...they become defensively irritated as their choice has been questioned. I suppose it is the world we live in today.
I do indeed believe you are spot on as usual S&S. My previous lengthy post, as usual, included some "eluding" to points surrounding reviews and comparisons, and also as usual, was softened. No review should ever be considered Gospel, individuals may have completely different desires and needs than any reviewer.....I was however supporting, like you, that comparisons like this TA version do offer value and although needing to be adjusted for individual preferences and digested knowing they a biased to locally CO fished waters, they are far more valuable for individuals to form a baseline to explore from than vendor biased, sell you a magic rod, dog and pony show reviews.

And yes, you are correct, the Gunnison I listed above via description, is the one water where larger armory would come into play....most all TA's local tailwaters are 4wt & moderate 5wt biased, where scrolling down to bigger boned 5wts or moderate 6wts would fall into the "Gunnison Rod" class. Colorado water, predominantly falls into the first category...."all around" 5wt in this comparison, in their verbiage, I assume to be meant as a versatile, go to tailwater/freestone rod that could be covered by either a larger 4wt or moderate 5wt. I do think the comparison could have been improved if they would have specified the water used for each rod class....maybe pictures too....but I can imagine it was large undertaking as it is.

I have always loved fly fishing for the variety of choices it provides, I don't view any of them as right or wrong, they are just different, different for varied habitat, skill levels, affordability, individual preferences, etc. This is why, to your other point, I always try to encourage everyone, as I did above post, to "choose for themselves" and not take any industry publishing as gospel that applies to their unique needs and preferences. Yes, I will offer my opinion on gear I have used and am familiar with, but it's just my opinion, I hope others use it as a baseline to make their own determinations, as I hope they do with these review/comparison articles.

I do also agree that perhaps too much influence is given to media and others opinion...disproportionately so... and too much personal preference is often held as irrefutable fact...and too much defensive irritation can be raised when comparisons are flying about, but I would suggest to all anglers to allow maturity and logic to prevail and realize that if the gear suits your needs and preferences and performs as you like, then why does any comparison or opinion matter?

Thinking for oneself may indeed be becoming a lost art form. After all, why does anyone need to know anything, they can just google it right?.... Oh wait....the Google responses will also contain a hundred differing opinions too - now what do we do? Yes, the world we live in.
 

Upstate08

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Trying to resurrect this article but it seems to be solidly embedded in the grave of the interwebs. Anyone else unable to open the link above? Is there a way to gain access to it?
 

rsagebrush

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Maybe the water changed, went down or up and they have to do it all over again.:unsure: Look for the revised update taking into account the current water conditions.
 

johan851

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I load Telluride's deleted content via web.archive.org, which usually has snapshots of old pages. Here it is. Be patient, it takes a bit to load...

I wish Telluride wouldn't go deleting their old reviews. They often get rid of their great model-by-model comparisons once a rod is discontinued. The reviews on the Radian are hard to find now, for example... maybe because the reviews on Centric discuss all the faults of the Radian that were mysteriously absent when it first came out... :D
 

Upstate08

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I got in touch with TA and the article isn’t working on their end either. It hasn’t been deleted and they weren’t aware it wasn’t loading. Should be back up in a day or two. I think it was something to do with water levels, or maybe barometric pressure...
 

the norseman

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Thank you for getting the Link fixed. Very good Read. It really
confirms what my next Fly Rod will be.

I really like the Scott Fly Rods that I have fished with. So, l
can see a Made in America, Scott GS 4wt in my future.

I’m pretty boring, I just want to Fly Fish, I don’t want to
over think things, use what I know works, and buy
the expensive Scott Rods.
 
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