winston air fly rod
Photo: Spencer Durrant

Review: Winston AIR fly rod

Winston's new SuperSilica rod outperforms some of its most heralded vintage graphite

I make no secret about being a Winston aficionado. I own a Winston rod from every production run except for a Loomis-rolled IM6. My quiver is predominantly emerald green.

So when I heard the news of a new rod from Winston I assumed that, as usual, the new rod would replace an existing rod series. However, with the AIR, that’s not the case. It’s a standalone series in weights 2 – 6.

And the more I fish it, the more I think it’s possibly the best fly rod Winston’s ever built.

Mystic Reaper 3 weight
The Mystic Reaper 3 weight (photo: Chris Hunt).

Review: Mystic Reaper fly rod

Chasing grayling, pike and more with Mystic's value rod

I’ve known about Mystic fly rods for a while now—several years. Designer and entrepreneur Dennis Klein and his wife, Victoria, who owns the business, make some fine fishing gear from the company’s small shop in Michigan. If you haven’t heard of Mystic, you need to.

sage x fly fy rod - savan river fly fishing - kamchatka, russia
Santos Madero fishes the Sage X on Kamchatka's Savan River (photo: Chad Shmukler).

Review: Sage X fly rod

Sage has its new classic on its hands

What makes a new rod a company’s biggest release ever? Or most important? Or even most noteworthy? It’s hard to imagine any objective measure. That said, it may be equally hard to imagine that when Sage introduced the X back in June, the Bainbridge Island rod maker hadn’t reached its biggest milestone to date.

Redington VICE fly rod
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Review: Redington VICE fly rod

Chasing reds with Redington's new fast-action value

Redington’s 9-weight VICE rod arrived on my porch in all its dapper glory about three weeks before my trip to the Louisiana marshes. Not really sure about which weight to choose, I settled on the middle option given by most experts. With the probability of high winds, the extra oomph of a nine would help in tossing a chunky offering to the red drum I’d been obsessing over for nearly two months.

hardy sirrus glass fly rod

Review: Hardy Sirrus Glass fly rod

Hardy's unique, new fiberglass-graphite hybrid rod has a lot going for it

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect when my local Hardy rep loaned me Hardy’s new glass-graphite hybrid. I’ve thrown my fair share of Hardy rods — the Zenith was incredible — but have typically found them to be a bit too fast to serve as a go-to rod for the type of Rocky Mountain small-stream fishing I spend most of my time doing.

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