Anyone who knows me knows that I am a gear hound. I love fly fishing gear. However, over the years I have found my favorites amongst many companies and have stuck with them. When it comes to fly rods, I have fished many brands and have hopped around to say the least. But, I have to say that I have finally found "the rod" for me. I recently took the plunge into fishing Scott rods, specifically the Scott S4 and S4S series. All I have to say is, wow (okay, that's not really all). These fly rods are the best fly rods I have ever fished with.
First the S4. These are the sticks I am using for almost all of my trout fishing, including a 9 foot 5 weight for dry fly fishing, a 10 foot 5 weight for nymphing, and a S4S 6 weight for streamers (I also have a G2 for light line dry fly fishing). Anyway, the S4 rods. As advertised, they are very fast and can generate high line speeds. They load and unload very quickly, at long and short distances alike, and match my casting tempo perfectly. They are quick, responsive and very powerful. Casting long distances and punching out line are a breeze with the S4.
The S4 rods are very light in the hand, which makes casting all day a pleasure. The also rods track extremely well. The fly goes where you cast it, making hitting your target effortless. It is a very smooth, fluid casting rod. Another great aspect of the S4 rods is that despite being fast/tip flex rods, they are sensitive and can detect the lightest of takes and strikes. This is especially important when nymphing.
Aesthetically, these are the most beautiful rods I have ever fished with. The graphite has the original color which is a stealthy grey. The reel seat is buckeye burl, which is simply the nicest looking wood reel seat I have ever encountered. Nickel silver hardware. Titanium Recoil guides give you a piece of mind so you don't have to worry about breaking them, unless of course you close it in a car door. But lets not go there, shall we? Scott, known for it's finer touches, also included alignment dots as well as fish measuring wraps which are welcome features.
The 9 foot 5 weight has performed wonderfully at long and short distances alike. It can make those long bomb casts as well as those nice delicate presentations that are needed, especially when fishing small flies to weary fish. Although often claimed by rod makers, this 9 foot 5 weight Scott S4 really is a "do it all" tool. I personally like a 5wt for dry fly fishing because I think it is plenty of rod for big fish and not too much rod for smaller fish. You can go long or go short on your casts. Go big or small with flies. I also use it for an all around rod on smaller rivers and streams.
The 10 foot 5 weight is my go to nymph stick. It packs lots of power to really set the hook hard and bring the fish off the bottom as well as the ability to bomb an indicator rig with shot and multiple flies. Again, even though it is fast and responsive, it does have a sensitive tip for detecting the lightest of strikes with or without an indicator. The extra foot allows for better line control and mending especially at longer distances. It allows you to have longer drag free drifts to keep your flies in the feeding zone longer, and like the 9 foot 5 weight, it pleasurably handles big and small fish alike. The rod also offers a great deal of power in the butt section for fighting, controlling, and stopping fish from going places you don't want them going. As mentioned, these rods are light in the hand. Even though I am casting a 10 footer, I feel like I am casting a 9 footer. This is simply the best nymphing rod I have ever used. "Amazing" is how I describe it.
I highly recommend that if you are in the market for purchasing a premium, top shelf fly rod, look no further. Scott has created one of the best (for me personally, the best) fly rods out there. Stop by your local fly shop and ask to cast one. I promise you, you will not be disappointed.
S4S review coming soon.