The Recon is built at the Orvis factory in Manchester, VT. I love the fast action that has very good butt and mid-section power, combined with a slightly softer tip. And he should know with all his fly-casting distance and accuracy championships won over the years. Add to Cart. Performance at 80 feet – 20 points availableAny good 8-weight rod needs to be able to hit 80 feet easily. A black anodized double uplocking seat is used. Even though the HD is stiffer than the X, I didn’t feel it cast better until I was trying to hit 100 feet. Double points awarded for performance categories. Decent balance and loop control, but the Recon and BVK were dramatically better. The Clearwater rod has long been a mainstay in the affordable rod category. G. Loomis – Lifetime warranty to original owner. This sighter makes it easy to see how much backing you have out as you are reeling it back onto the reel. As I mentioned before, I’ve never cast a rod that tracks as perfectly as the Asquith. The cork handle is a full wells design and felt just right. Not much for guts and this hurt the accuracy. Their choices sometimes differ from mine, but we are almost always in general agreement on the top 4-6 rods in the Shootout. Redington Path II Outfit Fishing Rod with Crosswater Reel 4PC Visit the Redington Store. #5. The rings are quite large in diameter and easy to grip. Plenty of power to reach out and throw long. I would have broken most other rods with the kind of bend I was putting in the Asquith. The Sage X and Douglas Sky were slightly better here. It was also one of the heavier rods in both overall and swing weights, so it lost a lot of points here, and it was more tiring to cast than much lighter rods like the Asquith, Meridian, Helios 3F and Exocett. Like the Tibor reels we’ve used in the past, the Nautilus reels are bulletproof and will provide a lifetime of enjoyable service. Loop uses a full wells handle with contrasting corks at top and bottom and a fairly large swell in the middle of the grip. Once we had the whole 100 feet stretched out, we would strip the lines into loose coils at our feet. The swing weight of the rod is the weight you feel out ahead of your hand, when you hold the rod in a horizontal position. And i … Orvis Helios 3F 9 foot #8 $898.00. Impressive at mid-range. This is a fast action rod like the SKY, with the same slightly softer tip. And it was far lighter in swing weight. I’ve had them doubled over playing trout up to 20 pounds, big permit and tarpon. Our advice is that if you can afford it, buy the best. First, we zero out the scale with a small foam pellet in the center of the scale, which we will use for a fulcrum on which we will rest the grip of the rod. When I got a chance to test cast the new version of the Clearwater, it cast well and certainly felt worth the money. The handle is a full wells design with excellent quality cork. rainbows in both Alaska and at Jurassic Lake. These are the rods that you pick up, and make just one cast and you know they are something special. TFO Axiom II 9 foot #8 $339.95. 12′ 1X (14.5 lb. For good anglers who have the ability to cast at extreme long range, the ability for a rod to perform well can often make the difference between catching fish or not. Please try again later. For $35, broken sections are replaced and the turn around time is two weeks or less. Of course I instantly defaulted to the TFO BVK, my go-to rod for the less than $500 crowd. You’ll never regret it. Nothing tracks better than this rod, nor is more accurate. It is a complex three-step process. In the final results it lost a lot of points in both the price and warranty categories but still managed to barely edge out our last 8-weight winner – the Scott Meridian. Add to Wish List Compare this Product. The guide set up is only one SiC stripping guide, followed up with large size hard chrome snake guides and an oversize tiptop. The cork handle is a full wells, with the same kind of stack of thin, high quality cork found on the Loomis and Scott rods. These leaders are all hand tied, and hand tested by us here at the shop. We had 10 identical Nautilus G-7/8 reels set up with our favorite bonefish line, the new Scientific Anglers Amplitude Bonefish Taper in WF-8-F. On the lines we used our own 12-foot-1X Yellowstone Angler hand tied bonefish leaders since they simply cast better and more accurately than any of the knotless leaders. For this kind of money it is easy to overlook things like the tiny locking rings on the reel seat or the lack of a hard case. I’m sorry if we offend some people or manufacturers. Look at the coatings on the rod wraps. But this rod has plenty of beans to cast long too. For guides, Hardy uses two standard SiC stripping guides followed up with dark hard chrome one -foot guides, but these are not the good flexible ones we found on the Zephrus. We realize many anglers will rarely cast this far, however the 100-foot mark is important because it helps us judge the power of each fly rod. The cork grip is sufficient, but is nothing to write home about. However, I think Orvis took a small step back with their updates to the new, 2019 Clearwater rods that are available on their website. Bring your pliers as you are going to need them. Superb accuracy, but the Meridian and Helios 3F had more feel with an equally light swing weight. The DXF and Motive were a lot better at extreme long range. Decent accuracy, but not nearly as much feel as the best rods. The rest of the guides are the good flexible nickel/titanium one-foot guides with an oversize tiptop. The Meridian is especially sweet at the short to medium distances where anglers are fishing much of the time. The components are absolutely top shelf too. Like the other SKY rods, this is a good-looking rod. Both the Meridian and Exocett were giving me tighter loops and better accuracy. It’s a pleasant rod to cast but it did lack the firepower of the best rods. Are you comfortable showing up with a $189 rod on your next $6000 bonefish trip when all your buddies have the hottest $800-$1000 rods? Both of these rods have a similar action and deflected in a similar manner, with the same amount of power. The guide set up is one of the best we’ve seen yet – two big titanium SiC stripping guides followed up with flexible nickel/titanium snake guides and an oversize tip top. There are four aspects of the fly fishing rod that were looked at in this article. The natural colored rod blank offers a medium/fast action and the power the rod provides seems accurate for its relative weight. Performance at 35 feet: 18.5 points out of 20. The Meridian and Helios 3F were FAR better. The idea is to show you where the start of the fly line is when you are playing a fish that has run well into your backing. Two black wire recoil stripping guides are used, followed up with the best flexible nickel/titanium snake guides in a black pearl color. The sweet spots for the Exocett were the two middle distances, where it formed beautiful, tight loops. Nowhere near the pop and zing I was getting with the Meridian. Surprisingly the 3F still did very well out long, matching the Meridian and Exocett! Shorter distances are the sweet spot for this rod. I wish more of the rods in our Shootout had rings as good as these! Thanks. Both the BVK and Aetos felt better. The rod itself is an extremely dark blue called “Squid Ink,” with some blue trim wraps on the butt. The Nautilus reels also have a lower start up inertia than any of the reels we tested. Not really sure about which weight to choose, I settled on the middle option given by most experts. Are they better? I thought that the Meridian and the Exocett were also better at 100 feet. A fairly wide but short extension butt is used with composite cork on the end that matches what is used on the grip. The best cork handles are laid up with individually selected, near perfect cork rings, then sanded down to size. I got my first look at the new Loomis Asquith at the ICAST show in Orlando. Like other Redington rods, the VICE is manufactured in Korea. It has a nice, easy casting motion that’s perfect to learn and grow with. Even though very light, the Recon has plenty of power, except at the very longest distance. Similar to the Echo Base, the Redington Path rod is heavier than most moderately priced fly rods, but can still be fished all day without too much arm fatigue. It’s hard to gripe about the cheap components, especially for such a ridiculously low price. They also feature a great disc drag system sealed within the hub. My son, Jamie is also a fanatical fly fisherman and a great caster. At this distance you need the rod to have the power to rip a good back cast and fire it in there on the forward stroke without much of a double haul and not shooting any line. We are just trying to call it like we see it, in an unbiased manner. Orvis; Redington; Sage; Echo; TFO; Hardy; Echo; Fenwick; Hardy; Lamson; Orvis; R.L. For one thing, they are very light rods and far, far lighter than Sage’s new Salt HD. In the next fifteen minutes I caught two nice bonefish that I would have never gotten if I could not have launched that fly over 100 feet.”. I believe those to be some of the biggest aspects when buying a fly fishing rod. To get a 10, repair charges had to be $35 or less with a quick turn around time of less than two weeks. Rod guides are two SiC stripping guides followed with hard chrome snake guides with an oversized tiptop. Herewith are the results of our 2018 8-weight Shootout. #20. At 4.3 ounces, the 8 weight Vapen would have been considered a really light rod just a few years ago. At 60 and 80 feet though, it hung in there with the best rods. The weight in hand is heavier than I like. There is also a combo available, which includes a machined aluminum reel, entry level fly line, and a leader. As on the Reaper, the guide wrap epoxy coatings were very good. Reviewed in the United States on January 30, 2020. I guess I need to test the two to really decide at my local fly shop. No way is this seat going to hold a heavier saltwater reel for very long. Now all that power redeems itself with the ability to form long tight loops. The black anodized double uplocking seat works well enough but the rings are smaller and much harder for me to grip than the ones on say the Asquith or Helios 3F. Rather than an insert, they use three round aluminum legs that allow you to see the actual blank in the middle of the seat. Unfortunately, th… The Path comes with Redington's Lifetime Warranty. We round the weight to .1 of an ounce to make it easier to compare one rod with another. Shockingly, this entry level rod comes with Echo's Full Lifetime Warranty. #16 (tie) Scott Tidal 9 foot #8 $495.00. Like other TFO rods, the Axiom II is manufactured in Korea. Scott uses absolutely the best components on this rod. Douglas’ head rod designer, Fred Contaoi did a heck of a job reworking this rod and got the action just right. Redington VICE 9 foot #8 $199.95. It was heavier than all the best rods in both overall and swing weight. A little silver trim is found on the butt section. A lot of people come to mind, but fellows like Steve Rajeff (G.Loomis), Howard Croston (Hardy), and Fred Contaoi (Douglas) are guys I’ve spent time fishing with on small streams, big rivers and in the salt. Performance at 80 feet: 18 points out of 20. You’ll never regret it. Check out the deal on Redington Path 890-4 Fly Rod Outfit : 8wt 9'0" ON SALE! All very tasteful. Review: Redington BEHEMOTH fly reel. $75 on recent rods within 10 years, $125 on Classic older rods. As in the past, you will be amazed at how well some of the inexpensive rods do compared to rods that cost hundreds of dollars more. The guides are two SiC strippers, but smaller than what we found on the Crux. Each section is numbered on the lower side, making it easy to line up all the pieces. The reel seat is a gray anodized, double uplocking affair, but a very unusual design. We were anxious to see how the latest new rods would stack up against our top 2016 Shootout rods like the Scott Meridian and Loomis NRX. Alignment dots are used on all sections. Regarding offerings and warranties, the 4-piece Echo Base is offered in models from 3wt up to 8wt. At the longest distances the X lacks the power of the best rods. Rods are repaired, not replaced. Build Quality. But a glance at our top rods deflection board will show you that the X has a much stiffer tip than the Orvis Helios 3F and even the Asquith, and this is the main reason it didn’t perform as well at 35 feet. The beauty of this process is that it uses 15-20% less graphite to get the exact same strength as the NRX, which we know from experience is stronger than any other rods we’ve used. Anything less simply won't be up to the task. Behemoth. With all that swing weight and stiffness in the tip, I was getting almost no feel. Out long, the Salt HD had more beans. This is a bad ass looking rod, almost black at first glance, finished in deep dark green they call “Black Spruce.” Similar colored wraps are used that are trimmed with a little silver on the butt section. The top scoring rods are easy to cast off the tip of the rod with very little effort. A short fighting butt with a large rubber cap is used that will be comfortable when you are cranking on big fish. This is a classy looking rod. There was a problem filtering reviews right now. A very short fighting butt with a rubber cap is used. Casting all these rods on a heads up basis is the only good way to determine the subtle differences among the rods and get a good feel for how they compare at the different distances. When you get the rod, do some casting on the lawn, and if you feel it is not just what you want, and it has not been fished and looks 100% new, we’ll allow you to return it to us for a full refund, less the shipping charges. #25. They give you the confidence to put the fly where you want it at any distance. Once again a Helios was the lightest rod in swing weight, but now there are three other rods that match it – the Asquith, Meridian, and Exocett. Mid range is the sweet spot for this rod. Under $400, the Douglas DXF and Hardy Shadow are neck and neck and terrific rods for the money. I had trouble hitting 100 feet. 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