New Fly Rods are Coming
Fly Rod Manufacturers are endlessly trying to create the latest and greatest fly rods by improving the technology, durability, and craftsmanship of their respective sticks. Sometimes new rods seem to be simply repackaged and resold with a different name on them, while at other times truly revolutionary changes occur and raise the bar higher.
Two of my favorite fly rod manufacturers, Sage (Sage Method) and Scott (Scott Radian), have released high performance rods that should be available in retail stores by the end of August 2013 (I believe). In addition, a new and promising Redington rod will also be available around the same time providing consumers with a much more affordable option.
The Sage Method will be replacing the Sage TCX, so as you might expect it is an ultra-fast rod that will likely be capable of bombing long casts with tight loops. Based on some reviews and Sage’s description, this rod will be able to cut wind and throw larger bugs with relative ease. As far as the craftsmanship and look, here’s the description by Sage “The magma red colored shaft of the METHOD is complemented by rust colored primary thread wraps and pewter trim wraps. Fuji ceramic stripping guides and robust guide sets round out the features of this high-end rod series. The rods come in a black rod sock with a red silk-screen and are protected in a fusion red powder-coated rod tube with a silver-colored medallion and gloss black end caps.” That’s right, a red shaft! Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about that – it maybe really cool or really not cool, I’ll have to see it and hold it first before judging.
I’m not exactly sure how this rod’s performance will compare to the TCX, but when Sage releases new high-end rods they definitely tend to represent a distinct product from the predecessor rod. This rod will retail from $800 – $1050, so it’s one of the most expensive rods in its’ class. You can view Sage’s description of the Method right here.
The new Scott Radian will be replacing the S4 AND based on reviews and Scott’s description, this will be a huge improvement. I personally was not a huge fan of the S4 as I thought it felt rather clunky, bulky, heavy, and didn’t provide much feedback during casting that allows the caster to easily feel the rod load. Now I realize that many people loved the S4, so I’m just simply stating my opinion here.
Anyway, this rod is described as an all around rod capable of throwing small dries on light tippets or larger streamers to the other side of the river, while providing great mending capability for nymphing. If the reviews are accurate, this rod probably does what the S4 should have done. It sounds like a medium-fast to fast action rod (for Scott standards) and will provide a stiffer alternative to the G2 which is an excellent dry fly rod but a little too soft to serve most other purposes (at least for my liking).
This rod will retail at $795, which is a price to be expected given it’s purpose and place in Scott’s rod hierarchy. For more info on the Radian, check out Scott’s description here.
Redington Vapen Red
Ok, so here’s a new rod that is certainly more affordable yet has received a good deal of praise. Ranging in price from $300 - $350, you won’t have to break the bank to fish this rod. I read on the American Angler website that the “Redington took the top prize in the fly rod category for the Vapen Red at the European Fishing Tackle Trade Exhibition (EFTTEX) in Vienna, Austria.” This is a fast action powerful rod that I’ve heard/read is not great for short casts or smaller streams, but may be well worth it’s buck if reserved for medium to larger streams where medium to longer distance casts are the rule rather than the exception.
An interesting and unique component of this rod is the grip. Redington collaborated with Winn Grips (a company that makes golf club grips), to produce a non-cork grip much different from anything we are used to seeing on a fly rod. Although it is a little too “different” and “golf club-like” for my liking, some of the field testers have reported it to be quite functional.
To read more about this rod, click here.