Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Scott G2 Fly Rod

 
Scott describes the G2 fly rod as being their technical presentation series.  Scott has a history of making situation oriented or “tool” rods.  Rods that are made to give the angler exactly the characteristics needed for the task at hand.  In recent years rod makers have focused more and more on the “all around” rod.  A rod that can deliver delicate, small dries or emergers while protecting light tippets and an hour later throw an articulated streamer to the far bank. 

In recent years fly rod designers have come closer and closer to achieving the rod that can do it all… here’s the rub; even the best rods that can do it all don’t necessarily do it all pleasurably.  What does pleasurably mean?  It certainly means different things to different people.  I’ve found the general consensus to be, dry fly rods should be softer and slower with a more sensitive tip.  Nymph rods should be longer, have the power to chuck big indicators, heavy, multiple fly rigs and mend beautifully.  Streamer rods should be the most powerful of all; capable of throwing heavier sinking lines and flies the size of a small house pet. 

I take the stance that no fly rod made to date is the best tool on the market for all these situations.  Sure, there are a select few that lay claim to coming respectably close.  I’ve found that at least part of my enjoyment on the water is having the right tool for the job.  I want to vacillate between the realization that the rod in my hand is absolutely perfect for what I’m doing and it being so perfect I forget I have a rod in my hand… I know, I’m tough to please.  :-) 

This very desire is what made me fall in love with the G2.  It has a true medium to medium-fast action providing the caster with oodles of feedback and feel.  It is very well balanced and feels impressively light in hand.  At the risk of sounding weird, I compare casting this rod with taking a bite of a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie.  It’s so sweet, so smooth and gives you the feel you’re looking for.  I have not found a better tool for dry fly or light nymph angling.  The tip of the G2 has protected size 22 flies tied to frustratingly necessary 7X tippet.  The biggest disclaimer I must include is that the G2 is not a rod for windy conditions.  In a soft breeze or calm conditions it borders on poetic.  Enter a head wind and you’ll find yourself longing for the fast action rods so popular today. 

Aesthetically the G2 embodies the Scott DNA.  The burled elder reel seat with no fuss black components contrasts beautifully with Scott’s unsanded blank.  The finished, Trout Western grip is made from the top 5% of each years harvest and is individually hand sanded… not preformed.  Scott adds hand signing and 12” and 20” measuring wraps to its top-shelf guides to finish this beauty. 

I’ve spent significant time fishing or casting the following models in the G2 series, the 7’7” 3 weight, 8’8” 3 weight, 8’8” 4 weight, 9’ 4 weight, 8’8” 5 weight and 9’ 5 weight.  They are all really sweet but there are differences.  The 9 foot models have a more robust mid section making them a bit quicker and more readily suited to doing double duty with indicators and multiple nymph rigs while still being really pleasurable dry fly rods.  For those of us more likely to fish dries, both the 8’8” 4 and 5 weights are wonderful sticks. 

The good news is if you find yourself with any model of G2 in your quiver you’re not likely to be disappointed.  Scott had a tall task ahead when looking to replace the almost legendary original G series.  If memory serves me, the original G was the longest running, unchanged series in fly rods to date.  It’s still loved and sought after on the secondary market.  The G2 is everything its predecessor was while being much more.
 
- Jason R.

Airflo Super-Dri Fly Lines

 
 

Fly lines are too often under appreciated.  You can have the latest, greatest fly rod and reel outfit that set you back 3-4 months of food or 1-2 months of rent and it still not perform.  You can flail away, work too hard, or simply not be able to accomplish the cast you need.  Don’t save an extra $30-$40 on a cheap fly line, if necessary, save it on the rod or reel. 
There are a bevy of lines with varying tapers, materials and whiz-bang technologies out there that claim, in jargon-laden verbiage, why they are the greatest thing since slice bread.  The truth, as I see it, is that several of today’s top line manufacturers make great lines that will make your fishing experience more pleasurable and more effective. 
Airflo’s latest offering of freshwater lines is the Super-Dri series.  There are 5 different tapers of full floating lines, however this review is focusing on only 3 of them.
-       Elite
-       Exceed
-       Mend

I’ve fished these lines extensively and think all 3 are great.  Which one to choose depends on what tactics you choose to fish and what type of fly rod you own.  The things all 3 share in common are the new Super-Dri material that does a surprisingly good job of repelling water, dirt and other gunk.  The Super-Dri material is also self-lubricating and makes these 100% PVC free lines slick as snot.  Airflo has included their Ridge technology.  Essentially this means there are horizontal ridges running down the length of the fly line minimizing surface area contacting the guides.  This allows for an even smoother fly line that soars through the guides. 
The Super-Dri series features Airflo’s much loved, low stretch Power core.  The low stretch core gives more feedback throughout the cast and is especially good for providing great feel when tight-line or Euro nymphing.  Additionally, it makes for quick, positive hookups.
Elite:
The Elite taper is a true to weight line (not over-weighted to compensate for fast action rods) with a casting friendly taper.  As we know, most trout are caught at roughly 40 feet and closer.  The taper of your fly line will go a long way in determining how easily you can shoot fly line at close distances.  The Elite features a fairly aggressive 40 ft. head with a compact 7.5 ft. front taper.  This allows for more grain weight up front and provides good feel for short casts while making shooting line a breeze.  I’ve found this taper to be perfect for medium-fast and slower action rods or for experienced casters, accustom to timing, that prefer a lighter feel.  It will switch between dry fly and nymph fishing without skipping a beat.  You can also throw small streamers without too much effort thanks to its relatively aggressive taper.
Exceed:
The Exceed taper features a slightly over-weighted head perfect for many of today’s faster action fly rods.  Standard weighted lines are fine on fast rods with 40+ ft. of line out, however they becomes more difficult to feel and shoot when fishing up close.  The Exceed features an aggressive 38 ft. head and 6.5 ft. front taper that make loading, feeling and shooting line a pleasure.  This a great all around fly line for those who don’t want to carry extra spools and may switch from dries, nymphs and streamers throughout the day.  This line is great for anglers of all levels but is certainly recommended for beginning to intermediate anglers needing stronger casting feedback to master timing.  The extra weight up front also makes this a bit better in windy conditions.
Mend:
The Mend taper is very similar to the much-loved Salmon/Steelhead taper offered by many makers.  It boasts a long 52.5 ft. head and short 5 ft. front taper.  If you’re a nymph angler looking for a line to roll cast, mend like a dream and, when necessary, throw the nastiest of thingamabobber, heavily weighted multi-fly rigs… this is it.


- Jason R.