Test: Scott F Series fly rod | Outbreak Magazine


I remember packing my bags at the trailhead of a small tributary of the South Fork of the Snake River that fateful evening some 20 years ago. It was almost dark and the mosquitoes were on me the second I took off my waders. The sun had set under the Big Hole Mountains, and everything took on a universal cold in the Rockies.

No sun. No heat. We don’t have those sultry southern evenings here in the mountains. When the sun goes behind mountains, it steals heat from the bottom of rivers. And the bugs come out. It sucks to be you if you’re trapped.

And you do desperate things when the bloodsuckers find you. You rush. Maybe you just threw your wet waders in the bed of the truck. And your wet boots. No folding. No strategic placement. Maybe you quickly snap off the rod, but you don’t tie the sock up, choosing instead to retreat to the truck’s cabin for a sip of water and relative safety from the soul-sucking bugs that have emptied your. blood and your mind in no time. minutes.

An incredible day of native cutthroat fishing had ended, followed by a forced retreat to the truck. All packed, it was time to get home – a 90 minute drive in the dark.

But this story really begins at a pawnshop in Pocatello, Idaho. There in the bargain barrel I had spotted a Scott two-piece fiberglass fly rod of unknown lineage – had no idea how old the tool was, but when I got it lifted from the barrel and performed the prior movement, I knew I had to have it. Lightweight and lightweight, this 6ft, 2weight cane could become my favorite little brook cane if I could get the price I needed to appease my meager journalist salary.

Taking care to hide my joy from the pick, I walked casually to the counter.

“How much?” I asked the clerk, hoping against all hope he didn’t know what was on his hands.

“One hundred dollars,” he replied quickly. I laughed and shook my head. It was masterful.

“Oh, hell no. I’ll give you 40.

“Sixty.”

“Ended.”

Case of the century.

It came in a small pouch, but the store did not provide any tubes. Regardless – I made a usable replacement from PVC pipe. For two summers, I barely lifted another rod – little Scott was going to be my creek fishing rod of a lifetime.

And then came that fateful evening when the sun sank behind the mountains and every mosquito in Swan Valley has come after me with a vengeance. I have never taken off the waders and boots so quickly. I have never put away a cane so quickly. The fucking bugs were sucking the loose threads of my soul, and it was time to get the hell out of it.

And, as you might expect, I paid for it. For, in my disorganized retreat, I managed to arrive home with an empty rod tube – I remembered leaning the rod against the cross fence at the trailhead as I hurriedly unleashed. I didn’t remember, of course, slipping my favorite fishing rod into her sock or putting it in her tube.

Hell yes, I went back to the trailhead. Another 90 minutes full of anguish. Now, completely dark outside, I drove slowly down the gravel road, hoping I had managed to put the rod and reel (a small, inexpensive Pflueger medalist) on the tailgate and it had bounced off the path. of civilization.

Nothing.

I got to the trailhead and turned on headlights all around the parking lot. I checked the fences. Headlamp shining in front of me, I looked everywhere.

My favorite little cane was gone. To this day, this pain still rests in my soul. But, lesson learned. I’ll get as many bites as it takes, as long as I know I’ve packed responsibly. But what a lesson.

Then, last fall at the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show in Denver, I ran into my old friend Frank Smethurst. I’ve known Frank for years. He hosted Trout Unlimited’s “On the Rise” TV show at the time, and he’s been a pro for Scott for as long as I can remember.

Frank put Scott’s latest drink offering in my hands while we caught up with the show – the supple and incredibly beautiful F series. I was stunned. Memories of two great summers hunting cuties in the highlands of Idaho came back. Was it possible? Had Scott replaced the perfect snorting rod with… the even more perfect snorting rod?

What works

Glass

Scott’s new F-Series is technologically superior to any glass rod ever made by the manufacturer – and keep in mind that Scott was a glass pioneer when it was created in the early 1970s, long before graphite was introduced. becomes a staple food for fly rods. The company’s new “E-glass” is touted as “an innovative highly unidirectional glass and epoxy composite” which is said to not only charge a little faster, but also recover a little faster. Mission accomplished. As I stood there with Frank at the IFTD casting pond, I was absolutely impressed with how quickly my glass casting memory came back and how easy it was to load and throw the rod at 2 weights. A few months later, on a small stream in Patagonia, I threw the little rod over some really big and wild browns and rainbows (probably not the perfect environment for such a waifish fly rod), and I came away impressed not only with the rod’s ability to help me cast accurately in close quarters, but also to fight fish in the 16-18 inch range. It was an extreme test for such a tool, but I left Argentina even more infatuated with the F-Series than I was after the IFTD casting pool session.

Close range accuracy

This is where the F series really shines. The small weight 2 became an innate extension of my throwing arm, and I was amazed at how well I was able to throw a fairly large dry fly (I was using a black ant pattern) about 30 feet away. from where I was standing. Also, the rod seemed intuitive – I understand having 30 years of experience in small streams is something not all fly throwers will have, but I also understand that glass fishing is an exercise in patience. , no power. I honestly believe that anyone who is able to slow down their cast a bit and find the pace to match that rod can become a better, more accurate short distance thrower. Creek lovers rejoice – this rod makes you better. It lets you jump flies under an overhanging brush, light a fly in a basketball hoop-sized pool of freshwater, and send a longer throw upstream with surprising punch, and on the target to start.

Loading in a single pour

Often times, because glass rods are a bit slower than today’s fast-acting graphite and composite rods, they don’t pick up the line as quickly or allow for a quick overhaul. The F series is the exception, especially in close quarters. This is, of course, the attraction for anglers who like to throw glass – the more time the fly spends on the water, the more likely we are to catch trout. Even in the 2-weight model, the F-Series has enough backbone to lift, backcast and then recast immediately, without the need for a false throw to rebuild momentum. This is perhaps the best feature of the rod – it can help an angler cast quickly, recover quickly, and put a fly on target with 5 to 30 feet of line outside of the tip of the rod. cane.

Construction

Scott didn’t skimp. The rod features the Scott branded natural finish (you can actually feel the glass wrap around the rod, as you can with all of the company’s products), solid but feather light titanium hardware, cork comfortable high quality handle and a lightweight friction reel seat. There are also a few sweet little touches, like alignment points to help anglers quickly assemble the four-piece rod and handy measuring envelopes that help you determine the size of trout when they’re at hand. . Plus, in Scott’s new “khaki” color, the cane looks absolutely gorgeous.

Sensitivity

Both when casting and, more importantly, when fighting fish, the F-Series seems to encourage a more intimate connection with the angling environment. From lifting the line out of the water to tackling a six-inch brook trout, the rod ensures the angler is in tune with what’s going on. Yes, glass gives a little brookie a little more heft, but after catching big rainbows with the same cane, I know every nod, every jump and every spirited run sneaks up to the handle of the rod, and the bigger the fish, the deeper the bend.

What not

Length

Over the years, I have grown to appreciate the lightweight fly rods which also stretch a bit further when it comes to rod length (I have a 9ft 3 weight which I love because I can go from dry fly fishing to nymph to high stick with a simple fly change). Scott didn’t tick that box with the F Series (and, honestly, that was probably intentional). I like the idea of ​​being able to tip a longer rod over pocket water and dap flies in likely spots – the F series is not the best rod for this type of fishing – 3-way models and 4 weights are available in 7-foot, 2-inch length, which makes them the longest F-series models – which doesn’t really give anglers the option of sticking or tapping, at least not in such a way. practice. These rods are designed for short distance casting. Used as such, they are ideal. If you are a fisherman specializing in nymphs in small streams or enjoy dipping dry flies in fresh water behind rocks, the F-Series might not be your cup of tea.

The catch

I like the Flor quality straight cork grip, but I would have loved a cigar grip option for this ultra-sensitive cane. Call me a traditionalist, but the cigar grip feels good in a small current cane. A little difficulty in choosing I know, but if I was designing fly rods I would probably go for a more attractive grip.

Last word

Yes, I have a sentimental attachment to Scott Glass, in large part thanks to this bargain bar that I discovered all those years ago. But, even without the personal history of Scott Glass, the new F-Series is arguably one of the best fiberglass rods ever built, especially for small-flow close-range fishing. And with stream season upon us, I’m even more excited to get out on the water and put this rod to the test.

Dedicated anglers will love the rod’s featherweight feel, beautiful workmanship, and premium gear, but they will totally love the rod’s ability to hit small targets quickly and effortlessly with a recovery time. improved and a backbone it makes it seem like it must be the product of some inexplicable magic. Credit Scott’s tech and engineering team – this rod is a marvel.

And I’m sure I won’t leave it at the trailhead no matter how bad the mosquitoes are.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE SCOTT F SERIES (via Scott)


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