Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Cat's Review of Scott's Radian Fly Rod

This is Cat from The Drift Fly Shop.

For those who know me or have ever peeked into my closet there can be no doubt that I am addicted to the Sage brand.  From the 2wt TXL up to an 8wt Xi2 I have indulged happily in the entire Sage line up.  Sure I would cast rods from other brands and even fished a Winston BIIMX for a bit, but none of the non-Sage sticks held my attention.  That is until the Scott Radian. 

It happened one day in the parking lot of The Drift.  The Scott rod Rep., a great guy named Frank, had come to the shop to show us their newest rod.  In the shop world “new is cool” so we piled out to the parking lot to give it a cast.  It took two casts into a stiff breeze and I was in love.  I casted the 5wt for over ten minutes, hogging it and depriving Alex or Connell much time with it.  I just couldn’t hand it over.  It was so smooth and handled both short and long casts well.  They hadn’t named the rod yet and what I held in my hand in the parking lot was not even the finished product, but none of that mattered.  What mattered was that it was balanced and constructed so well that I knew I had to have it.  Unfortunately it wasn’t completed yet and I had to wait.

Luckily, it wouldn't be long before I got to test it out on the water. Frank invited me along for a float trip on the Arkansas Tailwaters and I jumped at the opportunity.  I got to spend the day casting both the 6wt and the 5wt, still unfinished and still unnamed dream rod.  The flows were high and I threw a large triple weighted nymph rig all day and without issue it turned over and accommodated the rig well.  It turned out we floated on the day flows peaked at nearly 2800cfs.  With high water and poor visibility, fishing was tough so I did more casting than catching, but she easily handled a beauty of sucker on the last leg of the float.

Then mine arrived in the mail! They named it The Radian and it is one of the coolest looking rods I have ever seen. With the candy orange wraps and the fire bright, wood reel seat this rod screams look at me. Don’t get me wrong I know that that fish don’t care about how a rod looks but there is something to be said about carrying a rod that makes your toes curl when you look at it. Staring at it fresh from the tube I couldn't wait to get in on the water, and as soon as humanly possible it was rigged and on the Arkansas River.

Having owned it now for about two and a half weeks I can truly say I have put it through the paces and this is what I have found:

This rod is incredibly light in the hand. It is uncanny the way that everyone notices this.  I have placed the rod in several people hands so they could give it the wiggle test and EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM comments on the light feel and double checks that it is indeed a 5wt rod they are holding.  I am not sure what the exact physical weight of the  rod is but personally what I think everyone is feeling is the balance of the rod.  So often, we run into rods that have been built to be light but not as much care has been taken in the balance, causing a rod to feel tip heavy or hand heavy.  The Radian balances in the sweetest way that even an inexperienced hand can feel.

Despite the lightness the rod also has some serious backbone.  As a fast action rod it expertly turns over streamers and absorbs a large amount of vibration muscling in larger fish, but at the same time the tip is soft enough to protect 6x tippet and still allows you to feel the fish your fighting.

From dries to streamers this rod has really held up to everything.  I personally believe that it really shines at the heavier rigs, but that is the inherent nature of fast rods.  The fact that this rod is still fishable with small dries and light tippet speaks to it's versatility as far as fast action rods go.
 Here are the specs from Scott:
"ReAct Technology - Brings together X-Core with a new complex materials and taper system to dramatically increase recovery speed
  • X-Core Technology – Enhanced feel, incredible stability, and unequalled performance. X-Core combines the industry’s most advanced composite technologies with cutting-edge design
  • FiberFuse-Enhanced resin uses new chemistry to create stronger bonds between each fiber
  • Multi-Modulus Design - fine-tuned flex and recovery
  • ARC - Advanced Reinforced Carbon reduces torque and increases strength.
  • Handcrafted in the USA - Built from beginning to end in Montrose, Colorado. "


    If you can’t tell I really enjoy this rod, but I was hoping to have a criticism to report so as not to seem like I was completely one sided on the subject.  The truth is I can’t find one in the 5wt.  I love it and it has become my go to everyday trout rod.  Connell recently ordered the four weight and I can’t wait to see how that stacks up to its big brother the 5wt. So I guess I can’t call myself a “Sage Girl” anymore.  Oh well, change can be very good! 

    If you would like to see the rod in action check out our video of  the recent trip to the Taylor http://ogradyflyfishing.blogspot.com/2013/07/taylor-river-trip-chapter-2013.html

    The Drift will be among a select few shops in Colorado to receive one of the initial shipments of Scott's new flagship rod. We have 4, 5, and 6wt models scheduled for delivery by the end of July. Please stop in and check'em out.  You won’t be disappointed! 
    The Drift Fly Shop
    719-543-3900  www.thedriftflyshop.com


    1. Nice Review - the Radian casts like a dream - two hauls and into the backing - its amazing! Can't wait to fish one. I am really thinking about that 8'6" 4wt. Talk to you later CAT

      Welcome to the world of Scott!


    2. Relitive to the Scott S4 what can I expect once I get to test the Radian?


    3. Hi Dave,
      Great question. When comparing the two what you will notice right away is that the Radian is slightly softer than the S4. From what I can feel the flex is slightly lower in the Radian giving it a bit more feel, but also gives it a little less backbone than the S4. The other difference is how the two feel weighted in the hand. The Radian feels (due to the balance as I mentioned before) lighter and is much more forgiving on the hand where as the S4 is a more stout. Hope that helps.

    4. Cat

      I still haven't got to cast a Radian, shops in my area can't keep them in stock. I have cast the Sage One, since you're a Sage Addict. I'll ask the same question. Relative to the Sage One what can I expect to find once I find a Radian.