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mightyrime

yellowstone angler 2016 8wt shootout

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I took a look at it and reaffirmed why I never take it too seriously.  The NRX was the previous champ several years running but for me I dislike the 8 wt NRX - I feel it's a dead feeling rod that does not suit my casting style at all.  I also can't take seriously the Crosscurrent GLX 8 wt in third place - it was a great rod...in 2003.  For me a fair number of rods have surpassed it including Sage, Hardy, etc.  

 

Entertaining reading, it would be better titled "Favorite 8 wt Rods of Yellowstone anglers."

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In 2014 it was a decent base of lots of rod manufactuers. It's seems like they picked older rods and what they stock this time around. Then did not even include a bunch of manufacturers. For the crosscurrent and motive to rate that high they must be high...

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No Loomis Shortstix - lame. No Sage Method - lame. No line other than a bonefish line - lame. Seems like these guys are just going through the motions now. How about an 9 or 11wt challenge with an intermediate line...

Edited by Cpalms

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Their method measuring the swing weight is stupid because the distance from the pellet to rod butt which is pushed down is not the same for all rods. And they proof they are stupid when they write the Grunde&Lovoll MOI calculation which bases to physical equations gives wrong data. But when they use their method they can write "their moi" to what they want.

 

Much better result could be achieved to put the blank to the pellet on scale one meter from the rod butt and hold rod horizontal lifting the rod butt.

 

Esa

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Alright. Buckle-Up Fellas...and thanks a lot Mightyryme, for causing me to drink an IPA and get all bent out of shape! LOL

 

Normally I appreciate the Yellowstone Anglers Rod Reviews for what they are and I also look forward to reading them, feeling thankful that a group of people who sell fly rods for a living would attempt to conduct a non-biased review of current fly rods. However, reading this review was like sitting through an Ed Wood B-Movie for it's entire, grueling length. The 2016 8-Weight Shoot-out was biased, poorly thought out, not reflective of a true saltwater rod test, too subjective, flawed in methodology, lacking in representation and most disturbingly, the test in no way reflects the true gestalt of what a single rod they test is truly capable of. 

 

This group of Yellowstone Anglers who think they know about saltwater fly rods have lost their credibility with this review & this is very unfortunate as I always look forward to reading their tests as I've mentioned. To admit falling for the Scott Rod Company's ingenious marketing trick of needing "help" designing the Meridan, (paving the way for victory in the shoot-out no doubt), was a laughable example of bias.

 

I mean, how dumb can you be? If I was a rod manufacturer, I would not want the bad PR associated with one of George Anderson's negative reviews and I would set him up just like Scott did too. I have been thinking about why no one has tried it yet since I read his very first review. Think about it. Do you think he's helping to spike sales for Sage or Orvis rods at this point in time?

 

What Scott did, to go get Anderson's input and make him think he had a big say in what new rod they were about to launch was pure genius! This way, he says he likes it when he does his little test while he's on vacation & then writes about it and posts it on line so when 25 million viewers peek at it, they come away thinking Scott makes the best fly rods on the planet earth man!  To read on as he gushed poetically about he Meridian made me wonder if my love of fly-fishing has somehow turned me into a masochist!!?? Saying this is not intended to detract from the Scott Meridian either by the way. They do make very nice rods. In my opinion, they are not clearly the best and I would indeed choose others over them. (the Sage Method and the Hardy Wraith for example & we can discuss this at length another time). 

 

Randomly pulling a rod from 2003 into a test that featured no other great rods from the past was an example of bias. Also, why test only 28 rods? Is 28 the magic number? LOL  They skipped numerous awesome rods, such as the St. Croix Legend-X, the Sage Method, the Hardy Wraith and the G.Loomis Short Stix and if we're opening the test up to rods of the past (which I am 100% for by the way) they should have included many excellent rods from the past such as the Sage Xi2, The Hardy Zenith, the Sage Z-Axis, the Orvis T3, the Scott Radian, the TFO TICR and on and on..This would give the world a baseline that would help show how & why a new rod may be better. THAT might make people WANT to buy a new rod also. 

 

Honestly, do you think the best way to test a fly rod is on the grass? Think you'll get a real feel for how it water loads or roll casts? uhhhhh. Not sure what the #%&*# that is all about. Personally, I'm going to stick to testing EVERYTHING on the water. Thanks Anyway George!

 

But the real problem in this shoot-out besides the horrendous bias, was the lack of identifying how these rods handled a variety of grain weight fly lines. The line they chose is fine,in fact it's a wonderful choice to start with.... but in saltwater fishing, over-lining a rod will push it towards its max load and many rods will cast further as a result. To inflexibly look at a rod & judge it by how it performs with an exact 210 Grain Line with a 35' Head tells us very little about what it is capable of. Can it throw 250 or 300 grains well? How does it roll cast & mend? Can it handle lines with more substantial tapers & longer bellies? How does it shoot an OBS Integrated Head line? What grain weight did each rod tested seem to perform optimally in? At what point was each rod tested clearly over-loaded past a desirable point? What are the true Deflection stats on each rod? Which rod handled headwinds the best? Which rod threw large flies most easily? Which rod showed the best turn over characteristics at long range? Because the Yellowstone test fails to do any of this, the shootout winds up validating that these guys don't live, breathe or much less understand, I mean really comprehend, true saltwater fly-fishing and the needs associated with it before they spout off with a Bonefishing opinion on a rod formed over a weekend at a lodge. Please. My palms are black and blue before I'm saying anything about a rod and I will tell you how the blank glistens in the moonlight and cast it with a blindfold on to prove I have learned it. hahaha. I actually will though. So...

 

Because they didn't push these rods through their paces, we have a garbage in - garbage out situation here folks.

 

For example, the NRX is the furthest casting rod in the test? uhhh. ok. With exactly 210 grains of weight it throws the furthest according to those who tested it. I hate to rain on the parade but I can push the envelope on some other rods they tested (and some they didn't) and when I get the line right, I can crush the results they achieved with the NRX and make a case that the NRX can't handle enough load because the tip is so soft that it buckles under the excess grain weights where some other rods (ehem, the Sage Salt & Orvis Hydros 2)  don't. I can also tell you that because the NRX has such a soft tip, that it flat out DOES NOT TRACK WELL AT EXTREME DISTANCE. The line vibration causes all fine tip rods to wobble and this affects tracking in a straight line, especially when the graphite particles are not aligned. Why do you think the Z-Axis was such a freeking accuratre rod at 70' and beyond. Tracked like a GPS Unit and laid down rail straight casts. The Stream Dance GLX was a close second to the Z but flopped in the tracking department the same as the NRX does. The Scott Meridian also suffers from this - sorry to say. And by the way, neither the Sage Salt nor the Sage Method have any issues what so ever with tracking at distance. The 8 Weight Shootout makes us believe exactly what about performance at distance? 

 

Furthermore, the Meridian performs best at 35 feet does it? On the grass, George. Really? So you like the way it water loads and roll casts in tight from a jetty do you? And how does it mend George? Nice? Right. 

 

The reason the 908-4pc NRX casts so well long range in their test is that it loads more optimally with 210  (to 240 grains), which allows it to appear to be the best casting rod in the test. But I can trick out a Hardy Wraith or a Sage Method or a TFO BVK or a Legend X to smoke the NRX simply by pushing the load to the optimal performance zone. Saltwater Fly-Fishing isn't about rigidly adhering to a 210 grain floating line for all conditions and very few of us would want an 8 weight that we couldn't push in order to meet the needs of the conditions & environment we are throwing a fly in. I will also tell you that a fly line with a 35' head and a grain weight of 210 will be a very poor choice of a fly line to use in a test that includes a new 100' distance category. That is a joke. Now, if they were using the Sci Anglers Andro Line or an Airflo Extreme Easy Distance line, I might buy that they know what they are talking about. 

 

Are we dumb enough to buy a recommended  8wt. that was tested so skimpily? Are we gullible enough to listen to someone who "helped design" the winning rod in his test? Think o'l Georgie isn't getting a few payoff dollars guys? 

 

I'm going to stop here because it just isn't worth it. 

Edited by CaryGreene

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Shock horror Loomis did not win it again. Must have been a fall out. LOL.

 

This maybe not quite 100% what Local 66 said the other day in response to another thread it was  " Only my opinion counts for me"

 

I do not give a flying parrot what Yellowstone think about a number of rods that they have cast over a section of terra firma. Its just utter bollocks.

 

Sadly a great number of Guys buy gear based on all kinds of reviews. Some claim they have to as no access to good fly shops. 

Not all reviews are dog crap but if you don't know well you don't know. There is after all some value  in advanced age and long experience.  And a well developed BS Meter.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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On the other hand, it's really entertaining to watch the fireworks after they post it!!!  (popcorn helps).

 

Their new method for assessing "swing weight" is interesting, and whether you agree with it or not (I don't completely), it does really show (even more than before in fact) that rod weight doesn't equate to swing weight.  As an example, The BVK while being light in one sense, is terribly off balance in hand.  Of course after you add reel, line, backing etc. the swing weight or perceived weight of the entire outfit is different. 

 

Finally figured out why the BVK is so "tip" heavy.  Take any other (so called) 8 weight rod and find the balance point on just the butt section ( I did this with my Redington CPS and Powell Tiboron).  No reel attached.   Now do it with the butt section of the BVK.  It's not the  tip section that is overbuilt.  It's the butt weight -to-grip ratio. 

 

I can see why others have preferred custom built versions of the BVK with a longer, heavier grip.  Completely different rod if re-built that way...

 

I agree that if they had included several older rods (for example the CPS and Powell above), several of the newer rods would have had to drop a notch or two.  I believe that the Sage Z axis and Redington CPS, Powell Tiboron and Sage TCR (when lined properly) would share tops spots for distance and one of the first three rods would win for accuracy at distance.

Edited by Killiefish

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CPS the old style apart from shocking cork handle is one very good fly rod. I can't understand why a very good rod is dropped I mean a bit of devious marketing and it could re-appear as a SPC. The 7 8 and 9 wts were crackers.

 

Mike

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Mike, not sure what you mean about "shocking" cork handle on the CPS.  It's the Powell Tiboron rod,  at least the ones I own, that have appallingly bad quality cork - almost as bad as the cork on certain TFO rods (the TicR, TicRx and Pro for ex).  The cork on the CPS rods I have is holding up rather well actually.

 

The handle on the CPS rods is rather long and the fighting butt portion in particular is longer than on most modern single hand rods.  Partly explains their low swing weight numbers in the older Anderson tests.  But I digress...

 

Several things I wish they would do in the Anderson tests is tell you a) how well the guides align - not just whether there are alignment dots which I have noticed are sometimes in the wrong place, b) whether the rod is a true 9' (some TFO rods are actually1/2 to 2/3 of an inch short - my BVK and TiCr are short) and c) test to see if the ferrules slip when casting or are snug and keep the rods sections tight and together.  The latter problem can lead to breakage and is a pain to have to deal with over time.

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CPS the old style apart from shocking cork handle is one very good fly rod. I can't understand why a very good rod is dropped I mean a bit of devious marketing and it could re-appear as a SPC. The 7 8 and 9 wts were crackers.

 

Mike

 

Because they got bought by Sage who didn't want Redington rods costing 1/2 the price of theirs being better. I can't remember his name but the rod designer for the CPS left and Redington haven't made a good rod since IMO. Also rod manufacturers need people to buy new rods so have innovate and release new ranges. 

 

I enjoy the Yellowstone Angler reviews. But I do take them with a large pinch of salt. They seem to include some obscure makes but miss out some popular mid-price models. Also its all focused on bonefishing. But my biggest beef with them is how a rod that features so highly in previous tests is totally written off in a current one. Kinda undermines their own views really?

Still interesting to read though.

Edited by JRT

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CPS the old style apart from shocking cork handle is one very good fly rod. I can't understand why a very good rod is dropped I mean a bit of devious marketing and it could re-appear as a SPC. The 7 8 and 9 wts were crackers.

 

Mike

Good points & if we look at certain companies they will hang on to a decent selling rod for a very long time, keeping it current. In my post I complain about the fact that the G Loomis Cross-Current GLX was tested but some of the older rods that were made or first introduced just as long ago were not tested. The obvious answer is that the Loomis rod is still current and none of the others are. I think we get the rationale but by not including older rods this whole test has no real baseline or benchmark which the fly fishing world can relate to. We can talk all day long about 28 brand new fly rods but not knowing how they stack up against widely accepted excellent rods makes the whole discussion kind of not validated.

 

Sage is a good example of a company that drops a great rod almost each year so they can introduce the next one and sucker everybody to buy it with their marketing tactics, which by the way are just getting worse by the day and it's making me wonder who is leading this company with the decisions that they are coming up with. Clearly whoever is doing their marketing is not a real fisherman and has little idea how to relate to real fisherman but that's another conversation for another day.

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