WHICH ROD WON?
CASTING THE rods side by side highlighted how far the market has come in terms of rod design. There was not a single rod in the test that failed to put out a decent line. Most anglers would be more than comfortable fishing with any one of these rods, and every one would enable you to catch fish. Nevertheless, the purpose of the test was to discover which rods we felt had an advantage, however slight, over their competitors. That we disagreed on our favourites shows the subjectivity involved in choosing a rod and we hope that our comments will help guide you if you’re considering a purchase this season. We were really impressed with the Shakespeare and Wychwood, which cost less than £100, so much so that we didn’t feel it would be fair to recommend one over the other. Either would make an excellent dry-fly rod and a great option if you’re thinking of adding an occasional six-weight to your more regular seven-weight outfit. Al, in particular, was deeply impressed with the Scierra SRX V2, and it receives a recommendation. He thought this rod’s performance was up there with that of the Sage. Andrew’s stand-out rod was the Vision Onki, a rod that bends beautifully with superb feel and delicacy of presentation yet at the same time carries plenty of power with which to cast a long line. At the top of the price range, the Sage, Hardy and Winston all offered excellent performance with an increasing amount of flex and each one would be a dream to fish with in the hands of the right angler. In the end, the extremely fast recovery of the Sage X and its exceptional accuracy led Al to feel that it just edges the Scierra in terms of performance. Andrew also thought the top-price rods were very good, with the Sage the fastest, the Hardy slightly softer and the Winston even more so, but he stuck to the Onki at £200 as his outright favourite.
Al picks his favourites. How deep is your pocket?