Scott Radian Design Review: the insider’s line on Scott’s incredible new fly rods

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Scott Radian wins “Best new Freshwater Fly Rod” and overall “Best of Show” at IFTD 2013

Scott LogoJust hours ago, the amazing new Scott Radian fly rod won the industry award for “Best New Freshwater Fly Rod” and also the coveted “Best of Show” award for the single finest fly fishing product introduced in 2013.  Our industry’s trade show is the launch pad for all significant new products.  Having attended this show for more than 20 years, we have never seen a fly rod receive this much praise.  Fly shop owners, guides and even competing manufacturers piled complements on Jim Bartschi and the Scott team, hailing the Radian as “the best fast action fly rod ever designed” and “the best fly rod in the world.”

Fly fishing media were literally waiting in line at the Scott booth for brief interviews with Bartschi.  Telluride Angler is lucky to have obtained a pre-launch interview with Bartschi and factory floor footage of the design and construction of the Radian fly rod.  You can’t get this view anywhere else, so please take a few minutes to review our exclusive video presentation:  Radian Video.

At the show, Telluride Angler’s John Shuler and John Duncan cast all 16 rods in the Radian Series.  Please call or e-mail for specific rod reviews and fly line recommendations.  To summarize, both Shuler and Duncan found the rods to be amazingly consistent.  Duncan believes these are the finest fast action fly rods in the world, and the best that Scott has ever produced.

The Scott Radian is a gallery of fly rod technology, designed to be the most powerful Scott fly rod of all time while offering equal or even superior feel to any predecessor.  Scott rod designer Jim Bartschi is a friend and fellow angler here in Southwestern Colorado.  Many of the Telluride Angler staff worked at Scott over the years, including co-owner John Duncan, who served as Scott’s Marketing Director from 1994-2001.


The Scott Radian won Best of Show in 2013 and has proved hard to match in the years since.

View Duncan’s exclusive rod intro interview and factory tour with Jim Bartschi, filmed June 14, 2013: Radian Video

Scott Radian Design Concept

Bartschi’s design concept for the Radian is simple:  put the Feel in Fast.  In cross-brand comparison, the Radian may be viewed as Scott’s response to the Sage ONE and Orvis Helios series, both of which set marks for physical lightness in modern fly rods.  Indeed, the Radian is technology loaded, the details of which are described in the manufacturer’s own words below.  To the fisherman, the Radian stands in clear contrast to other ultra-fast fly rods:  it is still obviously designed as a pure fishing tool, rather than as a product of experimental engineering.  Bartschi hasn’t lost sight of the fact that his anglers still want to feel the rod and line working together, and that a rod that doesn’t bend doesn’t cast.

In Bartschi’s words:  “Every angler wants a fast action, powerful fly rod.  Unfortunately, they don’t enjoy fishing with them.”

There is much to enjoy in the Radian.  It is, beyond a doubt, the finest casting rod Scott has ever designed.  Bartschi has successfully created a fly rod that generates amazing line speed through fast recovery rather than sheer stiffness.  The Radian is springy, not rigid.  Like every Scott, the Radian is fundamentally easy to cast.  Ultra-fast rods are in vogue, but some manufacturers have lost touch with fishermen along the way.  The most powerful rods are often the least practical or enjoyable to actually fish.  By contrast, the Radian is a magnificent fishing tool.  Scott loyalists will immediately recognize this new family member:  by appearance, feel and performance, it is a signature Scott.

Scott is perhaps the only rod maker that continues to upgrade componentry with each new fly rod series.  The Radian is the first fly rod in the world to feature the new Snake brand Universal guide, a self-lubricating snake with radiused feet.  The strippers have titanium frames, the lightest and toughest available.  Scott mills their own modified Wells grip for the series with proprietary proportions and the highest quality Portuguese cork found on any rod in the world.  Trout models are fitted with a framed burled Colorado box elder reel seat.  Saltwater and steelhead models come with a logoed anodized aluminum seat and fighting butt.  On both reel seats, the sliding hood is indexed for easy reel fitting and positive lock down.  As a fisherman, you’ll love the choices Bartschi made in finishing the Radian series.

The Scott Radian Series comes in line weights 4-8, all 4-piece models and all priced at $795.

Complete model listing, detailed componentry photos and the factory tour video:  Scott Radian

Scott Radian Fly Rod Technology


X-Core Technology – Enhanced feel, with unequalled stability.

X- Core combines the industry’s most advanced composite technologies with cutting-edge design.

ReAct combines our X-Core technology with a new complex taper and materials system to dramatically increase blank recovery speed, and cancel vibrations that disrupt casting performance. This allows us to create very high efficiency rods that are lighter, more responsive, and convert more energy stored in the rod directly to your fly line.
Advanced Reinforced Carbon reduces torque and increases strength. Scott is the leader in carbon blank reinforcements.  Our latest ARC technology adds hoop strength to our blanks without adding weight, and counteracts torque that can reduce
casting accuracy and line control.
Fine-tuned flex and recovery.
Scott pioneered the use of multi modulus fiber lay ups in blank design. By varying the fiber tensile modulus along the length of the rod, we’re able to precisely control the stiffness and recovery speed of our blanks.
The result is a rod that loads and unloads more smoothly.
Our new FiberFuse enhanced resin system creates bonds between our graphite fibers that are over 20 % stronger than conventional epoxy resins. Because our resin system is stron- ger, we can use a lower resin content than other manufacturers giving us more performance from our graphite fibers.
The all new patented American made guides from Snake Brand feature radius feet to conform to the blank,  the best corrosion  resistance,  and a self-lubricating finish to shoot line farther.
With the highest strength to weight ratio and corrosion resistance of any metal, our titanium guide frames let you worry about the fishing, and not about the elements.
Every Scott rod is handcrafted from beginning to end in Montrose, Colorado.


Radian pages:  Scott Radian