Saltwater fly fishing evolves faster than any other channel in our sport. Like young mountains eroding, the barriers to success in saltwater are brought down by an unspoken collaboration between anglers and rod designers. As elite anglers push fishing technique and new saltwater anglers seek equipment that buoys success in the most challenging fly fishing environment, the Scott company develops saltwater fly rods that fish with a combination of speed and soul that is simply unmatched in our industry.
The Scott Sector now upstages the Meridian. Why? Rod Designer Jim Bartschi acknowledges that the Meridian, arguably the finest saltwater rod on the market since 2015, has not nearly outlived its relevance. The Meridian is trusted and loved by anglers worldwide, many of whom own multiple rods in the series. As fervor begets momentum, the collective love of Scott saltwater rods generated a head wave to make the best even better. In parallel, a new technology appeared on the radar: Carbon Web, a continuous strand graphite that improves strength, stability and efficiency.
- Greater range, both short and long
- More accurate casts, especially when pushing the rod in the wind
- Increased line speed without sacrificing the casting ease of Meridian
- Improved ability to take 2nd and 3rd shots by lifting line off the water with more command
- Greater lifting power for heavy fish under the boat
- Superior durability, especially in high line weights
Accepting that Sector is actually superior to Meridian will take some convincing until you’ve cast or fished the rods. It helps to understand the backstory, a continuous strand of a different nature that has everything to do with Scott’s unmatched trust from dealers and anglers. Bartschi’s fly rod introductions are guided by innovation and fishing opportunity, rather than sales curves or specialty fishing interests. He introduces rods only when he has something better to offer. In turn, when he develops a better fly rod, he doesn’t hold it back. His process of collaboration and field testing is honestly unique in all of fly fishing. The evolution of Sector prototypes was influenced by dealers from the Ohio Valley to Colorado to the Conch Republic. Telluride Angler staff have cast the Sector series at four stages of development and some of the finished models evolved through five prototypes. Each Sector was finalized only after testing with the top saltwater fly lines from both Rio and Scientific Anglers. Scott Pro Staff have fished these rods for hundreds of days on the flats of Mexico, the Bahamas and Florida. Every detail has been polished: action, feel, componentry, colors. The Sector was conceived, designed and finished by Jim Bartschi, but it’s a rod in which many have a stake, none more than global anglers who will soon fish the prodigal Scott saltwater fly rod.
In today’s saltwater fly fishing, the ultimate rod would cover the demands of the next line weight while feeling light and nimble in its own class. 10-weights are now broadly fished for adult tarpon, but most 10-weight tarpon rods either lack authority or are actually 11-weights labeled as 10-weights. Likewise, many experienced anglers will fish a 9-weight for permit and a 7-weight for bonefish when conditions allow. Bartschi’s challenge was to develop a rod that feels like an authentic Scott but allows the angler to keep casting when the wind is “blowing a dog off its chain,” or when simply fishing for larger quarry.
The mission to improve casting, stealth, power and sport transcends the fundamentals of rod design and could be fulfilled only with significant contributions from technology and taper engineering. The availability of Carbon Web was largely chance, but the design element was not. Sector is simply the next stride beyond Meridian for a company that races the waves like a flats skiff at dawn.
The components of a better saltwater fly rod
Carbon Web – improves our ability to pick up a long line for redirecting 2nd and 3rd shots. Carbon Web also increases durability by reducing the propagation of micro fractures that lead to rod failure.
Guide Set — Ceracoil stripping guides with nickel titanium frames and highly polished Zirconia ceramic inserts along with Recoil nickel titanium snake guides for low friction and corrosion free performance. The guide sets are PVD coated in a low reflective finish for even greater durability and stealth. Beyond doubt, the guides make a significant difference in casting performance. Lighter, slicker, more durable and less reflective, this is our industry’s premium guide set.
Reel Seat: The reel seat is milled from aircraft grade aluminum, featuring self-indexing slide hoods, extra deep knurling to easily turn lock rings with wet hands, type 3 mil-spec hard coat in non-reflective flat black, and line weight engravings for quick rod identification in boat racks.
Grip and fighting butt: The grip is your physical connection to the fly rod, an element of design critical to the angler’s appreciation of the fly rod. Flor grade cork grips are turned to Scott’s modified Wells shape in a saltwater appropriate length and diameter, and new fighting butts feature a thick soft rubber for greater comfort in tough fights.
Scott Sector 846-4 (8’4” 6-wt, 4-pc)
This is a super light streamer rod that will hold its own in appropriate saltwater applications but is really designed for the driftboat. Paired with a Rio InTouch Big Nasty, it’s lightweight and lethal for working shorelines with small and medium sized streamers. Extra large and articulated streamers are easier to cast with a 7-weight, but for flies in the size #6-10 range, this rod is unbeatable. Smallmouth anglers will fall in love with the S 846-4. It’s a dream with a small popper or Clouser and has fantastic leverage for pulling fish out of tight cover. There just isn’t another 6-weight rod that does so much work with so little effort.
Scott Sector 848-4 (8’4” 8-wt, 4-pc)
This rod has much more range than the comparable Meridian. It casts with enormous line speed and knifes through wind like it’s not even a factor. From 20 feet to over 80 feet, the S 848-4 just explodes out of your hand. On pure casting merits, the Rio Direct Core Bonefish line is the best match. The rod will handle shorter, heavier heads with ease, however, whether you’re fishing for largemouth bass or for striped bass with a shooting head. Fish fighting leverage is outstanding and casting accuracy unmatched with this spectacular 8-weight. The S 908-4 possesses greater distance casting capability, but the S 848-4 wins for overall lightness and swing weight. Either rod will probably be the best 8-weight you’ll ever own.
Scott Sector 8410-4 (8’4” 10-wt, 4-pc)
The most accurate casting 10-weight on the market, the S 8410-4 is designed for fishing docks and mangroves for large snook and tarpon. Its unique length offers terrific leverage for stopping a surging fish from reaching cover. This model also makes a fantastic boat rod for striped bass, where the angler may cast all day without the fatigue of swinging a 9’ fly rod. The Rio Direct Core Tarpon WF10F line is a match made in heaven for the S 8410-4, but the rod will confidently fish any saltwater line that’s close to a 10-weight.
Scott Sector 906-4 (9’0” 6-wt, 4-pc)
Rod Designer Jim Bartschi believes this is the best 6-weight Scott has ever designed for any purpose. It’s a tremendous streamer rod for heavy trout and bass, more powerful than the S 846-4 for articulated streamers, rabbit leaches and other wind resistant or water-logged patterns. The casting action is simply marvelous. It loads so naturally in the top half of the rod, but with supreme control and power from the butt section. This rod showcases Bartschi’s complex and purposeful rod design capability. When fishing the flats, use a Rio Direct Core Bonefish line. For bass, choose your favorite specialty bass taper or the Rio InTouch Big Nasty. Have fun.
Scott Sector 907-4 (9’0” 7-wt, 4-pc)
In no Scott fly rod is the feeling of tip lightness more evident. Most saltwater rods lose that sensitivity, but not this one. This is a lightweight rod that “casts light,” but lacks nothing for power. It throws laser loops with any modern bonefish line, but the very best choice is the Rio Direct Core Bonefish taper. Scott has designed some legendary saltwater 7-weights over the years, highlighted by the S4S 907-4 and Meridian 907-4. The Sector is even better. Even when shooting line, the caster has the sensation of “placing the fly” rather than just firing and praying.
Scott Sector 908-4 (9’0” 8-wt, 4-pc)
This rod is simply stunning, mind blowing. Rangier than the Meridian 908-4, it casts better at every distance while possessing superior ability to pick up a long line to redirect a 2nd or 3rd shot. Line speed, accuracy, efficiency and feel are all improved with the Sector. I have never cast a fly rod of any kind that throws so effortlessly at short and medium distances but possesses this much power and control at 70’-100’. Beyond question, this is the best 8-weight flats rod I have ever cast. What’s crazy is that it seems to cast equally well with almost any casting style. With a Rio Direct Core Bonefish line, I couldn’t make it malfunction. Like a lot of Scott rods, it loads deeply and smoothly with a long stroke and late wrist engagement. When I tried to throw a tailing loop by “stab casting” with the whole line head aerialized (a move that will fold almost any rod), the mid section of the rod kicked back and sent me well into the backing without any risk of tailing. I’ve never cast anything like it (except the 9-weight…).
Scott Sector 909-4 (9’0” 9-wt, 4-pc)
For the record: this is the greatest 9-weight ever designed and quite possibly the finest saltwater fly rod of all time. Almost no other 9-weight casts well under 40 feet, but the Sector 909-4 throws like a trout rod until you step on it. You’ll make all those short shots like you were swinging a 7-weight. With each advancing false cast, line speed just explodes. Every section of the rod feels super charged, the control and resilience of Carbon Web technology channeling casting energy to the fly. I’ve never felt anything like it. Whether casting in wind for large bonefish or carefully presenting a crab to a 30 lbs permit, you’ll never doubt that you’re fishing the right rod. The rod will handle any line you choose to fish on it, but the Rio Direct Core Bonefish possesses a combination of taper and head weight that brings the best out of this rod at almost any distance. That’s a compliment to the fly line, which is quickly becoming one of our favorites in the salt.
Scott Sector 9010-4 (9’0” 10-wt, 4-pc)
The S 9010-4 is even more castable than the Meridian 9010-4, but has considerably more power in the butt section for drilling heavy flies into the wind and, in particular, fighting adult tarpon. As tarpon fishing evolves, cutting edge guides are fishing 10-weights, even for adult fish. 10-weights are so much easier to cast than 12-weights. Even the best casters benefit from having a lighter and somewhat more flexible rod in hand for generating a quick, high line speed casting loop. Tarpon are played off the butt section of the rod which is still pretty darn beefy, even on a 10-weight. A priority for the Sector was to create a rod with greater ability to lift line off the water for second shots. This goal has clearly been met in the 9, 10 and 11-weights, the core permit and tarpon rods in the series.
The Sector 9010-4 is the finest 10-weight I’ve ever cast. It possesses uncanny elasticity, generating incredible line speed just by rocking it back and forth. You can lay it down gently or stab it into the wind with equal success. The SA Mastery Tarpon taper loads the rod promptly with great line speed, but the Rio Direct Core Tarpon line overs more loop control and accuracy without sacrificing the quick load.
Scott Sector 9011-4 (9’0” 11-wt, 4-pc)
Rod Designer Jim Bartschi calls the S 9011-4 the most improved in the series. That speaks volumes, because the Meridian 9011-4 is one heck of an 11-weight. I first cast this rod with a Rio Direct Core WF11F and wrote the following one-word review: perfect. Coming back to it an hour later with an SA Tarpon Taper, I was surprised at how favorably this line pairs with the rod, as well. This tells me that the Sector 9011-4 will cast any popular tarpon line with command and control. Casting range, feel, loop control, power, fly turnover and ease of casting are spectacular with this model. Amazing. It has much more power than the Meridian 9011-4 for lifting line off the water, hammering into the wind and putting the timber to the fish.
Scott Sector 9012-4 (9’0” 12-wt, 4-pc)
Anglers seeking maximum lifting power in a 12-weight have formerly chosen a Sage or Loomis, but Scott stepped up the S 9012-4 to match anything on the market without sacrificing the trademark castability of Scott fly rods. 12-weights are still the go-to tarpon rod in Boca Grande, Homosassa, Costa Rica and other big-fish destinations. If you love Scott saltwater rods but need more power, this is your stick. I found a measurable performance improvement when I traded to the Rio Direct Core Tarpon WF12F, a line favored by every rod in this series.
Scott Sector 8413-3 (8’4″ 13-wt, 3-pc)
Dubbed the “GT Special,” the Sector 8413-3 is actually a highly practical rod for almost all heavy species fished either from a boat or on foot. This is a surprisingly castable fly rod. I like it with a Rio Direct Core Tarpon WF12F line, but it will certainly handle almost any 13-weight line or specialty taper designed to cast big flies. The butt section is as strong as iron, but the overall casting qualities of the 8413-3 are similar to other Sector models. The rod feels light, springy, progressive and rangy, all unusual for 13-weight fly rods.
Scott Sector 8107-2 (8’ 10” 7-wt, 2-pc)
Truly spectacular with a Scientific Anglers Mastery Bonefish Taper or Rio Direct Core Bonefish line, the S 8107-2 will handle a wide range of lines for an equal range of both saltwater and freshwater fishing situations. Scott makes light-tipped fly rods, no where more evident that in this particular model. It casts with an airy feel that seems to defy gravity. Unlike with many saltwater rods, the caster can feel the connection between rod and line even at short distances. Tight loops and high line speed make the S 8107-2 an ideal choice for bonefish and redfish.
Scott Sector 8108-2 (8’ 10” 8-wt, 2-pc)
A spectacular bonefish, red or striper rod for the angler who doesn’t require the convenience of a 4-piece fly rod, the S 8108-2 offers unmatched casting range, especially with a Rio Direct Core Bonefish line, our favorite for this fly rod. As compared with the former Meridian 8108-2, the new Sector is easier to cast and much better on short shots. It is every bit as powerful as its predecessor, but more well-tuned for a complete casting range, short to long.
Scott Sector 8109-2 (8’ 10” 9-wt, 2-pc)
A wicked rod for the boat or beach, the Sector 8109-2 offers a rare combination of loop control and line speed. Every false cast is easy and natural, from fly-in-hand to delivery at any distance. This is a huge caster with superb lightness and stability, but notably easier to load than its predecessor. The S 8109-2 is a terrific windy weather bonefish rod with plenty of punch for permit of any size. This rod will be really popular among striped bass anglers, too. The best flats-style line on this rod is the Rio Direct Core Bonefish. It will certainly handle any line in the 9-weight class, but the DC Bonefish is the best pure caster.
Scott Sector 81010-2 (8’ 10” 10-wt, 2-pc)
This is the ultimate oceanside Keys Tarpon rod for the angler who keeps rods on the boat. It casts easier than the former Meridian, but with greater power thanks to the capability of generating line speed with fewer false casts. Like others in the Sector Series, it is both easier to cast and more powerful than its predecessor. Also, like the others, our favorite line pairing is the Rio Direct Core Tarpon line. Striped bass fishermen will cast this rod from the beach or boat with great command. It will handle the full range of shooting heads and full sinking lines popular for the rips, beaches and flats of the Northeast.
Scott Sector 81011-2 (8’ 10” 11-wt, 2-pc)
Side-by-side with the 10-weight, the Sector 2-piece 11-weight will be the go-to rod for tarpon fishermen who own a boat in the Southeast. All of these 2-piecers are easier to cast than the former Meridians. Even an average caster can throw most of the fly line with just a few strokes. The very best line pairing is the Rio Direct Core Tarpon, but the Sector will handle all SA and Rio tarpon lines.
Scott Sector 81012-2 (8’ 10” 12-wt, 2-pc)
For maximum lifting power with minimum rod weight, choose the 2-piece Sector 12-weight. This is your boat rod for the West Coast of Florida, where the largest tarpon are encountered on a daily basis.
First Shot: Fishing the Sector in Key West
Troy Youngfleish, Telluride Angler head guide and Scott Pro Staff
I had the privilege of spending four days in early May fishing the new Scott Sector with rod designer and tarpon savant Jim Bartschi. While our focus was the new Sector 11wt, we had ample opportunities to cast both the 908 and 909 at bonefish and permit. I came into this Keys trip in a true love affair with the Scott Meridian, so my expectations were guarded at best. Incredibly, Jim has created a rod that casts more instinctively while improving the bottom end strength and lifting power for saltwater anglers. Unfortunately, Bartschi had to remind me numerous times that the increased lifting power is for picking line off the water and fighting fish, not for “trout setting” tarpon. For the first three days, I cast to fish that couldn’t be convinced, at least not by me. Then, on the last morning, the tarpon vibe changed. We fed seven fish in the morning, putting four in the air. The Sector 11-wt is my new tarpon rod. – Troy