“Making the hard way easier”
So jokes Jim Bartschi, Rod Designer and President of the Scott Fly Rod Company. “Fishing the hard way is what makes fly fishing so much fun…but saltwater fly fishing is hard enough…”
The new Scott Tidal Series is for anglers who want to add distance and accuracy to their cast. The Tidal Series is so fundamentally easy to cast that every angler will more quickly make the transition from freshwater to saltwater. “There is a transition period for all of us. We spend most of the year throwing 4 and 5-weight rods 30-40 feet, then find ourselves on the bow of a flats boat casting to moving targets in heavy wind. It is extremely valuable to have a rod that casts easily without a whole lot of practice, a rod that feels natural and casts with a similar stroke as my trout cast.”
Tidal Series rods are indeed easy to cast. Bartschi invited us down to Montrose for a sneak preview of the rods on the production floor and a chance to cast them on the lawn. My first impression was that these do not look or feel like a $475 rod. There seems to be no compromise, whatsoever, in their design and components. They cast like $800 rods. They look like $800 rods. They are covered by Scott’s Unconditional Lifetime Warranty. What’s the catch? (bonefish, redfish, tarpon, permit, roosterfish, striped bass)
People who fish Scott fly rods know that Bartschi packs maximum quality and value into everything he designs. Nowhere is this more evident than with the Tidal Series.
What is the difference between the Tidal Series and comparable A4 models? The A4 7 and 8-weight rods are fine fishing tools, certainly appropriate for saltwater, but designed as crossover rods to be light and flexible enough for bass, salmon, carp and other freshwater species. The Tidal Series is pure salt. The actions are faster and the multi-modulus blanks utilize X-Core Technology, which stabilizes the rod as it loads and unloads. Like all Scott rods, the Tidal Series is designed with a large hoop shape, thin walls and a steep taper. The large hoop makes them stiff and stable. The steep taper allows for a “progressive” action found in all Scott rods, the feeling that your rod is flexing in proportion to the amount of line being cast. As a result, they cast with greater accuracy and efficiency, and also cast easier at a wide range of distances. The caster enjoys more power with less effort and greater accuracy in the wind. Hard core saltwater componentry and thorough finishing of the guides proofs these rods for the ocean.
In his explanation, Jim talked at length about the prototyping and testing of the Tidal Series. As expected, the rods were first fished in Florida by Scott’s Pro Staff. After some adjustments, secondary prototypes were put in the hands of factory employees, friends in the industry and unknowing test subjects from the general public. In the hands of all, the Tidal Series seemed to add distance and reduce false casting. They turned over large flies in the wind, handled heavy fish with command and generally stood up well to the concerted beating to which they were subjected in the test period.
Scott Fly Rods brings the Tidal Series to market in July, 2014, confident that this reasonably priced saltwater fly rod does, in fact, “make the hard way easier.”
Upon introduction of the Tidal Series, Scott has discontinued the 9, 10 and 12-weight A4 models.