Scott Wave fly rods have landed with the impact one would expect from an industry leader that took a couple years off to contemplate their next move in the mid-priced fly rod market. Scott was getting along just fine without a sub-$1,000 saltwater rod, so when Rod Designer Jim Bartschi shared his plans for this introduction, our hopes were pegged high. After all, Scott doesn’t build any rods that are merely “representative.” Wave models are purposeful, powerful and impressive, objectively underpriced, but when your $1,000 fly rod is regarded as one of the best on the planet, there is nothing to lose in offering a mid-priced rod that delivers remarkable performance and value. Anglers everywhere will love these rods.
Serious saltwater angler take note: Wave rods are designed with pure saltwater actions, fast and sure, strong and stable. The lighter line weights will fish just fine in freshwater with appropriate lines, but these are saltwater rods, not dual purpose “crossover” rods designed to “do a little of everything” at the expense of the muscle required on the salt. Wave rods will cast in the wind and pull on heavy fish with any rod in their class, regardless of price. Fish them hard.
Scott Wave Model-by-Model Reviews
by John Duncan, Telluride Angler
This rod has a crisp and fiery feel with classic flats lines such as the SA Bonefish and Rio Flats Pro. It casts tight loops with the small flies you would expect to fish in Belize, Mexico and Christmas Island (#6-#10), but lacks the beefy butt section required of a heavy trout or bass 6-weight designed to cast bulky, wind-resistant streamers. These are unique purposes. The Wave 906-4 rips through the wind with a fast stroke and rapid recovery. It is lighter than many high-end saltwater 6-weights, but narrower in purpose: delivering the small fly quickly with stealth. It has exceptional range, casting with confidence from 20’ to over 80’.
This model is one of my favorites, but unique in character from others in the Wave series. It offers great versatility for the angler who can adjust the casting stroke. The 907-4 lacks the airy lightness of the 906-4 and 909-4, but possesses superior bottom end strength, highly suitable for bass, pike, salmon and heavy trout streamers in addition to its intended saltwater uses. It prefers a longer casting stroke rather than the staccato, tippy rhythm required by many saltwater fly rods. This is a rod that will handle a wide range of fly lines, including all standard bonefish/redfish lines as well as the SA Titan, Rio Predator, long sink tips for Galloup-style fishing and specialty tapers for bass and pike.
I love this model. With a Rio Bonefish WF8F, it casts better loops than almost any manufacturer’s high end 9’ 8-weight except the Scott Sector and Loomis Asquith. Intuitive and rangy, most casters will pick up this rod and put it to good use without the expected “familiarization period.” Linespeed and overall power won’t match the Sector or Asquith, but I cast the rod with several fly lines and was really impressed with its accommodation of differing casting strokes and line pairings. That said, I would primarily recommend the Wave 908-4 with flats lines rather than extra-heavy Titan or Outbound Tapers. It’s strong enough to cast Redfish lines, which have short, heavy heads, and I found the mid-section to be resilient enough to tolerate an overpowered stroke, kicking back excellent line speed without tailing loops even when “stab casting.”
A rod with major range and power, the Wave 909-4 handles the critical lines for this fishing category with distinction, including the Rio and SA Bonefish tapers, Rio Elite Permit, SA Grand Slam and various striper lines. The Wave 909-4 has a high-end feel: light, stable, responsive to a wide range of casting styles and with plenty of wood in the butt section. It lifts 50 feet of line off the water with instant loop control, a critical capability for 2nd or 3rd shots in the permit game. This is a high performance 9-weight at any price.
Since nobody wants a medium-action 10-weight, Scott scrapped its original prototype in favor of this warhorse. The Wave 9010-4 is fully up to the task for tarpon, large permit, false albacore, dorado, roosterfish and top end stripers. It fires heavy-headed lines with line speed and stability. It fishes high in its line class without feeling heavy. Casting is super intuitive with the Rio Flats Pro, SA Grand Slam, Rio Elite Permit, Cortland Crystal saltwater lines as well as every version of a tarpon taper. Every angler will be impressed with this fly rod.
A Keys-ready tarpon rod with qualification, the Wave 9011-4 deserves to live on your skiff. In many cases, mid-priced 11 and 12-weights simply lack the power found in their high-end cousins. Not this one. The Wave 9011-4 throws a Rio Elite Flats Pro like they were made for each other. It is powerful and stable throughout the lower 2/3 of the rod with plenty of guts for hammering casts into 20 knot winds and pulling without caution on heavy fish beneath the boat. This rod delivers the action and muscle required for the silver king.
A serviceable 12-weight that balances castability with strength, the Wave 9012-4 flexes just a little deeper into the mid-section than the 10 and 11-weights in this series. This doesn’t compromise lifting power, but makes the rod less suitable to hammering when the wind is really up. It’s an “easy caster” that pair well with a Rio Elite Tarpon WF12 and comparable lines. It has a sweet spot from 30’-70’, suitable to most tarpon opportunities, but lacks the astounding range of the Sector or Asquith. It loads with feel, however, and will fall easily into the hands of less experienced casters making the jump from freshwater to big game saltwater.