Winston Air 2 8’6″ 5-weight


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SKU: win-air2-865

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Product Description

Winston Air 2 fly rod, 8’6″ 5-weight, 4-piece

~ Light gauge snake guides with ECO slick coating
~ New modified half Wells grip from flor grade cork
~ Nickel silver over burled box elder uplocking reel seat
~ Comes with partitioned cloth liner and high quality aluminum rod tube


  1. This magic fly rod is among the lightest and sweetest I have ever cast, especially with a Scientific Anglers Infinity taper WF5, which forms gorgeous loops right out of hand and holds them up confidently for casts of 60 feet or more. I also cast the rod with a Rio Gold and found that the loops don’t tighten until I add a little double haul or have at least 30 feet of line in the air. My conclusion is that it loads best with heavier lines, such as the SA Infinity or MPX. I cannot overstate how beautifully this rod casts. It will be second to none for dry fly fishing on small and medium sized rivers, but will also turn over a long leader (13′-16′) much better than other 8’6″ trout rods thanks to sensational line speed and impeccable loop aerodynamics. It has plenty of guts for dry dropper and light nymph rigs, as long as the distance between strike indicator and flies is reasonable. After casting this rod, I did a complete mental inventory of places I would fish an 8 1/2′ 5-weight. The list is long.

    John Duncan (Telluride Angler)
  2. Hot Damn! It is not everyday that I pick up a rod and it stirs a reaction in me the way the Air 2 8’6″ 5 weight did. This is truly a special rod and perhaps the most complete and well rounded fast action sub-9-foot fly rod I have cast. It is stunning. Put a SA Infinity taper on there. The rod is good with a Gold, but the Infinity taper is as perfect a match as exists. You can feel the load inch-by-inch and the rod gave me the impression that there was not a cast I could not accomplish perfectly. It’s the longest casting rod in this class without being overly powerful or overly stiff and as light in the hand as exists for a 5 weight rod. Perfect loop formation is instantaneous and the rod maintains idyllic loop performance at all distances. A dynamically progressive blank with tremendous feedback; all the touch and all the power at once. The Air 2 905 is more line tolerant, but I don’t prefer the 905 with an Infinity taper, it casts it well, but takes the tiniest amount of sweetness out of the rod and alters the character a touch. The 8’6″ 5 weight wants the Infinity taper and it fits the rod like a tailored suit. I also want to go ahead and make it clear that this is not an either or between the 905 and 865 Air 2. They are distinctly different in their character and both of the rods are so good. Having both would make you wish for a second set of hands to facilitate simultaneous operation. The 905 will remain the most versatile given its length and line tolerance. The 865 is slightly more specialized. The Winston team says the 865 was tailor made for the Beaverhead. I understand. It’s a great rod out of the boat especially on a smaller river, and a rod that will find its way to my gunnel as a Gunnison hopper rod. Hard to find the exact words to express my excitement after casting this rod, but I guess the best I can do is wholly recommend that you cast this rod with an SA Infinity Taper. Simply put, one of the best rod and line combinations I’ve handled.

    Richard Post (Telluride Angler)
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