Re: 2018 8 Weight Rod Shootout Published

[Bulletin Board]

Posted by Joel n Rosenthal on 2018-01-06 17:56:56 in reply to Re: 2018 8 Weight Rod Shootout Published posted by Buzz Bryson on 2018-01-06 15:40:15

Buzz has summed it up neatly, and at the risk of redundancy, I would add the following in response to Steve's suggestions:

Steve--perhaps instead of logistics, I should have said practicalities. The rod manufacturers don't particularly care to specify a "best" line--think what happens when they specify a line and they finish poorly-- they won't have the excuse that a different line will perform better. You'll notice the rod tubes that come with your Sage/Loomis/Scott-or any other brand rods, don't have a "performs best with" line manufacturer or taper recommendation. Ever wonder why? If they did do that, don't you think that's the line that would be used for the shootout?
Not only that, the Shootouts are a well known entity for the rod manufacturers. No matter the finish in the rankings,(within limits, of course) the publicity sells their rods--and I have yet to read of one manufacturer complaining publicly or privately to George about the line used(I was with him at more than a half dozen manufacturers' booths at Icast after the 2016 8 wt shootout)And as for the three lines per rod suggestion, the set up would require 75 rods, effectively , if you want to keep rods strung and ready for immediate comparison, as the Andersons do. Do you have 30 identical Nautilus reels in stock(assuming you're only testing 10 manufacturers' rods at a time--otherwise you need 75 reels)that you'll now have to sell as "slightly used"? Short of Bass pro, which doesn't sell them, there's no fly shop in the US that stocks that many of one size of any fly reel i can think of, at one time.. And as much as I know and like Kristen Mustad, and have favored Nautilus reels before I ever heard of Yellowstone Anglers, I don't think he's going to ship 30 or 75 best sellers off to Montana for 2 weeks and then be able to resell them as new.And as for going with just 10 reels but effectively 30 setups, are you really going to efficiently compare rods to each other by unscrewing the reel, screwing into another rod, lining it and then casting?

And, if you read the section in the Shootout about the line selection ,George acknowledges some rods might cast better uplined, He chose to limit the Shootout to the SA line, absent any indication from the manufacturer that a 9 might work better(Ever see any manufacturer admit their rod works best uplined?) Why choose SA? He says it's his favorite, and you either take his word for it that it casts better for him than the others or you don't. Like any subjective impression(such as "feel", aesthetics and other such components of the tests,) your mileage may vary, as they say.

I will make a suggestion however, to my friends at Yellowstone Angler. Get each manufacturer to send3 rods for the next test(not an easy feat, since getting just one often involves a bit of begging and pleading, from what I understand-and given the reviews in this shootout, I can't imagine the people at Mystic, for instance, might be too cooperative). then load all 3 rods with three different lines--which will it be ?--three different tapers of bonefish lines, or a bonefish permit and redfish taper from the same manufacturer? Then cast all 3-pick the line that everyone agrees works best for that rod(assuming you get agreement-which will it be--at distance, in close, or all around?)-and cast that rod with that line/taper against the other 24 rods which have been loaded with line chosen in the same manner. That way you only need 10 reels(tho you've probably spent a lot of time spooling and unspooling), but you will need 75 rods..
So as I sort this through, Steve, the more the simplicity of George's system appeals to me. One rod, same reel and line for each.The data you get is how that rod with that reel with that line casts and feels--as interpreted by 4 casters. If the reader wants more, he will, however, have to get off his duff and make the comparisons with other lines, other reels and against other rods by himself. And that, as everyone stresses, is the whole point.

You've identified a perceived bias, Steve--fair enough--no one is trying to make the rod choice for you or any other reader. Go compare your own experience against that bias and then make the choice with the rod in YOUR hand..that is what the Shootout is intended to do-give you certain information with which to help you make a more informed, hopefully better, choice.

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