Re: 2018 8 Weight Rod Shootout Published

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Posted by Craig Smith on 2018-01-06 20:01:14 in reply to Re: 2018 8 Weight Rod Shootout Published posted by Joel n Rosenthal on 2018-01-06 09:50:33

I enjoy reading these shootouts but I just take them at face value. They are pretty clear about their methodology. The articles tell what they feel about the rods under the conditions they test them under. They are very clear that the subjective portions of the results are based on their experience and preferences.

In this case, based on the use of a bonefish line, it seems like they are testing the rods based on what they prefer for bonefish.

Joel makes the comment: "Saltwater 8 weights are primarily marketed and probably find the most use: sight casting on the flats." I think the first part ("marketing") is probably true, but not sure of the second part (sight casting on the flats).

The fly shop I am affiliated with has been in business since 1970 and has sold a lot of 8wt rods during that time. Probably less than 1% have ever seen a saltwater flat. I can count the number of customers who went flats bone fishing in the last year on one hand - actually two fifths of one hand. Of several hundred people on our club, I don't recall anyone speaking about a flats trip in a long time.

So what do our customers and club members use 8wt rods for: delta and lake and river stripers, carp, big trout, steelhead, salmon, inshore and bay and beach and estuary saltwater fishing, largemouth bass, small mouth bass, Northern pike. The most commonly purchased lines are sinking integrated shooting tapers followed in a distant second, by more than a factor of 10, by weight forward floating and intermediate lines.

It would be interesting to see a shootout done with integrated shooting tapers, maybe S.A. Sonar or Rio Striper lines etc, and it would have to be done on the water, but I don't expect Yellowstone Angler to do that and don't fault them for not doing it.

The most common "fault" that I hear locally is that the shootout doesn't test under the parameters they mostly fish under (line type, water, etc). But that really isn't a fault. There are just too many variables to test all of the combinations. The Yellowstone shootouts are pretty clear about the variables in play during their testing. They provide a data point from one source.

Whether I agree or disagree with some of their results, I always enjoy reading them.

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