The legendary GS 884-4 is the most progressive (even flexing) rod in the group. In close, this rod cast very well. You can’t possibly go wrong, but each rod is unique. The Sage delivers considerably more line speed, but the Scott holds up a long loop beautifully and has superior touch for carefully placing slack line casts. It flexes deeply and evenly through the mid-section, excelling in the finer techniques:  line mending, tippet protection, touch at all distances and even single handed Spey casting. The G Series is a very smooth and really fun to cast in close. I was immediately smitten by the design—those internal-fitting ferrules, clean wraps, and the snappy balance that extended from the tip right through the handle and reel seat. Excellent craftsmanship. Read our model-by-model reviews. For in close presentations, not much, if anything, can beat it. In the early 1980’s Scott achieved industry benchmarks with the original G.  The G 904 was the first graphite 4-weight over 8’ ever produced. Scott G. I won an original Scott G Series 3-weight, two-piece fly rod at a charity auction, years ago. Performance at 60 feet:  8.5 points out of 10. It excels up to 30’ with a lovely, soft action that compares more to fiberglass rods than other graphite fly rods. SCOTT CENTRIC rods have arrived! The Pure 7’ 2-wt has a more crisp feel and fishes in a broader range. Super smooth, with an excellent blend of feel and power. The Sage is slightly faster action than the Scott. The Pure has an old-fashioned nickel silver reel seat with a figured maple insert. The Scott GS 843-4 has a playful nature. Compared with the Trout LL 389-4, the GS 883-4 feels lighter and casts more naturally throughout its range. This rod is perhaps the best “all around short 3-weight” in this comparison. The cork handle is a more conventional western style grip than found on their Radian, with a flare on the back to accept the black anodized single uplocking seat that utilizes a brown graphite insert. Unless you’re trying to mess up th… The GS 843-4 requires a slow casting stroke and isn’t designed for line speed at distance, but it is tuned immaculately for the short to mid range. I really expected to see this new G Series 4-weight challenge the best rods. Overall, it is slightly slower action with more tip weight than the Sage Trout LL 490-4 and a little quicker than the Winston. If the G Series has an Achilles heel, it is not enough reserve butt power. I scored the G series a perfect 20 out of 20, matching the Winston Pure. The Trout LL offers more command on longer casts. First is the reinvented hollow internal ferrule to make the rod more flexible, stronger, and over 20% lighter. Intuitive, springy and playful, this is a magnificent all-around rod for wade fishing as well as a drift boat dry fly rod. The swing weight was fairly light, but not quite as good as either the Hardy rods or the Orvis rods. I can hit the distance but my accuracy is not so good. These rods prove that a medium-action 6-weight makes a great all-around trout rod. In terms of competition, the elephant in the room is the R.L. During his childhood, Winn was very close to his father and the two would often go to the latter's workshop and build toys. It has a “light tip” feel uncommon in the Winston lineup. When I slowed my stroke down, and got my timing right, I could hit 60 feet easily and with pretty good accuracy. Rich Post describes casting, “like skiing the trees when time slows down and focus sharpens.”  The Scott GS 883-4 is believed by many to be the single finest rod in the G Series. The AIR gets the job done. [Sage Trout LL On the Water Video] R.L. The G2 Series, introduced in 2005, improved the original in lightness and casting range while retaining the signature appearance and feel of the G.   The modern version, simply called the “G Series,” is by far the most refined rod in this legacy, showcasing historical design elements including the Scott Internal Ferrule in combination with the most cohesive tip-to-butt tapers Scott has ever conceived. To do so, the rod designer must master the relationship between the four parts of the rod so that the weight and relative stiffness of each has the desired effect upon the rod’s overall load and feel characteristics without requiring a heavy tip to make the rod flex deeply. Performance at 40 feet: 19.5 points out of 20. If you’re looking for an all-purpose 4-weight that swings lighter than your 9’ 5-weight and offers more touch than heavier fast action rods, this is perhaps the most versatile and highest overall quality rod. Reaching out to 60 feet with a softer rod isn’t easy. After all, there’s a lot of history and pride in F Series rods. I’m making very accurate and delicate casts. But this is a fairly soft rod, and didn’t have the butt power to handle the long distance quite as well as the more powerful rods. After all, Sage, Winston and Scott didn’t get here overnight. Rod Designer Annette McLean put her best work on display in the Pure 904, 905 and others in the series. This is another gorgeous rod with superb craftsmanship. Power must be applied smoothly, and carefully, otherwise expect tailing loops. Winston PURE above. It fishes just fine in close but comes into its element between 30 and 50 feet. The Scott GS 904-4 also tolerates a range of lines and fishes with great versatility out to about 60’. I expected it to handle like its counterpart, the Radian, but was pleasantly surprised when I found it to be much more responsive than the Radian. In some cases, we compare multiple models of “tweener” length to help the angler choose from the reasonable proximate range. The Pure 8’6” 4-wt casts with the slowest cadence. This rod is sweet. ... and I quickly realized that the attributes characteristic of each manufacturer are present in the most pure and technologically advanced culmination of research and development each company has produced to date. Winston’s proprietary design allows for maximum presentation and tippet protection. They stand confidently on their own, but the reference to the original Light Line is right on the money. Fish the GS 886-4 with a short-headed line for maximum casting efficiency. It doesn’t die at distance. [Winston Pure Page] 2)  this is the slowest action rod in the field. The Winston Pure is a delight in the hand, with a perfect balance and low swing-weight. Performance at 40 feet: 19.4 points out of 20. Winston and Scott specialize is slower action fly rods, however, and these three are fine choices for the angler who prefers graphite to fiberglass in a small stream environment. Paired with a Rio Gold line, the Trout LL 590-4 maximizes line speed and power with minimal input from the caster. The grip of the Pure is a typical Winston cigar grip made with premium cork. It casts with a magnificent “progressive” feeling, rolling short casts off the tip but still quite comfortable in the 30’-40’ range. Paired with an SA Trout Taper, it offers superb loop control and surprising line speed out to about 50 or 55.’  It possesses more range than the Pure 8’6” 4-wt and more loop control than the Sage LL 486-4. If you are a fan of tossing dry flies and presenting them on a dime in any situation, then the New Scott G-Series Fly Rod is going to be that rod for you. Although each of these qualifies as a medium action 4-weight, they differ notably in character. Traditionalists especially loved the sleek cigar grip which snugs comfortably in hand. The G-Series will not disappoint at 40 feet. [Scott G Series On the Water Video]. All will handle a modest streamer, but they do what super-fast 6-weights do not:  cast dry flies with touch, form easy casting loops with nymphing rigs and take a minimal toll on the caster over the course of a long fishing day. It casts effortlessly from zero to over 70’, maintaining the intuitive “connectedness” for which this series is known. Snappy, rangy and stable, this easy-casting 5-weight fishes comfortably at distances more typical of fast-action 5-weights, from 40-70’. It casts light and feels light. The Pure 490-4 fishes best with an SA Trout Taper WF4F line and a single dry fly. Similar to the other Trout LLs, it casts with unusual command and line speed with a relaxed casting stroke, especially over 30 feet. Cast this rod just by rocking it back and forth. This is a legitimate all-around 9’ 5-weight, not a specialized dry fly rod. [Sage Trout LL Page] Now the lack of butt power hurts, and I cannot throw the tighter loops or get the same kind of accuracy I was getting with the Radian, the Helios 3F or the T&T Avantt. Choose this rod over the GS 843-3 for long leader dry fly fishing. 2)  several models in this series will be considered among the finest individual Winstons ever designed. These two rods will often be compared with the longer 3-weights described next, but they are more similar to each other, so let’s split hairs. This rod feels more substantial than the GS 883-4, but not in a way that detracts from the fun factor. Defining characteristics of the Pure series:  feathery feel, like blowing pixie dust from a straw, Best models:  Pure 8’ 4-wt, Pure 9’ 4-wt, Pure 9’ 5-wt. The rod is effortless to cast, light in the hand and handles light tippet very nicely. At only 8’8”, it offers terrific leverage for pulling on heavy hopper-eating fish without fatiguing the angler. The blank is finished in natural graphite gray in the Scott tradition, with the blank sanded only lightly so that the tape marks remain. It felt smooth and comfortable to cast, and I was getting very nice presentations, with superb accuracy. James’ Comments: Anglers who enjoy slower, softer action rods are going to fall in love with Scott’s new, buttery smooth G Series. This article is written by Telluride Angler’s John Duncan in collaboration with fly shop manager Richard Post. The second is the combination of Scott’s new cutting edge fiber and resin systems which results in the most advanced multi-modulus layups they’ve ever created. This is the third generation of Scott G Series fly rods. [Scott G Series Page], [Winston Pure On the Water Video] The tip follows through with authority on a cast of any length, so it turns over leaders precisely and consistently. Collectively, these three manufacturers have raised the bar for refinement in rods that can do much more than just cast. Defining characteristics of Trout LL:  superb “progressiveness,” intuition in casting, command and stability throughout its range, Best models:  Trout LL 490-4 and Trout LL 590-4. Not surprisingly, the GS 844-4 feels lightest in the group, on account of both its length and super light tip design. True “creek” graphite rods are uniquely difficult to design because a shorter rod tends to leverage the cast and make the rod feel fast action. George’s Comments: The ... of this rod to form and maintain very tight loops helped it give me slightly more accuracy than the Helios 3F or Scott G series at mid-range. The result is wonderful dry fly rod that loads well in close and is accurate out to 45 feet. This is the most even casting, or “progressive,” of the 9’ 4-weights. Like the Trout LL, the GS 885-4 is marvelous on foot or from a boat. 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