Scott SAS 8-wt
This was my very first fly rod and I purchased it through one of the forums. I learned that you really need to try a rod before you buy it. 🙂 It’s supposed to have a medium-fast action but I think a friend summed it up perfectly when he said it looked like I was casting a wet noodle.
Redington Pursuit 8-wt
Once I realized I wasn’t having any luck learning how to cast the Scott I hit up my local fly shop. On a whim I picked up the Pursuit. For a value-priced rod it’s hard to beat. The more I use it the more I like it. The only downside is that it’s the practice rod I keep in the garage so the line has taken some abuse in the grass and on the street. 🙂
TFO BVK 8-wt
While I like the Pursuit I finally decided I was ready to try a nicer rod. I tried several rods and walked away with the BVK. So far I’m very pleased and it’s my go-to rod when I hit the tidal creeks. It casts nicely, has a great finish, and is a great all-around rod.
Sage Response 5-wt
My son and I were doing a lot of bluegill fishing in the retention pond across the street and the 8-weight rods just weren’t much fun and I wanted to change that. I also had grand visions of heading north for some classic trout fishing. These challenges put me in the market for something in the 5-wt range. As luck would have it (and there was a lot of it involved) I scored this Sage rod during the raffle held in conjunction with the Fly Fishing Film Tour. I couldn’t believe it when they read my name. Since winning the rod the bluegill fishing is more fun and I had a successful trip with rainbow trout. I’m happy to have accomplished both goals.
The Pursuit is a package deal so it came with its own reel. It isn’t anything fancy but the drag seems decent enough. The fit and finish are nice and I have no complaints.
The Okuma is my primary 8-wt reel. It’s a very nice, large arbor reel and both feels and sounds nice when reeling. It’s got a nice cork drag and it’s taken a good bit of abuse from me without complaining.
When I won the Sage it didn’t (unfortunately) come with a reel. No worries. With a 5-wt the reel is mostly just a line-storage device so I wasn’t in the market for anything super fancy. The Flyrise isn’t the bottom of the Ross line but at around $100 it won’t break the budget either.
Once I dumped my kayak in the creek I decided it was time to upgrade the SLV to a reel with a sealed drag. I had already been eyeing the entry-level Sage reels and for a unit with a sealed drag it’s hard to beat the price. I managed to score a sale which made it even better. The $40 I saved on the reel will be spent on a new Airflow Clear Tip line. 😉