I met up with Capt Rich Santos yesterday for a casting lesson and it opened my eyes. I learned that part of my problem (a rather large part actually) is that I’m fighting the rod. Or it’s fighting me. The Scott is a nice rod and works great for smaller stuff like when I’m using the mini hoppers for bluegill. However, it’s a wet noodle when putting a larger fly on it for saltwater. It’s such a slow rod that it doesn’t have the punch to handle the larger flies.
I lucked out the Rich had several 8-wt rods with him and I got to examine several TFO rods to include the TiCr, TiCR X, and a Sage. I cast a lot better with the Sage than with my Scott since it’s a stiffer, faster rod. Once I took the rod issues out of the equation I saw nice, tight loops.
I’m not quite ready to drop $700 on a rod but I’m willing to invest a little more to make the changes I need. Today I dropped by Black Fly and cast the TiCr and the TFO BVK. They were both significantly stiffer and faster than the Scott/Redington rods I have. The weight difference between the two was also considerable. The TiCr is listed at 4.8 oz and the BVK at 3.2. It doesn’t sound like much but it feels like it. I also felt more hand fatigue with the TiCr.
I haven’t completely made up my mind but I’m close and leaning towards the BVK. It came in 2nd overall in a rather extensive review. I’m going back on Saturday when I have more time and we’re going to take both rods out to a nearby lake. I only had yarn on the end of the line and I’m not going to make a purchase until I see how they both react with a real fly on the end.