Bill Mitchell on the Scott Radian for the salty stuff

I managed to buy a Radian #8 shortly after release and took it to Kiritimati with me. I fished this rod for 7 days and found it very difficult to put down. I did relinquish it for a few other favourites but kept coming back to it. Lightness in hand and crispness are two descriptors that come to mind. I have owned at least 5 S4s series rods so I was very familiar with Scott’s contemporary offerings.

I will be honest and say I think the Radian (in the saltwater offerings I cast) is the best bonefish and light flats fishing rod Scott have made, period. It may be the stuff of urban legend but Jim Bartschi allegedly designs a bonefish rod within each series that has a salty model. In the Radian series, the #7 and #8 would be those rods. The #8 feels like it is made for an epic bonefish flat – like Paris No.2. It has fantastic touch and plays a lovely short game, which is very important at Kiritimati where many shots are under 30 feet. Conversely, it will pick up and throw 70 to 80 feet effortlessly. It handled a #9 line when I asked it to but didn’t need uplining at all. This rod feels like it is absolutely true to line weight.

The bottom end was sorely tested by some piggish triggerfish in tiger country and some big bones. I fished 11lb and 13lb tippet on Kiritimati and found the Radian protected that lighter tippet very well, at least most of the time. I got smoked on a good few occasions by big bones in the coral. Gotta have a few stories about ones that got away!

I have also taken delivery of a Radian in #7 but have only park cast it at this stage. I threw a #7 bonefish taper over it and it felt perfect. This rod is just like it’s bigger brother – crisp and responsive. My initial thoughts were that it never felt underloaded in close nor did it ever run out of puff when shooting long. This is a #7 with a smooth, refined taper. It is deceptively powerful.

Both rods are finished with typical Scott quality and clearly draw on the Bartschi design aesthetic. They look fresh but echo Scott’s rod binding traditions. That’s OK with me, I’m kinda nostalgic and love the colour orange.

I will hopefully put some local fish on it these rods this summer and see how they deal with splashy shrimps and kerplonky crabs. I had drifted away from Scott’s light salty offerings but am convinced to come back with this new series.