Preparing to for to Exmouth Western Australia, I challenged myself to one flats rod for the week that would need to serve wading and casting form the skiff. In the past I have no doubt over thought rod selections and often found myself over-packing unnecessary amounts of gear to the smiles of the airline crews exceeding baggage allowances.
Limiting yourself to one rod is a near impossible task, taking into consideration all the variables you as an angler may come across. I eventually settled for the Scott Meridian #9, casting with a #9 Airflo Flats Master with the inter-tip, previously reviewed on Salty Saturday by Adam Royter. This rod had to be able to handle anything from large Queenies and Goldens to picky Blue Bones and Permit, to driving casts into the famous ‘Exmouth winds.’
My first impressions of the Meridian #9 was it had a very light swing weight, more so than any other #9 I have ever cast. Originally this concerned me, I felt a little underdone thinking about 20 knot plus winds and heavy crab patterns I would need to be dealing with, but after having a solid cast in the park I soon realised I had a very special rod in my hand! For a rod that felt so light in the hand during the casting stroke, it had everything in the taper and butt section I would need for casting heavy flies, deal with strong winds and handling stubborn fish looking for reefs.
Flats fishing can mean a lot of casts and it can get pretty tiring, even if you’re a bigger guy like myself. The #9 Meridian ended up being the perfect fit for a week of 10 hr. plus fishing days in Exmouth. It didn’t tire me and it handled everything thrown at it from strong winds, heavy flies, quick casts and stubborn fish. It is a very special rod and I would certainly recommend anyone looking for a purpose flats rod to go no further than the Meridian #9, it is simply awesome! I also believe it takes its place in the saltwater rod quiver perfectly matched with its bigger brother, the Meridian #11 if you were keen to search for larger species beyond the reef.
The Scott Meridian name has proceeded many of its predecessors for the last few years and my latest trip to Exmouth WA proved why!