Ollie Bassett fly fishes a lot. It's his job, his main sport, his hobby, he's even completing a Masters degree on the subject. When he's in the boat, his fly rod of choice is the Scott Centric 1006. That's a ten foot, 6 weight. Have a read of what he thinks below.
Scott Centric 10’ 6wt - A great lake rod with crossover applications:
The 10’ 6wt Centric is Scott’s flagship offering for lake fishing from drifting boats, a style of fishing adapted from competitions that is becoming increasingly popular down under with many recreational anglers. If you are looking for an ideal high end lake rod for NZ and Australian conditions then look no further. The longer Centric also has several useful applications in different river techniques which make it an ideal crossover rod.
While a 9’ rod may be (traditionally) more suitable for river fishing for precise fly casting, in the lake 10’ rods are the norm for several reasons. Firstly, leaders are normally long at around 15-18ft with teams of three flies commonly being used in a variety of different techniques. The extra length allows fish to be netted easily without catching the top dropper in the guides which can cause fish to be broken off. This is also beneficial when hanging the flies before recasting as it keeps them further from the boat or bank, leading to more confident takes. The 10’ length also helps create more open loops when casting to reduce tangles, as well as aiding distance casts by acting as a longer lever. The extra distance that can be achieved with a longer rod is also very useful when fishing from the bank or wading where being able to cast at distance is paramount for success.
Lake rods are usually also powerful to help cast the heavy lines needed for distance and depth. Creating a 10’ long rod which has a fast recovery and is powerful is difficult to achieve whilst keeping the rod light and responsive (not a broomstick!). This is something the Centric 10’ 6 does very well, being both very light in hand and responsive to cast. It has a fast but progressive action with a soft tip that allows light tippets to be used (down to 0.12mm) and small fish to be landed while still possessing the power to land the big fish that are often caught.
Most lines used in competitions on lakes from drifting boats or the bank are 6-8 wt, with many people owning lines of different sizes and sink rates for different applications. In my opinion the 10’ 6wt Centric suits floating or slower sinking lines the best, ideally in WF 6 or 7 floating, tip lines and intermediate lines (slow - fast). Longer and faster sinking lines from type 3 - 7 usually in WF 7 can be used on the centric, but are probably more suited to a stiffer rod such as the 10’ 7 wt Primal RAW CCC which will allow them to be cast more easily. The same applies to fishing in heavy winds where a very powerful rod allows for a little more control.
Although I’ve mainly used the centric 10’ 6wt for lake fishing applications, it’s also well suited for deep indicator nymphing where power and distance are important such as winter nymphing on the Tongariro. The added length also makes long mends at distance easier to achieve than with a shorter rod as more line can be lifted off the water. At 10’ it’s also ideal for Euro nymphing for big fish in smaller rivers, making it ideally suited to the Hinemaia and Ngongotaha where 3 and 4 wt rods can be under gunned when big fish are hooked in fast water, often near structure. These crossover applications make it more than a one trick rod, allowing it to be useful all throughout the season.
Ollie Bassett is a current New Zealand fly fishing team member and Fly Fishing Instructor
Ollie has represented NZ at the World Fly Fishing champs several times and regular competes in New Zealand. Off the water, Ollie is a student studying a Masters of Science in Ecology and Biodiversity at the University of Waikato.
For more in person Euro Nymphing advice and on the water tuition contact Ollie at https://www.facebook.com/flyfishernz