There’s always a fair bit of hype when Scott Fly Rod Company announces the intended release of a new stick. One week someone hears it through someone else that it’s going to be a Radian replacement, a month later it’s the T3h getting an overhaul. But when we heard it from the President of Scott Fly Rods himself, Jim Bartschi, that it was time the Meridian was looked at, we thought can you really improve on the Meridian?
Yes, yes you can. And here's my review with my findings!
A major perk of the job is being one of the lucky few who get to play with prototypes of new Scott rods before they are released to market. The first look I had of this new product was back in March on a windy Auckland afternoon. At this point cosmetics and componentry are often left off the prototype and the main focus is on the blank. I remember it being a 9010/4 and was impressed by how light it was, how fast the blank recovered and the amount of feel through the blank. However, what was burned into my memory from this brief encounter was how effortlessly (and accurately) it picked up 60-70ft of line in preparation for a quick second cast.
A few months went by, winter rolled around and whispers of the new Scott rod resurfaced. We started seeing cosmetics, new componentry, hearing of new technology and the Scott Sector was born.
It was around late July, early August that we had a Sector 908/4 in our hands. Luckily enough I had a trip pre-booked to the US to visit family so with a bit of strategic planning, I was off to the south of Texas to catch up with a buddy and chase some redfish. This was my first opportunity to put the Sector to work.
Without going into a play by play of each fish spotted cruising (or tailing), casting to and landing, the Sector 908 truly felt like an extension of my arm. Now I must say, I am absolutely obsessed with flats fishing. Unfortunately I don’t get to grace the flats as much as I would like and therefore, am prone to making a tonne of casting mistakes on the water. Leading a fish too far, landing the fly on its tail, too short, too long, the list goes on. This is where I found the Sector to be my best mate.
The ability to have multiple shots at good fish came down to effortlessly picking up line and recasting at 50-60-70ft. The Carbon Web, one of Scott's newest technologies was a large part of the reason I was able to have these shots. Basically, this technology offers increased torsional stability by encasing the unidirectional fibres in a web of ultra-light multi-directional carbon fibre (yes, I pinched that line from the Scott website). In turn, this gives you better control, tracking and allows you to pick up those long lines. Instead of focusing on the cast, I was able to focus solely on the moving fish, pick up that first dog of a cast and have a second chance. This is a real fishing tool.
Moving forward a few months, I needed to get my flats fix once again and had been looking to head back up to Hinchinbrook Island to fish with Dave Bradley and Amos Mapleston. Four days of good tides had opened up, a few phone calls made and we had a trip locked in. I knew I loved the Sector and wanted to get it in a few more hands as soon as possible. Soon we had Matty Tripet, Michael Hurren and our NZ brother Cam Forsman all flying into Townsville with the weather forecast looking mint. With us, we had a Sector 908/4, 909/4 and 9010/4 all rigged and ready to take down whatever swam into casting distance.
Permit have been on my mind for some time now and I was hyper-focused on them for this trip. Traditionally, Dave and Amos throw crabs that weigh as much as a house so we dedicated the Sector 9010/4 to be our crab throwing machine. Most of our shots came as the northerlies grew stronger into the afternoon and what stood out was the ability to throw heavy crabs into these winds with control and accuracy. We had a few shots that could have gone either way and Mick came tight for a few exhilarating seconds but unfortunately no perms came to the boat. But hey, that’s permit fishing, settle in for a lifetime of torment.
The other two Sectors, the 908/4 and the 909/4 were our all-round weapons, throwing shrimps, clousers, Famous Kwans and a few bunnies here and there. Equally impressive at long and short distances, on the beach or skipping under snags, everyone was blown away at the pure enjoyment they experienced with the Sectors.
To go into a little more detail, the componentry used by Scott has traditionally set them apart from other leading fly rod manufacturers. The Sector has taken this to a whole new level by incorporating the all new CeRecoil stripping guides that combine nickel titanium shape memory frames with super slick, high-tech Zirconia inserts for a new patent pending guide that will never corrode, will return to its original shape if bent, and has the lowest coefficient of friction for better line shooting. Oh and yes, they’re whisper quiet.
And just to go completely over the top, Scotts CeRecoil guides are PVD coated in a low reflective black finish. The Physical Vapor Deposition process creates a tougher smoother finish than traditional plated finishes, and it just looks plain awesome.
Now that we are back to reality from our North Queensland adventure, the only thing to do is dream up the next trip. With a couple of great days under our belts thanks to the AFO boys, the Scott Sector has definitely lived up to the name so far.
Was it ever in doubt? Probably not, but considering there are 15 or so other models we haven’t had the chance to test, we can see a lot more R&D trips planned in the future.
If you want to hear more detail about the Scott Sector and learn from the man himself, President of Scott Fly Rods, Jim Bartschi, be sure to subscribe to The Intermediate Line Podcast and look out for their latest episode.