One Rod - A Scott Centric Review from Simon Taylor
With domestic travel restrictions begin to ease within Australia, but with international boarders still closed lots of anglers who usually travel abroad for fishing vacations are turning their attention closer to home. An exciting part of any fishing trip is the planning and research leading up to hitting your chosen destination. Many visiting and resident trout anglers new to fly fishing in Tasmania have lots of questions about the fishery. Topics like where to fish, when to fish, fly selection and what tackle is needed being at the top of the most anglers lists.
The question of what tackle, or what rod / line weight is best suited to fish Tasmania’s lakes is one I hear often. So to keep things simple, if I had to select only one fly rod (what a horrible thought) to fish exclusively with on Tasmania’s lakes, what would it be?
I know it is impossible to have one fly rod that will perfectly suit every one (a bit like buying a new car). Fly rod selection is a personal thing and each of us are different in the way we fish, cast and the types of fishing we like to do. So picking one rod to do everything well for anglers wanting to fish the Tasmanian lakes requires a versatile weapon. This fly rod must able to present at super close range to spooky tailing fish at dawn, present tiny dry flies on long casts to wind lane feeders, turn flies over casting into strong winds, deliver fast presentations polarioding the western lakes, throw fur flies to frog feeders, chase mayfly feeding fish and when needed, fish multiple wet fly rigs fishing loch-style from drifting boats.
So what rod can do all these things?
In reality the choice was pretty simple, for me it came down to a 5wt rod, with the only question being whether a 9’6 5wt, or the 9’ft 5wt (590-4) would be more suited as the ‘do all’ lake rod for Tasmania. Choosing between these two wonderful fishing tools was a difficult choice, I love fishing the longer rod from boats and when wading deep targeting mayfly feeding fish a long way off shore. But the shorter rod is by far my favourite for polarioding, spring time marsh fishing, tailing trout and ‘general’ fishing situations, where lots of shots are at close to medium range.
With this in mind it was hard to go past the 590 (9ft #5wt) as the ultimate ‘do everything’ rod for Tassie lake fishing.
Modern day anglers are spoilt when it comes to choosing fly rods, and in reality it’s pretty hard to buy a ‘bad’ fly rod these days. But if you are going to set yourself up to fish Tassie (or anywhere really), getting a good rod is an investment, and getting the ‘best rod’ is a smart investment!
Enter the Scott Centric
The recently released Centric is by far the most capable and versatile 5 weight I have ever fished; it just does everything well, in fact very well. The Centric 590-4 is the ultimate ‘do everything’ fly rod and is wonderfully suited to targeting the wild trout of Tasmania’s lakes. Although a touch faster than its predecessor the Radian, the new Centric has a slightly softer tip (which helps protect light tippets), but more power stored lower down in the mid and butt sections perfect for loading up long casts and wrestling fish away from snags and out of weed.
It took the guys at Scott seven (eight?) years to replace the Radian, this alone should tell you that unlike some fly rod manufactures who update their rods nearly every other year, for Scott to replace the immensely successful predecessor, it would only be done when they had something special. Creating a rod that was better than the Radian was never going to be easy. To achieve this Scott, went back to the drawing board investing years of research and development with materials and tapers before settling on the new model.
The Centric is defiantly faster than the rod it has replaced, but not stiffer through the blank. Scott have made a rod that’s both lighter and stronger than the Radian were able to achieve this utilizing both new resins and carbon in the construction process. Improvements in resin creates stronger fibre connections which allow the blank to rebound faster and track straighter (more accurate), while the ARC2 carbon used in the rod is not only stronger, but 35% lighter than its predecessor.
Having fished the new Centric since the start of September, and after spending lots of hours ‘testing’ the rod over a large variety of fishing conditions and weather types, I can draw some comparisons with the Radian. The Centric retains all the fishability of the Radian, but the new Scott has more feel, generates faster line speeds, is easier to cast over all distances (roll casting ability is unbelievable) and is a much more versatile fishing tool.
Fishing the 590 Centric early season to western lakes frog feeders I was blown away with its ability to punch bulky wet flies into some truly horrific head winds, but amazed (amazed that the wind dropped out too) at the rod’s versatility to present the same flies delicately later in the day when the wind eased, and fish tailed in the extreme shallows.
Late spring in Tasmania saw some exceptional Mayfly fishing off the mountain. One of my favourite waters is known for having prolific hatches of red spinners. Another feature of this water is the amount of dead timber and weed found in the lake. The resident wild brown and rainbows of this water have a reputation for being strong fish, and they use all their muscle to run into the structure as soon as they feel the hook!
The 590 Centric was the perfect rod targeting spinner feeders amongst the log jams around the shores of the fishery. Its powerful butt section was a game changer for me on this water, having a seemingly endless amount of power on tap which could literally drag the 3 to 4 pound resident trout away from snags and out of weed when hooked.
Taking the Centric for a walk of in the remote western lakes is pure joy. To say the rod is well suited to this fishery would be an understatement. With enough power to tackle all but the strongest western lakes headwinds, its ability to produce super-fast line speeds (perfect for fast presentations to cruising fish), a forgiving tip which helps avoid heartbreaking break offs, and its ability to fish well over all distances makes the 590 Centric the ultimate tool for western lakes devotees.
So in reality the choice for me was simple. If I was limited to only one class of rod for Tasmania’s lake fisheries it would be a 9ft 5 weight. If I had to choose one model of rod, it would be without doubt, the amazing Centric from Scott fly rods!