I just got back from fishing Montana and had a great time on the Smith, Blackfoot and the Missuri. I had the pleasure to fish with a 9' #5 Sage SLT and the new Scott S3 Super Ply in the same size and weight. Both rods are very nice and will both be very popular.
The new Sage is lodes easily with its soft tip but still tracks like an arrow. I think that what makes this rod so good is the comunication that one gets while casting it. This is what makes Sage rods so good(and what I think the SPs and SPLs lacked). As expected, roll casts and mends were telepathic. For bigger water and a little wind, I still like the XP, but this new SLT will take over the market for premium rods.
The new Scott was a great surprise. I really liked this rod.The tip is a litle heavier than the SLT and the flex is a little faster over all, I think it had a perfect blend of power and suppleness. It was a pleasure to fish, and could straighten out light 15' leaders and cast big streamers and nymphs with equal ease. What a terrific all 'rounder. This is the rod I was hoping Scott would make. On a side note, the 71/2' #3 that we demoed broke at the ferule on the first cast. Bummer and I am sure/hope that this is not going to be a trend.
I also fished a buddies Winston 71/2' #4 bamboo and I am smitten.Expensive? You bet, but if you got it...you only live once. 3 grand of glory.
The fish on Missouri are HOT!