Feb 5, 2014

Winston 7129 Boron III TH: A review from the field

Winston Spey
When the folks at RL Winston Rods decided to close out the popular BIIX line up of spey rods and replace it with the Borron III TH series I will admit I was skeptical. I recognize the need to create and market new products so you can keep selling and stay in business but the BIIX spey rods were simply the best…or were they? So I placed my order back in October and my rods showed up January.
7129 Borron III TH

By now I’ve had a couple of weeks to fish the 7129 Borron III TH. This is Winston’s first entry into the sub 13’ category for a seven weight. It should come as no surprise that Winston didn’t build a 7126, they built it three inches longer. When I first picked it up and gave it that wiggle, you know, the wiggle everyone gives a naked rod when they first pick it up, it was obvious this was in fact a new rod. So despite the same green color, same cork and reel seat, this didn’t feel like the Winston I had been fishing for the last decade. The new downward locking reel seat is a nice addition as well as the carbon fiber rod tube. Finally I got my day on the river with the new flagship for Winston and guess what?

The first cast this 7129 ever made turned into a big, solid, feisty, winter buck! True story, I got a witness.

Lining her up

This seven weight lines up same as the rest, I like it with a Hatch 9 Plus, mono running line, and a RIO Skagit max 525 with ten or twelve feet of T8 or T11. The 7129 will throw twelve feet of T14 and a weighted bug with no problem for big distance, and this is something new for a Winston. Airflow compact Skagit, Skagit switch and Skagit intermediate in 510 grain all work great on this rod, so pick your poison. I am confident this rod will throw laser beams with a compact Scandi or a Rage at 480, and 450 grains respectively. 

How it Performed

From the beginning this rod is easy street. When you make your first lift with a heavy load you recognize what the folks at Winston have made here. There is no need to roll cast first or snake roll
it up, this thing picks up with zero effort. In fact you have to take it easy not to overshoot the mark.
Moving into the sweep you feel the rod loading up as a Winston should, D-Loop set you move forward with relative ease… BOOM, the rod unloads then delivers big time casts. I should mention that the bottom end power in this rod is new for Winston. Normally it takes a while to find a worthy fish to test a new rod but this one is lucky, first day out it got into a god one and never lost control. The 7129 is light, crisp and clean, yet the bottom end is strong enough to subdue any fish you will run into around here.

In summary, the 7129 Boron III TH will be the staple in my line up whether it be throwing into giant thermals on the Deschutes or tossing tips into high flows in Western Oregon!  

If you can only have one then make it this one!

Sam Sickles
Steelhead Outfitters

Winter Chrome with a Winston 7129 Spey
Winter Chrome

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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