Dec 26, 2016

Scott Tidal Fly Rods - USA Built Under $500

Boogle Bug Bassin'

USA Built Under $500 - Article 12262016
This article series is intended to review Fly Fishing Rods and Reels under $500. The criteria for these reviews is that the actual product is tested in real world fishing conditions. They are not just wiggled in the showroom or cast in parking lot / show pond setting.

In doing some research I realized there are a few rods that demand our attention. They fit a budget, provide fish-able actions and are made in USA by top well known manufactures such as Sage, Scott and Winston. My goal is to fish a few of these rods and report what I find. In this article I will review the...

Scott Tidal 890-4

$495 (Scale Weight 4.2 oz) (Weight not published)
Handcrafted in Montrose, Colorado
While designated a saltwater stick I found these rods to have tons of soul. I call the action mod-fast. Yes I know it is listed as "Fast" on Scott's website. Now before you go and correct me let me just say I tend to rate rod actions lower then what the industry considers them. You see for me I didn't learn on rod actions that require a nap between strokes. So what the industry today calls moderate (yawn) I personally find to be painfully slow. I consider a mod-fast action rod to load rather deep and provide quite a bit of feel but still respond with quite a bit of power. I feel a mod-fast action as "wait for it" but no time for a nap!

This statement describes the Scott Tidal. I had to slow my stroke a little and "wait for it" but it recovers strong and delivers the goods with authority. I feel this rod action is ideal for situations such as winter redfishing, bass bugging and large streamers. It loads progressively deep while providing the angler with ample feedback to adjust one's stroke to match the required cast. The same action is super friendly with a short cast so often associated with winter redfishing. I would consider the Tidal to be a great rod for less experienced casters but not at all disappointing to a seasoned parking lot champion.

Deer Hair & Toothy Critters
I could cast this rod all day and never tire and I did just that on a couple of occasions this past summer while throwing bass bugs from the deck of my boat. Eight or nine hours straight of non-stop power casting and I never tired. I favored the S/A Wavelength Titan WF8F line for the Tidal. This double bump line does further slow the Tidal down but the key to the combo was the Tidal's power found down deep in the rod blank. This rod/line combo was really easy and effective for turning big wind resistant bass bugs like the frog in the picture.

Is the Tidal a 100 foot tight loop pro casting stick? No! If that's what you want/need then get the Scott Meridian. The Tidal is a rod that will let you relax, breathe and take in the scenery and don't fret over making "the cast". Just reach for it and let it happen. It probably is a stick that fits more anglers than most anglers are willing to admit.

Feather Game Changers
Finished in the natural look Scott Fly Rods has become known for the Tidal includes a cordura rod tube and Scott's lifetime warranty.

A bit about line choices

For the upcoming 2017 year you are going to see many new articles from us on this subject of line choices. No longer is it as easy as just buying the weight line that matches the rod. Most lines today are bumped in size, some as much as 2 line sizes and I even know of one line that is bumped 3 sizes. It's not all a bad thing. Modern high modulus graphite rods work over a wider grain range than ever and we as anglers further push the limits of fly size that places greater demands from rods and lines.

I'll write more about this subject in the near future but for now I challenge you to try something. If you have a few rods and line choices in similar sizes I want you to take a 7 weight line and try it on an eight weight and vice versa. Or a 5 on a 6 weight or a 6 on a 5 weight. Whatever you have to test this out with. You might be amazed at the results. You might find a new personality in your favorite rod or you may find a love with a rod you previously couldn't connect with.

Ditch the Yarn...

Aluminum Tube
When it is necessary to parking lot / yard test fly rods I use actual flies that I would be fishing with. I use old half worn out flies and cut the hooks off. Make it as true as possible to the conditions you will be using the rod for. Most times casting yarn does not provide accurate results unless you're buying a rod for dry fly work.

1.23.2017 - Correction

I had indicated that the Scott Tidal Comes in a Cordura Rod Tube. That is incorrect. It Comes in a Aluminum Tube and Cloth Rod Sock.

Wrap it up! I'll take one!

Seriously, I'm adding an 890-4 Tidal to my boat quiver as a big fly bass/pike rod this year. The Tidal is a super fun easy rod. It has a ton of soul and also exhibits a ton of crossover. It can easy be tuned with different fly lines to match anglers casting preferences and fishing conditions. It's got the great qualities all Scott Fly Rods are known for including the lifetime warranty and hand built in the USA.


Gorge Fly Shop Internet Sales Manager | Product Specialist

"Fly Fish the World with Us"

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