Scott fly rods are, admittedly, a bit of an acquired taste. I don’t know why exactly–at least I cannot pinpoint exactly when–but I developed an admiration for Scott fly rods about 30 years ago, and in the years since, I haven’t really changed that opinion.
For me, it started, and now stands with the “G” series.
Maybe that’s because I spent a lot of my formative fly-fishing years kicking around the Telluride, Colorado, region, spending many days on the San Miguel, or the Upper (and Lower) Dolores Rivers. So, when Scott set up their World Headquarters in Telluride, and then shifted to Montrose, I’ve always felt a connection with the “home team.”
But, obviously, the Scott story is far richer and deeper than the Colorado chapter. Like so many others, the DNA here tracks back to the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club in San Francisco, when the company was founded by engineer Harry Wilson in his Cook Street basement. He named the company after his son, Scott.
The company introduced the first “G” series in 1976, with those funky exposed, external ferrule connections and unsanded blanks. By the time I started playing around with them in the early 1990s, they’d already established themselves as the “love ‘em or hate ‘em” fly rods.
For fishing on a river like the San Miguel–not too big, not too small–a G series fly rod was the ticket. Medium action, easy to cast, but even easier to feel. It was the perfect number for fishing in an era when nobody had to mess around with nymphs–just tie on an Adams or Elk-hair Caddis, and roll. The trout weren’t beaten into sulking, selective behavior back then, at least not on the San Miguel.
There was a “G2” version launched in the mid 2000s, and I didn’t like it. I tried to, but it didn't cast how I wanted it to. To me, the rod felt like taking a sip of “New Coke.” For those of you who are too young to remember, years ago, some dumb-ass, or more likely, a team of highly-paid dumb-asses, decided to reformulate Coca-Cola for the first time since the company actually took cocaine out of the ingredients, and that went over like a fart in church. Within months, they were back to the original recipe. The G2 succumbed to a similar marketing progression, in my opinion.
So, Scott Fly Rod president Jim Bartschi held this completely revamped version of the “G” series close to the vest, and wouldn’t spill the beans on details until we actually had it in our hands and took it to the river. More importantly, he admitted at the time that this was the most significant fly rod Scott has introduced in years. He was right.
When I first got the new Scott G, an 8-foot 8-inch 4-weight, I was smitten by the aesthetics, now with a hollow internal ferrule. I went to my gear vault and dusted off old “Uncle Henry,” a Scott G circa 1992, then shot off to the pond for a side-by-side casting test. The new generation G had that clean, classic medium action (all about feel and grace), but a little more oomph and pizazz, thanks to modern materials and components. It’s a really fine line to resurrect a classic, because you have to be true to the original roots, but the new version also has to be better. The reincarnated G series is both.
If you own, and like, an original G, don’t ever give it up. But if you want the best medium-action rod on the market today, the new generation Scott G is the play. I like medium-action rods, and have taken this one to many far-away places, from Australia to Chile, Ireland and throughout North America. If you took all my other fly rods away, this is the one I’d hang onto.
There are, of course, many shapes and sizes in this series, but to me, there’s one that stands apart–the 8-foot 8-inch 4-weight.
It takes courage and some technical savvy to reintroduce a classic brand with the premise that you made it better. But that’s what Scott did, and Scott pulled it off with aplomb. If you loved the G, you’ll love the newer, better G even more, because it has that same smooth-casting, medium action taper, but it’s built with modern materials and components. You can find a bigger gun with more kick, but you won’t find anything more buttery.