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Freshwater Rods

Scott G Series 8-foot 8-inch 4-weight Fly Rod

Our answer to the “if you only had one rod” question.
Kirk Deeter author.
Kirk Deeter
February 6, 2024
Scott | G Series 8-foot 8-inch 4-weight Fly Rod
product description
“The G Series advances medium-action fly rods with two innovations. We’ve reinvented the hollow internal ferrule to make it more flexible, stronger and more than 20% lighter. We’ve also combined our cutting edge fiber and resin systems in the most advanced multi-modulus layups we’ve ever created. The results are rods that help solve one of the toughest challenges in medium-action fly rod design–how to create a rod that both bends deeply and remains stable.” – Scott Fly Rod Company
company ethos
“At Scott, we’ve spent the last 45 years working to perfect the design, craftsmanship and performance of fly rods. Along this journey, we’ve developed a way of doing things that we call The Scott Difference. It’s focused on handcrafting every rod we sell. It’s driven by our love of the sport, the places it takes us, and the people we meet along the way. It’s about striving to make the ultimate fishing tools. Tools perfectly suited to their fishing applications.” – Scott Fly Rod Company

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.”

Product story

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.

Performance 

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.

Pros

Absolutely classy, beautiful rod.

Honest, medium action that lets you feel the cast, develop your stroke and feel fish of all sizes as you fight them.

Versatility to fish any fly rig–single dries, tandem dries, dry-droppers, high-stick nymphing, especially inside a range of 50 feet.

Made in America.

Cons

If you’re looking for a fast-action crutch to compensate for your sub-par cast, there are tons of better options. 

It’s not for hucking heavy flies with an overhead cast, especially not at distances beyond 50 feet.

You must appreciate the roll cast in equal proportion to the overhead cast to fully appreciate the Scott G series. (Is this really a con?)

Pricing

In an era when the “top-line” rods from many companies cost over a grand, the G isn’t wed to overkill engineering. It’s a fair value at $895.

Durability

Like some of you, I’ve heard the scuttlebut about Scott rods breaking. I’ve not experienced that problem myself. In general, natural finish blanks are tougher than sanded blanks.

Craftsmanship

Beautiful, natural, hand-crafted fly rods, like everything Scott makes.

  • Price: $895
  • Dimensions: 8-foot 8-inch 4-weight, 4-piece fly rod
  • Weight: 3.5 ounces
  • Construction/Materials: FiberFuse enhanced resin system
  • Guides: Titanium frames and silicon carbide (SiC) rings (silicon carbide (SiC) rings are diamond polished to create the smoothest surface of any ceramic material)
  • Rod action: Medium
  • Rod tracking: Straight 
  • Rod recovery: Medium-fast
  • Warranty information: Scott warranty

Scott warranty.

“We design rods for high performance and build them to last a lifetime. Sometimes things don't go as planned and you break a rod (sometimes even we mess up). It’s for these occasions that we warranty our fly rods and have a dedicated repair department of rod craftsmen.

The Scott Lifetime Warranty applies only to the original owner of new graphite and fiberglass rods, purchased from an authorized Scott dealer, that are registered within 30 days of purchase.  

Unregistered or resold rods are not covered by this warranty. Rods purchased from third party sites such as Ebay or Amazon are not covered by the warranty.”

Likely buyers

The “feel” angler. The dry-fly angler. It’s a “western” rod by birthright, but I sure like it in the Driftless, or on the Pere Marquette in Michigan, or any of Pennsylvania’s streams.  

If you want to huck big bugs and show off that distance cast, this isn’t the horse for that course. Conversely, if you want to ease into a run and watch a fish eat bugs for a while, then load up and make one meaningful cast, you couldn’t be in a better position than to have the G in your hand at the moment of truth.

What others say

“Last July, we fished the GS 884/4 from the boat during your favorite mid-summer PMD hatch–predictable line control, versatile, medium action, superior connectivity to a fighting fish. Great fly rods allow you to feel every aspect of the fly-fishing engagement: the cast, hook set and fish. The ability to process this feedback is what makes anglers great. And this is a great fly rod to get you there.” – Andrew Steketee 

Conclusion

The Scott G, as it stands today, is legitimately better, by way of casting performance, than the original Scott G. That’s not meant to take anything away from the original G, which I respect and love–I cling to my original Scott G rods like they’re artifacts, and still fish them, all the time. I’ve never had one break either.

But if you’re looking for a top-end, medium-action rod, I cannot conjure up a better recommendation than the Scott G, especially not better than the 8-foot 8-inch 4-weight. If you fish medium-sized rivers for trout, be that out West, in the Midwest, or East, this fly rod is a standout.

Scott fly rod and trout
Scott fly rod and trout
Scott fly rod in car
People in pickup truck
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