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Freshwater Rods

Scott Session 9-foot 5-weight Fly Rod

Radian reborn? The same “lively” feel is here, and the price is right.
Kirk Deeter author.
Kirk Deeter
March 1, 2024
Scott | Session 9-foot 5-weight Fly Rod
product description
“Session rods bring together high line speed, exceptional loop control and a light and lively feel in hand. They load easily and respond to subtle inputs from the angler.” – 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

Three things to set up the Scott Session fly rod review: 

1. Everyone knows I like Scott rods. I’ve never hidden that. I’ve also never been compensated by Scott to say nice things. The rods just generally fit my casting style.  

2. If you’ve read enough of my stuff, you also know that I’m concerned about the price of fly rods these days. Over a grand? For a fly rod? When high-end rod prices crashed through the thousand-dollar ceiling, it just rubbed me the wrong way. I totally get the desire to make things better, stronger and all that, but the honest truth is that about two percent of fly anglers are skilled enough to accurately, perceptively feel what those rods purport to offer. I like to think that I’m part of that two percent, but I wonder sometimes myself.

3. I was deeply enamored with the Scott Radian fly rod when it came out over 10 years ago. I also like the newer Scott Centric, but if you were to count the river days I fish with which rod, I still fish Radian a lot, which will matter in the context of what I’m about to say about the new Scott Session.

Product story

So, the Scott Session is a $675 fly rod, which is going to make Scott reps and dealers happy, because the company hasn’t had a viable freshwater entry at that price point for some time.

Scott Fly Rod Company President, Jim Bartschi, says about the design, “Anyone who has fished Scott freshwater rods in the recent past will immediately recognize our signature ‘fast with feel’ action in Session rods. They share some of the design approaches and materials DNA with some of our most legendary rods. Incorporating some of our newest technologies provides these rods their own unique feel and attributes.”

As we all know, or should, some of the “mid-price-point” rods the manufacturers offer today are reboots of the topline rods they offered several years ago. For all intents and purposes, the Scott Session is, at least in my mind, the Radian reborn. I couldn’t get Scott president Jim Bartschi to say that outright, and he pointed out that Scott was using in Session the same new resin system it uses for Centric, and the same reinforcement process it uses for multi-direction plys in the blanks of Centric and the saltwater Sector, as well as a different mandrel or two (depending on the model) to shape the blanks.

But here’s the real deal…


I was curious enough to run to the river and cast and fish the new Session alongside my old faithful Radian, both 9-foot 5-weights, alternating time spans–a half hour each, then five minutes each, then basically alternating shots every minute or so. I even blindfolded myself (seriously!) for a spell as I did this and couldn’t tell the difference. From the flex, to the casting stroke and the whole “fast action meets feel” thing, they essentially felt the same. 

To me, Session is the Radian–maybe a tad better, even, with a fresh look, including cool green wraps and an emerald hue reel seat. It comes with a cordura rod tube, good guides (Silicon Nitride stripping guides, low-glare, light-wire snake guides), good warranty, so welcome back to the good old days when you could buy a do-anything rod to hoof long casts, make accurate presentations and fight all the trout you want for $675 bucks.

For the record, I love the name of this rod. Kind of an inside theme between Tim Romano and me, but we’ve always had ways of describing our outings on the water. There are bad days, average days, pretty good days–and then there are days when everything lines up, the fish are willing, you have the right bug and you’re just in the zone with casts, dropping everything where it belongs and the fish eat accordingly. Those days, while rare, are always described as a “session,” and the Session rod will lend itself to plenty of those types of experiences.

Dings? I might have preferred a slightly wider grip, but I have large hands. 


I wouldn’t pigeon-hole Session as a dry-fly rod, or a streamer rod, or a nymph rod. It’s an all-arounder, the equivalent of an all-mountain ski you can use with equal effect on bumps, in powder, or carving groomers. I’d throw dry flies with Session in Michigan or Pennsylvania, or sight nymph with it in Colorado, or even hoof mouse flies in Alaska, depending on the model.


The price: $675. Made in America. Good warranty. 

It’s better than the best rod you could have bought several years ago.

It’s beautiful. No skimping on the accents.


Decide if the grip is right for you, and if not, adjust with tape, or whatever.

Is your ego going to get in the way if you want the “latest, greatest” rod available?

Do you already have a Radian?


Great value in today’s fly rod market.


For the money, Session now stands toe-to-toe with the Orvis Recon, or Sage’s Sonic when it comes to fast-action (with feel) freshwater fly rods. Each is a little bit different as you cast them, and you should decide which one fits your stroke best. They’re all winners.


I’ve heard some folks have breakage issues with certain Scott rods, including the Radian, but in my experience, having fished Radian throughout the world in a variety of situations, I’ve only broken one Scott Radian, in a fly-rod rack on my car. The company fixed it, sent it back within a couple months and it’s good as new.

  • Price: $675
  • Dimensions: 9-foot 5-weight, 4-piece fly rod
  • Weight: ~3 ounces
  • Construction/Materials: Carbon Link epoxy resin system, multi-modulus fiber lay ups, ARC2 (Advanced Reinforced Carbon) reinforcement, ReAct (reduced vibrations, faster recovery), natural finish blanks
  • Guides: Silicon Nitride stripping guides, low-glare, light-wire snake guides
  • Rod action: Fast
  • Rod tracking: Straight
  • Rod recovery: 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 enlightened angler who is comfortable in their own skin, knows how they like to cast and doesn’t care when they hang a rod on the rack at a fancy lodge, or pull it out of a simple Cordura tube when everyone else has the “latest and greatest.” Scott Radian lovers, who appreciated and now miss that model, whether they want a redux with a slightly improved version of a model they have, or a different weight and length to complement an old standard. An angler who has graduated from sheer novice to a level where they think they’ve earned a kick-ass fly rod, but still don’t feel like they need to spend a grand or more to get there.


I highly recommend this rod. I’d fish it anywhere in the United States or beyond–mostly for trout, and we’ll see how that transposes to the salt and elsewhere with larger models. For anglers looking to find a stick for bass, bluegills, warmwater (any rod choice should really be about the sizes and types of flies you’re going to throw, and not the species of fish you aim to catch), the 9-foot 5-weight Session is more than formidable.

I think this fly rod might be a true game-changer that proves you don’t have to spend top dollar to get everything most anglers could ever want for a fishing tool. This rod is a reality check and represents the vanguard of what savvy anglers will factor when they measure what fly rods should really cost, how they should perform and what you get for the money. We think this rod will hinder sales of thousand-dollar fly rods, and it should. 

That said, we also know there will be hordes of anglers who show up in Montana this summer with thousand-dollar fly rods, and all they’re going to do is sling bobbers, which is completely their prerogative. But if you want a casting tool that will last a lifetime and go anywhere, without having to spend an arm and a leg, test cast Session, Recon and Sonic, then make an informed decision.

Find the Scott Session 9-foot 5-weight with our trusted partner:

Scott Session Fly Rod Lifestyle image
Scott Session Fly Rod Lifestyle image
Scott Session Fly Rod Lifestyle image
Scott Session Fly Rod Lifestyle image
Scott Session Fly Rod Lifestyle image
Scott Session Fly Rod Lifestyle image
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