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Specialty Rods

Scott Split Cane 7-foot 7-inch 4-weight Fly Rod

A safe, smart, way to open the bamboo can of worms.
Kirk Deeter author.
Kirk Deeter
January 16, 2024
Scott | Split Cane 7-foot 7-inch 4-weight Fly Rod
product description
“Scott’s all-around Split Cane (SC) is at home on any size stream with dries, nymphs or small streamers. The perfect choice for a high-performance, versatile bamboo rod.” – 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

I was a proud member of the graphite proletariat, shunning bamboo for 30 years, partly because I couldn’t afford bamboo, and partly because I couldn’t understand why anyone would spend what they might spend to buy a used motorcycle, or a Martin or Taylor guitar, or even fly to the Bahamas and actually go bonefishing, on one damn fly rod. I thought bamboo rods were only for a stuffy cult following of old dudes who had too much time and money on their hands. 

I never inherited a bamboo rod but eventually had a deal stare me in the face, so I pounced, and bought a Scott SC series rod. And I’ve never looked back, other than to acknowledge that my bamboo epiphany marked a much-needed attitude adjustment.

If you’re going bamboo, the Scott SC series is a safe bet. To be frank, there can be big differences among what your Uncle Harold’s friend, Bob, is willing to whip up for you for $1250, which might very well turn out to be the magic wand you’ve always dreamed of owning. But then again, depending on how good Bob really is, it could be a stunningly beautiful and poorly performing fly rod when you actually want to fish with it. The Scott SC series “production” bamboo rod will be marketed by a reputable rod company and offer consistent performance characteristics along with an “owner-only” warranty.

Product story

From the manufacturer: “Continuing our long tradition of partnering with the world’s top split cane rod makers, Scott is pleased to introduce the new three-piece SC rods designed and built in collaboration with Naoki Hashimoto of Hokkaido, Japan.

Scott SC bamboo rods seamlessly integrate the traditions of craftsmanship with the performance innovations of contemporary split cane technology to bring you fly rods that stand the test of time as works of art, and as serious fishing tools.

SC rods feature beautifully figured amboyna burl wood and blued nickel silver reel seats, Snakebrand guides, stripping guides with agate inserts, handmade ferrule plugs and grips shaped from the finest cork. Each rod comes with a pair of matched tip sections.”

Performance

I wanted a bamboo rod I could fish, not just look at, and for a maiden voyage, I took the SC 774/3 (7-foot 7-inch 4-weight) fly rod to Tasmania for wild brown trout (up to a few pounds). I figured I’d fish it once or twice during the two weeks I was there, but ended up fishing it the vast majority of the time–only when I was out on the windy lakes, or targeting really large browns that I thought might break any rod, did I revert to graphite. 

In “standard” fishing conditions, on “standard-sized” rivers, the rod cast and fished as smooth as silk. Designed and manufactured in collaboration with Naoki Hashimoto of Hokkaido, Japan, this rod actually has a medium-fast action. That means it’s easy to load in short quarters, and was dialed-accurate out to about 40 feet. Although I only fished it with dry flies, I lined the rod with both weight-forward and double-taper lines, and have fished both types many times since. Performance-wise, it’s a wash–whatever line you put on will be fine.  

Versatility

This rod proves that you don’t have to sacrifice any level of “fish-ability” with bamboo (even saying that is disturbing to my cost-conscious soul). It’s a dry-fly rod. Is it a bank-banging hopper rod? No. I’d never fish it from a drift boat, if that meant using any rod holder of any sort. Streamers? Maybe a little bugger, but nah, not so much. Nymphing? If you want to chuck and duck with a bamboo rod, knock yourself out. 

I will say this: bamboo fishing is definitely a “thing.” Materials matter, and you feel it when you fish. It’s a different genre, and a different brand of fishing entirely. Are you really able to appreciate that? Totally up to you, and certainly not for me to say.  

This is classic, parachute Adams, at feeding fish stuff, where accuracy matters and satisfaction is amplified when you land that fish on an heirloom. That’s what it’s all about, nothing more, nothing less. And what I’m saying is there’s really no safer, smarter, more consistent, more beautiful and better-performing bamboo option I’ve encountered.

Pros

It’s a bamboo rod that actually fishes. It’s performance bamboo. It comes with two tip sections, but I’d be crushed if I broke even one. Three pieces, at 7-feet 7-inches, it still fits in a tube, in most fishing luggage. 

From a craftsmanship perspective, it’s simply beautiful.

Cons

I wish the grip were a little bit larger in diameter. That’s literally the only criticism I could think of. And that’s less because that affected how I cast the rod in any way, and more because my wife cast it, thought it was absolutely perfect for her and now this dream rod isn’t truly mine anymore.

Pricing

The rod costs $3,300. You could buy up to ten decent graphite rods for that price, and three-or-four truly high-end graphite models for the same. So if you’re filling out your quiver and need a saltwater rod and a small-stream special, know that this is the deep end of the pool. 

If you’re strictly a numbers person, this rod will be worth at least what you buy it for, if not more, ten years from now, provided you take care of it, and you can’t say that about any graphite rod. If you fish it, love it and make memories with it, the value is almost priceless. 

Craftsmanship

High-end finishes and built in collaboration with Naoki Hashimoto of Japan.

Durability

The 3-piece rod comes with two tip sections, perfectly matched. I alternate tip sections every time I fish and have never noticed a difference. If you break one, that really sucks, but you’re still in the game. Break two tips on a $3300 bamboo rod and shame on you–you obviously don’t have to worry about fly rod warranties. 

For the rest of the world, handle with care.

  • Price: $3600
  • Dimensions: 7-foot 7-inch 4-weight, 3-piece fly rod
  • Weight: ~5 ounces
  • Construction/Materials: Amboyna burl wood, Hariki nickel ferrule
  • Guides: Snakebrand guides, stripping guides with agate inserts
  • Rod action: Medium-fast
  • Rod tracking: Wobble (expected with bamboo) 
  • Rod recovery: Medium-fast
  • Warranty: Scott SC Warranty

Scott SC Warranty.

“Every Scott bamboo rod comes with a warranty that covers defects in materials and workmanship for one year from the date of purchase. This warranty is valid for the original owner only.”

Likely buyers

Someone who really wants a bamboo rod, for whatever reason–they’re curious, have money burning holes in their pocket, realize they don’t really need an aerospace-engineered graphite rod to have fun on their favorite river–they understand those rods are overkill. They’re also smart enough to know that they might not want to drop a couple grand on a bamboo rod that Uncle Harold says his buddy could make, or they don’t want to get on a two-year waitlist for a specialty rodmaker. 

Conclusion

This is pragmatic bamboo. It’s a fair investment. If you feel you must close your eyes, swallow hard and bite the bullet to go bamboo, the Scott SC series is among the most reasonable, reliable, consistent, attractive, legit-value-for-the-money “production” bamboo options on the market today. “Production” is a total misnomer, however, because these rods are hand-crafted in Japan–it’s just that they ultimately are marketed in the United States through the Scott Fly Rod Company and its network of dealers. 

I think, ultimately, when you look at companies that offer bamboo options in their lineups, three companies stand apart: Scott, Orvis and Winston. I chose Scott and have no regrets. I wish I had the cash to buy the others for more comparison.

No regrets, because this is a very fishable rod, and I continue to surprise myself by just how much I choose to fish with it. I hope there won’t be a day of reckoning when some giant trout in the 20-inch range surprisingly eats my dry fly, but until that happens, this has become the fly rod I want my great-granddaughter, or great-grandson to have someday.

Find the Scott Split Cane (SC) 774/3 with our trusted partners: 

Scott Rods - Split Cane Bamboo Rod
Scott Rods - Split Cane Bamboo Rod
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