Scott G Series Review- Did a classic just get better?
Scott G Series rods have long been a favorite of mine. As soon as I learned of the release of the New G Series, I ordered a 884 for myself. I wanted to see for myself if my favorite rods had really been improved upon.
The 884/3 and the 773/4 were some of the first quality fly rods that I purchased in the 1990s. The 884 ( 8’8” 4 Weight) immediately became my go-to trout rod for the majority of my fishing, which is mostly on small to mid sized streams. The softer feel of Scott G series rods suits this type of water particularly well, since the rod loads very easily with only a small amount of fly line out.
When the G2 arrived on the scene 11 years ago I was shocked at how well these rods improved on the classic feel of the G series. They maintained the medium action feel, but added more performance. The G2 release made the rods lighter in the hand, more responsive, yet maintained that smooth feel that was perfect for the majority of our fishing. The 884/4, 843/4, and 842/4 replaced the original Gs as my go-to rods.
And now here I am 11 years later looking at the new Scott G Series, the latest version of these classic fly rods.
What’s the Difference? G – G2 – new Scott G Series
Comparing the 1990s G and the newer G Series rods is like comparing a Cadillac of the 1990s and a Cadillac of today. You still have the same classic feel, but the features have been upgraded. I casted both the new G Series and 1990s 884 side by side and here is what I found- while the new G Series feels faster in the hand it is able to cast at a variety of casting speeds. Lay off the gas and the new G series falls into the classic casting rhythm of the 1990s rod. However, the new rod definitely can pick up the pace a bit if you need distance or want to punch through the breeze. If you have an old G series rod and love it, you can definitely find that smooth casting feel with the new rod, but you can get the added benefit of more versatility and better performance on the water.
(The new G Series feels lighter and faster in the hand. The new G Series feels stiffer in the butt section, but still flexes deep into the blank. When you give the new G series a wiggle it flexes just past the middle of the blank, but quickly snaps back to straight. The 1990s G feels softer when you wiggle the rod and flexes further down the blank than either the G2 or the new G Series.)
The difference between the G2 and today’s G Series rods is tougher to discern. They feel similar when you give them the wiggle test, but start casting the two rods and you can feel the difference. Both rods have a quicker recovery speed than the 1990s G Series. (Recovery speed is how quickly the blank gets back to still after flexing or bending. This smooths out casting by eliminating additional reverberations after the rod is stopped at the end of the backcast and forward cast. The quicker the blank goes from loaded to unloaded – and with fewer reverberations after the stop- the more stable your loop will be and a the smoother the cast will be. The loop will also track better.) The G2 used improvements in materials to maintain the medium action feel of the original G series, but improve the recovery speed and reduce weight. The new G series continues that tradition. The new G Series has lighter ferules, and incorporates the newest blank building technologies. Once again this allows for significant improvements to a classic rod series. The rod feels light in the hand, flexes deep into the rod, but casts better.
These differences may seem subtle, but they are significant enough that I will be replacing my G2 rods with the new Scott G Series rods.
The original G Series rods featured red, gray, and white thread wraps. This look wasn’t everybody’s favorite. The G2 brought a more natural aesthetic with brown wraps with gold accents. The new G Series sticks with that look, replacing the metallic gold accents with contrasting natural toned thread wraps. This rod looks like a classic fly rod should. While the reel seat has a more modern look, it helps the complete the core concept of the new G Series- blending of classic feel and looks with impressive modern features and technology.
10-15 feet – A hallmark of the G series family has been the ability to load well and fish well in close. While many may think this distance is irrelevant, we often fish small to mid sized water where casting well at short distances is surprisingly important. Having a rod that will make accurate casts and load with very little fly line out is very important. The new G series is great in close. The rod loads very easily and will accurately place your fly at short range.
20-30 feet – This is probably the bread and butter distance in most trout fishing situations. The G series is very smooth and graceful at this distance. The new rod does seem to add oomph to even the lightest stroke. The added line speed from the quickly recovering bank add a new dimension the G Series family, great presentation combined with a subtle punch that helps push the cast through the breeze.
40-50 feet – This would be a long cast for most of the water I typically fish for trout, but the G series with a tiny help from a haul has no problem routinely making casts this distance. With the Rio Gold the rod still felt smooth and yet surprisingly powerful at this distance.
50 feet and beyond- If you are doing a great deal of fishing past 50 feet, you probably should consider the Scott Radian as your go to fishing tool. However, if you occasionally need to push out a 50-60’ cast the G series will do it.
Scott touts the new G series improvements in tracking. While quite a bit of how well a cast tracks is controlled by the precision of the caster, a blank that has less wobble will help with the overall stability of the cast and improve how well the loop tracks and how accurate the rod is. The G2 made took a big step in improving tracking and stability over the 1990s G series. With the new G Series I could feel a further improvement over the G2 in tracking. Loops come effortlessly off the tip of the rod and turn over smoothly and on target. This is a fun rod to tighten up the control on your wrist and watch how the loops form and unfurl with precision. This is true at different tempos – smoothly apply power and tighten up the stroke and the G will throw a really nice tight loop in close and out to 40’. Relax the tempo and open up the cast, you get a slightly bigger loop (of course!) but you get a really smooth loop that turns over with a satisfying amount of finesse.
One great aspect of the medium action of these rods that gets glossed over by the casting aspect is their ability to protect lighter tippets. Having now fished and caught a few fish on the new rod, I can say that the rod flexes great under pressure and will hold fish on light tippets very well. In many situations in our neck of the woods we are using 6x and 7x tippets. Having a rod that both casts accurately at short distances and protects light tippets is a combination that is essential for our fisheries.
The G Series will be a rod that depending on your casting style will prefer a specific fly line. I tried two lines in my initial fishing experience. The first line I used was the Rio Perception WF4F. The rod felt great with this line within 30 feet (which is easily where most fishing casts occur). On longer casts the rod didn’t feel as great with this line. When I switched to a WF4F Rio Trout Lt the rod really came alive. Short casts were still excellent, but the rod maintained great feel outside of 30 feet. Based on my initial fishing experience, I would stick with the Trout LT is a good line match for the G Series, especially in dry fly fishing situations or light dry dropper.
The morning of writing this review, I dug out a reel with the Rio InTouch Gold WF4F and strung it up on the new G Series and the G2. This an excellent all around line match for the G Series (and G2). Casting this line on both of these rods, going back and forth a few times, really helped cement the difference between the two series. Both liked the Gold line, but the loops were tighter and effortless with the new G Series rod.
After spending more time with the lines, I would recommend the Rio Gold as a go to line for the new G Series. However, if you are fishing close with delicate presentations in mind, then I would recommend the the Rio Trout LT. Some of the lightweight models might like a lighter line like the Rio LightLine.
This is an area of personal preference. Choose a reel that fits your preference. The G2 and the G in my opinion feel good to me with a little more mass- something like a Hatch Finatic. This enhances the lighter tip feel of these rods. If your preference is lightweight all around, then stick to lighter reels like the Lamson Speedster or Nautilus X Frame. A less expensive and excellent option is the lightweight Redington Rise III – this reel feels very good on the G Series.
The new G series continues the family tradition but is enhanced by the improvements in blank technology. This is a rod that combines the classic feel but has improved performance. With the same relaxed casting stroke it generates tighter loops and more line speed. Fans of the old rods will appreciate that the classic feel is still there and appreciate the added responsiveness. Newcomers to the Scott G Series will love the fluid casting feel and how accurate these rods are.
Small stream anglers will find that the new G Series is right at home in making shorter casts accurately and with delicacy. The added line speed will help cut through breezes and keep casts on target. The 2,3, and 4 weight models will be a great match for smaller streams.
Anglers who routinely fish dry flies on tailwaters and larger spring creeks will find the 4, 5, and 6 weights great tools. I look forward to trying the 5 and 6 weights for fishing the Bighorn river for Baetis hatches, caddis hatches, and hopper fishing.
Scott G Series rods are available in line weight 2-6. The shorter rods are 7’7” and is offered in line 2, 3, & 5 weights. The popular 8’4” length (this has been staple of the line) is available in 3 and 4 weights. In the 8’8” length, 3, 4, 5, and 6 weights are available. Finally the 9’ rods are available in 4, 5, & 6 weight models.
Shop with confidence. We have fished Scott G Series rods for the past 20 years. If you have any questions or need a recommendation we are happy to help. Email any questions to [email protected] or give us a call at the shop 605-341-2450. You can place an order for Scott G Series rods on our Webstore or over the phone. If you are in the neighborhood stop by the shop!