Horse Feathers and Bird Feathers

Horse Feathers and Bird Feathers

Carol Northcut | Wednesday, 21 December 2022

Not that I can really afford to buy a new rod or that Steve wouldn’t have a fit if I did, but I can think about it. The rod I’m most interested in, at this point, is the Scott Centric, but I’ve yet to run it through any paces. I find it interesting that I’ve come across such different internet reviews regarding its action. One review was by a reputable Norwegian caster. He tested the Radian, Centric and Sage Ignitor three side by side. He concluded that the Centric lay between the Scott Radian and the Ignitor, meaning faster than the Radian but slower than the ignitor. Another review, by a reputable caster in the States, referred to the Radian as “Ultra Fast,” which I believe is horse feathers having cast it from 2014 till it was stolen in August, and having both TCX and Method rods. That review said the Centric was a bit slower than the Radian. Well, is it faster than the Radian or slower? It is a matter of opinion based upon what one is used to casting, the line and amount being carried, the casts used for testing, and one’s casting skill. My conclusion? Rod reviews really are not really worth a whole lot except to give you an idea of whether a rod is worth trying.

The temperatures this week are bone-chilling. Today’s high was 2 F, tomorrow will be colder, Wednesday high is expected to be -15F and Thursday’s high -25F. Yes, that a minus. Next week should be in the 30s and 40s, so I hope to test some rods. My hope is to test the Centric, the Orvis H3D, the Scott Wave, theWinston Alpha Plus, and whatever else the shop has of note in 6 weights. I’ll test using both the MED and the Rio SHS with identical leaders. The purpose is to find a rod that will make learning SHS at 50’ a little easier than my TCX. Since Spey is so new to me (I thought a Snap T was an infant’s shirt) and the nearby water is frozen, my ability to test a rod for SHS is limited to roll and continuous tension casts on grass. I could just twirl the line around like a steer roper too I suppose.

If I asked each one of you your opinion, I’d likely get an array of answers and suggestions for rods I’d never find available for testing. Some folks are fortunate enough to buy a rod without testing it and if they don’t care for it, just buy another $1,000 rod. That’s not the case here. Except for the Radian I bought in 2014, all of my rods have been purchased on super sale. Some folks have suggested I find a used rod. The problem I have with that notion is that rods get broken. I’ve broken at least two rods and Steve broke one of my rods twice, so the warranty is very important to me.  I don’t want to sink $300-$600 into a used rod that can’t be warrantied. That seems foolish.

On a completely different note, while sitting at my vise today tying #20 JuJu Baetis emergers, I heard a scratching-type noiseat the window next to the bench. At first, I thought it was just the cold affecting the window, but it happened again. Looking up, I saw the most beautiful tail feathers of a bird (see poor quality picture). It was a woodpecker but I couldn’t discern which type because its plumage doesn’t match up with any of the ones commonly found in Montana. It pecked at the joint between the window frame and the siding, but not the rat-a-tat-tat expected of a woodpecker. It plucked out a dead bug that fell to the ground (probably a Western Conifer Seed Bug, aka stink bug), then swooped to the ground to snatch it. If your first thought when seeing its feathers is fly tying, woodpeckers are federally protected. Besides, I like to appreciate the beauty of living creatures and leave them as just that, living.