"Sometimes, you just need to go downstairs and waggle a rod..." - Scott Hanson

"Write what you know. If you don't know, make it up..." - Scott Hanson

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

The Fours

In a recent post I wrote about my 3-wt rods (The Threes), and now I am going to take on the daunting task of writing about my 4-wt rods. It is daunting for two reasons: First, there are a lot more Fours than there were Threes. Second, my arsenal, and my tastes in fly rods, change often, so I may decide to sell a rod as I am writing about it... That could be awkward for both me and the rod! Oh well, I will push on and do the best I can.
My 4wt lineup.

Same.
Most of my fishing is for trout and panfish, and in my mind, the optimal tools for those two types of fish are 4- and 5-wt rods. Because of this, I own a lot of both. Today I will focus on the Fours, and I will write about the Fives some other day. So, in order of length, here are my Fours:
Gratuitous trout pic. 

First up is a green Steffen S-glass 7-footer. Most Steffen glass rods are a deep brick maroon color, but early on they made some green ones. This is one of those green rods, and, like all Steffen rods, it is sweet! Despite the short length I can cast to 50ish feet quite easily. If you have never cast a Steffen glass rod, you really should!
Steffen S-Glass 7' 4wt

My Hardy 7' 4-wt glass rod is another sweet one. The blank was made by the Fisher company, and like all Fisher made rods, it is a beautiful casting tool.
Hardy 7' 4wt

Next up is an old Scientific Angler System 4 glass rod. SA glass blanks were also made by the Fisher company, and the System 4 has the reputation of being the sweetest in the lineup. I would agree.
System 4

While I am writing about Fisher-made rods, I might as well mention my 7'6" Winston Stalker glass rod, which, you guessed it, is also a Fisher blank. Fisher rolled the blanks for quite a number of companies back in the day, and as far as I can tell, every blank they made was a winner.
Winston Stalker 7'6" 4wt

Another winner is my Scott F754/3 black glass rod. Scott made these rods in the 90s, if I am not mistaken, and like all Scott rods, this one rocks. It might be my favorite all-around trout rod...
Scott F754/3

Of course everyone knows that Sage is probably the most popular fly rod company in the world these days. Their graphite rod selection is vast; so vast that I no longer have any idea which models are which. Back in the day they made some high quality glass rods, and my 476SFL is a workhorse. If not for my above-mentioned Scott, this might be my favorite all-around rod...
Sage and brown

Sage, up close.

I wanted a high quality 4-piece glass travel rod, and I found that in my Unstructured Glass 8' 4wt. Unstructured Glass rods were made by Vladan Milenkovic, a rod builder/musician who is based in Boston. Unfortunately he no longer builds these rods, so if you can find one you better snap it up!
Unstructured Glass 8' 4wt

Livingston Rod Company is based in Montana, and they make very high quality glass and graphite rods. I was lucky enough to obtain one of their prototype glass rods which is 8'6" in length and rated as a 3 or 4-wt. I love it with a 4-wt WF line, so I am including it on this post as opposed to the former.
Livingston Rod Co. 8'6" 3/4wt

Finally, I recently acquired an old Scott graphite PowR-Ply 9' 4wt rod. I always say that if you need to use a longer rod you should stick with graphite, as it is lighter than fiberglass and won't cause your shoulder to fall off after a day of casting. Plus, the older graphites, like this rod, are nice and slow, as opposed to lighting fast like new graphites are.
Scott graphite + brown trout = Happy me

Well, those are my Fours. At least for now... Let me know if you have any questions about a specific rod. Happy casting!

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