21 November, 2012

Product Review - Scott L2h 1158/4

Now that I've got a couple of outings under my belt with the new Scott L2h switch rod, I thought a quick review to be in order.

Regular readers may recall I picked up this rod to be part of a dedicated swung fly rig. I love swinging and found that breaking down and switching over from an indy rig was just too much of a pain. This enables me to roll up to a good swing spot and go!

The rod has Scott's new unsanded blank approach. I like the retro look and feel of it, but never understood that there were performance reasons behind this decision. Evidently traditional sanded/finished blanks are first sanded, then painted and sealed. This adds a cosmetic layer than can actually negatively impact performance. Interesting -- I had no idea, but it makes perfect sense. For more, read the full article on the Scott web site here.

In addition to the aesthetically appealing finish, this rod has some of the nicer cork I've seen from Scott. My other Scott sticks are fine cork-wise, but this one has a nice, dense, smooth surface. And it feels great in-hand. I know this doesn't really affect the functionality, but it certainly does improve your overall impression of the rod when you first pick one up.

Great, fine -- it's a sweet-looking stick. But how does it FISH? Well, here's the disclaimer. I haven't actually caught anything with it. YET. But I've got some casts in with it and have formed enough of an opinion that I'm very happy with its performance.

The L2h is clearly in the "baby spey" category of switch rods. Unlike the softer float rods (like my A3 1108/4), this one has some more serious backbone. That backbone translates into some serious power. It would be interesting to compare this to the Sage TCX "Death Star" switch. I've thrown a TCX spey rod and the L2h clearly holds its own comparatively.

One interesting issue is selecting the correct line weight. I found a plethora of wildly differing opinions in online resources. In Skagit, Scott calls for 440 grains, whereas Rio suggests 525-575 grains. And Scientific Anglers says 480 grains. Confusing, at-best.Since I was running an SA Skagit Extreme intermediate, I went with their recommendation initially. Casting felt pretty good on the first outing. No blown anchor points and decent "go".

But as the constant tweaker I am, I wondered if a slightly heavier head would benefit me. So, I picked up a 520 grain head and on my second trip to the river - MONEY! With this heavier head, I could feel the rod load much better, manage my application of power, and put the fly right where I wanted it! On my second outing I gained tremendous accuracy, distance, and confidence. I really like this set-up and I'm quite certain it will help me up my two-handed casting skills.

So, if you're looking for an all-around switch rod for mid-sized rivers, I highly recommend the Scott L2h series!

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