Early Thursday we received our first shipment of Scott Sector fly rods. Later that afternoon I got a text saying “let’s put the Sector to work!” and a screenshot of the weather for Friday. It was from Mike P. (our social media man and the guy responsible for the video above). The way the wind and tide lined up it was a no-brainer to go. 4:15 the next morning we were heading down to the Everglades on the hunt for redfish with his little “no such thing as too skinny” Gheenoe. The mission from the start was redfish as conditions were great for them and we haven’t really dedicated time to them since we first started seeing them significantly regain their presence in our part of the ‘glades a year or two ago.
With the tip of the sun lazily peaking over the horizon, we reached the edge of the flat. Immediately we ran into a group of baby tarpon rolling. MP grabbed the Sector and put a tarpon fly on it. He stepped up on the cooler and not to my surprise at all grabbed his camera. I poled, laughed, and to no avail offered to help – as he missed strike after strike trying to both film and fish at the same time.
Now the sun was a little higher and the tide was crawling off the flat. The little poons vanished into thin air. We switched duties, I put on a redfish bug and we we headed inwards towards the heart of the flat. While baby tarpon fishing we had assumed most of the commotion on the flat was mullet. A few pushes into the skinny revealed the targeted species to be mixed in with the mullet. A lot of them. We were covered. At every o’clock. Singles and small clusters, tailing their little back-ends off. They were on the smaller side but tailing redfish nonetheless.
My first cast was at a single fish. It tailed for a second then went down and came back up a few feet away, the fly went right by where I thought its face was 3 or 4 times. MP excitedly whispered “we’re getting shots at tailing redfish!”. It had a tone of both “this is so cool it’s been a long time since we’ve done this” and “you’re blowing it”. We spun around and were within range of 3 fish tailing on a clump of grass together. One cast, one bump and it was on. The ice was broken. That fish got its photoshoot and went home.
Moments after its release MP was casting at a tailer. Then another. And another. Wondering why these fish were making it more difficult than it had to be, we switched bugs from a black/purple little shrimpy thing, to a small olive merkin-style crab. The code was decrypted. The cycle then began: catch a fish, jump on the poling platform, watch the other guy catch a fish, jump back on the bow and repeat.
The fish followed the tide down as it drained, now scooting from patch of grass to patch of grass. They stuck their heads so far into the grass you had to smack the fly down just to get their attention. When they looked up they either ate the fly or lazily shot to the next patch of grass (most of the time they ate it).
In the heat of the afternoon we decided we had our fill and that we should try to christen the Sector with a backcountry slam. We knew for sure where to go for baby tarpon, and there we could also hopefully catch the attention of a (micro if need-be) snook.
The little princes rolled all around the small bay. They pounced from under the mangroves. And if there were any snook around – the tarpon were protecting them from ever seeing the fly.
The Sector is a spectacular flats and backcountry stick. What stuck out most to me was the swing-weight. It’s unbelievable. Balanced correctly, the tip feels weightless, which makes the rod seem shorter than it is. This feeling inspires an air of confidence in the 30-40 ft cast range. You feel like you can hit a dime at that distance. The most important distance in flats fishing.
We were using the 9′ 8 weight, balanced perfectly with an Abel Super 7/8, and the Scientific Anglers Amplitude Grand Slam WF8F fly line.
The SA Grand Slam (a comparatively heavier line) loads the rod very well. In expected form, the line excelled at what we were doing.
The big question when the Sector came out was: how does it compare to the Meridian? The Sector is a stiffer rod throughout, with a much stiffer tip than the Meridian. It also has a quicker recovery speed than the Meridian. Hence why the heavy line loaded it well and was able to shoot quickly over short distances with total accuracy.
I personally loved the Meridian for its relaxed, forgiving action. It performed effortlessly at critical sight-fishing distances, especially with lighter, longer taper lines. But it had its down-falls. It sometimes found itself overpowered by wind, heavier flies, heavier lines, and the stroke of an aggressive caster.
The Sector is more of a solid, versatile, all-around saltwater stick. When I first casted it in the parking lot, I wasn’t fond of it. It was great at aerializing line and bombing long distance lasers (longer than usually necessary). But it didn’t have any feel in the 30-50 ft range. That day in the parking lot, the bonefish line that was on it was too light with too long a head for it, and the reel was too light taking away from that great swing-weight mentioned earlier.
Taking the Sector fishing with the heavier line and the balanced reel definitely changed my perspective on it. It’s a rod that when properly equipped can do it all. Quick, easy, accurate short shots to long distance bombs – with a better handle on the variables. It’s a fishing rod – a rod designed for fishing and everything that goes with it, it’s not just a casting rod.
With its CeRecoil stripping guides, the Sector has the coolest hardware out there right now. Nickel titanium recoil guides with a slick Zirconia insert, coated in a low reflective coating. These stripping guides have the lowest friction and are the most durable guides I have ever seen. You can flatten it parallel to the blank and it bounces back up into original form.
Lastly the Flor grade cork fits the hand extremely well, I want to say the modified wells grip is slightly smaller than the Meridian’s. This just adds to the confidence you get when you feel the swing-weight and load the crisp, responsive tip of the Scott Sector.