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Winston Boron Plus 5wt 9’0″ Fly Rod


The Winston Boron Plus 5wt 9’0″ showed up at the fly shop a 2-3 months ago…..

It all started when my Winston rep arrived for his yearly visit to fly shop to introduce the new Winston lineup to the staff. New for 2016, the Winston Boron Plus Fly Rod. The rod features included larger stripping and snake guides, a faster/light taper to the blank, and last new winston green full anodized aluminum reel seat. As a angler loyal to Winston for most of my fishing career, my rods range from the delicate 3wt fly rods for dry fly fishing to the harder working Boron IIISX fly rods for the saltwater. My last Winston rod purchased was their new microspey 4wt boron III MS fly rod. Probably the best rod I have in the arsenal right now and I use it a ton. If you are looking for a lighter trout spey. Booya!

When this rod arrived to the fly shop, I thought it was a demo rod as reps will sometimes send demos to fly shops and then we forward it along to the next shop so the territory is able to test the rod on the water or in the back of the shop. However, this rod was different. The first thing I noticed was my name inscribed just above the Winston name. Winston believes in craftsmanship and one of these finer qualities is getting your name inscribed into the rod. All my Winston’s have my name inscribed just above the model and weight of the fly rod. I would always recommend this on any Winston rod you purchase. This stick was beautiful, winston green all the way down to the reel seat.

Unfortunately, it took almost a month to get this rod on the water. I have been swinging streamers and wet flies for the past couple of months and truly really haven’t thrown a single handed rod unless I was guiding or instructing. Rigging up this rod with both a sinking tip fly line and nymph line, I was ready to hit my local spring creek trout fishery. The sinking line was a RIO streamer tip WF5/S6. A 10ft sink tip line that is fast sinking and gets flies down on the rocks. I have fished this line for 5+ years and find it is perfect for my local streams that are smaller in width no deeper than 4-5 ft in the holes. My nymph line was a New for 2016 line called the RIO Single Spey Line. A great nymph or wet fly line that has a larger/thicker body in the rear and a great presentation taper near the leader.

Fishing all day with this rod with both particular fly lines, here are my thoughts. First, the rod is extremely light and powerful. It was fishing coneheads, articulated 3-4″, and fish skull streamer flies with ease. A 5wt don’t forget! Not saying that I was casting over 50ft or so, but the accuracy and power was everything I imagined it would be with this particular fly rod. Nymphing the holes, I found that it even had the presentation skills while having the ability to feel the action of the fly rod for such a powerful rod. From just a setup with a small New Zealand strike indicator with no split shot to the thingmabobber with a couple split shot before the point. Equally as pleasant to cast and the rod still have the lovely Winston feel. You could truly feel the line load the rod perfectly.

As with most rods from Sage, Scott, Orvis, and Winston, when you reach the top end, you truly get the best of the best from each manufacturer. However there are many subtle differences between these manufacturers when producing fly rods and their craftmanship. To keep it simple, I will note only the new toy from Winston. Winston incorporates a more progressive taper, meaning power in the butt section, feel in the tip “Winston Feel”. Hard to describe until you get a rod in your hands. Secondly, craftsmanship is noticeable up and down the rod. From the faster guides to the new reel seat matching the blank, the components are made to withstand the most harsh conditions, while having the ultimate classic look. The Boron allows for a deep reserve power in the butt section, which on this 5wt, you could feel the heavy streamer and sink tip cast with ease. Last, the Boron Plus is light in the hand compared to its predecessor the Boron III SX. I was totally stoked to get my hands on this rod, fish it, and ultimately have my own. Thanks Winston!!!

Sage ONE Trout Spey Gear Review

The New Toy: Meat Slapper

Sage ONE Trout Spey Rod

Taking a peak at the New 2016 Sage lineup during an early spring visit from my Farbank rep, there was one item that garnered my full attention. As an owner of several Sage ONE single handed-rods, which fit my casting and fishing style perfectly, the thought of a Sage ONE 3wt 11’0” two-hander haunted me until it was in my hands all rigged up and ready to fish. My home waters in the Midwest are small to medium rivers with slow flows, deep undercuts, fallen trees, and sparkling clear water down to 4ft. Depending on the season, we chase everything from smallmouth and largemouth bass, to spring creek browns, carp, and of course steelhead on the Lake Erie tributaries. These small to medium rivers have slow flows creating a perfect scenario for shorter two-handed rods and swinging streamers through deep pools.

My goal was to find a two-handed rod with a faster, responsive action that could throw a lighter style Skagit shooting head, spey versileader, and a monster fly for targeting big browns and bass that eat MEAT. From deer hair bugs to articulated streamers, I was demanding a very versatile fly rod out of a mere 3wt.

Setup: a RIO Skagit Trout Max 250grain, 25lb RIO Grip Shooter running line and RIO 10ft Light Scandi Spey Versileader/5ips sink rate. Goal: a larger fly to slap water near the bank and swing/strip through the bottom like a smaller sculpin, leech, or baitfish (Meat Slapper)

A couple weeks ago, I finally had the opportunity to get the outfit wet!

One word… Effortless. The rod did most of the work all day long. As my co-angler was fishing a 7wt single handed rod, false casting 1-2 times before each presentation, I was able to Z-cast, double spey, and single spey to present a 4 inch articulated fly in 1 fluid cast. Excelling in making tight accurate casts, this ONE made me a better two-handed caster on a smaller river through its responsive and accurate graphite components. Not only can you feel the rod load under the Skagit head, but you feel the deep reserve power in the cork that makes you feel you can push the rod harder. Keep in mind, my goal was not 60+ feet casts, but deadly accurate 30-50ft casts in lower canopies, log jams, and undercut banks situations. I would highly suggest this particular fly rod for an angler who also has rotator cuff or has difficulty throwing a heavy streamer rod and sinking fly line all day long.


Rigging the outfit with the RIO Gripshooter was a must! Not only can you shoot this smaller Skagit head a country mile, but the handling section allowed me to use a critical jerk/strip method to entice these predators. I just can’t wait for the spring and summer bass season when I can get out on the larger waters 60-80ft with a deer fly in the aquatic grass! As a loyal Sage fly bum, I think they hit the ball out of the park on this particular fly rod and especially the design of the Skagit Max Trout Line. Maybe I can convince RIO engineers to design a extra light MOW tip kit!!!!


I hope you will enjoy this on your local streams, as I will continue to do in the 2016 season.


Matt Parker, General Manager

www.ReelFlyRod.com     Sage ONE Trout Spey available at ReelFlyRod.com

SAGE ONE TROUT SPEY 3wt 11’0″ on River from Matt Parker on Vimeo.


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