When I asked David Heller, Winston’s new VP of Marketing, for an iCast preview, he was very tight lipped. However, he did let us know that there would be some new products coming out, and that means great new rods. So here’s what all you Winston fans have been waiting for:
Boron II is now a thing of the past. The last remaining Boron 2 rods (B2t and B2x two-handers) have been upgraded to Winston’s latest technology. While there hasn't been a massive change in the speys, the upgrade of the BIIt is one that will turn heads. It's not only higher performance, but it's quite a departure from Winston tradition.
- Winston Boron III LS 8' 6” 4-weight
- Ross CLA
- SA Trout Taper
Fit and Finish
Winston goes modern! (tweet this)
You would never expect Winston to make a splash in the Fit and Finish category – they are as traditional as rods come – yet, they've done it. The new LS comes with a VERY different (for Winston) skeletal reel seat. We’ll see if they stick to this as the only option. I can tell you that Winston purists will probably shudder at the thought of anything but box elder… but we’ll see!
The other noticeable piece is the extremely thin blank, which is more or less in line with the way dry fly rods are moving these days. Everything else on the rod is pure Winston: emerald green color, amazing finish, top-notch cork.
We don’t have a published weight on the rod, but it feels VERY light in hand. It may even be the lightest feeling 4-weight I’ve ever casted. This is probably due, at least in part, to the added weight in reel seat.
The LS, as you would expect, is not a long distance champ.
The LS is a light presentation rod… and as you’d expect it’s super accurate at 25’. The rod also performs quite well at 40’. Once you start getting past 50’ the slower action and slower recovery begins to show, but that’s a longer cast than you’ll need to make when you’re fishing this rod anyway.
Flex & Feel
The B3 LS is a replacement for the BIIt (the T stands for traditional). As such, it’s a medium action and relatively full flexing rod. By comparison, it’s higher performing than the B2t was, and a tad faster, but it’s still in the same category. It’s got incredible presentation abilities and can get you closer to the big fish.
Nymphing and Streamers
While you could probably do some light nymphing, the LS is essentially a dry fly specific rod. If you’re looking for a more well-rounded Winston, check out the B3x. I wouldn’t cast any heavily weighted flies with this rod.
Lifetime! It’s a $50 fee for broken rods.
Price: We don’t have pricing just yet, but I’d expect it to come in at about $800.
If you love the traditional feel that Winston has always had, you’ll like their latest creation. It’s perfect for spring creeks and smaller streams and is one of best presentation rod ever created. If you’re go-to rod is a Sage ONE, and you were hoping for a fast action dry fly rod, this isn’t it. The jury is still out on the new reel seat, but I think it’s solid.
Pair this rod with Rio Trout LT or SA Trout Tapers for the ultimate dry fly presentation combo.
- A nice increase in performance over the BIIt
- Super lightweight feel
- Near perfect presentation
- Winston purists might not love the new reel seat
- I’m still waiting for a faster, more-forgiving, Winston