One of the most intriguing new rods for 2015 is the Winston Nexus. Winston discontinued all of their overseas-made rods this year, which included the very popular Passport and VSL, and replaced them with a made-in-the-USA rod at a very attractive price.
We got a chance to cast the 9’ 5-weight Nexus this year at iCast. Read on to see how it stacks up.
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Fit and Finish
It only takes a glance to realize that the Nexus is packed with the same kind of quality that you’ve come to expect from Winston. It’s got a beautiful black blank (to distinguish it from the top of the line Boron rods) and a great wooden reel seat. It’s adorned with the usual chrome snake and stripping guides.
The grip was a cigar, but felt a bit larger than usual (just like the Passport). It’s very comfortable, particularly if you’ve got larger hands.
We weren’t able to measure the rod’s weight at iCast, but I would guess that it weights in right around 3 ounces. Regardless, it felt nice and light when I was casting it.
It’s no Sage Method, but it’s got plenty of power to get it out there. 80’ casts are no problem with the Nexus.
The Nexus is right up there with the best rods in terms of accuracy. In close, its soft tip is classically Winston and delivers top notch accuracy. The Nexus performs best, however, at about 40’ and that’s what makes it an excellent all-around trout rod. But the performance doesn’t stop there. It’s also a great rod at 60+’ and has excellent power and tracking.
Flex & Feel
The Nexus is a ‘fast’ rod, but not overly fast. It’s got a soft tip that loads well in close and protects those delicate tippets. It’s also got plenty of power in the butt and mid sections to get it out there when the wind comes up and fight that 24” brown.
I didn’t get to test this rod with a nymph rig, but it’s got the right blend of characteristics to be an awesome nymph stick. It’s got the power to throw a heavier rig into the wind and the user-friendliness to make it easy to open up your loop to avoid tangles.
The Nexus comes with the same lifetime warranty you get on all Winston rods.
Is the new Winston Nexus a re-packaged Passport? The guys at Winston assured me that it’s not, but I really liked the Passport, and I wouldn’t be upset if it actually was the same rod. Particularly, since they upgraded it in all the right places. So if you missed out on the Passport before it was discontinued, fret not, this rod is pretty similar, and sure to be a hit.
But, whether or not it’s a re-packaged Passport, is really irrelevant. The Nexus is a premium rod, with premium performance at a less than premium price. I’m glad that we’re beginning to see some quality US-made rods at more affordable prices.
Line Recommendation: This rod is just soft enough to cast with either a standard or half-size heavier line, like SA GPX.
- Great all-around performance
- Top notch Winston quality
- Made in the USA
- Winston purists won’t like the black blank color
- It didn’t feel like much of a performance upgrade over the Passport