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Scott has announced the release of their brand new saltwater rod series, the Sector. The Sector replaces the much-loved Meridian and features some updated aesthetics and improved performance. Scott elected to keep their trademark unsanded blank design to keep the Sector lightweight and strong. The unsanded blank design may be the same but the technology is different. The Sector utilizes ReAct Tech (which we've seen in the past from Scott), and new Carbon Web Tech. Carbon Web improves torsional forces for better tracking and more pure power. This rod features phenomenal performance, as we've come to expect from Scott, and state-of-the-art craftsmanship.
The new Sector rods are incredibly innovative in the fit and finish category. Scott has introduced some new componentry that we've never seen on a fly rod before... here's what you need to know. The Sector has Ceracoil stripping guides with nickel-titanium frames and super slick Zirconia inserts and titanium snake guides. The guides are coated in PVD (a low reflective coating) to increase stealth. The reel seat is milled from aircraft-grade aluminum with a self-indexing slide hood. Flor grade cork grips, new fighting butts, loads of features. These rods are truly a work of art and utilize the finest componentry we've ever seen.
The Sector weighs in at 4.2 oz with a swing weight of 81.6. The swing weight of the Sector is slightly less than the swing weight of the Meridian but not by a lot. Both rods are lightweight for 8wt saltwater rods.
The Sector isn't necessarily designed to cast long-headed fly lines at distance. Because of the rod's soft tip, the Sector loses a little accuracy past 70 feet. That being said, we found that the Sector actually casts quite well with lines like Rio's InTouch Outbound Short at longer distances. If you're a Striper junkie in the Northeast and routinely dump out a lot of line, don't shy away from the Sector just because of its soft tip. The Sector is an extremely versatile rod and its versatility shows at longer distances.
While the rod's soft tip is one of the reasons its accuracy decreases with distance, its strong butt section is part of the reason it accommodates lines with aggressive front tapers past 70 feet. Scott designed the blank of the Sector to accommodate a wide spectrum of saltwater angling scenarios and we felt that versatility when casting the rod.
Accuracy is one of the strong suits of the Sector, particularly at short and middle distances. At 40 feet the Sector has superb accuracy and tons of feedback and feel. This short distance accuracy is a result of the rod's soft tip and makes the Sector a phenomenal choice for close shots while wading for Bonefish.
The Sector retains its accuracy at 60 feet. The angler can really feel the progressive action of the rod at this middle distance and Scott has truly refined the taper of the rod to provide smooth accuracy and ample feedback and feel at 60 feet. 60 feet is one of the most important saltwater distances, especially when stalking fish on the flats, and the Sector delivers advanced accuracy and solid performance at this distance.
Push the rod back to 80 feet and Scott's rod design starts to lose accuracy. I've never met a rod that's supremely accurate at short, middle, and long distances and because of the rod's design, the Sector's loss of accuracy at 80+ feet isn't really a surprise. Saltwater scenarios when an accurate 80+ foot cast is paramount are pretty few and far between. And, as an added bonus, if you're looking to make long casts while blind fishing the salt (think Stripers for example) the strong butt section of the Sector throws an Outbound Short or a Titan Taper really well.
We've mostly covered this in the Accuracy and Distance sections but I'll profile the rod flex and try to explain the pros and cons of the Sector's blank design. In simplified terms, the butt section of the Sector is strong and fast, the mid-section of the Sector is strong and relatively fast, and the tip section of the Sector is forgiving and slow. The soft tip means the Sector provides tons of feedback and feel when casting off of the tip at short range. The partner the soft tip with the strength of the middle section and it's easy to see why the Sector also performs well at middle distances. The rod's strong, powerful butt section provides the angler with a powerful rod that's not necessarily the most delicate or feedback-friendly at longer distances.
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We're sad to see the Meridian go. The Meridian was one of the most popular saltwater rod series' of all time. Can it be replaced? We think Scott has gotten pretty close with the Sector. The Sector is innovative, progressive, high performing, and purposefully designed. Throw in new rod blank technology, some of the finest componentry the industry has ever seen, and the perfect marriage of power and finesse, and it's pretty easy to forget there ever was a Meridian series... well, almost.