Scott Sector Fly Rod Series Review: Model-by-Model
We get questions about specific rod models all the time. "How does the 9wt compare to the 10wt?" and "When should I use this rod?" and "What line works best on this rod?". In an attempt to provide better info so you can make a more informed buying decision, we decided to start a 'model-by-model' blog series. We recently had the opportunity to cast every rod in the Scott Sector Series. This article is designed to pass that info along to you. Of course, like our shootouts and other casting commentaries, these mini-reviews are based on our casting style and preferences. Your mileage may vary.
Series Overview: The Scott Meridian was a much-loved rod series. In fact, it’ll probably go down in fly fishing lore as one of the best saltwater rod series ever. When we heard Scott was DQing the Meridian, the anticipation for their new saltwater rod series began. Well, the wait is over and we’re pretty excited about the result. Enter the Scott Sector.
The Sector is a refined version of the Meridian, a rod series that prioritizes presentation, accuracy, and feel. This series is characterized by a progressive rod action, brand new rod tech, and elevated componentry like we’ve never seen before. The result is increased torsional stability thanks to Scott’s Carbon Web Tech, Ceracoil stripping guides for crush-proof performance, and a fly rod that’s lighter than its predecessor (the already-light Meridian).
We were lucky enough to cast every single rod in the series with a variety of fly lines… here’s what we found.
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The shorter 6wt rod model in the Sector Series is designed as a streamer rod with a stout butt section and tons of power. While it's built with beefy dimensions, it's really lightweight in hand and paradoxically, power doesn't come at the expense of weight. This is a phenomenal rod when partnered with SA Titan or RIO Outbound Short or really any other 'shooting-style' line. While it's not a rod for delicate presentations, it does have nice accuracy at short range when partnered with the right line. We cast a 7wt and 8wt SA Bonefish line on this rod and thought both were workable (7wt was better for distance, 8wt loaded better in close). We don't generally recommend overlining rods but this is a case where it's mandatory. We got nice, smooth performance at longer distances with the SA Bonefish line AND accuracy at short-range. This really is a phenomenal rod. This is a great rod choice for Bonefish, Stripers, smaller Redfish, Sea Trout, etc.
Best Use: Use this rod for blind casting with streamers or targeting smaller saltwater fish at short/middle distances (wading for Bonefish). This is a superbly light 6wt that's a great choice for the angler who wants to get the most out of smaller targets.
The 6wt version of the Sector is a LARGE 6wt. That means it’s powerful and capable but it also means that it’s heavy for a 6wt. If you’re targeting Bonefish, small Stripers, Snook, etc. this is a rod that will present flies smoothly and accurately at short distances. This rod is not, however, a freshwater 6wt… but it wasn’t designed to be. We feel that this rod is perfect for skilled anglers looking to play larger fish on a smaller rod, especially anglers who don’t need the extra wind-cutting capabilities of a larger saltwater rod model. If you’re making delicate presentations at short distances (east coast Redfish are a great example), this rod will make the fight more fun.
Best Use: This is a chunky 6wt that's best for small Stripers, Redfish, Bonefish, Snook, etc. in marshy areas, mangroves, or small water when the wind isn't an issue.
We found that the 7wt Sector is much softer than the 8wt. If the Sage Igniter is an ultra-fast rod for technical fishing at longer distances, the Sector 7wt features performance that is diametrically opposite. This is a rod for the angler who wants feedback and feel at shorter distances and the angler who fishes small flies. This is a great rod for small water Striper work, tailing Redfish, and targeting Bonefish on foot. This is not a rod for Permit, blind casting for Stripers, or lifting Bull Redfish in Louisiana. If you’re planning on casting large flies, especially in the wind, upgrade to a 9wt.
Best Use: This is a great rod for delicate presentations to spooky Bonefish or smaller Redfish with small flies.
The shorter 8wt is another really solid offering from Scott. In general, we were really impressed with the 8' 4" rod models in this series and think anglers should be more open-minded about carrying a shorter rod as a big fly/blind casting rod. This is a really light rod with easy, smooth line speed that has impressive distance capabilities when partnered with shooting-style lines. It also performed really well with a 9wt SA Bonefish for Permit anglers looking for a rod with a lighter swing weight.
This is very likely the finest bling casting rod on the market today (May 2020). If you're looking for a rod for stripers, albies, pike, golden dorado, and the host of other species where you're not going to have to place a fly on a dinner plate, this is the best rod we've tested to date.
Best Use: This is a rod for long-distance blind casting and large flies.
The 8wt version of the Sector encourages feedback, feel, and accuracy at close range - ideal for scenarios where anglers are wading for Bonefish. The rod also casts lighter fly lines like SA Bonefish a little better at middle distances than the old Meridian did. As you move into the long-distance game, however, the 8wt doesn’t efficiently carry a lighter fly line in the air and lacks power. That being said, the rod’s strong butt section casts a line like the SA Titan Taper well at long distances. A soft tip and strong butt section contribute to this rod’s superb performance at short distances and its ability to dump a lot of fly line when blind casting in the surf.
Best Use: This is a rod built for the Bonefish angler who spends time wading the flats and stalking fish on foot. Delicacy (and accuracy) at shorter distances is the name of the game with this model. You could also use it to blind cast to Stripers with the right fly line.
We recommended upgrading from the Sector 7wt to a 9wt if you’re an angler who casts large flies in wind. This rod is fast for its class (in fact it’s the fastest in the series) and does well at longer distances, unlike the smaller rod models in this series. We thought this model was closest to the old Meridian Series. It's a real cannon when partnered with a Titan Taper or a line with a short, aggressive front taper. If you’re blind casting from the shore for Stripers, this is your rod. This would also be a solid rod option for the Louisiana marsh or any windy, big-fly fishery. This is not a rod for small flies, delicacy, feedback, and feel at shorter distances.
Best Use: This rod is best used when carrying a lot of line in the air or presenting larger flies in windy conditions. It's a great Permit stick.
The 8' 4" 10wt Sector was an interesting model for us. While we really enjoyed casting the 6wt and 8wt with shooting-style lines, we thought it was a little difficult to get the line pairing right on this rod. That being said, it does have a lot of power and definitely encourages line speed and long-distance power. It also carries the lightweight feel that we felt on the shorter 6wt and 8wt rods and is great for anglers with a quick casting stroke who need to make quick shots at cruising fish. It picks up and shoots line really well and is lighter than the 9' version.
Best Use: This is a great rod option for anglers who need to make quick shots on cruising fish at distance and would work well for larger Redfish, smaller Tarpon, and more.
The 10wt Sector is most like the 8wt although it may even be a tad bit softer. This is a presentation-specific fly rod with a soft tip and a progressive action. We felt Scott refined the action of the Sector Series in general to be softer and more caster-friendly than the Meridian and this rod is a good example of that. This 10wt was similar, in some ways, to the Sage X 10wt - progressive action, high performance, caster friendly, versatile, and capable of accurately presenting flies, especially at shorter distances… not a technical ultra-fast rod but a friendly combination of power and castability. If you’re looking for a 10wt with feel and finesse, you’ve found it.
Best Use: Use this rod for delicate presentations to Permit, Bull Redfish, and large Snook. This is a great boat rod for the mangroves or the Louisiana marsh.
This model may be the best Tarpon rod on the market. This rod showed near-perfect accuracy with SA Amplitude Tarpon Fly Line at almost every distance. Many rod models in this series are either accurate at short distances or accurate at longer distances; not the 11wt. Better yet, we found it to be caster-friendly as well… certainly more caster-friendly than other 11wt Tarpon rods on the market. This high castability rating is in part due to the rod’s softer action. We felt that this 11wt provided the right combination of feedback and feel without sacrificing a strong butt section for lifting fish like the silver king. If you’re in the market for a Tarpon stick, choose this rod.
Best Use: TARPON... at all distances and in a variety of scenarios. It could be used for BIG Redfish or large Stripers, too.
The 12wt Sector required some experimenting. The rod had finicky performance at mid-distance, especially when partnered with SA Amplitude Grand Slam Fly Line. We just felt the line was a little too heavy for the rod. That being said, Grand Slam cast well at short and long distances. SA’s Amplitude Big Water Taper is also a solid fly line option for this rod. Choose this rod when wading for GT (especially in low wind conditions) or if you want a little extra power in the Tarpon game. The rod’s strong butt section will play GT and Tarpon efficiently. The guys here at the shop remarked on how light this rod felt in hand… which is always good when you’re looking for a 12wt rod.
Best Use: Use this rod for trophy Tarpon, GT, and other large fish that require a beefy rod with a powerful butt section.
Our favorite rod in the series has to be the 11wt. This has to be one of the best Tarpon rods on the market. Its accuracy at all distances really impressed us and it felt like this rod was made specifically to be partnered with SA Amplitude Tarpon. We also really liked the 9' 9wt. It felt like it was the perfect Permit rod. The 9 is fast enough to toss anything from big permit flies to big striper patterns and everything in between.
While we tested the 8'4" versions a little later the 6wt and 8wt are both spectacular rods for their respective applications as well.
Least Favorite Rod:
We enjoyed casting every rod in the series and thought each model had pros and cons. That being said, the 9' 6wt was a weird model for us and we thought it was more like a 7wt or 8wt rod.