Scott S4 904-4 ReviewOctober 12, 2012
- Great performance casting heavy flies or complex multi-fly rigs
- Powerful enough to cast in 10-20 mph winds
- Well suited to drift-boat fishing on big western rivers
- Great accuracy at middle distances
- Slightly heavier than most of the other rods in the class
- Accuracy drops off at longer casting distances
- Not as versatile as some others
Think big flies on big water. We found the Scott S4 felt most at home fishing wide rivers from a drift boat or while wading, tossing big dry flies to rising trout, dragging big, weighted nymphs through the depths for bottom-feeding fish, or slinging multi-fly rigs when the fish can’t make up their minds. It’s less ideal, though, when going delicate with small dries or tiny nymphs.
Made in Colorado, the Scott S4 series lives up to its Rocky Mountain heritage. When used on big western rivers like the Missouri, the Big Horn, or the lower Madison where big trout feast on big flies, the S4 kicks butt.
Casting Distance and Accuracy
The S4 sports a unique taper that lets you accurately cast heavy flies while dropping them softly on the surface, but that also lets you feel the gentle tug of a fish on the bottom slurping up big stonefly nymphs. Most of the testers felt accuracy dropped off after casting 30-35 feet and even the best casters amongst us felt accuracy was an issue over 45 feet in windless conditions.
General fit, finish and feel
The California buckeye burl reel seat and deep blue-black rod finish make this is sharp, yet not flashy, rod. The deep butt-end well on the reverse half-well grip allows for a firm handhold – the base of your palm naturally nestles into that deeper-than-normal depression. That helps you better chuck those big bugs.
The stiff butt and mid-section of the rod really boast the power of the cast, while a softer tip provides good sensitivity once you get the fly on the water. You’ll feel every nibble and bump. That means it’s ideal for both deep nymph work, and soft surface feeding. Unfortunately, we found the rod a touch too powerful for delicate presentation of small dries, though is a master with the big flies (wet or dry).
Dan Nelson- Fly Fishing Editor
Dan Nelson is GearInstitute.com's fly fishing editor. He is based in the Pacific Northwest.