Gray’s Best Awards 2016

Acrylic painting of camper

ANGLING: Scott Meridian Fly Rods

hand holding fly rodLast year, I was extremely impressed with Scott’s Radian line of freshwater fly rods. This year, Scott took some of the same design principles and applied them to saltwater sticks. Because I so appreciated the Radian, I had high expectations for the Meridian ($865). It didn’t disappoint. I first fished the Meridian this summer in Florida’s Indian River Lagoon. It was a mixed-bag kind of day that required flexibility in tactics and approach, from accurate floating line presentations for spooky beach snook to hucking heavy tips and weighted flies to bonito and cobia cruising deep wrecks. Since then, I have fished the 8-weight with large streamers on Western Montana rivers for big trout, and spent a week with it bent to the corks against fresh Alaska coho, chum, and pink salmon. The Meridian handled it all. In my experience, most heavy rods with that kind of flexibility are functional but not necessarily soulful. They get the job done, but the casting feels wooden and stiff. I’m not sure how Scott produced a rod that can excel in those fast-action scenarios and still be fun to cast, but with the Meridian, they have done exactly that.