Scott Flex 8-foot 4-weight

A few months ago, I was lucky to be given the new Scott Flex 804-4 (8-ft, 4-wt) from the Manic Tackle guys to test out on some of my local Tasmanian trout. Since then, I have given the little Flex a good workout on a variety of different waters around the state.

The Flex replaces Scott’s A4 rod, and is now Scott’s ‘mid-priced’ fly rod offering. Straight out of the box I was impressed with its appearance, build quality, feel and fittings. While this is all good, we all know that the true way to judge a fly rod is to fish with it — so I have been!

When I first got hold of the rod, Tasmania was coming off the wettest winter and spring on record, so my local rivers and other favourite streams were running higher than I would have liked. For me, the whole point of fishing small rods that fit into the ‘twig’ category is to fish dry flies, to smaller hungry trout, eager to scoff them down.

Although frustrated that conditions often didn’t suit the dry fly fishing I had hoped for, it did force me to fish the Flex in ways I normally wouldn’t use an 8-ft 4-wt, and hence get a better understanding of the rod and its capabilities in conditions that would really push the little rod to its limits.

A feature which has really impressed me is the ‘hidden’ power the little Flex holds in the mid and butt sections of the rod. When needed, the shorter Flex has enough power to turn over relatively heavy nymphs and larger flies, to punch casts into head winds (a feature of last Tassie spring), and enough power in the butt to fight and control solid fish. When loaded up with larger flies or a nymph/dry combo, the rod loads deep into the blank and has the power to turn over flies and long leaders.

When the weather permitted, the 8-ft flex really excelled as a beautiful dry fly rod; the rod has a medium fast action, and while its tip is firm, it’s not stiff! — the last thing you want in a small stream rod. Firm is good, allowing the rod to deliver a hook-set after a take, to cast nice tight loops, to assist with line control when mending, but still allowing plenty of shock absorbing forgiveness to prevent unwanted snap-offs when playing fish on light tippets. The rod excels when casting short to medium lengths, tracks very well and gives plenty of feel and feedback to the angler. Even little fish are great fun on the small Flex.

I have used the little Scott in creeks, streams, rivers and lakes. While not the ideal rod for the Tasmanian highland lakes, the few times I used it when chasing tailing trout around shallow lake edges it proved its ability to present flies ‘softly’ to spooky fish in shallow water, and was great fun when bent right down to the handle fighting
larger fish!

The Flex 804-4 is really a terrific small stream rod that does everything you would hope a rod in this category should do (and more). The bonus of being in the ‘mid price’ range (retails for around $750 AUD) really gives the little Flex a lot of appeal for those wanting a ‘second rod’ for the occasional small stream session, without having to break the bank. 

The Flex is a 4-piece, comes with Scott rod bag and tube, and is backed with the Scott original owner lifetime warranty. Do yourself a favour and try one out! 

www.manictackleproject.com