Scott Radian 864/4
- Excellent casting distance
- Great performance in windy conditions
- Good swing-weight/feel
- Made in the USA
- Most expensive in class
- Limited versatility
- Slight loss of accuracy in exchange for power
The fast-action Scott Radian had the line speed to throw big foam hoppers to aggressive westslope cutthroat, and it was wonderful for working weighted multi-fly nymphing rigs. But when accuracy and finesse were needed, the Radian was a bit limited compared to the Sage Accel or Orvis Recon. With work, I was able to effectively fish tiny dries, but the Radian’s real strength is its power: It excels at throwing weighted flies, fighting winds, and reaching across big waters to get to rising trout.
The Radian could have been designed by Yakima River anglers. Winds regularly sweep through the canyons of Washington’s only blue-ribbon trout river, and the Scott Radian earned great praise from all testers for its ability to push line through stiff winds.
Fit and feel
The Radian balanced nicely in hand and had a great swing-weight, allowing us to cast all day without over-tiring our hands. The rod loaded quickly and efficiently, meaning fewer false casts were needed to extend lines, further reducing fatigue. When fighting fish, it was easy to keep their heads up and out of the fast water, thanks to the rod’s stiff spine and solid butt.
Distance and Accuracy
The Radian efficiently throws a 4-wt line with more power and distance than some ‘fast’ 5- and 6-wt rods I’ve used. After fishing though 15-20 mph winds during an all day float of the Yakima’s Upper Canyon, I felt refreshed and ready to keep casting, while my companion struggled to get his line out by mid-afternoon. Hitting Oregon’s Metolious, though, proved to be a bigger challenge. There, I fought hard to accurately and gently present small dries to finicky trout. The Radian could be finessed into service here, but it took more effort than I’d generally expect from a 4-wt.
The Scott Radian is a true fast-action powerhouse, able throw an assortment of big flies through tough conditions. It’s not a rod I’d generally pick up for delicate dry fly work, but when pressed, it can be pushed into service in that situation.
The Radian is also available in 4-wt through 9-wt versions of various lengths.
How We Tested It
The rods in this test were used while fishing an assortment of trout streams, rivers, and lakes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. Our test team also included a retired Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife Game Warden, two experienced female anglers, and—on occasion—a professional fishing guide. We fished each rod with dry flies, nymphs, and dry/dropper rigs, as well as the occasional streamer.
The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.
About the Author
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