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Best Fly Fishing Rods (4-wt) of 2015

By: Dan Nelson

Best Fly Fishing Rods (4-wt) of 2015

To conduct our 2015 Fly Fishing Rod test, test director Dan Nelson recruited multiple seasoned testers who used these rods while fishing an assortment of trout streams, rivers, and lakes in Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. The team compared them side by side rating them on our six main criteria—weight, fit in hand/grip, casting distance, casting accuracy, fish on action/hook-set, and versatility. The Gear Institute Rating is the combined score across all categories, representing the highest overall level of performance.

Sage Accel 486-4

93

2015

Sage Accel 486-4

After just a month of fishing the Sage Accel 486-4, I had fallen in love. The medium-fast action of the Accel offered me a smooth, progressive action that was able to push a lot of line a good distance, but with great tip flex suitable for long mends and delicate presentations.

Orvis Recon 904-4

90

2015

Orvis Recon 904-4

The Orvis Recon series fills the middle of Orvis’ rod lineup, and the 9’ 4-wt version is a great example of the series’ strengths. 

Scott Radian 864/4

88

2015

Scott Radian 864/4

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. 

Redington Vapen Black 409-4

87

2015

Redington Vapen Black 409-4

The Redington Vapen Black utilizes the original Vapen’s synthetic grip without the gaudy colors. The fast-action taper provides good casting power with better than average accuracy.

Rugged Creek Traditional 4-wt

77

2015

Rugged Creek Traditional 4-wt

The Rugged Creek Traditional rod offers a medium-fast action with a soft-flex tip that proved to be relatively easy to cast. Unfortunately, the Traditional lacks the power of a true fast-action (like the Scott Radian or Orvis Recon) and the accuracy of a medium-action like the Sage Accel.

About the Author

Dan Nelson

Dan Nelson

Dan Nelson is the fly fishing editor of Gear Institute.com. He is a veteran outdoor journalist based in the Pacific Northwest. Follow him at Google+.

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