You may have noticed that over the past year there’s been one rod in particular making waves (pun intended) in the saltwater world – Scott Fly Rod’s new Meridian series of salt specific fly rods.
We’ve heard a lot of good things about the Meridian series over the past year which is why we were particularly excited to take one for the team and spend some quality time with one recently at Andros South. We tested out the Meridian 908-4 – That’s Scott nomenclature for a 9 foot, 4 piece, 8 weight (the bread and butter of bonefishing), and today we’re going to tell you about it.
The Meridian is Scott Fly Rod’s newest edition to the ‘premium saltwater fly rod’ category. Alongside Scott’s already popular mid-priced salt stick the ‘Tidal,’ the Meridian replaced Scott’s previous top-shelf saltwater rod, the S4s. We think its a noticeable improvement overall, and below we’re going to tell you why.
Right out of the gate the first thing we noticed about the Meridian was its ability to track extremely straight. When compared side by side to other rods of its class, we were blown away by the Meridian’s ability to not only throw super tight loops, but loops with extremely straight top and bottom legs (i.e. no ‘wobbles’ in the line).. Translation: The rod feels really, really accurate, and in bonefishing that’s a really good thing. Scott attributes this to increasing the ‘recovery speed’ of the rod (a technology they’ve dubbed ReAct Technology), essentially reducing the vibration of the rod after it is unloaded. We’re not sure how they did that exactly.. All we know is that it throws straight-as-an-arrow loops, which we thought was pretty darn cool.
Like most saltwater rods these days, the action is accurately described as ‘fast,’ however the tip section of the rod is noticeably softer than many other saltwater rods – a trait we really appreciate. A softer tip makes much easier work at short distances, allowing a short amount of line to load the rod quickly. That’s really helpful for fisheries like ours where most of the shots are in the 30-40 foot range.
At longer distances the Meridian was no slouch either. When paired up with the right line (more on this below), it was able to produce deceptively high line speeds with little effort. Is it the most powerful rod on the market at long range? We don’t think so.. However, trust us on this – In the right hands it will out cast any ‘fishable’ distance. Case in point, we think the Meridian is one of the more ‘fishy’ rods out there, making for a very versatile rod, not just one that performs on the casting pond.
We put the Meridian through the gauntlet testing virtually every bonefish line we could get our hands on and interestingly enough, unlike many saltwater specific rods of today, we found longer, more traditional tapered bonefish lines to be the best match. We liked a standard 8 weight RIO Bonefish line the most on the Meridian, although other moderate tapered lines performed nicely as well. The longer taper of these lines appeared to load the rod smoothly as the length of line was increased, whereas more aggressive lines like the RIO Bonefish Quickshooter seemed to overload the rod, particularly at longer distances.
Scott clearly put a lot of thought into the components of the Meridian. The most noticeable to us was titanium framed stripping guides and nickel titanium snake guides. That means guides that won’t rust, which anyone who has spent enough time in a salty environment is sure to appreciate.
Another feature we thought was pretty clever was an updated fighting butt. According to Scott, the fighting butt on the Meridian was designed intentionally to eliminate any sharp edges that could catch line. Line wrapped around the butt can be removed by a quick swipe of the hand. A simple feature indeed, but smart nonetheless.
We really liked the Meridian 908-4 and would certainly recommend it to anyone looking to add to their bonefish quiver. We think it’s a really versatile rod, particularly where quick accurate casts are needed (ahem, like everywhere bonefish are found).