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joefriday
#21 Posted : Wednesday, July 09, 2014 2:03:08 AM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 5/29/2014
Posts: 116
Location: West Bend
All of the non-green Winston blanks are made in Asia. They are 'designed by Winston' but not made by them. They don't say who makes them so I don't know much about that.

The Passport and VSL are competent rods. I equate them to the mid level St Croix sticks. But if you spend an hour with a GVX or something higher in the Winston lineup and then go back to the Asian rods you'll feel the difference immediately. The true Winston blanks are very smooth. That's usually their defining characteristic. And everyone has heard of the 'Winston feel', whether you believe in it or not. I'm pretty sure if you blindfolded me and gave me three rods to cast, I could pick the Winston out. But the Asian rods don't have that. They usually have a hinged flex, or uneven loading and release. They simply aren't as smooth. They also tend to be stiffer than the green blanks, which is something Winston lovers avoid at all costs.

If you ever checked out the old Winston forum before it was deleted last fall, you'd see absolutely nobody talking about the Asian blanks other than to say 'I checked one out. It's not a Winston.' It was generally regarded as a bad marketing concept. They are designed as an entry level 'Winston' to get new customers. But they don't translate into repeat business because there's absolutely nothing remarkable about them. Buyers tend to dismiss the Winston hype and shop other brands in the future. They miss out on everything good about Winstons.

I think it's just something you have to experience to understand. If anybody is in my neighborhood I'd be glad to let you cast any or all of my green sticks.

Something else to consider... if you buy a Passport and decide to sell it a year later, you'll be lucky to get over $100 for it. If you buy a lightly used green stick, you will probably be able to sell it for what you paid for it as long as you don't abuse it. My very first fly rod was a Winston WT/JWF that I bought for $400 back in 2000. I foolishly sold it three years ago because someone offered me $400 cash for it. I figured I got a free 11 year loan for it so how could I turn it down? The very next spring I missed it so much that I bought another one. And stories like that are pretty common. But I've never heard of anyone selling an Asian made Winston and later replacing it.

If you enjoy using your VSL, more power to you. You might be better off staying away from the green rods. They're addicting.
I've got more sticks than I can shake a fish at.
PrettyFlyWIGuy
#22 Posted : Wednesday, July 09, 2014 3:11:35 PM
Rank: Caddis Fly


Joined: 6/6/2013
Posts: 74
Location: Oconomowoc, WI
Interesting. I'll take your advice and wait a few years before looking around again. Ignorance is bliss. I also think the perks of a super high performance rod would be lost on me and my novice casting ability. But in a couple years, maybe I will be worthy...
joefriday
#23 Posted : Wednesday, July 09, 2014 3:57:41 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 5/29/2014
Posts: 116
Location: West Bend
I kinda see it the other way around. A good rod will help you improve a lot faster, plus you'll enjoy fishing more and have less frustration. Tom Morgan (who developed the Winston rods decades ago) designed a rod he now sells on his own that he calls the Unity With The Universe. I've never casted one, but everybody who has, says that it pretty much casts itself. You just look where you want the fly to go and it lands there. The rod becomes an extension of your hand. I've got a different Morgan rod that's pretty close to that. And my original WT/JWF was similar. Even the replacement I bought recently isn't as good. I think the difference is that the old one was IM6 graphite and the newer one is higher modulus. Those old IM6 rods sell fast on ebay.

But keep in mind you'll see the most benefits when you're fishing dry flies. If you're chucking streamers you probably won't care as much. My brother has been using a pretty mediocre rod for years in spite of me trying to coax him into something better. But then I realized he fishes nymphs 80% of the time, so there's not much point in spending $400-800 for a rod that will put a dry fly in a teacup at 50 ft.

If you, or anyone else unfamiliar with Winston, decides to get into some of their better rods, do a little research before investing. For a long time they didn't do many changes to their models. The WT lineup was around for over 20 years (and some still consider it the best). But it has just been phased out. In recent years, they've decided to 'keep up with the Joneses' and have put out new models on a regular basis. Some are very good. Others, not so much. And other than the Asian designs having actual names (Passport, Ibis) most are designated by letters... WT, LT, B2T, B3MX, etc. It can get really confusing and there is a big difference between them. But if you know what you're looking for, you can often find some good deals on the secondhand market or as closeouts. I picked up a couple GVX's last year for $280 brand new with warranty. That's about $40 more than a Passport, and there's no comparison between the two.

I'm derailing this "Deals" thread, so I should leave it at that. If anybody wants to know more about Winstons, we should start a new thread.
I've got more sticks than I can shake a fish at.
trippytrouter
#24 Posted : Wednesday, July 09, 2014 6:17:16 PM
Rank: May Fly


Joined: 1/29/2014
Posts: 270
Location: Buffalo mn
Where can a guy get one of them rods
That rock has headshakes!
turbomike15
#25 Posted : Thursday, July 10, 2014 7:58:09 PM
Rank: Midge


Joined: 4/7/2014
Posts: 119
Location: Madison, WI
trippytrouter wrote:
Where can a guy get one of them rods


http://bit.ly/1tsfLkl
scottybs
#26 Posted : Friday, August 15, 2014 12:48:04 AM
Rank: Midge

Joined: 2/1/2013
Posts: 15
Location: IGH, MN
joefriday wrote:
I'm still going to say that if you buy a Passport or VSL you aren't getting a Winston. I've owned a dozen different Winstons (I have 4 of them right now). And the only ones I've kept for more than a month were the green ones. The others aren't made by Winston and don't cast anything like them. You are much better off buying a closeout or used rod off somebody else.


Joefriday gets it!!! Even the new Nexus will not be on my radar, if it's not Winston Green, it's not a Winston.
kschaefer3
#27 Posted : Friday, August 15, 2014 1:52:05 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 10/10/2012
Posts: 1,537
Location: St. Paul, MN
[quote=turbomike15]
http://bit.ly/1tsfLkl[/quote]
LOL LOL
kschaefer3
#28 Posted : Friday, August 15, 2014 1:56:13 PM
Rank: Dragon Fly


Joined: 10/10/2012
Posts: 1,537
Location: St. Paul, MN
joefriday wrote:
But keep in mind you'll see the most benefits when you're fishing dry flies. If you're chucking streamers you probably won't care as much. My brother has been using a pretty mediocre rod for years in spite of me trying to coax him into something better. But then I realized he fishes nymphs 80% of the time, so there's not much point in spending $400-800 for a rod that will put a dry fly in a teacup at 50 ft.

I completely disagree with this statement. I think you prefer to fish dries, so that is where you care about the difference. I think having a better rod has equal benefits chucking streamers and nymphs as it does dries, the rod choice would just vary. I would never buy a GVX to fish nymphs or streamers (or ever, but that's personal preference), but it is a nice soft dry fly rod.
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