Our first Scott fly rod review is an especially cool one. At IFTD 2018, we covered Scott's launch of their new F-Series fiberglass rods right here. Currently comprised of just six models, these beautiful rods are perfect for delicate close-quarters presentations. Naturally, I had to get my hands on the shortest model, so Scott sent us just that—the 5'8" 3-weight. Not only was I excited knowing this rod was coming, but I got even more excited once it arrived and I took it out of the tube. This thing is little!
Action: Full Flex
Line Weight: 3
Measured Weight: Approx 1.65 ounces
Stripping Guide: Titanium Frame/SiC Insert
Snake Guides: Snake Brand Universal
Reel Seat: Cork with Aluminum Hood/Slide Ring
Rod Tube/Sock: Yes/Yes
If you love classy-looking rods, you'll love the Scott F-Series. On top of its super light weight, it's a downright beautiful rod that begs to be admired. I did plenty of it! Even off the water, our 3-weight tester was fun to just hold and drool over.
The handle of this model uses some extremely clean flor-grade cork along with an ultra-simplistic sliding ring reel seat. I have to admit I was leery of this seat the first time I used it (I don't recall ever using a seat like this before), but it held onto my Abel Super 4N reel perfectly during testing. In fact, the reel stays put more rigidly than I imagined, partially due to the built-in recess in the cork for the reel seat to snug into.
The E-Glass blank is quite thin and uses Scott's unique internal ferrule system to enhance smoothness and flex. Each rod sports a glossy orange color scheme that has some texture to it thanks to the unsanded "natural" blank. Wraps are done in a matching orange color, but there are contrasting yellow and dark red wraps at each of the three ferrules and around the logo area. You'll also find super-tiny alignment dots at each of the joints and a 12-inch measurement mark in the lower portion of the rod to help you measure the length of that trout.....or in my case, bass.
As for guides, Scott unsurprisingly went the premium route here. There's one very small stripping guide comprised of a titanium frame with SiC insert, while the remaining snake guides are Snake Brand Universal guides which provide excellent line flow.
When looking over the rod for quality-control issues, I noticed a tiny bit of epoxy on the hook keeper and on the second-to-last snake guide. Admittedly pretty minor stuff, but I was hoping for a totally perfect build here. Otherwise, the rod was finished beautifully and the blank ferrules all fit snugly with no clicking or ticking to be felt when flexed/wiggled.
Being that this rod is soft and not made for any extreme casting distances, choosing fly line with a more "standard" weight works very well. I chose a WF3F line with a 30-foot head weight of 100-grains which is right on the mark for a 3-weight line per AFFTA standards.
Scott says this about the F-Series rods:
"And, even though you can cast them a lot farther, these rods are optimized to cast beautiful accurate loops under 20 feet."
While casting this stick, I noticed two things right off the bat: the extremely light weight, and the exacting feel of the blank. Being that it's so short, this is a punchy little rod and is super accurate for close-quarters work. Yes, it still flexes deeply like a glass rod and you'll need to slow down, but it's not sloppy or unrefined in the least. It surely isn't a distance casting tool—I probably maxed it out at about 40 feet or so during lawn casting practice—but in tight it's a smooth, joyful experience. The short length is also really nice for working around shoreline brush and casting under tree limbs (which I did a lot of), but of course the length limits not just casting distance, but also line control. Some extra length would've helped me when reaching past shoreline weed beds and fishing from some of the higher banks I cast from, but I already knew what I was getting into with such a tiny rod.
Hook a fish and the real fun begins! I caught a mess of small largemouth and peacocks (including a good one!) during testing and had an absolute blast. While some of those smaller fish would have been just "okay" on a more typical trout-oriented 9-foot 5-weight graphite stick, this little rod completely changed the whole experience. It casted tiny unweighted streamers without much fuss, but I can imagine it being most at home on the smallest of trout streams using the lightest of tippets.
Handle comfort was excellent. The short, relatively narrow grip complimented this micro-sized stick very well and was very comfortable to hold. As mentioned earlier, I had no issues with the reel seat getting loose at all and I liked its simplistic weight-saving design. Speaking of reels, a super-lightweight click-pawl reel would be perfect here. I had a Ross Colorado LT 3/4 on order which would make an ideal match (it's only 2.91 ounces), but it didn't make it in time for this test.......DOHH!!
The short length and light line weight rating of the Scott F-Series FS 5834 surely takes away from its versatility, but rods like this obviously aren't made for that. This thing has one purpose in my mind, and that's to be a kick-ass tool for small waters and short-range casting. From bluegill to trout, I can't imagine a rod being much more fun to fish than this one. I just wish Scott had given me MUCH more time with it (hint hint) as I barely got the rod back to them in time (I just HAD to fish it once more)! All of this goodness comes at a cost, and at $695.00 its undoubtedly a serious investment for such a small offering, but it's also a mighty compelling offering, too.
Get your new Scott F-Series fly rod at
Trouts Fly Fishing!