Scott SC Bamboo Fly Rod Review

Specifications

• Models: 6’5″ #3, 6’11” #4
• Optimized Outfits: Spring Creek, Small Stream
• Sections: 2-Piece, with an included extra tip section
• Handle: Trout Western Grip with Finish Cork
• Ferrule: Hariki Nickel Silver
• Reel Seat: Downlocking Nickel Silver Slide Band
• Reel Seat Spacer: Spalted Maple
• Action: Medium
• Rod Retail Cost: $2650

December 13, 2010 (San Francisco, CA): Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters announces the end of an era. Bernard Ramanauskas, one of the best master bamboo fly rod builders in the world, will no longer be hand crafting Scott Fly Rod Company’s SC series of bamboo fly rods. For the last five years, Bernard Ramanauskas has showcased his talent for Scott with his powerful, yet smooth casting, progressive bamboo fly rod tapers. This collaboration has ended amiably, and now it presents an opportunity to own a piece of rodmaking history.

Celebrate Bamboo: Casting a carefully-crafted bamboo fly rod is an experience that all fly anglers should enjoy at least once in their lives. The relaxed casting tempo demanded by bamboo’s smooth action forces the caster to slow down, breathe easier and remember that fly fishing should not be measured by fish count, but by the number of great casts made in day.

Read the full press release here.

Series Overview – Scott SC by Bernard Ramanauskas

The Scott SC series has traditionally been a venue for up-and-coming cane rod builders to hone their abilities and further build their reputation as master craftsmen. The latest in this distinguished line is Bernard Ramanauskas, the youngest master cane builder working today. Just as his predecessors have used their time with Scott to refine their exquisite techniques and broaden their reputations, Mr. Ramanauskas has recently announced that he will be moving on from Scott to pursue his work as Freestone – Eden Cane.

Available in line weights from 3 to 5 and rod lengths from 6’5″ to 7’10”, the Scott SC rods offer discerning anglers casting precision and fishing function on technical trout waters. Equally significantly, by fusing the names of Scott and Ramanauskas, these rods present unmatched value as a long-term investment. These are museum-quality fishing heirlooms that are also performance fishing tools.

Pro Review – Leland’s Bamboo Specialist, Burke White

What’s the Word…

One of the world’s foremost bamboo rod builders with one of the top brands in American fly rod manufacturing — a marriage made in heaven? For five years, Bernard Ramanauskas has been in charge of producing Scott’s SC Series of handmade cane fly rods, adding his name to the illustrious list of bamboo rod makers who have done the same. Recently, Mr. Ramanauskas has announced that he will be amicably parting ways with Scott to pursue new projects. Overnight, these crisp-casting, perfectly assembled fishing rods have become that much more coveted among bamboo rod aficionados.

Features…

By mixing traditional rodmaking practices with technology driven research and development, Mr. Ramanauskas and Scott have created bamboo fly rods that bring a new level of performance to the stream. With mind-bending nodeless assembly, hollow construction, and swelled butts, the SC rods are designed to cast and fish as no bamboo rod has before.

As for aesthetics…these rods are simply magnificent to look at. Painstaking attention to detail is evident throughout: the transparent silk thread that binds the guides to the blank, the impeccable coat work, and the overall coordination of the cosmetics all speak to the forethought and vision of Mr. Ramanauskas.

Action…

Whereas the current US cane market is mostly populated by hobby builders using historic tapers, SC rods utilize proprietary tapers developed by Mr. Ramanauskas over his many decades crafting bamboo rods. These are innovative, carefully developed designs. As a result, they don’t have the typical “bamboo action”. They are lighter and more responsive than other cane rods available today, and will throw tight loops when used with a modern, compact casting stroke. You’ll be amazed by the on-stream control and accuracy they provide.

Materials…

Built from hand-selected Tonkin cane, individually flamed to a cognac color, the Scott SC bamboo rods are built to be perfect from the ground up. The hand-picked cork rings used on every grip, the high-quality nickel silver hardware, and the classic Agate stripping guide are not only functional, but hearken back to a time when only the best fly rods were adorned with such features. Scott’s signature finishing cork at the handle end is likewise a nod to tradition and the company’s origins in fine western trout rods.

Fit and Finish…

Each rod is dressed appropriately with beautiful dark nickel silver reel seats, highly-figured burl maple reel seat inserts and top-grade cork. Dark nickel silver framed agate stripping guides add function with a yesteryear flavor. Snake Brand snake guides are attached with transparent silk thread, while matching dark nickel silver ferrules round out the cosmetics and provide an exacting connection between pieces for effortless casts.

Reliability and Durability…

All Scott SC rods come with an extra tip section, so you still have a fishable rod in the event that you break your tip section. Remember that because bamboo has a much lower modulus than today’s brittle graphite rods, it is actual a surprisingly durable material. That said, you will of course want to take good care of your Scott SC, especially if you are considering it as an investment, which it surely is. Because these rods each take over a year to build, by hand, Scott cannot offer a lifetime warranty as they can on their factory-made rods. Replacement sections will be available from Scott on an ad hoc basis.

Overall Rating…

PROS – Advanced rodbuilding technology, scrupulous attention to detail, deep refinement and experience, and strong branding help make the Scott SCs an attractive option in the bamboo market. We are confident that these will be collector’s items in no time at all.

CONS – $2650 ain’t cheap. But remember that bamboo fly rods, like fine shotguns, are sure to appreciate in value over time. With Mr. Ramanauskas’s recent announcement, these hand-crafted masterpieces have become that much rarer.

BOTTOM LINE – Buying a premium bamboo fly rod is purchasing a “state of mind” as much as it is a “product.” When fishing bamboo, things slow down. Fish counts lose their significance and each cast becomes a memorable moment of its own. It is a rich experience to fish with a rod built from the same materials as one your great-grandfather might have fished, and it’s something that all avid fly anglers should enjoy at least once in their lives. If you choose to participate…make sure to carefully consider a Scott SC bamboo fly rod.

Tight Lines, Burke White

Back to Equipment Reviews