Cold Fusion-The Scott Meridian

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There’s a new breed of fly rod out there.

I am a total fly rod geek. I make no apologies for it. Nothing gets me as excited as casting an awesome new fly rod. Especially when that rod represents a change in thinking. Rods like that don’t come along every day, or even every year, and when they do the game changes.

Jim Bartschi, president and rod designer for Scoot Fly Rods, has been hinting for years now that something special was coming. Not long after the S4s won the best rod prize at IFTD 2011, there were rumors that Jim had something cooking and when the Radian hit the market, it was clear that Scott rods were evolving in a significant way. About a year ago, I asked Jim outright if there would be a saltwater Radian.

“Well, there’s something in the works,” he told me, “and it won’t be long.”

That something was the Meridian. Not a saltwater Radian, but another evolutionary step forward.

For as long as I can remember, the answer to making a saltwater fly rod better has been to make it faster. That way of thinking changed the way we fish saltwater but the inevitable end of that evolutionary road is a rod that’s too fast to cast. After all, a rod does have to bend. Recently a couple of rod designers have come to realize it was time for a change.

How do you make a fly rod that has the power of an ultra-fast action saltwater casting machine and the soul of a trout rod? I wish I knew, but clearly Jim does. We saw it in the Radian and now we see it perfected in the Meridian. Speed with feel. Power, line speed, tight loops, line pickup and wind-defying performance, minus the stinging muscles and sore joints.

Some of the magic is in the weight. The Meridian is remarkably light. This, in conjunction with some proprietary materials and tapers, gives the rod a very fast recovery rate. This makes the rod faster, without making it stiffer and more powerful, without adding weight.

The Scott Meridian offers saltwater fly anglers cold fusion.

IMG_2420I have to tell you, I love the way Jim Bartschi rolls. In a marketplace where too many manufacturers would rather put out something new than something good, Jim has taken six years to perfect an action that can really change the way we fish. If you think of the fly rod industry as a noisy party, while others make mindless small talk, Scott has kept their mouth shut until they had something to say.

Another thing you get from not rushing a rod to market is attention to detail. There are little touches all over this fly rod that add up to something strikingly better. For example, the fighting butt has been designed so that there are no edges to hold line. If your fly line were to wrap around it, it could be cleared with a sweep of the hand. The reel seat is non-reflective black and is exceptionally well designed. Self indexing for easy operation and smooth as silk. The line weight is stamped into the retaining ring in white for easy identification. The Wells style grip is asymmetrical, which makes for a perfect fit in both a hand-forward or hand-backward grip.

A quick look at the models chart tells you more about the design of the rod. The Meridian is offered in 2, 3 and 4 pieces, ranging in weights from 6 to 15 and lengths of 8’4″, 8’10” and 9’0″. There is no standard that these rods have been forced into. Clearly each taper has been tested, retested and perfected. Everything about the Meridian tells me that this rod was slaved over. This is not just next year’s model, it’s someone’s baby.

I’ve been fishing my 8 weight since spring of 2015. It didn’t even have a name when I got it. The blank and the tube only say Scott. I’ve fished it for bonefish, snook, permit and juvenile tarpon. It has performed exceptionally and earned its place as my go-to saltwater rod. Get out to your local Scott dealer and give one a cast. See what a little cold fusion can do for your saltwater fly fishing.

Get your Meridian HERE!


Louis Cahill
Gink & Gasoline
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12 thoughts on “Cold Fusion-The Scott Meridian

  1. Jeez Louis, how much did Jim pay you? 😉

    How about a real review rather than all that praise that ‘something different has been done’? How about a video with you casting the ‘other fast rods’ vs the Meridian? What is different and how does it cast different/better? Show it to us!

    We can’t trust magazine reviews because their ‘review’ means the company will still put ads in the magazine or not. G&G seems to be not linked to any company so some objective review should be no problem?

    • For the record, no one pays me anything for reviews on the sight and I decline to review more products than I choose to review. I love the Meridian and I stand behind that.

      I don’t see how you watching a video of me casting would tell you anything. There is a lot of personal preference when it comes to fly rods. Your casting style may not resemble mine at all. A good caster can make amazing casts with crappy rods. What is that going to tell you?

      Next time listen to your mother. If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

      • Get a break Louis. Just a little joke to start with.
        Man, why take it so seriously?…

        Well, I think there’s a lot to tell and see watching someone cast. If you can cast a nice loop with a (real!) broomstick you surely know what you’re talking about.

        If you got a very specific style of casting, wouldn’t it be the place to show this in a video? Explaining why this or any rod fits your casting style?

        Finally it’s always nice to see a review isn’t done behind the desk.

        • They don’t pay me for anything other than the ad and they pay no more than anyone else. I have refused to review rods made by companies who advertise with me. It didn’t make them happy and they stopped advertising for a while but they came back. There is absolutely no conflict of interest and no need for a disclosure.

          I was writing glowing reviews for Scott rod, and plenty of others, when they didn’t advertise. It’s sad that we live in a society where we distrust everything. I wish I was untrustworthy. I’d be in better shape financially. You have no idea how often I am approached with pay for content offers. You will not see it on my site. Ever.

          I tell my advertisers, and everyone else, that I work for my readers. I believe that. If you don’t believe my review you should try the rod out yourself. You should try it yourself even if you do believe me. Just because it works for me doesn’t mean it works for you.

  2. Have you cast a Loop Cross S1 flatsmas? It’s a mid flex fast action they say and I’ve fished it and like it alot. Its very forgiving and easy to cast. It seems to have a lot of the same attributes to the Meridian but interested in your take if you have cast or fished a Cross S1.

  3. G&G, has made it a point to only review items that they know to work, and I think this is a fresh approach. They have backed the T&T Solar, Nautilus Silver King, Airflo lines and now the Scott Meridian. My point? What you don’t see on the G&G blog speaks volumes. Their candor is a breath of fresh air in that it brings it’s readers an honest review without bashing other manufacturers. They don’t have to sell their soul; they are true emissaries of the sport we love. Thanks for all you do for fly fishing.


    • Well, mostly people like G&G folks get often a sneak preview way before guys at the street get a chance to check it out.

      Also some areas in the world (like where I live) many fly shops don’t carry Scott. Finally it’s always good to do some research before heading off to a fly shop which does carry the rod.

  4. Pingback: Fly Life Magazine | Opinion: Scott’s new Meridian fly rods getting solid marks

  5. Pingback: Scott Meridian Fly Rod: Video | Fly Fishing | Gink and Gasoline | How to Fly Fish | Trout Fishing | Fly Tying | Fly Fishing Blog

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