2015 seems like the year of the mid priced rod. Every rod maker seems to be saying "out with the old and in with the new" when it comes to mid range rods this season. I will be taking you through the world of these new mid ranged rods one by one, starting with the Scott Tidal.
Scott has long been known as a leader in fly rod technology, and they prove it with the Tidal series of rods. These rods are offered in 7 through 12 weight models, all 9'0 "in length. They're built with the same X-Core and Multi Modulus technology that are found in their higher priced rods, and at $ 475 these rods will not break the bank.
For my testing purposes I paired a 9wt Scott Tidal rod with an Orvis Hydros V reel spooled with Hatch Tropical 9wt line. This rod is definitely a fast action rod but has a softer tip than the S4s or Radian.With all anodized hardware and premium cork, this rod is saltwater ready and built to last a lifetime. They feature Scott's sleeve ferrule and are proudly made in the USA.
The rod casts like a dream in every sense of the word. Normally I prefer a medium action rod, but boy does this baby sling! I was able to launch an easy 80 foot double haul with very little effort. This rod is a little heavier than other mid range offerings from other companies, but the softer tip and ease of cast more than makes up for the heavier weight. I was able to pick up to 80 feet of line and accurately cast it back out with a single over hand cast, something that every saltwater fisherman knows is a great ability for a rod to have. Not only does this rod truly sling, it's accurate from 20 feet up to 60 and beyond. I set targets at 20, 30, 50, and 60 feet, taking 15 casts at each I only missed my target twice, and only by an inch at that.
I'll give this rod 9/10. If they brought the weight down a tad it would be a perfect 10 in my mind. Sturdy, salt ready hardware, a light enough tip for delicate presentations, and enough backbone to toss out the entirety of the line make this rod one of the best in it's price range I've yet to test this year. Once again, Scott delivers a premium rod at a price the laymen can afford. Go test one yourself, I'm sure you'll be itching to take one home with you.