Question for the Winston Fans

long_rod_silvers

WFF Supporter
Looking for some input from anyone who's thrown an Air Salt or Alpha+ or Air.
My Winston broke and finally got around to getting it in for warranty repair and they can't fix it (old LTX model isn't repairable). They offered to replace the broken rod w/ any thing they have in stock except the new Air 2.

So, if you had to get a new Winston rod (I plan on using it mostly for SRC and streamers) which one of the 3 would you go with and why?
 

blackgrass

WFF Supporter
I have a Air and Air Salt. I do not have the Apha+. My Air is a 5wt and the Air Salt is a 7wt and a 10wt. The 7wt is used with a 200 gr. sink tip and I have yet to fish the 10wt. The 10wt will be primarily a snook rod. I would be very tempted by the Alpha+.
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Supporter
I have a Air and Air Salt. I do not have the Apha+. My Air is a 5wt and the Air Salt is a 7wt and a 10wt. The 7wt is used with a 200 gr. sink tip and I have yet to fish the 10wt. The 10wt will be primarily a snook rod. I would be very tempted by the Alpha+.
Thanks. Would you be tempted by the Alpha+ because you're not liking the Air and Air Salt? Or just because it's different?

Sounds like the Alpha+ is a bit more aggressive/fast. Which I'm OK with to a point.
 

MT_Flyfisher

Active Member
I use my 4 and 5 wt Airs primarily for fishing dry flies or smaller nymphs and wet flies. I don’t know about the Airs in heavier weights, but I’m not sure they‘d be the ideal streamer rod.
 

Bgil

bgil
I am in the market for a 9ft 5w, and a guide who works out of a local fly shop has the alpha and likes it for streamer fishing.

I have the 4 w pure and am considering the air 2. Anyone cast it yet?
 

wollybugger

deny self.
Air Salt is perfect for WA in a 690. The alpha+ is exactly what others are saying. I wouldn’t think twice about the Air Salt if I didn’t live an hour+ away from SRC’s.
 

long_rod_silvers

WFF Supporter
Following up on this - ended up going w/ the Winston Alpha + (9' 6wt).
Came a few weeks ago (Winston warranty dept. is so kick ass in my experience), had a chance to line it up and throw a few lines for a while. Haven't got it on the water yet, but was impressed with the lawn test.

It's a fast, strong rod made for long casts, and it does that well. Feels like the rio OBS and this rod were made for each other. Didn't handle that great in close: accuracy and recovery were great, but felt under loaded and didn't have any soul. I don't care too much about weight or balance, so no comment there. Has typical Winston quality (top shelf IMO). I was pretty easily getting all of the line out (not a huge deal with a shooting head and a decent rod, but it was pretty easy). Rod was OK out to 45-50'. From there out is where it felt real nice. Line speed felt real fast, I'm guessing it'll punch a line thru the wind pretty well based on the line speed I was seeing. On top of that, it feels like it's got some soul too (not a ton, but enough to make it fun to cast distance). As much as I love my Z axis 696-4, I think I might have found a new favorite PS SRC rod. Maybe...need to get it on the water.

PS, while researching, heard the 5 weight and the 6wt w/o the fighting butt have drastically different actions (in a bad way) than the 6wt w/ the fighting butt (which is what I opted for). Also heard the 6wt and the 7wt appear to be the sweet spot for this line up.

If I was to use it for streamers, I'd probably want it over lined (the SA amplitude anadro 7wt felt better on it in close) to give it a bit more feel for the in close casts.

All that said, if I had to pay full price, not sure I'd pull the trigger. Maybe. Have a hard time dropping $900 on rod. This one's right there though if you're looking for a bomber and don't mind paying a premium for the Winston name.
 

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