Mystic Reaper    9’ 5-weight     $279.00

Mystic Reaper

Mystic Reaper

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George's Notes:

This has been one of my favorite inexpensive rods, right behind the Fenwick Aetos.  Originally this was our “Best Buy” winner before the Aetos took control.  I’ve liked the fast action and softer tip that give me very good feel at shorter distances.  Overall performance was pretty good and only at long range did it lack the power of better rods.  

My only gripes are in the handle.  The swell is too far forward and this felt a bit strange.  And the quality of the cork is not so hot, with a lot of filler.  For these reasons we downgraded it a point for craftsmanship.

This rod is a pleasing chocolate brown, with darker brown wraps trimmed with silver on the butt.  The cork handle is a half wells design but with the swell more forward than I’d like.  The reel seat is a silver anodized aluminum, single uplock design with a burled wood spacer.   The guides are two SiC strippers followed with silver hard chrome snake guides.  


The perfect line: S.A. Amplitude MPX in WF-5-F.

Performance at 25 feet:  18.5 points out of 20.

Good accuracy and pretty good feel.  I liked the way this rod casts in close but the accuracy wasn’t quite as good as the Beulah rods or the Flex.

Performance at 45 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Good control and accuracy, just not as impressive as the better rods.  The Flex, DXF and Legend Elite were better in head to head casting.

Performance at 70 feet: 8.5 points out of 10

Lack of stiffness hurt and I had trouble forming the tighter loops I got with Recon and Opti Stream.



Mystic Reaper

 Mystic Reaper

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James' Notes:

If the Beulah Platinum is a less expensive Winston BIIIx, think of the Mystic Reaper as a less expensive Beulah Platinum.  The Mystic Reaper rod series really reminds us of the old Winston Passport series, which had softer, delightful actions that embodied more feel than power. 

If you want a dry fly rod with lots of feel, you’ll love the Mystic Reaper.  It’s not as fancy as the Beulah Platinum, and has more of a medium-fast action. If you can afford a Winston or the Beulah then by all means go for one, but if your budget calls for a rod under $300 the Mystic Reaper is a wonderful option.


Performance at 25 feet:  18.8 points out of 20

Nice feel!  This rod will appeal to anglers who prefer a softer tip. The Mystic Reaper gave us good delicate presentations at short distance, but other rods were more accurate. 

Performance at 45 feet: 18.6 points out of 20

A lot lighter feel in hand than the Echo Base or TFO BVK.  The Reaper was smooth enough, and pleasant to cast but I struggled in the wind getting good accuracy.   It reminds me a lot of the old Winston Passport series.

Performance at 70 feet: 9.1 points out of 10

Similar to the Beulah Platinum this rod is just a little too soft to brew much confidence at long range. Tailing loops were common, especially in the wind. 



Mystic Reaper

Mystic Reaper

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Logan's Notes: 

It has been several years since it was introduced, but I still love the Mystic Reaper.  The classic western trout rod look is something that never gets old.  The Reaper is a great dry fly rod.  A good fishing buddy of mine has fished this rod hard for many years and it has proven itself time and time again to be an excellent 5-weight.


Logan’s Casting Notes:

Performance at 25 feet:  18 out of 20

At 25 feet the Mystic has a great feel.  It is very accurate and its softer tip produces wonderful feel at closer distances.

Performance at 45 feet:  17.5 out of 20

I really love the Reaper at 45 feet.  This rod is a great dry -dropper rod.  I use the Mystic on a regular basis and it performs great at mid-range distances.

Performance at 70 feet:  7 out of 10

At 70 feet the Reaper struggled more than the Fenwick Aetos.  This is not a great rod at long distance.  



Mystic Reaper

Mystic Reaper

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JG's Notes:

The Mystic Reaper is a good rod at an attractive price.  It’s not the greatest of the exceptional crop of rods that we had this year, but it still performs well, especially at short to medium targets. 


25 Feet – 18.4 points out of 20
There was not a huge amount of feel for me at short range. It was accurate enough, but I felt it didn't have much delicacy landing short casts.


45 Feet – 18.4 points out of 20
Good feel and control helped me to get better accuracy and better presentations at mid-range.


70 Feet – 18 points out of 20
I didn't like the Reaper at long distance.  It wasn't powerful enough to hit the mark with any regularity, and lacked accuracy compared to the Legend Elite or the Cross SX.