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#24.    Mystic Reaper    9 foot #8     $279.00

mystic reaper fly rod
mystic reaper fly rod
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George’s Notes: 

I’ve liked the Mystic Reaper in our 5-weight Shootouts, but as an 8-weight it just doesn’t have the guts and power it needs to compete with the better inexpensive rods.  The medium fast action is about right.  All it really needs is more power in the butt sections.  As is, the lack of overall power limits the Reaper’s ability to chuck it long, like I was able to with the similar priced TFO BVK.  

The Reaper is finished in a pleasing medium brown color, with slightly darker brown wraps.  A little silver trim is found on the butt section.  The epoxy coatings over the wraps and on the butt are excellent.  A comfortable full wells grip is used but the quality of the cork is just OK, about as good as what we found on the BVK and Aetos.  A silver anodized double uplocking reel seat is used, but the rings were harder to grip than most.  A heavier knurl on the rings would help.  They do use a nylon washer on the bottom ring that allows a good lock up on the reel.  A short fighting butt is used with a fairly wide composite cork end.  The guide set up starts out with two Fuji SiC strippers, followed up with good large diameter hard chrome snake guides.  The tiptop is smaller than we would like to see, especially when combined with the larger diameter snake guides.  This is another rod that is manufactured in Korea. 

Performance at 35 feet:  19 points out of 20

I was getting good feel and accuracy in close with the softer tip on this rod.  Surprisingly, as good as the Recon in close. 

Performance at 60 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Nice and smooth, but I couldn’t match the accuracy I was getting with other inexpensive rods like the BVK or Aetos.

Performance at 80 feet:  18 points out of 20

Now the lack of power hurts and I’m struggling to hit 80 feet. With any wind it became impossible.

Performance at 100 feet:  16 points out of 20

Not going to happen for all but the very best casters. 

19.  Mystic Reaper 9’#8 4pc $279

Mystic Reaper
Mystic Reaper
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 James’ Notes:

The Mystic Reaper is a good rod for casting in close quarters.  Its softer mid and tip-sections do well when roll casting or when trying to cast delicately in close.

The Reaper is not a great choice for an all-around 8-weight however, as it is simply too soft in the butt and mid sections.  When I was casting at the longer distances it was hard to come up with the power I needed to make the casts. If your timing isn’t perfect, expect to see a tailing loop or tangle.  

1st impressions:  Massive swell and size in the cork handle. The action feels just too soft for an 8-weight. Shiny silver reel seat stands out amongst the others.    

Performance at 35 feet: 18 points out of 20

The Reaper is much lighter in the hand than the Mystic Inception, with better feel and accuracy as well. 

Performance at 60 feet: 18.5 points out of 20

Aside from the huge grip, this rod feels very good when casting at 60 feet.  It has a smooth transfer of power with decent accuracy.  Very nice.

Performance at 80 feet: 17 points out of 20

The Reaper doesn’t have a lot of power or backbone, so I had to shoot a lot of line to hit 80 feet. The Reaper has a long way to go to keep up with the Aetos and BVK at long distance.

Performance at 100 feet: 16.5 points out of 20

My timing had to be perfect, otherwise I got tailing loops and had a lot of difficulty hitting 100 feet. If you need an inexpensive rod that will handle the wind or extreme distances the Redington Vice and TFO BVK are better rods.

#22.  Mystic Reaper     $279.00

Mystic Reaper
Mystic Reaper
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Logan’s Notes:

The Mystic Reaper really reminds me of the softer tip I found on the Orvis Helios 3F.   The Reaper was good in close but not nearly as good at longer distances. If you are a fan of a softer rod and need to stay under $300, the Mystic Reaper is a good choice.  The Reaper is one of my favorite 5-weight rods, and the 8-weight shares a lot of the same characteristics, like the softer tip and medium fast action.

Performance at 35 feet: 18.5 out of 20

35 feet was the Mystic’s sweet spot.  This is where the Reaper was reminiscent of nicer rods like the Orvis Helios 3F.

Performance at 60 feet: 18 out of 20

The Reaper was still very smooth at 60 feet.  This distance is around where the Reaper is tops out, however.

Performance at 80 feet: 16 out of 20

I didn’t like the Reaper at long distance, as it was just too soft to get the job done.

21.  Mystic Reaper   55/60     $279.00

mystic reaper fly rod
mystic reaper fly rod
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JG’s Notes:

The Reaper is a nice rod with a nice price tag.  You aren’t getting anything special here but it’s a good rod, with an action ideal for throwing streamers. It might not be my first choice for good salt water 8-weight, as I think it would need more power.   But as a budget streamer stick it’s a good choice.

Performance at 35 feet:  18.5

The Reaper did pretty well at 35 ft. for me. I was able to get reasonably good accuracy and presentations.  I docked it a little because the grip is so bulky though the swell, and this made it uncomfortable after only a few casts.  This is annoying, as this reduced the amount of control, and hurt everything else.

Performance at 60 feet:  18.5

Like 35 ft., 60 was easy to hit with good accuracy.  I liked the feel of the rod as the action and flex work well together to make a good package.   However the comfort and controllability are down because of the grip.

Performance at 80 feet:  18

Again the grip and lack of control were my main gripes, for the reaper.  I knocked an extra .5 off the score since it does loose some steam and accuracy at long range due to its relative softness.  

Performance at 100 feet:

This was another rod that didn’t hit 100 feet for me.