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#16 (tie)      Scott Tidal    9 foot #8     $495.00

Scott Tidal inexpensive saltwater rod
Scott Tidal inexpensive saltwater rod
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George’s Notes:

After seeing what a marvelous performance the Scott Meridian turned in, the Tidal was somewhat of a disappointment.  I think the main reason for its lack of performance is a much slower action and heavier swing weight than in the Meridian.  The Tidal has more of a medium action compared to the fast action Meridian, and it just didn’t have that same crisp feel in my hand, nor the power of the Meridian.  I’m sure a lot of this has to do with the lower modulus graphite used in the Tidal.  But I keep feeling that a faster action would have made a big difference. 

There are a lot of things to like about the Tidal, such as the superb craftsmanship we’ve come to expect from Scott.  The components are downgraded somewhat from the Meridian, but that is to be expected with a rod that costs $400 less.  

Like the Meridian, the blank is natural graphite gray, and in keeping with Scott tradition, only lightly sanded so you can still see the tape marks. The wraps are a medium blue, trimmed in green on the butt.  Alignment dots are used on all sections.  Scott does use the same great cork handle we see on the Meridian – a full wells design with a stack of thin, very high quality cork rings.  A flat black anodized double uplocking seat is used, but the rings were not nearly as easy to grip as the ones found on the Meridian.  A short fighting butt is used with a rubber cap.  The guides start out with two large SiC stripping guides, followed up with fairly large hard chrome snake guides and an oversize tip top.  The wraps and coatings on the guides are close to perfect.  Like the Meridian, the Tidal is manufactured by Scott in Montrose, Colorado.

Performance at 35 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Feels heavy in the tip and I’m struggling to get any decent accuracy.  The Meridian was FAR better in close.

Performance at 60 feet:  19 points out of 20

Mid-range seems to be the sweet spot for this rod, and I was getting nicely controlled loops with good accuracy. But both the BVK and Recon were noticeably better.

Performance at 80 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

Nowhere near the pop and zing I was getting with the Meridian.  Both the Recon and DXF were better.

Performance at 100 feet:  18.5 points out of 20

If there was little wind I could hit the mark, but not with any consistency. More butt section power would help.  The Meridian and even the BVK were much better.

20. (tie)  Scott Tidal 9’#8 4pc $495

Scott Tidal
Scott Tidal
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James’ Notes: 

I had high hopes for the Scott Tidal, mostly because the Meridian 8-weight is one of the best rods in the world, and I expected the Tidal to follow suit. The Tidal does use Scott’s traditional graphite gray unsanded blank that allows you to see the tape wraps.  I liked the teal colored wraps with green trim that give this rod some pop.  The Tidal however, has a significantly heavier swing weight and is slower in action than the Meridian. 

Knowing Scott’s capabilities, I hope they will produce a new sub $500 rod in the near future that will blow the Tidal away.  While a lot of anglers appreciate a slower action for trout fishing, a slower/heavier rod doesn’t have many advantages for saltwater fishing.   

1st impressions:  Classic Scott unsanded blanks, Looks like a high-end rod.  Comfortable grip, although different from the Meridian.  Both heavier and slower in action than the Meridian.  

Performance at 35 feet: 17 points out of 20

Tip heavy and stiff, this was not my favorite rod to cast in close.  It reminds me a bit of the Sage Salt HD or old Hardy ProAxis with a less stiff butt section and slower/stiffer tip.

Performance at 60 feet: 17 points out of 20

Not that accurate, and not that much fun to cast.  Tip heavy. For me the Meridian is SOOOO much better.

Performance at 80 feet: 18 points out of 20

Takes more effort to get the Tidal going but I’ll have to admit, it does have decent power.  I could get much tighter loops with other rods like the DXF and accuracy was more or less left up to luck.

Performance at 100 feet: 17.5 points out of 20

I thought this rod might perform better for me at 100 feet over 80 feet but it didn’t.   I found my timing had to be perfect to hit this distance. 

#17.  Scott Tidal    $495.00

Scott Tidal
Scott Tidal
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Logan’s Notes:

The Scott Tidal is very nice mid-priced saltwater offering from Scott.  It is a slower action rod than the Meridian, but still had lots of power.  It looks like the Meridian’s younger sibling with the same attractive, un-sanded blank and nice blue/green wraps.  The Tidal is not overly heavy, but not nearly as light in hand as the Meridian.  I think the Scott Tidal is the most attractive mid-priced rod, but the Orvis Recon and Hardy Shadow have the edge in performance.

Performance at 35 feet: 17.5 out of 20

35 feet was the weakest distance for the Tidal.  It didn’t come close to the same accuracy and feel I had with the Meridian.  The Hardy Shadow, also felt better, but the Tidal had that rod beat for long shots.

Performance at 60 feet: 18.5 out of 20

The Scott Tidal performed much better at 60 feet.  The rod loading well and I was hit the plate consistently. 

Performance at 80 feet: 18.5 out of 20

I really liked the Tidal for long shots.  It didn’t “fold” when I needed to apply a lot of power to make longer casts.  But it wasn’t quite as accurate as the TFO BVK or Orvis Recon.

9. (tie)  Scott Tidal  57.5/60    $495.00

Scott Tidal
Scott Tidal
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JG’s Notes:

The Scott Tidal has a more moderate action to match its price tag – mid range.  This makes it an easy choice for just about anyone who is unsure about what they want from a rod.  This is a great rod for beginners, and one that will allow them to improve over time. You get a lot of great components, and it can work for anything from bones to redfish as well as trout.

Performance at 35 feet:  19

For top marks I want a little more accuracy, still the Tidal handled short-range casts really well. It’s not too aggressive and feels good in hand.

Performance at 60 feet:  19.5

Good feel, power, and very good accuracy for making mid-range casts.  This distance was the Tidal’s bread and butter.  The thing that stood out to me here was the Tidal’s smoothness and how easily it laid in 60 ft. casts.

Performance at 80 feet:  19

The Tidal wasn’t the most powerful rod in our Shootout, but it didn’t have a problem hitting 80 ft.  To get top marks it just needs a little more power.  I got decent accuracy and good presentations, but if the wind kicked up it didn’t fare nearly as well as the more powerful rods.

Performance at 100 feet:

100 can happen, but I wouldn’t choose this rod for making the longest casts.