The Radian placed 2nd in our last 5-weight Shootout and I was surprised to see that it was this far down the list in a 4-weight. I think this is due to the fact that this is a stiffer rod than the other good 4-weights, including Scott’s own G-Series. The Radian has a faster action than the G Series, with more power in the butt and mid section that allow it to cast better at the longest distance. But this power and the stiffer tip hurt the performance in close, where it is similar to the Avantt but not nearly as good as the Zephrus, Pure or Helios 3F.
This is one fantastic looking rod – one of the very best in our Shootout. I was tempted to give it a perfect score for craftsmanship. One of the things I really like is the shape of the full wells cork handle. It has a pronounced swell that is slightly forward of the center of the grip – much different from the more standard western style grip of the G Series. Scott uses a stack of thinner cork rings on this handle and the quality was excellent.
The blank is graphite gray and follows Scott’s practice of sanding the blank only lightly and allowing the tape marks to remain. This rod uses the more conventional slip over ferrule design as on all but one of the other rods in our Shootout. The guide wraps are a slightly darker gray, trimmed in orange on the butt. I also liked the 12-inch mark on the butt but I wish they had also given us one at 18 or 20 inches. The quality of epoxy coatings on the guide wraps was excellent and almost the equal of the T&T rods.
The uplocking black anodized skeleton reel seat utilizes a single ring that is easy to grip and lock down. The fancy burl wood insert just jumps out at you with its striking color – lots of red and orange mixed in – very attractive. The guides start out with a hook keeper, then one SiC stripper followed with hard chrome snake guides that are nice and light on the tip sections.
The perfect line: SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity in WF-4-F
George’s casting notes:
Performance at 25 feet: 19.0 points out of 20
Heavier in hand than some of the best rods and I’m not getting as much feel or accuracy as the G Series. I think the stiffer tip hurt here.
Performance at 40 feet: 19.3 points out of 20
Better now, with more line in the air, but the G series was still a little better in both feel and accuracy. The top three rods were a lot better.
Performance at 60 feet: 9.5 points out of 10
Now the good butt power helps and I’m getting very nice loops, good control and excellent accuracy – equal to the Avantt and even better than the Zephrus.
The Scott Radian’s lower finishing order is the biggest surprise of the test for me. After having it tie for 1st place in past 5-weight Shootouts, I thought the 8’6”#4 was going to be a real contender. But after casting and directly comparing the Radian to the top rods the results hold true – the Radian was too heavy, and too stiff in the tip with a butt and mid-section that seemed too soft.
I do appreciate the top shelf craftsmanship of the Radian; it is easily one of the best looking rods in our Shootout.
Eye catching reel seat, with attractive orange hue wood insert under black aluminum. Swell in the grip seems a little large for a 4-weight rod. Stiffer in the tip than I’d expect from Scott. Alignment dots, lightly sanded blank, hard chrome snake guides. Attractive orange trim on the butt section wraps.
Performance at 25 feet: 17.8 points out of 20
I was surprised and thought the Radian would have more feel in close! Accuracy was good, but coupled with little feel.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.2 points out of 20
Feels a bit like the Sage MOD with a softer butt section and stiffer tip. While fun to cast I was more accurate and had more power with the top rods.
Performance at 60 feet: 7 points out of 10
Not so hot, the softer butt and midsection are becoming more of a crutch than an asset. Accuracy and power were both diminished.
Logan’s Comments: 46 out of 50
The Scott Radian is a solid counterpart to the G Series. If you are building a Scott quiver for lighter line rods, I’d first consider the G Series, but the Radian shouldn’t be overlooked. The Radian has a little more power than the G Series, but was not quite as delicate. I think the 9’#4-weight Radian would be an incredible nymph rod.
Logan’s Casting Notes: 46 out of 50
Performance at 25 feet: 18.5 out of 20
At 25 feet the Scott G Series is hands down a better rod but if a strong wind persists or you are fishing a double nymph rig the Radian would be money.
Performance at 40 feet: 19 out of 20
The sweet spot for the Scott Radian is 40 feet. It was one of the most accurate rods in the Shootout at 40 feet.
Performance at 60 feet: 8.5 out of 10
I thought the Scott Radian would have been slightly better at 60 feet. It had a tendency to “die” when I really punched in the power. 8 times out of 10 it was perfect but every so often it was off.
We sell a good number of Scott Radians every year, and for good reason – they are great rods! Before starting this Shootout, I thought the Radian was one rod that would finish in my top five.
Everything about the profile of this rod makes me think it should fit right in there with the Zephrus and Helios 3F. However once I was able to cast the Radian heads up with the top rods, it didn’t shine as brightly as the lighter and more responsive 4-weights.
Probably just a personal issue, but I don’t prefer the Radian’s cork handle full wells style, with the swell closer to the top of the grip. That felt more cumbersome to me than other rod’s grips.
Performance at 25 feet: 18.5/20
The Radian was good in close. However the tip is just a tad too stiff for me, and I preferred the G series at this distance.
Performance at 40 feet: 18.5/20
At 40 feet the rod has a little breathing room and can open up a bit more. I found the Radian to be accurate and consistent at 40’.
Performance at 60 feet: 9/10
The Radian’s power lit up now and I was hitting 60 feet with ease. I was getting nice loops and good accuracy.
The Radian is a stiffer rod, and specifically stiffer in the tip. This made the Radian a good rod at longer distances but not as good in close. While I feel this action works well in a 5 weight or higher, it lacked the feel and sensitivity in close that is so important to have in a good 4-weight. I did like the striking good looks and fine craftsmanship.
Performance at 25 feet: 16 out of 20
This is a strong rod, it lacked a certain level of finesse in close. The tip section was too stiff to be as accurate as the G Series or Zephrus.
Performance at 40 feet: 17.5 out of 20
A little better at 40 feet. This rod has a good amount of power and was easy to cast at longer distances, even in the wind.
Performance at 60 feet: 7 out of 10
The Radian can cast 60 feet easily enough, but similar to the X, I felt there was a loss of feel and consistency with this rod.