#2  Scott Radian     9 foot #5   $795.00

Scott Radian

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Scott Radian

George's Comments 

The Radian was a big hit in our last 5-weight Shootout and again this year it finishes within the top 3 in both overall and performance scores.  Scott fans love this rod.  Not only does it perform with the very best rods, but it is a very attractive rod as well – one of the most handsome we’ve seen.  I love the feel of the handle with it’s half wells style grip but the swell is forward of center, giving it a unique feel.    The reel seat is a very attractive black aluminum skeleton uplocking seat with a gorgeous, reddish, burled wood insert that compliments the orange trim wraps.   


The blank follows Scott’s traditional practice of finishing the rod in the natural dark gray graphite color, leaving the tape marks on the rod rather than sanding the rod smooth like most other manufacturers.  The guides are pretty much the standard set up with one SiC stipper and the rest hard chrome snake guides.  The wraps are dark gray, trimmed with lighter gray and the narrow orange trim wraps to give the rod a very classy look.  I especially like the little touches that Scott uses like adding inch marks at 12 and 20 inches.   I wish that more rod builders would do this. 


In performance, the Radian is almost as good as the NRX LP.  Only at short range did I feel that it wasn’t quite as good.  But it’s totally solid at mid and long range, throwing beautiful tight loops with excellent accuracy.  Everyone that has bought and fished these rods has loved them!



George’s Casting Notes:   The perfect line: S. A.  MPX in WF-5-F.

Performance at 25 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

Not quite as much feel or accuracy as the NRX LP, but better than the Zephrus. Nice feel, casting off the tip.  

Performance at 45 feet:  20 points out of 20

Wow, this is as good as it gets at 45 feet.  Tracks beautifully with terrific accuracy.  Only the Tom Morgan, Wraith and NRX LP

equaled it.

Performance at 70 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

Good loop control gave excellent accuracy. Feels well matched to the line with plenty of power to bomb out long casts.  Definitely one of the best rods at long range.



#1 (tie) - Scott Radian 9’#5   $795.00 – 58.50/60

Scott Radian

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James' Comments


I cannot say enough kind words about the Scott Radian.  It has tied two years in a row for me as the #1 5-weight on the market.  I love how this rod performs at all distances and prefer it over the NRX LP in certain conditions. For my casting stroke, the Radian is easier to throw long with a nudge more power and better accuracy in the wind than the NRX LP.  I think its slightly stiffer tip is better for throwing two nymphs under an indicator or throwing the occasional wind-resistant or articulated streamer. 

Even though it ties the NRX LP in points, I feel this is a slightly better all-around rod for Freestone rivers like the Yellowstone, Madison, or Gallatin where we often fish chubby/rubbbie (a chubby Chernobyl and a pat’s rubber leg dropper) or a Pat’s and a beadhead nymph behind it.  It also works great at pulling line off the water should I make a bad cast out of the boat and desperately want my fly right next to the log we are passing.

Another interesting thing about the Radian is the grip.  It is shorter than every other grip in the shootout and also has a different shape, which for me was somewhat of an acquired taste.  Now that I’m used to it I love how it seems to fit the palm of my hand.

Also worth noting is that the Radian comes in two colors – a “his” and a “hers.”  The “his” rod has bright orange highlight wraps where as the “hers” model has purple/blue wraps.  Picking up a “hers” rod might score a guy serious points at home, not to mention the benefits of “borrowing” the rod from time to time should your own or 5-weight be broke down and back at the factory for repairs.  As Denzel from Training Day would say, "This is chess not checkers." right?? 


Performance at 25 feet:  19.5 points out of 20

This rod actually drills it right in there for me.  While some may complain there’s a lack of feel I don’t care.  My fly is landing on the plate nearly every time and the presentation is still delicate compared to most powerful rods.  Only the NRX LP, the Tom Morgan two-piece 8 ½ foot #5, and the Scott G2 felt smoother at this distance.

Performance at 45 feet:  20 points out of 20

This rod blazed my yarn indicator near the plate (within 6”) 8 out of 10 times.   Only an unexpected errant wind could knock its pin point accuracy off course.  Add a heavier fly or split shot and this rod performs just as well.  20 and on the money… another no brainer buy, you'll certainly be happy with this rod.

Performance at 70 feet:  19 points out of 20

Again, I have to slow my casting stroke down significantly and wait for the right moment before punching in the power.  This rod is similar to the G. Loomis NRX LP but perhaps a little more forgiving.  With both rods you have to have perfect timing and application of power to make this rod perform perfectly at longer distances.  Remember to let the rod do the work! 

Cast the whole line? 

Yes, but you have to slow down and apply your power smoothly for the best results.


2.     Scott Radian

Scott Radian

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Logan's Comments

The Scott Radian jumped up for me this year.  Not sure if it’s because we were casting in a breeze, or the fact that the Zenith - last year’s #2 was not in the shootout.  The appearance of the Radian is still my favorite of the shootout.  I really like the un-sanded graphite, the subtle orange wraps, and the elegant reel seat. 

Logan's casting notes: 59 out of 60 

Performance at 25 feet: 19.5 points out of 20

The Scott Radian was very good in close.  Not a perfect 20 like the G. Loomis NRX-LP, but still very accurate. 

Performance at 45 feet: 19.5 points out of 20

This is where the Scott Radian's smoothness really kicked in.  At 45’ the Radian was accurate and tracked incredibly well.  The Radian powered through the breeze and was extremely accurate.

Performance at 70 feet: 20 points out of 20

The Scott Radian was consistent all over the board.  In close, mid-rage, and at distance.  The Radian's strong backbone supplies it with ample power to cast at long rage with accuracy.


1. (tie)    Scott Radian - 59.5 

Scott Radian

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Josh's Comments

I’ve been doing these shootouts for a few years now and in my opinion, the Radian is finest looking rod we’ve ever tested. The ascetics automatically drew me in last year.  We had all the rods laid out on the floor and the Radian asceticsivjust jumped off the rack. My initial thought was if they put this much time into making the rod look this good there has to be faults.  However I was impressed at every casting distance.  At the end of each shootout we often ask each other if you could have any rod in the shootout (which isn’t the case) what rod would you choose?  For two years running my answer is the Scott Radian. 

Performance at 25 feet: 19.5 points out of 20

I love the crisp feel at 25 feet.  The radian has a lot of “soul” along with great recovery.  It would be a perfect rod for in close sight fishing with dries and nymphs.

Performance at 45 feet: 20 points out of 20 

My favorite rod at this distance and more forgiving than the NRX LP.  I was landing the casting indicator on the plate about a third of the time.  The Radian really tracks nicely allowing for more accurate casts.  It also doesn’t throw as bad of a tailing loop when I jam the power in too fast with my forward cast.

Performance at 70 feet: 20 points out of 20 

Has the power to hit 70’ and continues to track really well.  This helped my accuracy at the further distance.  I was amazed with the amount of reserve power the Scott!  It really has the power to effortlessly cast 70’. 

#5.  Scott Radian  -  57.5/60

Scott Radian

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JG's Comments

The Radian is one of my all time favorite rods despite my lower scores in close.  It’s got the full wells grip that I prefer, it's light, and it looks great. It really gives the angler the utmost in control and response.

Performance at 25 feet:   17.5 points out of 20

The Radian is a little fast for me on the 25 foot mark but is still manageable and can even be delicate if you’re careful.  Still, it was more work for me to hit the plate accurately than the other tops rods which were effortless. 

Performance at 45 feet:   20 points out of 20

The longer ranges are where this rod explodes with energy.  The action is really well suited for casting out to and far beyond 40-50 feet.  The full wells becomes part of your hand and your fly becomes a laser guided missile that’s set out to destroy trout.  Accuracy and range come pretty easy with this rod especially at our middle test distance of 45 feet, tracking is good and it has plenty of reserves to fight the wind and reach longer casts. 

Performance at 70 feet:   20 points out of 20

At 70 feet everything I like about the Radian becomes that much more apparent.  There are many rods that cast to 40 or 50 with out any fuss but the closer you get to the backing knot the more finicky rods get and the more noticeable your mistakes are.  The Radian has the power and accuracy to help even the lowliest caster reach the pockets that the others can't quite get to.