When it comes to fly rods, I love a good 6 weight. The reason for this is simple- if the fishing you’re doing requires a 6wt, you’re undoubtedly targeting something at least fairly sizeable. (Which always puts a smile on my face). Growing up in the Midwest, a saltwater 6 weight was my constant companion. From largemouth and wipers, to carp and drum, a ‘Salt 6’ is pretty much made for a lot of what I had to work with. As I began to spend more time out West -before finally being lucky enough to move out here- the salt 6 stayed by my side as I patrolled the bigger rivers with streamers. Some of my first saltwater trips to Belize and Turks and Caicos (which are full of 1-3lb bonefish) also found many a bend in my saltwater 6 weight…are we seeing a trend here?
So, when I finally decided it was time to upgrade my setup in the 6 weight department, the Winston BIII-SX was quick to catch my attention. I’ve been a huge fan of Winston Rods for a long time, but my experience with them had always been more on the lighter “trouty” weights and sizes. Anyone who has a fished a Winston will surely know what I’m talking about when referring to the Winston ‘feel’, and I was curious to see if this would carry through to their BIII-SX series of rods. To my delight, it most definitely does. Designed to fill the need for a true fast-action, saltwater size run of rods, the BIII-SX is also offered in many freshwater friendly sizes, going as light as a quick but responsive 4wt. (which might find it's way into my quiver very soon as well) But we’re not here to talk about 4 wts......although I'm sure it would be incredibly fun for hopper/droppers or light nymph rigs.
Upon receipt of my 6wt BIII-SX, I immediately had to put it together and give a good wiggle. This was definitely the stiffest Winston I had held, yet that soft tip that makes a Winston a Winston still seemed to be incorporated. I couldn't wait to put this to use. The most accessible proving ground available was the Colorado River. With a box of streamers by my side, I hit the dusty....I mean paved I-70...trail. While I got this rod with just as much intention to use as a warmwater carp/bass rod, along with a light saltwater rod, it will definitely see a lot of daylight tossing streamers. Two things are important to me in a good streamer rod A) I need to be able to pick up a considerable amount of line and re-cast with zero false casts. Pick it up with a good haul, add some line on the back cast, another good haul on the forward cast, followed by a good shooting of the line. I can't stand it when a rod 'collapses' or feels 'gummy' in the middle during any part of my cast. I want a good connection to the cast and be able to apply approriate power to deliver flies to my target in a timely matter. B) I need accuracy up close. Often times, especially when float fishing, you're making anywhere from very close casts one minute, to longer casts the next as you go through twists/turns/bends of the river. I can say with certainty, the BIII-SX can handle all the above mentioned situations and more. The Boron technology used in the butt of the rod provides a TON of lifting power for throwing big flies and a lot of line. The soft Winston tip provides extreme accuracy for those up close, 'cast, strip, strip, cast again, strip, strip, cast again' situations. I simply couldn't get enough of fishing this rod. The power and accuracy, paired with an incredible amount of Winston feel makes this, in my opinion, the total package for those times when a stiff 6wt is necessary. While I haven't used this rod for any other applications (salt/warmwater, or even throwing a big nymph rig) I have no doubt it will continue to impress me further. Swing by the shop and give the BIII-SX series of fly rods a try! I think you'll like what you feel.
We hope this fly rod review of the Winston BIII-SX was a helpful one! If you'd like to discuss this fly rod (or any other Winston Fly Rods in general) in further detail, please give us a shout or swing by the shop! We're happy to help in any way we can.