The F2 Effect.

F2 effectAbout this time in 2011 I had an idea that I just couldn’t get out of my head.  See, unlike so many other fly fishermen, I don’t enjoy having a bunch of gear that sits around.  I’m not a collector of anything, so if it doesn’t get used often, I really don’t want it.  So I made the decision to sell off a bunch of rods, and in fact, get down to just one rod that can cover all of my typical fishing needs.  This simplistic approach holds more appeal to me than I can tell you, but in practice it became much harder to do than I thought it might be.  Which rod to keep became the big question, and I persevered in my effort to get down to this one “reference rod,” against which all other future rods would be compared.

By the time 2012 rolled around, I was actually down to only two rods: a bamboo rod and a graphite rod.  I still had three other bamboo rods coming, which I had ordered previously (including these quads: Two Heirloom Rods) and I wanted to compare one of these rods with the bamboo rod I still had before giving them up, so I kept both rods around until such time as I could make an educated decision.  Other than that though, I truly felt I had whittled my way down to my reference rod: an 863-4 Winston BIIIx.

So armed with my reference rod, I dedicated the year to the process of buying (or long term demoing) every rod I still had significant interest in.  I’d purchase a rod, use it alongside my reference rod for awhile, and then decide if it was going to replace the reference rod or just be sold off.  This process was repeated numerous times, and it made for a really fun year. I learned a lot about my own preferences in rods, and I gained considerable insight and knowledge of a fair number of rods along the way. Surprisingly, this venture also cost me much less to do than I thought it would when I embarked upon it, thanks in part to great friends, great fly shops, and quite honestly, great products that sold well after the fact.

But that wasn’t the only surprise, nor the one that truly stands out.  Instead, the real surprise was a rod I never expected to be so enamored with.  The funny thing is, as rod by rod came through my door, nothing ever replaced my reference rod, and I actually still have it today.  But what was truly unexpected came in the form of a little six-foot rod for a two weight line that I simply could not bring myself to give up.  This rod, and indeed, every rod from this series of rods that I fished were just plain fun.  And for me, fun is where it’s at.  So if you are looking to put a big smile on your face, you need not look any further than the Scott F2 series of rods, and for myself, the little gem of the series is the 602-3.

My little 602-3 Scott F2 paired with a Hatch 1 Plus Finatic. (In black)

My little 602-3 Scott F2 paired with a Hatch 1 Plus Finatic. (In black)

Now I could have requested that Scott send the 602-3 for the Dry Fly Guy Gear Giveaway, and they certainly would have done so.  But I know that for many DFGs that rod would likely not be their first choice. So I requested something a little more versatile: the 703-3.  But make no mistake about it, the 703-3 is a truly superb rod, and like everything else I’m giving away, I truly wish I could keep it.

The Scott Box  -  Even the packaging is classy!

The Scott Box – Even the packaging is classy!

Open Scott BoxScott 703-3Scott F2Which brings me back to my little story that I began this post with.  In my grand attempt to pare down my rods, once I fished the Scott F2 602-3, I simply could not bring myself to get rid of it, even though it can’t replace my reference rod as a “one and only”.  It remains in my arsenal today, and along with the Winston, they are the only two “plastic” rods I currently own.  Everything else is bamboo, and sadly (or gratefully depending on your perspective) just a year after my “experiment” I’m already back up to eight fly rods.  That’s not very many rods for some, but for me that’s a huge amount, and I’ll likely be getting rid of a few in the not too distant future.

Now if I have any intention of selling off the F2, I know I better not fish it again, because if I do, I’ll be right back to wanting to keep it.  And I have a sneaking suspicion that the winner of the 703-3 F2 is going to feel the same way about it.

The F2’s are simply too much fun to fish, and they always put a big smile on my face.


This rod has fun written all over it!

This rod has fun written all over it!


11 thoughts on “The F2 Effect.

  1. Salmotrutta
    October 13, 2013 at 10:42 am

    Good article. I have a number of rods that I haven’t used in some time, but with some if the memories of great days with them I can’t part with them, even though they’re just taking up space. As for the F2, I’ve never casted one but I hear they’re pretty sweet. “Plastic rods” aren’t all bad lol

  2. Dry Fly Guy
    October 14, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    I have to agree with you there Salmotrutta. “Plastic” rods can be fine fishing/casting instruments, as can bamboo. There are certainly good rods, great rods, and those lacking positive attributes in both camps.

  3. tabornatives
    October 20, 2013 at 3:16 pm

    The light line F2s are outstanding fly rods. The 3wts are the honeys of the series. I have fished many of Scott Rod Co glass rods over the years(I own a F81 that is one of Harry Wilson”s from 1974) and the little F2 6’6″ 3wt is about as good as it gets.

  4. Glass Stixs
    October 21, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    My wife and I had the pleasure of visiting the Valle Vidal in northern New Mexico last summer while on vacation. I got the chance to meet up with a fellow board member (from another board) and fish his little slice of heaven on the Rio Costillo. He is a big fan of the Scott F2 653. He let me fish it for a while and I honestly didn’t want to give it back. It was absolute perfection for flicking drys to the native cutthroats on the small, tight water. I came home and bought one for myself. I returned this summer and had a fantastic week fishing some of the same water with that delightful rod. If you like small water and feisty fish, I would highly recommend an F2.


    1. tabornatives
      October 25, 2013 at 8:24 pm


      aurelio’s enthusiasm has sold more 6’6″ F2s than any flyshop salesperson. Scott ought to give him one gratis.


  5. ARReflections
    October 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I am in the process of getting a 2 or 3 weight rod and the Scott F2 rods appear to the direction I am headed. Quite a bit of scratch for fiberglass (I am a fiberglass junkie) compared to other well performing rods but the reviews from others seem to be rather consistent and highly regarded.

  6. mclabrook
    October 23, 2013 at 9:40 pm

    Scott Rods are very nice. My dad only has one rod and it is a Scott G2. I haven’t figured out which rod I like the most so I keep acquiring more and more (2 graphite, 5 boo, 3 glass, and 2 glass blanks to be built). I know you can’t take it with you but I sure seem to be trying.

  7. October 24, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    These F2’s are certainly top notch rods that qualify as a good reference point. Every one I’ve cast or fished has left a deep impression.
    Great writeup, DFG!

  8. Glass Stixs
    October 25, 2013 at 9:21 pm

    You’re absolutely right about Aurellio, he has sold more of the F2 653’s than any fly shop salesman. The rod actually sells itself, once you pick it up you gotta have one. Put a Hardy Featherweight on it along with a Rio Gold WF3 and you’re approaching small stream nirvana.

  9. ARReflections
    November 7, 2013 at 6:05 pm

    All day today I was checking the usps tracking website to monitor the delivery of my Scott F2 703 compliments of registering, posting a minimum of 2 post on both the dry fly blog and the dry fly forum, and my name being drawn from a magical top hat or some other method of random wizardry. Well the rod was awaiting for inspection and a wiggle test upon my rushed drive home. Here are my thoughts and experience so far. Please note, my experience with various types of rods may not be as broad as others so I will compare against my Steffen fiberglass 3/4wt 8′ rod and a recently sold Bears Den fiberglass 2/3 wt- 6’6″ – 8 piece pack rod (I know, no real comparison but hey).

    The white Scott box was well packaged in a bigger brown box with stuffing to prevent movement. The picture I saw is the same as the pictures of the Scott rod posted above by DFG. As I gently took the black fly rod sleeve out of the flat silver rod tube, my parents-in-law are also wondering what has caused me so much excitement from a “fishing pole”. As I slide the yellow rod segments from the sleeve embroidered with the red Scott lettering, I am immediately struck by the smooth finish of the rod against my finger tips. Compared to the unsanded Steffen rods and the painted yellow look of the bears den rod, the finish on the yellow Scott blank had a nice uniform epoxy looking depth. The spigots were filled with an epoxy like substance versus the steffen hollow spigots and the solid clear fiberglass spigots in the bears den. The Scott 3 piece segments were slightly (~2 inches) longer than my 4 piece steffen segments. As I aligned the dots on the Scott segments, I noted a velvet, firm connection versus a more granulated feel when I connect my Steffen segments. The grip is small but in perfect proportion to the rod. It feels good, real good.

    The wiggle test produces a smooth soft continuous feel that can be felt into the grip. This is different to the steffen taper which is a bit faster and the takes a considerable amount of swing to produce flex in the grip. Note the Steffen again is a 4 weight but something tells me a Steffen 3 weight probably has a taper that requires more oomph to feel flex in the grip. Compared to the bears den which also flexes into the butt, the Scott rod has a lot better control or discipline (not noodley) for a better word. As I swing the rod, the rebound between the forward and back swing is almost like it is alive, like a loaded spring. Very little lateral motion. This is a buttery smooth rod. The rod moves in one uniform singular motion compared to the bears den which exhibits multiple nodes during a swing test due to the slower action and multiple pieces. The Steffen rod also moves in a smooth uniform motion but definitely has a faster taper like it has a tighter spring with a higher gauge. I know the F2 653 has gotten a lot of good reviews but man this 703 is fine. Very fine.

    I run off to grab my Martin 4/5 LM click and pawl reel already spooled with a 3wt line and after attaching to the cork cap and ring seat, a smile reactively comes across my face. This balances perfectly right at the edge of the grip. I line up the rod with 8 feet of line outside the tip and casually swing the rod to watch the line produce nice tight loops. My smile gets bigger. This is one awesome dry fly rod. I can’t get the smile off my face after each swing of the rod. This is a indeed a magical rod. I can’t imagine the F2 653 model to get much, if any, better than this. Maybe if environment requires a shorter rod but this 703 model is simply al dente. This F2 rod is the perfect match for my 3/4 Steffen rod. It provides a great, softer action for the 3wt arena. If I need something with a little more punch then the Steffen 3/4 is also perfect.

    The next testing stage will be casting on water and fish handling. Thank you Dry Fly Guy, this is indeed a keeper!

    1. Dry Fly Guy
      November 8, 2013 at 7:00 am

      Thanks for the write up ARReflections!

      ~ DFG

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