Tackle review: Scott A4 four weight fly rod

Well, I’ve almost had my Scott A4 four weight (854/4) for a year now and I have grown incredibly attached to her so this wont be the most objective review out there. She was my first “real” rod after the “learning rod“, so its no surprise the two of us have become close. That and she has done a great job of everything thrown in front of her so far. She is my go to rod, my all rounder and has been tested in all sorts of environments against all sorts of fish and come out on top more often than not.

She is really most at home delicately presenting dry flies on the small streams and creeks I love to fish. Thats where she really excels, she is great at lightly presenting dry flies at short distances (10-40ft), but I haven’t let that limit her. She is equally happy nymphing in those waters, effectively casting tungsten nymphs into tight trout lies when they aren’t obliging on the surface. She has done a great job on the bigger rivers as well, she punches out a 50-60 foot cast effortlessly and has been a great bigger river dry fly weapon. And while a four weight isn’t the preferred weapon of choice for swinging two tungsten nymphs on a big river, my little girl has done that on a number of occasions and caught fish. With a little coaxing she will cast those heavy rigs more than far enough to be effective… So while I really should get a 6 weight, so far my little girl has been able to cover the gap in my arsenal well enough that I haven’t missed out (even though it really isn’t what she was designed to do).

The Scott A4 in its element. Small stream dry fly fishing
The Scott A4 in its element. Small stream dry fly fishing

Another area she has excelled is in my carping escapades. In fact she is a surprisingly successful carping weapon. On the super spooky carp I fish for, that I have now well educated, being able to accurately present lightly weighted nymphs and soft hackles to these big fish has proved the undoing of many an educated carp and her stealth has been one of the main reasons I’ve been able to continually fool my well educated fish. The carp eventually caught onto the slightly less delicate presentations of the 8 weight (its only a tiny pond and the fish “know” me now) and now my little all rounder is the only way I can fool them. And while, on a few occasions I have been under-gunned, she is a great fish fighting weapon, easily accounting for dozens of 4-7kg carp. She knocks them over surprisingly easily, she has enough backbone to get them out of snags and to really put the hurt on what are pretty big fish to be chasing with a 4 weight. Its only been on my “white whale”, a true behemoth of a fish (conservatively a 25lb’er) that lives in my favourite pool that she has proved underpowered and had me wishing I had brought the 8 weight along instead.

The Scott A4 four weight has easily accounted for numbers of very good carp :)
The Scott A4 four weight has easily accounted for numbers of very good carp 🙂

She has also been an effective estuary weapon, accounting for numerous mullet, flathead and trevally (and hopefully soon bream and many more species). Again, when I have pushed her into areas where she shouldn’t really be, casting heavily weighted 2/0 clousers for flathead for example, she has taken it in her stride and done what has been asked of her. She isn’t great at it, but she obliges and thats why I love her.

Flathead on the A4, a good estuary weapon
Flathead on the A4, a good estuary weapon

Overall I have been incredibly happy with her, often surprised at her abilities, to do both what she is designed for and what she isn’t. As a small stream rod she excels, as an all rounder she has done a good job and I’d recommend her to anyone. I look forward to catching many many more fish on her over the coming years and continuing to add to her tally of fish species.

8 wooly buggers out of 10

Cheers

Hamish

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