As we edge closer to the spring steelhead season, penned up anglers will be thinking about new gear.  As our first “Fly Rod” review, we’ll let you in on what we look at

“Performance”- We have several high level casters on our team and all of the rods will be fished or cast at varying lengths and conditions.  We’ll discuss issues if they arise but for the most part, one should expect rods to perform relative to their price so we won’t breakdown every aspect of every rod. However, if something glaring comes up, we will discuss it in detail.

“Craftsmanship”- This is a very subjective category and we will be looking at it through middle aged eyes that appreciate a classic look.  Having said that, some of the more contemporary rods are using some funky new cosmetics and we have to admit that most of them are pretty cool… just not always as appealing to the more mature demographic.  We won’t however, rate how a rod looks on our personal view.  If it works, we’ll let you know.

“Value”- Value is a tough one but the way we see it, we need to be as honest as we can be in this area. For example; We are giving the Winston 6116-4 a 5 rating despite its premium price point.  Why? Because we feel that this rod covers all of your Great Lakes steelhead needs negating the need for two separate ones which should raise the value.
We won’t discuss warranty unless it is an issue as for the most part, all of the fly rods that we sell carry lifetime warranties. What does that mean?  It means that if you break your rod, the manufacturer will replace the piece or the entire rod for a small fraction of the price of a new one.  In the event that your rod has been discontinued, they will replace it with a equivalent current product.  In reality, by the time the rod gets to us, it has been through the test and if it breaks after that, it wasn’t a manufactures defect.

The following is a review from our own Winston Pro Staffer, Nick “Cool Breeze” Groves as it appears on the Winston website from 2014.

By: Nick Groves – Ontario Winston Pro Staff

Ontario has had an absolutely ridiculous 2013/2014 winter. January, February, & March temps have been the coldest on average in over 35 years. That, combined with an unprecedented amount of snowfall in the area has really put a damper on any winter steelheading opportunities and caused some serious cases of the “shack nasties”. We have all been staring out our frosted windows at home for months, waiting for any glimmer of hope that spring is actually going to come.

Winston BIIIx TH 6116-4

Winston BIIIx TH

When my new BIII TH came in the mail the other day, all of the sudden temps and ice didn’t matter anymore, and me and a couple of buddies immediately made plans to go find some moving water.
Right out of the tube, I knew that this stick was going to take my two handed fishing to a new level of fun. And it did. The 11’6” BIII TH is an absolute powerhouse of a rod. Teamed up with a Rio 6/7 switch line, I was able to handle and manage the heaviest of nymph setups with ease. This rod turned over some seriously weighted tandem nymph rigs at any distance I wanted, while still maintaining the unparalleled sensitivity and “troutiness” that Winston rods are renowned for.
The craftsmanship and performance of the 6116-4 BIII TH is second to none, and is an absolute pleasure to fish. If you are looking to combine swinging and nymphing with authority and ease into one single rod, you won’t go wrong here!
Since Nick’s review, we have all had the opportunity to fish the BIII 6116-4 and would echo Nicks original remarks.  As well as the 6116-4 fishes with an indicator, it also shines bright as a traditional rod and paired up with a 390gr Rage Compact head, the rod has the ability to cover any piece of water in the Great Lakes without giving up a thing!  It takes heavy poly leaders wonderfully and fishes and mends line well at lengths up to about 90ft. What more can you ask for?


Performance- 5 For a short, light two hander, the rod has balls as big as church bells and will far exceed any expectations.  It really is the only stick you’ll need for Great Lakes steelhead.
Craftsmanship- 5 It’s a Winston, need we say more.
Value- 4.5  The 6116-4 is a premium rod and at the top of the heap so you have to expect to pay the price for that but when you factor in that this stick covers all of your Great Lakes steelhead needs and also makes a perfect cross over Atlantic salmon rod, the value is strong.
Over all rating. 4.83