A Look at the Winston Air and Pure Rods

In 2019, Winston introduced two new trout fishing fly rods, the Air and the Pure series. Over the last two seasons, I’ve had the opportunity to cast and fish with both series in 4 and 5 weights on Idaho and Montana rivers.

The Air 9’ 5-weight is an all-round workhorse – a rod that does it all from small dries and emergers, to nymphs (small and larger) to late season hoppers and small streamers. Great all-round fly rod!

That said, I’ve fallen in love with the Pure series, particularly the 4 weight rods. I’m a casting junkie and instructor and love fishing small flies – dries, emergers, and small nymphs (if nothing is up on top!). The Pure series 4 and 5 weights have extraordinary feel, tip control, and accuracy making them a pleasure to cast and fish. The tip is capable of protecting fine tippets (5X, 6X, and 7X) even on explosive runs from big fish, while the boron in the lower part of the rods provide fighting power and casting power for longer distances.

 

I use the Pure 590 (9’ 5-wt) as my choice for an all purpose 5-weight. This spring, I fished it on the lower Henry’s Fork during the Green Drake hatch catching numerous fish from 12 – 22 inches on drake emergers and cripples on 5X and 6X tippet leaders.

 

I spend most of my time fishing the Pure 4 weights. I have the rods in 8’, 8½’, and 9’ lengths. All three rods are great, but very different from one another. The 8’ (480 Pure) is a lovely, deadly accurate, small stream, close-range fly rod. I fished this rod in Tasmania in January 2020 on a small-medium sized freestone river and found it great fun – casting small dries into pocket water, under bushes, and into tight locations at close and medium distances with incredible accuracy. Perfect for that situation! However, I later fished it on the Owyhee and found it to be a bit limited in its reach and ability to handle some of the larger brown trout due to the 8’ length.

 

My next Pure fly rod was the 9’ (490) 4-weight, which I got specifically for fishing larger spring creek type waters like the Henry’s Fork and the Missouri. I’ve used it this spring on the Henry’s Fork and on the Owyhee and have enjoyed it and recommend it for both waters, but particularly for the Henry’s Fork. The 9’ length makes it a great rod for reaching out and doing big reach mends, but still providing a delicate presentation and great control for fighting big fish.

 

Last in my quiver of Winston 4-weights is the Pure 486. It’s a beautiful casting and fishing rod and at 8’ 6” length is the perfect combination between the previous two rods. In my view, it’s the perfect 4-weight fly rod for the Owyhee! It’s capable of short and long casts, has incredible feel and accuracy, yet has plenty of lifting power for fighting the big browns and rainbows found there, all while being able to protect the 6X tippets I was using.  What a pleasure to cast and fish!.

Come into Idaho Angler and give these rods a try. You’ll be impressed and pleased!

rick-williams
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