For decades, Winston has been revered and sought after as the rods that combine the right amount of feel and power in a two-handed rod. The blend of high modulus graphite, Boron and premium hardware have made these Green rods favored worldwide
New for this season we have the New Winston Air TH Series. This new collection of rods encompasses the blend of Boron III technology, Super-Silica nano resign, high modulus graphite, flor grade cork and the high end components never to be seen before in a two-handed rod. Winston, located in Twin Bridges Montana, is the only company to harness all these materials into a hand-crafted rod.
Brian Silvey and Michael White have worked in calibration with Annette McLean, Senior Rod Designer at Winston, to bring 10 new models to market. Without a doubt, these rods have a distinction unto themselves. The feather weight feel is noticed by simply putting them together. The first shake of the rod gives the caster an indication of its sweet action. Like treasured rods of the past, the deeper deflection or “Winston Feel” is certainly apparent in the Air TH range. With this said, this by no means the action is “slow”. These rods have a wonderful observed load sensation, giving the caster enormous feel but with stunning recovery. This precise load gives the caster reference as to what is happening during the casting stroke. These reference points are important in anchor point set up, the swivel to the key position or forward stroke. The caster then can execute the cast purely on feel, allowing for tempo to be created in a natural way. The incredible light weight action is due to the Super Silica resin system, allowing for less swing weight. Air TH rod line weights are consistent in each family and are appropriate for their line designation.
Without further ado, introducing the all-new Air TH Family:
12’0” 5wt Air TH- This rod is on the upper end of what we would consider Trout Spey or a light summer run steelhead rod. This rod is perfect when you need a bit more power than the 11’6” 5 weight Microspey. While they are both in the 5 weight category, the Air will comfortably carry a bit heavier line than the Microspey, thus being able to cast slightly heavier rigs.
Reel Match- Bauer RX 4 Microspey or RX 5, Line Match- Skagit 390gr. / Scandi 360gr.
11’ 6” 6wt Air TH- Small but mighty could be the mantra for this little dagger. This rod is not afraid of the bottom hand, speed or distance. While being the shortest in the family, this rod carries a big punch. Go through the motions and this rod is an easy caster. But you can push this rod and it doesn’t’ mind one bit. Great rod for the Grande Ronde, John Day, Rogue River and many other summer run steelhead fisheries.
Reel Match- Bauer RX 4 Microspey or RX 5, Line Match- Skagit 420 gr. / Scandi 390gr.
12’6” 6wt Air TH- This rod configuration will always have a home in any spey rod line up. This new 6 weight will be a delight on any summer run steelhead stream. Casting dry lines to sink tips, this rod is the quintessential summer steelhead stick for the angler looking for the dialed set up. This rod is not to be overlooked in the trout spey arena as well. The traveling angler could easily add this rod for Alaska, South America or larger flies for the Western States.
Reel Match: Bauer RX5 or RX5 Spey. Line Match: Skagit 450 gr. / Scandi 420gr.
13’3” 6wt Air TH- Magic! This rod is going to become a quick favorite for summer steelheaders across the Northwest. Anglers have been asking for a longer 6 weight to carry longer heads and greater mending capabilities. With Winston always having iconic rods in the 13’3’ length this one just seemed like a natural evolution. Extremely light in hand this rod loves Scandinavian lines with touch and go casts. Not sure if a single spey rod has ever been more fun!
Reel Match: Bauer RX 5 or Classic Spey RX5. Line Match: Skagit 420gr. / Scandi 390gr.
12’3” 7wt Air TH- With spey lines trending toward shorter and shorter head lengths this new 7 weight certainly is at home with short Skagit’s or Scandi lines. This rod will be right at home on coastal rivers where obstructions behind the angler are prevalent. This shorter rod is the perfect stick to cast all varieties of flies and lines and get into places that require creative casting. Also, the perfect choice for an angler that needs a rod for smaller water would be wise to consider this 7 weight.
Reel Match: Bauer RX5 or RX5 Classic Spey. Line Match: Skagit 510gr. / Scandi 450gr.
13’3” 7wt Air TH- If the anglers of the world where to convene and vote for Hall of Fame spey rod the Winston 13”3 7 weight Boron II X would be a certain nomination. This configuration of length and line weight has been a home run with both the Boron II X and Boron III TH. Enter the new 13’3” 7 weight Air TH… This new model has all the characteristics of previous models: lots of feel, light weight, good grain window, easy to cast, fun, responsive, powerful…. But, its lighter, crisper and just a delight to cast. This is certainly the Do-It-All spey rod from Winston. Dry lines, sink tips, multi-density tips, little flies, big flies, short casts, longs cast, big fish, little fish this rod will do it all.
Reel Match: Bauer RX6 or Classic Spey RX6. Line Match: Skagit 510gr. / Scandi 450-480gr.
12’3” 8wt Air TH– The Big Brother to the 12’3” 7 weight Air TH. 8 weight rods are seeing a bit of resurgence in the Pacific Northwest and are not just viewed as a B.C. rod. Anglers that are casting larger flies and heavier tips are enjoying the increased power while have a very light rod in hand. Again, this shorter format will allow for increased movement in tight quarters or smaller rivers. Per the normal tread, if British Columbia Steelhead is in the plan, this is a go-to rod.
Reel Match: Bauer RX5 Classic Spey. Line Match: Skagit 540gr. / Scandi 480-510gr.
13’3” 8wt Air TH- This last new addition to the “One-Thirty-Three” collection, and frankly, is an exciting new rod. For all the reasons we love the 13’3” 7 weight we will get more power here. This is the perfect big water, big fly, big fish rod. The rod is going to perform outstanding on B.C. rivers such as the Bulkley, Kispoix, Dean, Sustat, Skeena to name a few. Anglers looking for a winter rod to carry big flies, heavy tips a long way will love this rod. This is a great answer to the angler that is constantly pushing the limits with their 7 weight.
Reel Match: RX5 or RX5 Classic Spey. Line Match: Skagit 540 gr./ Scandi 480-510gr.
14’6” 8wt Air TH- Long Belly casters are going to slap some high-fives all around and rejoice for this long 8 weight. Whether your studying for your THCI from the FFI or just want to blast some 100 footers on the Clearwater, this is your stick. This big boomer might not be for everyone, but for those that want to strip less and cast more, this is your baby. Long Belly lines are at home with this rod.
Reel Match: RX5 or RX5 Classic Spey. Line Match: Skagit 540gr. / Scandi 510gr.
12’9’ 9wt Air TH– Quite possibly the most glaring whole in the previous Winston Spey line has been a powerful, yet manageable 9 weight. This rod is built for big fish, whether they come from the Atlantic or Pacific. The short lever is perfect for fighting big fish and will not wear you out casting all day. Get your T-14, T-17 and 5 inch fly out and put it into flight. If you’re into the green sticks and love King Salmon, this new arrival is waiting for you to put it into the game!
Reel Match: RX 7 or RX7 Classic Spey. Line Match Skagit 540-570 gr. / Scandi: 510gr.
Eric Neufeld is a Winston Representative living and working in the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies. His talent as an angler is unmatched and is a fanatical two-hand caster who pursues anadromous fish from Oregon to Alaska and beyond.