by Robert Morselli / Midcurrent.com
It’s not too much of a stretch to say that most modern fly rods have the physical properties that allow an angler to cast far. Fast rods abound, but there’s much that can differentiate them. The lesser rods in the fast category offer little to no feel. Others can offer line speed and feel, but lack some of the essential building blocks that result in an optimal overall package. For instance, they might be clunky while attempting an on stream mend, or roll cast. Winston’s latest all graphite release, the NIMBUS can clear all of these performance hurdles with ease.
The rod boasts a fairly amped lower half and has a deceptively low swing weight. As per Winston: the NIMBUS sports a progressive-fast action. My overall impression of the NIMBUS (as well as Winston’s previous two all-graphite offerings), is that it is the leaner and meaner cousin of the well-tempered Boron family of rods. Power, without control, yields unremarkable results, and because of the NIMBUS’s low swing weight, the rod demands that you put a little more muscle into your cast. Control is pretty much integrated in the blank, with virtually no post-cast wobble to speak of. If sharpshooters have their weapons of choice, this would be the corresponding fly rod.
NIMBUS rods are imbued with significantly more power than previous—graphite—generations. I tested the 4-weight configuration that handled a Scientific Anglers MPX line with ease (note that I only over-line rods for testing purposes and generally recommend that anglers stick to corresponding line sizing). I also tested the NIMBUS with a standard #4WF and #4DT line and noted that the blank delivered both lines with uncompromising accuracy. Casting requirements, check.
Loop stability during roll casts, again, with both lines, was excellent and could be executed with both authority and precision.
The characteristic that is sadly lacking in too many fast fly rods is fish-playing flexibility. It’s the factor that separates mere casting tools from fully-thought-out, -designed and -crafted fishing implements. To truly enjoy landing a fish, a fly rod must be able to communicate all of the unseen underwater activity. Takes can be ultra-subtle, fish can decide—often in an instant—to become uncooperative. The NIMBUS sports somewhat of a “nervous” blank, giving you a fine feel for anything that might be interested in your offering. And when comes time for putting the brakes on fish with plans that don’t correspond to yours, the NIMBUS also offers enough spine to assist you in getting the job done, and quickly.
If you’re beginning to get the impression that the NIMBUS is one of those increasingly rare all-rounders, you are correct. As expected, the rod excels at launching weighted streamers as far as you need to reasonably get them. Most impressively, however, is that the rod can also easily address every manner of finesse situation, like laying out a 22-footer, with a 7x leader that’s topped off with a #24 Invisible.
I purchased a Winston B 3x from Reds Fly Shop this summer,the rod is a big disappointment,poor quality cork,doesnt stay together and lined up.This rod is extremely over priced,there are many lower priced rods of better quality.
So sorry to hear about the troubles with your Boron III X! We’d love to have a look and fix up your rod. Give us a call at 406-684-5674 and ask for Adam. We’ll be happy to help.
I’m truly shocked to read this about a Winston. I purchased a b3x 9’6″ 6# and the finish and feel is far superior to anything else that I’ve looked at. I’ve spent the best part of a year deciding and my Winston is the first and soon to be ordering another. Joints on any rod will come apart if not checked occasionally,this is normal. The feel of these rods is something special which only now I understand what is meant by the, “Winston feel”.
The help and advice that I received from Adam at Winston and John at Gorge fly shop was first class!
Please don’t give up on Winston rods!
First off, I never write reviews, so this is a first for me. 30 years ago, I purchased my 1st Winston rod (blank). I purchased the blank and not the rod because I could not afford the standard retail 9′ 6wt. at that time in my life. Two small children and my wife, our household COO. I built the rod myself and it became my pride-and-joy. Fast forward to after 35 plus years of fly fishing. I own several rods now, SageX, Orvis 3D, G Loomis, and a 8’6″ 4wt IM6 Winston my wife purchased for me as a birthday present years ago. Without question, both my Winston rods are still favorites and have performed with classic Winston precision and finesse. This is not why I am writing this though. Last year, 2018, I went on a 5 month fishing expedition and fished over 20 world class rivers. In October I was in Montana on the Madison and I broke both of my Winston rods within two weeks of one another (not on fish, I am sorry to say – long story). Silver lining was that I was only 50 minutes from Twin Bridges, so I visited Winston with both my broken rods. Two months later in December I received my 4wt back, looking and casting like new, NO Charge. The first of January I checked in with Kaye in the repair dept. Unfortunately, my original hand built Winston rod was going to be too difficult to repair. What did Kaye do, offered me my pick of any premium rod, no charge. I received my new 9′ 6wt B3x (my choice) yesterday. It is beautiful! Thank you Kaye. I did some test casting and I love the feel and how it performed in my pool. Can’t wait to give it a try on some bigger water:) Without a doubt I am a customer for life and will buy Winston again. They just don’t make companies like theirs anymore. Beautiful rods, wonderful people.
Bob, thanks for the great note! it’s amazing hearing great reviews and we really appreciate it! Kaye in repairs is a rock star for us, and does whatever it takes to get folks back on the water with Winston! We hope you stop by for your next trip to SW Montana, and hopefully it doesn’t involve any broken rods!
While my father and I were fishing the stonefly hatch on the N. Platte this past week the tip of his passport was snapped, and we have no idea how. He’s pretty upset because he doesn’t remember where he bought it or how long it’s been. He doesn’t know what to do or what can be done so I told him I’d try to get a hold of someone that could help him. I’d sure appreciate it if you could.
Thanks for reaching out. Your father needs to return the rod to us, and included a printed and completed Repair Service form from our website at the following link: https://winstonrods.com/wp-content/uploads/Warranty-Repair-Service-Form.pdf
Since COVID-19 began, our repair department has been shut down, until mid-June. Your father’s rod may unfortunately be backlogged for a couple months, but we’d like to get it in line as soon as possible. Once the rod is received, we’ll send a notification of receipt. We appreciate the patience during these unique times!