My first two handed rod was a Winston. It was given to me by a buddy when I first started in the industry both guiding and working at Western Rivers Flyfisher. I spent hours and hours, watching sunsets down at the local duck pond practicing casts, dialing in lines and building my confidence for the upcoming fall steelhead trip with the shop boys.
After the casting bug got into my bloodstream, I wanted to throw anything I could get my hands on. Over the last few years I have cast a multitude of different two handed rods and have always come back to my trusty green sticks. When I held the new 7133 I immediately noticed the handle shape. I have always liked the smaller and streamlined cork that Winston uses. It just feels comfortable and ergonomic in the palm and makes clutching a 13’ 3’’ rod much nicer during that 7th hour of bombing loops and waiting for a tug. The overall weight and notably the distribution of that weight in the 7133 is interesting. It feels substantial in the butt section, which I really noticed helped keep my stroke compact and consistent. The rod tracks well during the cast and allows the bottom hand to freely find leverage on the forward stroke.
I have a fair amount of experience with the cult favorite 7133 BIIX and was worried that the BIIITH wouldn’t hold it’s own next to it’s older sibling. I loved the BIIX for it’s versatility to seamlessly switch from shooting head lines to mid-bellies and longer traditional lines. The BIIITH follows along it’s side with a modern feel of power and punch. The BIIITH is substantially faster than its predecessor, which has added length to my casts as well as accuracy.
The rod fights fish well. Since the overall feel of the rod is faster than its predecessor, I was worried it wouldn't respond well to subtle eats and big head shakes, but once the fish is connected the rod stays in line, holds its foundation and reacts with the fishes fight. The tip is no limp noodle! The last section of the rod packs punch while still responding delicately to soft plucks and bumps through the swing. The stout butt section of the BIIITH helps when landing fish in fast current, battling through crosswinds and putting the wood to bulldogging chromers.
Everyone knows Winston has always made great fly rods. In my opinion there are very few companies making single handed and two handed rods like they used to. The movement towards super fast rods had me worried that my favorite rod companies would soon follow suit. Winston has struck a great compromise with the BIIITH. The rods are not only modern and powerful, but they maintain the feel, flex and soul that green sticks have always been famous for.
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