Anyone know anything about Winston Bl5 5wt

Whinging pom

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….so far all I know for sure is it’s green.
I have managed to read a few snippets on line about “glass tip section”, “slower action more like cane”and it was a 1990’s model Winston. Only for floating lines due to tip. Great dry fly rod.
Most of the info is on the 8 an 9 wts and it was favoured by Joan wullf( how many rods have had that claim over the years ! ).
So does anybody know anything else especially the 5wt ? Was it a Tom Morgan era ? Were Loomis making the Blanks? Is it as through action as the WT or the TMF. Any thoughts , memories, knowledge or references greatfully received.
I thankyou !
( try to be kind with your comments I just bought one on a whim .. ).
 

stevel

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I was a Winston fanatic before moving over to grass and now back to glass.
I had 2 BL5s, a 6wt and an 8wt in the 90's, both saltwater rods, but many used them for fresh like I did - stillwater and river trout and steelhead. Definitely after Tom Morgan, he was cane, glass and slow IM6 models.
They were shooting head rods due to the solid fibrelass tip, so great for lines like the Wulff TT, to get the rod loading fast and into the boron butt then shoot the line miles with one or two false casts.
It's their first gen boron, so heavy and klunky compared to the modern offerings.
As indicated, they were floating line rods only, the glass tip didn't have the strength to cast heavy sinking tips, however the long 10' versions were *the* Great Lakes Steelhead rod for many years.
It could however cast heavy shot very well (I guess why they were a great GL steel rod) due to the soft tip.
 

Whinging pom

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Thanks for that . I was taught to cast on a heavy 9’ split cane so the weight doesn’t phase me, i fished with it like a loon for years so I don’t think my casting stroke has ever caught up to modern fast rods.
I haven’t had chance to cast the BL 5 yet but I imagine it loads early for close work and hope it will be a good dry fly rod . I resisted getting a faster action and though ideally I’d love a TMF I can’t justify the cost for the amount I’d get to use it.
Its the first time in 6-8 years I’ve cast anything longer than 7’10 in feels enormous. Looking forward to re- learning to cast with it.
I’ll look for a TT line . Thanks for the info.
 

stevel

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The soft tip will be good for just tip casting with not much line out, but the boron butt has huge lifting power (not that you'd need it for river trout). You could probably land 10lb+ seatrout and salmon easily on it by engaging the butt.
On my family trip down to NZ I used the 6wt on a couple of fishing days allowed very effectively for catching browns and rainbows in the South Island (also with a TT), and it also made light work of shooting a long line when necessary. It also roll casts very well.
If you ever see a B2T for sale (probably under £200 these days), this was my all time favourite of all my Winstons.

edit: Errr, maybe not, these legacy Winstons are going for a lot of money! I virtually gave them away (and did a few to some friends)
 
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Elwyman

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The BL5 is a very popular seatrout rod for small rivers like the Elwy in North Wales. Arthur Foxon, whose tackle shop is on the banks of the Elwy, used sell many rods built by his daughter Renee, on Winston blanks. Some would say Renee built better rods than Winston, and I'd have to agree.

In a brilliant marketing ploy, Arthur once declared that a 9' #7 Winston BL5 was the best rod you could buy for fishing the Elwy.....I have one, my mate has one, his mate now has one, etc etc.😂

The thing is, he wasn't lying.....it is an excellent rod for short casts, roll casting in confined areas, and for hooking soft mouthed fish at close range. The soft tip helps on all accounts. I've landed a 10lb salmon with it, no problem.

I admit that I don't like the rod for long range casting, it can't aerialise a long length of line, which I find odd because it was marketed as a bonefish rod.

I once had a 10' #7 BL5, which didn't really suit my casting style....I preferred my mate's #8 so I ended up getting a 10' Bllx #8 which is a great rod for sea trout and light salmon fishing......a bargain from Sportfish in their end of season half price sale.

I've had the BL5 for 18 years and it still looks and casts like a new rod.
 

Whinging pom

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It’s one of Renee’s complete with the Foxons case and sleeve, that was part of the appeal !!
I had an old 5wt line from about 10 years ago when I had an XP. It’s DT so not the TT ideal that people say , but I was dying to try it out.
Two things as well as the line. I have spent the last year exclusively fishing a Helios 2wt 6 ‘ rod so this was going to take some adjusting . And I just spent a day lifting and hammering some phenomenally big lumps of York stone and my arms where dead and hands had no sensitivity. Casting on grass you could feel the extra weight and I was inconsistent . I could feel the rod was capable of much but my arm couldn’t/wouldn’t stick to the script. When I did hit the sweet spot the loops were good and surprisingly tight if a little trailing. Certainly didn’t feel tempted to aerialise more line than the 40-50’ I had out but could certainly feel the power stored up to shoot out line if there was more available to release. This characteristic came in handy later.

I couldn’t resist taking into the stream, and that’s where it really started to show it’s worth.
Lifting off 30-40’of line after a drift and landing it not just back exactly on the spot, but that bit of extra stored up power it turned over the leader and tippet perfectly up above the surface and a size 14 deer hairs sedge floated 2 or 3 feet down and kissed the surface so delicately just where I was looking. That to me was really special-and a trick I can’t remember achieving with Xp, TXL, ZAxis or hardy Angel of this length.
When fishing with it the little extra weight wasnt noticeable any more and the routine of lift false cast and delivery stroke was effortless and consistently accurate.

unfortunately I christened it with a 2oz Dace that when I struck shot back over my shoulder into a reed bed behind … oops!
I toned that down for a couple of trout that I managed not to haul through the air but kept in the water.

I’m so glad I took a punt on this whim, I’ve got a feeling I have a new friend here when I can learn to bring it under control.

Will buy a TT line for it …. But really tempted to try a 5 wt silk on it … I’m sure it would be a great combination.
It’s a 20 + year old rod !! It seems fabulous.

Edit I’d have loved to have had this on some wider rivers I fished in the past where the XP was a little under whelmed like the Matuara in NZ . As a 5 piece it’s going to be a good travelling companion when we’re good to fly again.
 
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beetlebum

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Ooh I feel a bit guilty now !
Sorry fella .He took 250.
No problem mate, I was more curious than seriously pursuing it. I have a Winston LT 4 weight that is really nice so I wondered what the other models might be like. Enjoy it.
 

stevel

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The BL5 is a very popular seatrout rod for small rivers like the Elwy in North Wales. Arthur Foxon, whose tackle shop is on the banks of the Elwy, used sell many rods built by his daughter Renee, on Winston blanks. Some would say Renee built better rods than Winston, and I'd have to agree.

In a brilliant marketing ploy, Arthur once declared that a 9' #7 Winston BL5 was the best rod you could buy for fishing the Elwy.....I have one, my mate has one, his mate now has one, etc etc.😂

The thing is, he wasn't lying.....it is an excellent rod for short casts, roll casting in confined areas, and for hooking soft mouthed fish at close range. The soft tip helps on all accounts. I've landed a 10lb salmon with it, no problem.

I admit that I don't like the rod for long range casting, it can't aerialise a long length of line, which I find odd because it was marketed as a bonefish rod.

I once had a 10' #7 BL5, which didn't really suit my casting style....I preferred my mate's #8 so I ended up getting a 10' Bllx #8 which is a great rod for sea trout and light salmon fishing......a bargain from Sportfish in their end of season half price sale.

I've had the BL5 for 18 years and it still looks and casts like a new rod.
I recall the blurb on Winston's site (and catalogues - unfortunately I binned these with heavy heart) that it was designed to, as I mentioned, shoot long distances, not aerialise lots of line. - you wouldn't want to be doing that on windy bonefish flats.
So with a short headed line around about 30' head (like the TT) you just get the rod loading and with 1 or two false casts (and a haul), and the whole line will shoot out, the power of the boron butt acts like a giant spring.
Any medium/long headed lines will just overload the fibreglass tip.
 
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Whinging pom

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It’s fascinating that the characteristics of a rod the seems specifically designer for that purpose out on the bone fish flats also become a fabulous Sea trout rod in compact tree lined rivers of Nth Wales and the action on the lighter weights has all the makings of a fabulous dry fly rod!

I have a 2Wt 6’ winston WT as a replacement for the nicked Helios on a cunning route from NY to avoid import and shipping charges.
I’m in danger of getting addicted the Winston at this rate.
 

stevel

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It’s fascinating that the characteristics of a rod the seems specifically designer for that purpose out on the bone fish flats also become a fabulous Sea trout rod in compact tree lined rivers of Nth Wales and the action on the lighter weights has all the makings of a fabulous dry fly rod!

I have a 2Wt 6’ winston WT as a replacement for the nicked Helios on a cunning route from NY to avoid import and shipping charges.
I’m in danger of getting addicted the Winston at this rate.
Yes you can see the evolution in these early boron rods like the BL5 through to the B2T which was my fave. Still the huge power in the butt and spring-like action allowing long casts with ease, but the semi-parabolic action led to a more gentle progression to the power rather than the floppy tip/stiff butt in the BL5.
I'm amazed what these legacy rods like the B2T, DL4, LT5 are getting now, £400-£600, double to triple what I gave all mine away for 10 years back! :cry:
 

Whinging pom

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There’s a [Unused] R.L.Winston Fly Fishing Rod DL4 8’6” #5 2pc Made in 2002 #0617 just appeared on EBay… the price tag is um…bit depressing.
 

stevel

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There’s a [Unused] R.L.Winston Fly Fishing Rod DL4 8’6” #5 2pc Made in 2002 #0617 just appeared on EBay… the price tag is um…bit depressing.
Holy Moses! :oops:
Depressing is not the word! I had an unused 8' DL4 #4 (probably the most desired of all the models) which I found in a fly shop in Andorra and took it out only to admire and waggle every now and again.
When I went wholesale to bamboo in trout and spey, I virtually gave away my whole collection at bargain basement prices, and gratis to some friends. I unloaded the DL4 to one of the long standing members on here whom I knew appreciated mint top class rods. Hopefully he kept it and didn't unload it!
 

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