Scierra SRX Competition Rod Review

Rob Edmunds

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
3,253
Location
Midlands Reservoirs
As my son seems intent on bankrupting me by breaking rods with his aggressive casting I was in the market for something significantly cheaper.

He needed something 10ft, fast actioned and suitable for "competition" fishing, and that he can also use to throw big snakes and Hummungus's on - Yet without the price tag of a Sage, Orvis or Loomis.


I initially thought second hand as this would offer best value and had hoped to find a Greys Platinum XD, Loomis GL3 or GLX, Orvis Recon etc...but these are like hens teeth and hardly ever come up for sale and still cost £150+

So I eventually purchased (without having held or cast one (which is frankly just plain stupid) a 10ft Scierra SRX Competition #8 weight rod.

I have heard good things about them from a number of people and they are "reasonable money"........currently discounted to £129 from Garry Evans.

https://www.garryevans.co.uk/scierra-srx-v2-competition-fly-rods-37113-p.asp


Before handing it over to my lad I thought I best give it a thorough workout. Being on Brenig for the week, it provided me with the ideal opportunity to put it through its paces

I thought I'd share my thoughts as a few people have since asked me about it, and how it compares to other rods on the market

** I have no affiliation with Scierra - this is just my personal opinion - you should always try a rod before you buy to ensure it suits you and your style**

So don't blame me if you buy one and don't like it 😁😁

Background.....Since the late 80's I've always used fast tip actioned rods, Loomis GLX, GLX-D, Orvis Helios or Sage TCX, ....so I'm actually comparing the Scierra SRX against high end rods costing at least 5x as much. Although the above models are "older" rods I still haven't ever found anything that justifies me changing or " upgrading", and believe me I get to try a lot of rods......

Anyway it's a big ask and probably not entirely fair, but it's what I decided to do .

Looks

Out the Tube, and the first thing you notice is the rod sleeve, it's dark grey and understated , quite tasteful in truth.

The rod itself has dark copper whippings finished on a black 4 piece blank. You are immediately struck by the horrendous silver paint job near the handle....to be honest it looks tacky and I’m not impressed...the silver is way over the top and ruins the rods appearance. ( just like the white does on an Orvis Helios 3D)

Anyway I took a photo of the handle to show you exactly what I mean , you may like it .....I think the Scierra marketing people demanded a certain bold look, yet have little experience in fishing .


20200730_110332~2.jpg

"Fittings and finish".....Looking over the rod the handle is Cork and of a reasonable quantity, with not much filler at all in this particular rod. The reel seat is metal, solid, and functional, rings look like Pacific Bay and it's supposedly "saltwater proof"...all in all good quality fittings...and I particularly like the matt black snake guides as they blend in to the blank.

The Whippings are neat, no gaps in the thread wraps and the epoxy finish is exceptional.....- if you were to discount the silver "Scierra" graphics and paint job above the handle it's actually finished better than all of my Loomis rods !!

The Scierra blank itself is also noticeably thinner than my Loomis blank

4 – Weight – I decided to weigh the rods on calibrated scales just to give you an idea for comparison purposes.....once you have reel on and close your eyes it's impossible to tell which rod is which by the weight.

10ft #8 4 piece Scierra SRX 138 grams

10ft #8 3 piece Loomis GLX-D 132 grams

The SRX's extra 6 grams in weight is probably due to the fact it's a 4 piece rod rather than a 3.....either way its a negligible difference and you can't tell any difference in the hand.


The most important part...Performance !

The great thing was fishing Brenig provided me with the perfect opportunity to use a variety of methods, lines and flies in different conditions etc and make a direct comparison against my beloved 10ft #8 Loomis GLX-D that was also set up in the boat.....I put exactly the same lines and flies on both rods every day just to get an accurate comparison.

I started off fishing a Di5 sweep around the cages and a size 8 Hummungus on a 15ft leader....not the easiest set up to cast, so a reasonable test....Casting was effortless, the rod has real backbone, and fast recovery, it generated good line speed and threw a very long line ( all the Di5 sweep) even when using the pretty big and heavy "Shuggie" that whistled by my ear on every stroke….I concluded that large flies it could cope with admirably and it powered through the cross wind swirling around Brenig Dam.

I feel the rod is tip - middle action, rather that tip.....when you start really putting some power in the cast you can feel it start to flex and work lower down the blank than the Loomis....but that's not to say the SRX isn't a very good distance casting rod...it is.....its just a slightly different action and feel than I'm accustomed to.

Fishing at depth was no problem either although the rod was a softer than my GLX-D.....it was only noticable when fishing really deep say 20ft down on a Di 7....and even then it was easily stiff enough to cope with the fast sinking line and set the hook......

Day 2 and I decided to come up in the water, and away from the Dam and cage complex.... I set up the "washing line" with 4 flies ranging from size 10 to size 14 on a 12ft slow tip ( size 12 foam daddy top dropper, then 2 x size 14 black diawls and a size 10 cat booby on the point) casting was smooth and even when fishing almost static on the drop you felt every little knock or tap.....although quite a "poker " of a rod it remained sensitive and you could fish the method well…..I bullied a few fish and the size 10's and 12's were fine.....the 14's started to open out a bit.

( All above flies on tied on Kamasan B175's - heavy wire hooks)

I was impressed – 3 totally different methods and it performed very well up to now...The Loomis was marginally better for me when fishing really deep, or making the longest casts but we are talking a fine line here !

Day 3....A real tricky test for any fast actioned #8 rod.....2 x size 12 dries tied on B170 medium wire hooks on a 6lb leader.. My Loomis GLX-D is so stiff I have to hold the rod at 10 o clock when fishing dries and gently lift into fish....anything more and you just snap up, or straighten the hooks….it’s the rods only weakness, but you can get used to it. ...honestly 😁😁

Still the SRX claims to be able "to cope with light tippets if needed".....well after just 2 hours and a couple of lost fish it was obvious to me…… you must compensate for the rods action and make allowances ( although it is a little more forgiving than the Loomis)....again you have to hold the rod in the 9 to 10 o clock position or face the real prospect of getting smashed on the take...

For me it has the same issues as every other rod of this style.....it doesn't cope with light leaders and small hooks - so the angler must make allowances....once you accept that its fine.

Casting dries a medium and long distance was great, and it was accurate but the rod struggled with short distances.....probably because it's quite stiff and tippy and you need a reasonable amount of line arielized to actually load it correctly.

Playing fish is great, as a competition angler I always felt in complete control even with well mended reservoir fish up to 3.5lb ( which is about the largest most anglers will be targeting 90% of the time) .....some rods you can get the fish's head up, have it beaten, guide it to the net and then suddenly the fish has other ideas and takes off again – the fish bosses you ! - There was none of that with the SRX you are the bully and dictate the fight.

Overall - This is a great rod, it allows you to fish ( almost) every method on any line very well and it makes no difference if you use large ( up to size 2) or small flies (down to size 14 ) it copes with them all. I feel it is actually a better rod for dries than the GLX-D because it's just that little bit softer.

After using it for 4 days my arm wasn’t aching , it's was just the same as if I'd used one of my other more expensive rods.

The only faults the SRX has in my opinion is that it struggles with dries, light tippets, very small hooks (14's and smaller) and short distances....but then so does every #8 rod of this type on the market even my Loomis or Sage. Oh and the silver branding on the handle looks terrible....less is more sometimes Scierra !!

But performance wise its a very good rod, and deserves much more credit than its received....

I'm really impressed - I'd happily use one all season long...ok it’s not quite as fast actioned as my Loomis GLX-D or Sage TCX but it's not a million miles away and you’re not paying £750 or anywhere near !....

I'd say the action is very similar to that of the old Grey's Platinum XD, only the SRX is better finished (apart from the silver on the handle)

Once again it just proves to me that the best "performance to cost" rods on the market are those in the £100 - £175 range.....after which you are paying a lot of money for very small increases, mostly it's a slight decrease in the rods weight.

I called Phil Dixon and had a chat with him about the SRX range amongst other things. He informed me that the standard SRX is a slightly different blank and softer than the SRX Competition versions.

If so those standard models would suit pleasure anglers much more as they would be a little more forgiving in the action.

The 2 competition models 10ft in #7 and #8 have as Phil put it...... " been beefed up for the competition scene" , That's a fair assessment – and I’m just guessing here but I imagine the whole rod range has the same tapers etc….it’s just the "Competition" versions have an extra wrap or 2 of carbon in them to stiffen them up a touch and to provide the backbone that us competition anglers love in a rod.

Having used it I've no doubt it's perfect if you’re a Competition angler or require a Reservoir Bank Rod capable of throwing a long line. It’s also perfect for Sunk Line work, Pulling, or using Large Lures etc....and it’s more than adequate for nymphs and the washing line.....It's a cracking all round reservoir rod, no matter what the price.

If your mainly a dry fly angler, tend to fish short range , use small flies ( 14's and 16's) or light leaders in the 4 - 6lb range or want a little bit of forgiveness in a rod then look elsewhere..😁 it's definately not for you.

Overall performance 8.5 out of 10

Value 10 out of 10.. No question at all

Any questions please fire away

Cheers Rob
 
Last edited:

Rob Edmunds

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
3,253
Location
Midlands Reservoirs
We are still here ( at Brenig) and it's going really well....lots of fish about in the 2 to 2.5lb class.

The Mrs has had some cracking fish and between us we've had about 6 around 4lb which is great...although they were all quite thin ( as are most resident Brenig fish)

We are knackered after a day afloat.....but my lad does 8 hours on Brenig then fishes the Dee each evening at Llanderfell till dark - oh to be young again

For me it's clear 1 method ( dries) is working very well, and everything else just picks up the odd fish or two....

I pulled hard this afternoon on intermediate , Di3 and Di5....on areas I know are holding a lot of fish.....but they wont look at the pull. 😱😱..

Stick the dries on and its like shelling peas !!.

I know dries work really well on the Welsh waters, but at the moment its amazing fishing 😁😁....bright sun and you can still catch 10+ per rod without too much difficulty
 
Last edited:

sightbob

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 14, 2009
Messages
583
Great report Rob, its great to read a report where theres no gain to the writer.
IMO all the top end rods used to be priced to cover the no quibble guarantees
that went with them, then they started upping the price to replace sections.
Your report just shows you can arm yourself with a decent comp rod and even maybe
a ordinary SRX for dries for about a third of the price of one rod.
I personally use the HM3 and will be trying out the SRX when i can.
Know how would you fish Brenig in September. lol
John
 

garrynic

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 30, 2017
Messages
117
As my son seems intent on bankrupting me by breaking rods with his aggressive casting I was in the market for something significantly cheaper.

He needed something 10ft, fast actioned and suitable for "competition" fishing, and that he can also use to throw big snakes and Hummungus's on - Yet without the price tag of a Sage, Orvis or Loomis.


I initially thought second hand as this would offer best value and had hoped to find a Greys Platinum XD, Loomis GL3 or GLX, Orvis Recon etc...but these are like hens teeth and hardly ever come up for sale and still cost £150+

So I eventually purchased (without having held or cast one (which is frankly just plain stupid) a 10ft Scierra SRX Competition #8 weight rod.

I have heard good things about them from a number of people and they are "reasonable money"........currently discounted to £129 from Garry Evans.

https://www.garryevans.co.uk/scierra-srx-v2-competition-fly-rods-37113-p.asp


Before handing it over to my lad I thought I best give it a thorough workout. Being on Brenig for the week, it provided me with the ideal opportunity to put it through its paces

I thought I'd share my thoughts as a few people have since asked me about it, and how it compares to other rods on the market

** I have no affiliation with Scierra - this is just my personal opinion - you should always try a rod before you buy to ensure it suits you and your style**

So don't blame me if you buy one and don't like it 😁😁

Background.....Since the late 80's I've always used fast tip actioned rods, Loomis GLX, GLX-D, Orvis Helios or Sage TCX, ....so I'm actually comparing the Scierra SRX against high end rods costing at least 5x as much. Although the above models are "older" rods I still haven't ever found anything that justifies me changing or " upgrading", and believe me I get to try a lot of rods......

Anyway it's a big ask and probably not entirely fair, but it's what I decided to do .

Looks

Out the Tube, and the first thing you notice is the rod sleeve, it's dark grey and understated , quite tasteful in truth.

The rod itself has dark copper whippings finished on a black 4 piece blank. You are immediately struck by the horrendous silver paint job near the handle....to be honest it looks tacky and I’m not impressed...the silver is way over the top and ruins the rods appearance. ( just like the white does on an Orvis Helios 3D)

Anyway I took a photo of the handle to show you exactly what I mean , you may like it .....I think the Scierra marketing people demanded a certain bold look, yet have little experience in fishing .


View attachment 29311

"Fittings and finish".....Looking over the rod the handle is Cork and of a reasonable quantity, with not much filler at all in this particular rod. The reel seat is metal, solid, and functional, rings look like Pacific Bay and it's supposedly "saltwater proof"...all in all good quality fittings...and I particularly like the matt black snake guides as they blend in to the blank.

The Whippings are neat, no gaps in the thread wraps and the epoxy finish is exceptional.....- if you were to discount the silver "Scierra" graphics and paint job above the handle it's actually finished better than all of my Loomis rods !!

The Scierra blank itself is also noticeably thinner than my Loomis blank

4 – Weight – I decided to weigh the rods on calibrated scales just to give you an idea for comparison purposes.....once you have reel on and close your eyes it's impossible to tell which rod is which by the weight.

10ft #8 4 piece Scierra SRX 138 grams

10ft #8 3 piece Loomis GLX-D 132 grams

The SRX's extra 6 grams in weight is probably due to the fact it's a 4 piece rod rather than a 3.....either way its a negligible difference and you can't tell any difference in the hand.


The most important part...Performance !

The great thing was fishing Brenig provided me with the perfect opportunity to use a variety of methods, lines and flies in different conditions etc and make a direct comparison against my beloved 10ft #8 Loomis GLX-D that was also set up in the boat.....I put exactly the same lines and flies on both rods every day just to get an accurate comparison.

I started off fishing a Di5 sweep around the cages and a size 8 Hummungus on a 15ft leader....not the easiest set up to cast, so a reasonable test....Casting was effortless, the rod has real backbone, and fast recovery, it generated good line speed and threw a very long line ( all the Di5 sweep) even when using the pretty big and heavy "Shuggie" that whistled by my ear on every stroke….I concluded that large flies it could cope with admirably and it powered through the cross wind swirling around Brenig Dam.

I feel the rod is tip - middle action, rather that tip.....when you start really putting some power in the cast you can feel it start to flex and work lower down the blank than the Loomis....but that's not to say the SRX isn't a very good distance casting rod...it is.....its just a slightly different action and feel than I'm accustomed to.

Fishing at depth was no problem either although the rod was a softer than my GLX-D.....it was only noticable when fishing really deep say 20ft down on a Di 7....and even then it was easily stiff enough to cope with the fast sinking line and set the hook......

Day 2 and I decided to come up in the water, and away from the Dam and cage complex.... I set up the "washing line" with 4 flies ranging from size 10 to size 14 on a 12ft slow tip ( size 12 foam daddy top dropper, then 2 x size 14 black diawls and a size 10 cat booby on the point) casting was smooth and even when fishing almost static on the drop you felt every little knock or tap.....although quite a "poker " of a rod it remained sensitive and you could fish the method well…..I bullied a few fish and the size 10's and 12's were fine.....the 14's started to open out a bit.

( All above flies on tied on Kamasan B175's - heavy wire hooks)

I was impressed – 3 totally different methods and it performed very well up to now...The Loomis was marginally better for me when fishing really deep, or making the longest casts but we are talking a fine line here !

Day 3....A real tricky test for any fast actioned #8 rod.....2 x size 12 dries tied on B170 medium wire hooks on a 6lb leader.. My Loomis GLX-D is so stiff I have to hold the rod at 10 o clock when fishing dries and gently lift into fish....anything more and you just snap up, or straighten the hooks….it’s the rods only weakness, but you can get used to it. ...honestly 😁😁

Still the SRX claims to be able "to cope with light tippets if needed".....well after just 2 hours and a couple of lost fish it was obvious to me…… you must compensate for the rods action and make allowances ( although it is a little more forgiving than the Loomis)....again you have to hold the rod in the 9 to 10 o clock position or face the real prospect of getting smashed on the take...

For me it has the same issues as every other rod of this style.....it doesn't cope with light leaders and small hooks - so the angler must make allowances....once you accept that its fine.

Casting dries a medium and long distance was great, and it was accurate but the rod struggled with short distances.....probably because it's quite stiff and tippy and you need a reasonable amount of line arielized to actually load it correctly.

Playing fish is great, as a competition angler I always felt in complete control even with well mended reservoir fish up to 3.5lb ( which is about the largest most anglers will be targeting 90% of the time) .....some rods you can get the fish's head up, have it beaten, guide it to the net and then suddenly the fish has other ideas and takes off again – the fish bosses you ! - There was none of that with the SRX you are the bully and dictate the fight.

Overall - This is a great rod, it allows you to fish ( almost) every method on any line very well and it makes no difference if you use large ( up to size 2) or small flies (down to size 14 ) it copes with them all. I feel it is actually a better rod for dries than the GLX-D because it's just that little bit softer.

After using it for 4 days my arm wasn’t aching , it's was just the same as if I'd used one of my other more expensive rods.

The only faults the SRX has in my opinion is that it struggles with dries, light tippets, very small hooks (14's and smaller) and short distances....but then so does every #8 rod of this type on the market even my Loomis or Sage. Oh and the silver branding on the handle looks terrible....less is more sometimes Scierra !!

But performance wise its a very good rod, and deserves much more credit than its received....

I'm really impressed - I'd happily use one all season long...ok it’s not quite as fast actioned as my Loomis GLX-D or Sage TCX but it's not a million miles away and you’re not paying £750 or anywhere near !....

I'd say the action is very similar to that of the old Grey's Platinum XD, only the SRX is better finished (apart from the silver on the handle)

Once again it just proves to me that the best "performance to cost" rods on the market are those in the £100 - £175 range.....after which you are paying a lot of money for very small increases, mostly it's a slight decrease in the rods weight.

I called Phil Dixon and had a chat with him about the SRX range amongst other things. He informed me that the standard SRX is a slightly different blank and softer than the SRX Competition versions.

If so those standard models would suit pleasure anglers much more as they would be a little more forgiving in the action.

The 2 competition models 10ft in #7 and #8 have as Phil put it...... " been beefed up for the competition scene" , That's a fair assessment – and I’m just guessing here but I imagine the whole rod range has the same tapers etc….it’s just the "Competition" versions have an extra wrap or 2 of carbon in them to stiffen them up a touch and to provide the backbone that us competition anglers love in a rod.

Having used it I've no doubt it's perfect if you’re a Competition angler or require a Reservoir Bank Rod capable of throwing a long line. It’s also perfect for Sunk Line work, Pulling, or using Large Lures etc....and it’s more than adequate for nymphs and the washing line.....It's a cracking all round reservoir rod, no matter what the price.

If your mainly a dry fly angler, tend to fish short range , use small flies ( 14's and 16's) or light leaders in the 4 - 6lb range or want a little bit of forgiveness in a rod then look elsewhere..😁 it's definately not for you.

Overall performance 8.5 out of 10

Value 10 out of 10.. No question at all

Any questions please fire away

Cheers Rob
Great Report Rob
Much Appreciated
Cheers
Garry
 

jack_russell

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 17, 2014
Messages
771
Location
Sunny Cornwall
Really comprehensive report there Rob, definitely on the short list when I'm next looking for a pulling rod👍
Be interesting to see how long it lasts when you're lad gets hold of it!
 

Gdog

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 13, 2009
Messages
422
Location
Dublin
Rob, that's great in depth review of the rod, it would be great to see more of these kind of reviews on the forum.It wouldn't be a rod I'd use as I use 10'0" #6 and 9'6" # 7 for boat fishing as I can't use anything heavier than these for more than 3 or 4 hours with my knackered back. 🥵
Its interesting to see how a middle of the range rod compares to the GLoomis rods you own too.
 
Last edited:

squimp

Well-known member
Joined
May 18, 2008
Messages
1,035
Great review Rob; well done.

Interesting that the two 10ft 8wt SrX’s are on slightly different blanks. i have the standard Version 10ft 8 wt (no hideous silver graphics) and really rate it as a sunk line rod. It makes me smile how well it fires out a Di line. Another definite bargain at £99 (also Garry Evans).

Not being a competition angler I have no need to fish dries on the same rod; thank goodness !
 

Rob Edmunds

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2008
Messages
3,253
Location
Midlands Reservoirs
I think Scierra may try and justify the price increase over the standard SRX by "blinging it up".....hence the silver handle....

I didn't realise the standard version was understand, thats a definite plus for me..

Anyway, the silver handle is my only gripe, and it's the performance that matters to us, and no faults there.... so it's a minor issue all things considered.
 

dave b

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 24, 2010
Messages
3,143
Location
UK
Nice review Rob.

I've had a couple of Scierra rods and can't fault them as they offer superb value for money.

My go to 7# is the 9ft 6in Scierra Surge which was their premium rod sold off for around £129 by Uttings. Alps reel seat, super slim fast recovering blank and very well finished. I simply can't fault it and at the price paid it's as good as many rods that are significantly higher priced.
 

hooferinsane

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 8, 2020
Messages
57
Location
Kent
If Rob rates the rod I'd take note and treat yourself.. 👍👍
Just ordered :) Paypal has been having immense problems today but has come back to working now. Because paypal had failed to load for log in on the vendor's website a few times earlier today, there were actually two rods in the basket when I got back on. My wife's face was a picture :). Managed to remove one though before paying. As an aside, when I was out earlier, there were lots of shops and restaurants having problems with card payments. Luckily had enough cash on me to pay for lunch......
 

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