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Im going on a bonefish trip in a few months with my dad am needing to get him a new rod, we really only fish together so it ends up being both of ours... I have the X in a 8 and I'm debating to get another X or the Meridian. I have thrown both and like both but I'm leaning more towards the meridian. Also since I mostly fish in Texas I kinda want a 7 wt but am worried I could be undergunned with 7 wt on a bonefish flat if I ever hook up to a big girl or if the wind kicks up. Any input? I have 2 old BVK 8 I always bring as back up.
 

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Where is your bonefish trip planned? Will there be other fish to cast to?
If you need to cast weighted flies, you will probably like an 8 over a 7. You can bring any bonefish alive to hand with a 7 and a good reel, but you have to get the fly in front of them first. You already have some 8s so maybe its time for something different. Would a 9 make sense for your trip?

If you’re buying dad a new rod and what you have as backup 8s aren’t good enough then get him a nice new 8 weight. If he’s strong and really competent caster get the X. I think the Meridian might be more forgiving of a less practiced caster and easier for short to mid shots. Best plan is to take him and try the rods.
 

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I can't speak for the Keys or Biscayne Bay but in the Bahamas I'm finding a 7wt a more useful rod than an 8wt........particularly if wading. If you are being guided from a boat then only one can fish at a time and you can share the 8wt. If two of you are going on a trip you likely need a back up rod so a cheap/used 9wt is likely a good option for the third rod . If you're faced with excess wind the better caster can use the 8 and the other guy the 9. If you have a use for a 7wt were you live then it seems a no brainer to go that route with a top end rod.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
We are going to Cuba, never been before so not really sure what to expect in the size of bones. My only thought is a 7wt would be really nice on the Texas coast.
 
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Have you considered a 9? Our son went to Cuba and took an 8,9 and 11. He felt the 9 was most useful when the wind kicked up. There are also plenty of permit in Cuba so a 9 works for them as well. I have both the Meridian and the X - it just depends on who’s going to be casting it and how good of a caster they are and what their casting style is like. I find them both to be accurate yet the Meridian is a little more forgiving.
 

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I recently purchased and fished a 9' 7 WT X in Belize. Perfect for the bonefish we encountered there. With that, I also will be purchasing a 9' 8 WT Meridian to replace the NRX 8 WT I just sold.
 

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I’ve fished all of the rods you mentioned. Personally I’d go with the 7wt X. The meridians cast great but if you try to punch a fly into the wind the loop falls apart and they aren’t the greatest fish fighting rods. I’ve been taken to the cleaners by some 15-20lb tarpon when I had a 8wt meridian. If you can find one my hands down favorite for what you want to do with a 7wt is a sage method. Will save $3-400 off a newer rod too.
 

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I thing the ever present wind on the flats should be given more consideration than the size of bonefish you are targeting. I've been fishing the Bahamas for decades and I can probably count the number of calm days in recent years on one hand so my seven weights stay home. In my humble opinion you would be better off with a fast #8 weight or even a light weight #9, that's what I personally use and never found myself wishing or wanting for something else.
 

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I’ve fished all of the rods you mentioned. Personally I’d go with the 7wt X. The meridians cast great but if you try to punch a fly into the wind the loop falls apart and they aren’t the greatest fish fighting rods.
I almost exclusively fish my 908 Meridian in Aruba where it's consistently blowing 25-30 MPH. And I generally fish very heavy flies. Casting in that wind sucks with any rod, but I don't have this problem. I've tried both the Airlo Chard Tropical Punch taper and the SA Bonefish Amplitude taper--the Chard is better in the wind, but the SA line does just fine once you have enough line out--not enough mass up front for very windy days. A loop that collapses into the wind either has a bad shape or not enough line speed (or there's something weird about the leader/fly that is causing issues). I am certain that the Meridian can create a ton of line speed and also shape pointy loops, so the problem is either with the caster, the line, or the terminal tackle... not the rod.

Also, a 7 weight line is going to have less mass than an 8 weight line of the same taper/brand (and hopefully across tapers and brands, but that's not always true). Less mass = worse performance in the wind. No matter what rod you're using, even if it gives you a little extra line speed, you're going to be better off with the heavier line in the wind. It's physics. Heavier lines give you the ability to cast heavier flies, longer casts, and more stability in the wind. The benefit of fishing a lighter line is a more delicate presentation, so you have to counterbalance how much presentation vs ability to deliver the fly matters. It's easy to confuse line weight with rod weight, but line weight is what really matters here. You very well might prefer a Method 7 with an 8 weight line for the wind over the Meridian 8. That would be completely reasonable.

As for fish fighting, once again, I haven't run into any problems with the 908 Meridian. Especially with bonefish, the reel has a lot more to do with the fight than the rod. You let them run, you let the drag do its job, and then you reel them back with maybe a little rod action. You're not doing any lifting really. Bonefish generally tire themselves out pretty after 2 or 3 runs--my personal best took all of 6 minutes to land and not once did I have to stress my rod anywhere near the point it my break. Is there any other way a rod can not be up to fighting a fish? The only thing I can think of is length (trying to land fish on spey rods can be a pain), and that isn't an issue in conversation.

My 908 Meridian is probably my favorite rod that I own. From flats fishing to throwing 300 grain lines and big streamers at giant trout, it does it all. Cast the 7 and 8 against each other (and against the Xs) and see what you like. Rod selection is mostly personal preference, but there are some objective facts that make one rod better or worse than another for a specific task.
 

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I am certain that the Meridian can create a ton of line speed and also shape pointy loops, so the problem is either with the caster, the line, or the terminal tackle... not the rod.
I'd agree with this. My time with the Meridian has proven that the 908 has zero problems with distance and cranking out tight loops in the wind. Other rods will do this, but most don't provide the level of feel you get with the Meridian.
 

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I’ve fished all of the rods you mentioned. Personally I’d go with the 7wt X. The meridians cast great but if you try to punch a fly into the wind the loop falls apart and they aren’t the greatest fish fighting rods. I’ve been taken to the cleaners by some 15-20lb tarpon when I had a 8wt meridian. If you can find one my hands down favorite for what you want to do with a 7wt is a sage method. Will save $3-400 off a newer rod too.
This is insanity. Loop falls apart? Not a fish fighting rod? This sounds like poor mechanics rather than a poor rod.
 

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get ready to spend the extra money -go cast an asquith....
I couldnt wait to cast this series and finally had a chance a few weeks ago with the northeast rep for Loomis. Apparently, I'm totally missing what all the hype is about regarding the Asquith...I found both the Exocett and Meridian to provide better accuracy, balance, and feel than Asquith. Just my opinion however....nothing more and nothing less. Preferences on tapers and overall design can be so subjective. You will know when you cast the right rod and it speaks to you! Absolutely good advise from MSG- cast as many as you can- and preferably with a good match line wise. Have fun!
 

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I have cast The meridian back to back to the Asquith in several different weights. It is a fine stick. Actually, they feel fairly similar to me with the biggest difference being the asquith has noticeably more balls. Both are super light in hand. The Asquith has noticeably more distance and picks up line off the water better- but that’s just my opinion- it may tickle your fancy- or maybe not. My buddy who had a full quiver of meridians swapped them out after throwing the Asquith.
 

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So for a 7 weight in the flats. I'd look hard at the ignitor. The 7wt method remains my go to for 7wt flats work. But if looking for new the ignitor is a fine tool. Don't love the 7wt meridian but LOVE the 9wt, 8 is pretty good (I own both). The Asquith is a fine weapon but I think the 8 is vastly superior to the 7 and I still prefer the method in this weight. The x is also a sweet rod in the 7 but in wind and distance the ignitor or method will outshine.
just my 2 cents and your milage may...
 

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I haven't fished Cuba yet, but have a friend that regularly goes there to fish. 8, 9 & 10 or 11wt. There are just too many days there where it's windy.

Definitely get a 7wt tho in whatever you are the most comfortable casting within your budget, but don't compromise on the fly line. As long as you bring an 8 or 9wt for the bigger fish or windier conditions, to any other place, you'll be fine.
 

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get ready to spend the extra money -go cast an asquith....
I threw a 10wt the other day, I wanted to hate it so bad, but.....it's awesome as bad as I hate to admit it. That 10wt felt like an 8wt, can't imagine what the 8 feels like.
 
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2 completely different animals between a 7wt and a 11wt Meridian. Apples vs melons!
Im talking about the fish fighting ability of the rods. I’ve got several Scott Meridians - they all have more than adequate strength of fight fish - regardless of the weight.
 
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