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Contact Leland With Questions & Enter to Win Our Monthly Gear Give-Away
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We're passionate about fly fishing and our customers. Here to provide you with the best fly fishing experience possible whether it's over the phone, via email or in person at our Sonoma Ranch. We pride ourselves on 3 E's (education, experience and equipment)

Phone / Email / Live Chat Hours
 Monday-Friday 9am to 5pm PST
Sonoma Ranch Fly Shop and Casting Lesson Hours

If our business hours don't work with your schedule please let us know and we'll do our best to accommodate whether you just wanted to visit the fly shop or book a casting lesson. Our customers are the reason we're here so don't hesitate to ask.

(Please note, we may not be able to answer the phone on Saturday as we may be assisting customers in the shop or out casting)
Closed Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, NYE, & New Years Day

Phone: (415) 781-3474 or (707) 939-6910
Toll Free: (866) 672-1959

24120 Arnold Drive / Hwy 121
Sonoma, CA 95476
email: info@FlyFishingOutfitters.com

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R. L. Winston BIIMX Fly Rod Review
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Winston: Boron II-MX 1090-4



  • Line Size: 10 
  • Rod Length: 9’0” 
  • Section: 4 
  • Weight: 4 1/4 oz 
  • Handle: Full Wells, Saltwater grip 
  • Reel Seat: Nickel Anodized Aluminum 
  • Action: Fast 
  • Retail Price: $675.00


What’s the word…


Winston has always been known for its sweet, smooth casting
bamboo and trout fly rods. But a few years back, Winston introduced the
Boron II-X fly rod series, a fast action rod
that broke out of the typical Winston genre. After owning several of
those fly rods, I thought, “Now if Winston could just add a little more
power and a little more speed, they’d have one darn fine saltwater fly
rod”. Low and behold, the Fall of 2007 brought the Boron II-MX series.
Was I a mind reader? No, it was just Winston’s time to shine. They’ve
broken their mold, and entered into the saltwater, big game arena with
the Boron II-MX rods.

Does a fly rod manufacturer of trout fame have any business
making powerful big game fly rods? When they’ve developed the use of a
material as strong as boron, why not? The Boron II-MX is the third
Winston fly rod series to use the Boron II and, in my opinion, is the
best. But then again, I love saltwater fly fishing. I decided I’d give
the 10 weight 9-footer a go while recently tarpon fishing in the Keys.



When you first pick up the Winston Boron II-MX 1090-4, you have
to be impressed. Doing the “shop wiggle” tells you this isn’t the same
old Winston; it feels quick and powerful. Light in hand, fast off the
tip, but then again, not too fast; the Winston Boron II-MX still has
that special feel of a Winston. When I put a line on the rod, it came to
life in my hand. They call it transference of energy; I call it feel or
touch. As I increased line distance, the strength of this rod came
through. It felt like it took the same amount of energy to cast a fly
line70 feet as it did at 30 feet. Somehow, Winston was able to build a
fly rod that has the strength to battle winds, big fish, to carry large
amounts of line while providing one that loads quickly enough for
short-range casts. To put it simply, the Boron II-MX has the best of
both worlds; power with “load-ability”.

Big game fly rods need to be powerful throughout their entire
length for fish fighting ability. They also need to load quickly for
short casting conditions. This became very apparent after a week in the
Keys mired under cloud cover. It’s amazing how camouflaged a dozen
100+lbs fish can be when covered with shadows. I found after casting
this rod over several days at many pods of tarpon, the 1090-4 Boron
II-MX provided the strength to maintain all the line I dared to up in
the air, and generated the line speed for the tight loops needed to turn
over a 6 foot butt section, 4 foot leader and a 1/0 toad fly into 15
knot wind. And after hooking and landing several fish in the 80 lbs
class, I found the 1090-4 Boron II-MX provided me everything I needed
for tarpon fishing.



After several failed attempts at using boron for increasing rod
action and strength, Winston has found the right combination of
placement to give you a fly rod that is destine to be one of the great
saltwater/big game fly rod series. Gone is the floppy tip and
mid-section of the BL5 and gone is telephone pole stiffness of the XTR.
Enter another great fly rod in the modern era of lightweight, powerful
fly rods.

At a weight of 4 ¼ ounces, the Boron II-MX is significantly lighter than
the old XTR, which weighed in at 5 1/2 oz. But what is just as
important is the increased action and feel that the Boron II-MX rods
have over the beastly XTR and floppy BL5.

Fit and Finish…


No fly rod manufacturer builds a more beautiful fly rod than R.L.
Winston, period. Their soft green, sanded blanks are accented with
handwritten model and serial numbers and each section has the serial
number hand written at the ferrule. The matching green wrapping is
perfection and almost disappears under the flawless epoxy job. The
slightly smaller than average grip is of handspun Portuguese cork and
sits easily in most hands. Winston has always known how to bring out the
best of fly rod with just the right type of reel seats and the dull
finished anodized aluminum reel seat adds the final touches to this
great looking fly rod.

  • Boron II technology
  • Lightweight powerful big game fly rod
  • Fast action with smooth casting, whether 30-feet or 80-feet
  • Anodized aluminum reel seat
  • Aluminum tube with a rod sock
  • Original owner lifetime warranty


Reliability and durability…


Many years back, a fly rod company introduced a no-fault full
replacement policy and the rest is history. In my humble opinion, this
“no matter how you break it” full replacement warranty has done to two
things, 1) developed angler complacency in how we treat our equipment
and 2) made the manufacturers develop stronger, abuse taking fly rods.
Modern fly rod materials can be as fragile as the fiberglass and cane of
old, and at $600+ for one rod, it’s hard when it breaks. But we asked
for smoother, lighter fly rods and the manufacturers responded. Be
careful what you ask for! Enough of the rant, Winston’s path to
lightness, smoothness, and strength was through the use of boron. Boron
has always provided strength, but with the use of Boron II technology,
Winston has been able to dramatically decrease the weight while
maintaining strength. After pulling on several large tarpon, I found the
1090-4 Boron II-MX had the power and strength needed to quickly subdue
the fish and put an end to the fight. I never once felt concerned with
breakage. Of course, I knew if I made a mistake and something did
happen; there was the original owner full warranty to back me up!

Customer Service…Company Profile


Winston is a San Francisco tradition; Winston started here, and
it grew and prospered here, so it has warm place in our hearts. The
company has passed through the hands of some great fly rod builders and
is now under the control of David Ondaatje, who intends to maintain the
deep Winston tradition of providing phenomenal casting and fishing fly
rods. Through the guise of David, the company has developed the use of
Boron II that has taken Winston to the next level in rod design.

Winston prides itself on the craftsmanship of each and every fly rod.
This pride shows through in the high level of customer care and service
they provide. From publishing contact info to providing individual
factory tours, Winston lays it all on the table for everyone to see.
They stand firmly behind each rod and will fix or replace any
manufacturing defects. If that isn’t enough, Winston provides an
original limited lifetime warranty. No matter how it breaks or dings,
Winston will replace or repair you fly rod for shipping and handling
costs. Because of the level of hand craftsmanship, Winston cannot
guarantee a turnaround time, but they make every effort to get it done
as quickly as possible.

Overall Rating…


As I previously stated, I am a fan of fast action fly rods and
the 1090-4 Winston II-MX is one fine fast action rod! Winston entered
the era with Boron II and the Boron II-MX takes them to next level in
big game/saltwater fly rods. The newest member in the modern era of fast
action, but responsive fly rods, the Boron II-MX provides all the
strength and power needed for big flies, long or short casts and
fighting large fish while giving you consistent feed back. Winston did
not just come up with the initial design for responsiveness; they have
put their touch, their Winston feel, to it!

The 1090-4 Boron II-MX fly rod easily handled everything the Florida
Keys and its migrating tarpon could throw at it. From winds in the 15
knot range to cloud cover requiring short dinky casts to big (in my
opinion) fish. It requires little energy to get the fly moving, the
extra power is there for extra long casts and strength to quickly end
the fight. Now, I’m not long distance casting champion or famous tarpon
angler, but I have spent a lot of time in the saltwater arena and I know
what works for me; the Winston Boron II-MX fly rod. I was so impressed
with the 1090-4, I’ve ordered the 8-weight and 12-weight.


I have been fly fishing the saltwater environs now for more than
15years and grew up with a fishing rod of one type or another in my
hands. I have been in the fly fishing industry for more than 10 years
and have been lucky enough to be exposed to most of the major
manufacturers of fly rods, reels, waders, clothing…I hope this review
helps you decide on which products to purchase. -Burke White

PROS – A true saltwater/big game fly rod by R.L. Winston. Easy to
cast, powerful and good-looking! Boron II has given the MX power to
battle wind and big fish. Original owner lifetime warranty.

CONS – The smaller than average grip may not suit everyone. But
it’s the Winston standard grip and it fits my hand well. At $675, this
rod is a little pricy, but right in line with other top manufacturers.

BOTTOM LINE – The Boron II-MX 1090-4 is a wonderfully casting,
powerful fly rod that stands up to the rigors of saltwater fly fishing
and big fish.

Want the ultimate 10 weight fly rod? Check out the Loop Cross S1 1090-4 Fly Rod.

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