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About Killiefish

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    Fish Biologist

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  1. You must have gotten a blended/welded line because the iFlights are all heads. I have nothing against longer rods, although what I use the most are 11' to 11'9". I also have rods that are 12', 12'6" and 12'9". On the West Coast we have gotten into throwing shorter lines with heavy tips especially for fishing in tight quarters, as that is the case on many of our smaller coastal rivers and even a few mid sized rivers. The newer short heads match up really well with short spey rods. It's a valid regional difference but there are still debates. Shorter TH rods pack down better for air travel. I am testing my 11' 5 piece rod this spring and summer. It has a spin/fly handle. It fits in luggage. I prefer to travel with both a TH rod and also a single hand rod. My preference is that both the single hand and TH rod take the same lines. All of this results in (and from) a preference for shorter heads - ~28' to ~37.5'. The lines also weigh in mainly at around 425-550g because that's all that has been available in integrated lines on the market (still true - see Graveyard's table above) and like many I had learned to live with it, although that may change (see below). A final advantage is that I can find all kinds of lines in that weight range from tropical to temperate, and from floating to sinking. I can use the same reel on both the TH and single hand rods, using multiple spools. So, now for the first time I am trying to match up a powerful TH rod (still what you would call short - see preferences and why) with a line that is 630 to 675g. Not available. Have to put a franken-line together. The line's head will be ~32'. Or maybe 33'. The rod was tested with lines weighing as low as 450g and as high as 700g. 32-33' and 630 to 650g was the sweet spot.
  2. Mike, those iFlight Skagit heads are great. I have them in 475, 575 and 600g. Wish they still made them. I think they originated in 2013 and were on closeout at Sierra T.P. You are right that they are short enough that with the right length rod (11.5 + ft) and an 8-10' tip (e.g. T-10 or iMow) they can be cast with the whole head and a bit of overhang outside the rod. I have thought about trying them with an intermediate running line because that short floating section beginning at the rear of the head, isn't really going to stop the front head (+ tip) from staying put underwater, assuming you add a heavy fast sink tip, and it does help unplug the line. The int sink running line (in theory) would prevent the whole line from being washed around on top, or dragged to shore. Problem is finding a decent intermediate sinking running line (no coiling no incessant stretching). Scientific Anglers makes one (has a mono core ) but I haven't tried it. The running line portion of an older cheap intermediate Scientific Anglers Tarpon line (braided mono core) is what I am going to try next. Now I just need to find a method to create a weld or loop in the end of the intermediate running line. For slightly deeper presentations the Scientific Anglers Skagit Extreme Intermediate heads or "Third Coast" Skagit Intermediate heads are probably going to be a better match. They are also mostly 22' to 23' heads so adding 10' tip will get you to 32'-33' total.
  3. I will take lot 2. Thanks.
  4. The GPX is at least one line weight heavier than normal rating, similar to the (older) Rio Grand line. The newer version is called the SA MPX. Great line!!
  5. Which model TFO rod? Some models are more likely to feel better up-lined than others. TFO's TiCr/TiCrx rods can be seriously uplined (+1-2 line weights). The BVK can be uplined (+1) as can some others. The TFO Pro, Pro 2, and Mangrove are all true rated rods, IMO, and I personally would go with the rated line(s). You mentioned rivers, brooks, and small ponds. I would go with a floating line initially and not worry about intermediate or sinking lines unless the water is super fast, super deep or both. Use longer mono or fluoro leaders and weighted nymphs or weighted streamers to gain depth, instead of an int/sink line, IMO. A floating line is really versatile in that it will allow you to mend the line or create slack to get a better drift for dry fly presentations, and a long leader, (or add a short sink tip between the floating line and leader) or split shot, will help wet flies, e.g., nymphs or streamers to sink to the target depth (especially in larger streams/rivers).
  6. To the OP: Google casting sinking shooting heads (s/b first hit), watch video and also read about why you usually start with a heavier than rated head and cut it back. I suggested 30 ft of T-11 as a starting point based on some experience with a normally rated 8wt, and a custom cut head that has those specs. Unless your 8wt rod is significantly less powerful than a true rated 8wt, you will find that you can exactly match the rod with the method discussed at that website. Cut only a little (no more than a foot) at a time....cut, cast, cut, cast and then maybe only cut by a smaller increment, until you get it just right. 30' x (T)11 = 330g 29' x11 = 319g 28' x11 = 308g etc... Airflo also has T-10 heads @ 30' so a bit lighter total head weight at each length above. Personally I would not go much below 27.5', so around 275g to 300g with an 8wt. If you need a lighter shooting head (for example if that 8wt is more of a 7wt in disguise) you can use T-10 material. 28.5' of T-10 is what I often use on my TFO TiCrx 7wt, which is more of a 7/8 wt rod. Yes these heads tend to be short but they can be cast into wind and can cast and lay out straight at 90-100' without dumping if you get your timing right.
  7. Have a BG 5000 and BG 6500 and the 5000 is just about right weight and capacity for an 11-13' surf spinning rod. The reel could be a bit faster to use for roosters, though. A good cheap rod to match it with is the Daiwa Emcast "A" 11' 2-6oz rod, or 12' 3-8 oz Emcast "A". The entire set up with the BG 5000 is under $200 including a spool of braid. A Shimano Tiralejo 11' or 12' rod is about the same for distance (maybe a bit better) but 2-3x more expensive. The 6500 is a beast. So is the 8000 - which is same reel body but with a different spool (slightly larger diameter and .5 oz heavier; that's why the numbers are so weird). The capacity of the spool on the BG 8000 (or even the 6500) is also way overkill, IMO, unless you are using 60+lb braid. The tradeoff is weight vs. retrieve speed. 53" is certainly better than 48" for roosters but I agree that the weight difference of the 6500/8000 is incapacitating after a full day of casting.
  8. I've been reading this thread and scratching my head. No wonder the OP is confused. Simply put - there is no single "correct" set-up for any specific rod. Because not all rods are correctly rated, a general guide is to first determine the actual power of the rod for it's intended use(s). The number of grains (more accurately what range of grains) that the rod can handle will be different if used a) single hand casting with line normally rated to match the rod (+/- 1 weight), b) single spey casting with water contact, or c) with shooting heads and/or lengths of T material and a thin running line (aka "chuck and duck" casting). You can only determine what works by testing it out in each of the three (a, b, c) scenarios above. You might find that it likes to be used with a 9wt line for general single hand casting (scenario a) even though it is marked as an 8wt. Or it may like to be underlined. Then you might want to overline it by 2-3 line weights to use it for single hand spey (assuming you want to try that). With shooting heads, it's another story altogether. Casting shooting heads is unlike the first two scenarios and is very dependent on your abilities and the length/weight of shooting head. The longer and heavier the shooting head the more you need to refine your abilities. I'd not want to use a shooting head more than 30' long weighing more than 330g on a 10' rod 8wt rod that is correctly rated as an 8wt, but that's just me. You may be able to handle more or less. 330g is 30' of T-11. Get some T-11 and try it. Not expensive to test it that way before you decide on a final weight range of shooting heads. Check out the rio custom cut heads or make your own heads from scratch.
  9. For real fun with snapper blues, last year (short trip back East) I used an 8'6" 3 weight (Ross Essence FC) and the smallest fly reel I have, up-lined to a 4 weight line - to throw small epoxy minnows. Worked great. Short casts around rocks and jetties. The rod is a freshwater version, so had to make sure to rinse it down really well afterwards.
  10. That's the problem - here in the U.S. we have very few options in the low- to mid- price range for travel rods in the 9ft + sizes. There are several makes and brands but the ones that make rods in 4-5 piece over 9' are all moderate to heavy action long-handled surf rods (St Croix 9', 10', Okuma Nomad 9', 10' etc....). Daiwa makes some 5 piece travel rods but they are either short inshore rods or 11' surf rods - the latter are compromised by inferior reel seats and handles that are too short for surf and too long for inshore. Santiam makes a few travel rods in shorter cork handles up to only 8'6" (lightest goes down to 3/8th oz, up to 1.25 oz). Nobody makes a 4 or five piece U.S. rod in 9' or 9.5' that has a short cork handle and has a light line/lure rating (6-12lb test, 1/4 to 1 oz). To get that, the best option currently is to convert a cheap fly rod to light spin duty.
  11. Gives new meaning to the term "backcast".
  12. I've seen these on the big auction site and on ****-zon. The 8'6" cork handled rod looks o.k. for the use described by the OP but is supposed to be a bit stiff. Here are the specs. Around $100. 4 PC 8'6'' 15-30 Moderate Fast Action Spinning Graphite Travel Rod Overall case length is 30.5" Moderate Fast Action, Lure Wt 1/2-3 oz Section Length 27.5'', Weight, only 8.8oz Perfect for Airline Travel!
  13. Cheaper, lighter, stronger - pick any two! Or build it yerself.
  14. Rod progression (from my perspective) peaked with the following rods: Loomis IMX, GLX (some prefer the IMX) Redington TSF (IM-7 blank in 9-12wt) and then CPS (rest downhill) Sage RPL, RPLX, XP and then Z Axis (most newer saltwater Sage rods are too stiff) Powell AXS then Tiboron and Tiboron II (rest was downhill, company plundered) Orvis Access, then Recon? (not sure but based on user reports) Past these points of reference, rods got faster, lighter, with quicker recovery but became rather soul-less. If you wanted a pure flats rod you could take your pick from any manufacturer because they all got with the fast, powerful distance rod craze. A few manufacturers kept some sweeter rods in the mix. Temple Fork and Echo stuck with IM-6 and heavier carbon blanks for longer and produced some decent if heavy rods that defied the trend toward faster, stiffer lighter. Upstart rod companies like Rise, Colton, etc...came into the action with their own sense of what was missing. Colton started with very fast and powerful rods, and then trended back to sweeter more moderate rods when Bob figured out (I think) that things had gone too far.
  15. Bought a small digital scale ($25) so I no longer had to guess. Can read in grains, grams, oz. I mark each line with the full head length in feet and actual weight in grains on the box and keep a running list. All spey heads have a small tag inside the envelope with the length and weight in grains. I do prefer using Airflo heads because they also list the weight and line type on the front of the head. Some Airflo spey and skagit heads can weigh 4-5% over the listed weight. For example, the 460 skagit extreme intermediate head is 480 (have two of them both same). Newer Scientific Anglers integrated sinking lines have the information printed on the front tip but it is often very faint and hard to read. However they (Sci Anglers) are more precise (marked weight = actual) in my experience. Scientific Anglers Coastal Express line I own has that extended handling section as well. It's a good line for cool to warmish weather but the handling section is thick and somewhat stiff.