RedGreen

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About RedGreen

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    Fly fishing and tying, custom knife-making, general adventuring, materials science and engineering, physics and mathematics
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    Currently in school

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  1. I hear you. Yes I like a very stiff rod for the line I throw. My taste and preference is very similar to Mike's. I have found that there is a ratio of Grains:IP that quantifies the load preference of a user for fly casting. For myself I have found it to be between 1:1 and 1.1:1. It carries across multiple outfits as well. Helps a lot when I have a rod new to me and I want to figure out what line will give me the feel I am looking for.
  2. Haven't cast this rod Esa but I my chopped pac bay setup has IP620 and I line it with no more than 650 grains. I tried 840 and it absolutely sucked. Rod was way bendy and even in a freshwater lake didn't recover fast enough to get casts out efficiently. Based on what I know the heavier Ardito should be a good match with 750 grains. I wouldn't go more than that.
  3. Not many great choices. There is the TFO pandion #9 but I've cast it with 586 grains and it was way sloppier than I'd like for myself. The chopped pac bay has IP620 grams at 13' which is way more than you need for 500 grains. I wouldn't go beneath 650 for that layout. Mike Oliver has two blanks, both of which are perfect for 550 grains. The Mark 1 and Mark II. The latter has greater lifting power and the potential to send 650 grains screaming out there as well. But both are more expense than any other option discussed here. Most prefer the Mark I as it loads more easily than the Mark II. Pricey but absolutely world class. Nothing out there better than Mike's blanks. You do lose the haul will the TH but gain a first class lever as opposed to a third class (SH rod) so torque on your wrists is gone and therefore you can apply way more force to the rod than you normally would be able to. It's the length of the TH that gives you the speed you lose from not being able to haul. For myself about the 12' point is where they're even. Hence why I prefer 14' minimum. TONS of line speed. The ability to carry more weight is the other big advantage. Personally if you're only throwing 4-450 you won't really see the benefits of the TH unless you have weak wrists. Once you hit 550 and above things get interesting, and 650 and up and you have a real machine on your hands. Same thing when you're at 11'. You really need a longer rod to see just how capable the TH platform is.
  4. Matt, there are several options for you then. If you're willing to build your own rod have a very strong look at an NFC SA1235-2, it's an extra fast action salmon hotshot blank that has guts down low but isn't so stiff that it won't throw lines around 450 grains. You also have some high power switch rods as an option since your lines aren't terribly heavy. Look for a 9wt switch. I'd recommend building your own rod as lots of TH fly rods especially switch rods have very thin handles, more akin to holding a violin bow than a fishing rod. At the same total cost of a store bought rod you can build your own but with way better components. Having a handle setup that is designed for you is a huge bonus. For that reason I almost exclusively build my own rods and don't bother with store bought.
  5. CCB 2.75 lbs is the rating system for carp rods, it basically says how much weight is needed to make the tip top go vertical when the handle is horizontal. Basically how stiff the rod is. Really flawed system for rating rods but that's par unfortunately.
  6. What is the weight of those lines in grains? Lots of options but it depends on what the line weighs.
  7. Matt, The Ardito should be a great choice for you. If you would prefer a blank look for a long light surf rod or a carp blank like what's been mentioned here already. Don't go higher than a 3lb test curve on the carp blank. The modified pac bay blank is great if you're not opposed to 13' of rod. It has solid backbone down low and can really pull if you need it to. I have not fished for Muskies much but have found that a 650 grain line is the minimum to fish these flies efficiently. Mike's Mark II blanks would also be killer for this if you want to spend a bit more. Choice depends on your preferences and price limits.
  8. I was thinking of the Ardito as well. The guide set is probably fine as is, all you'd need to do is make a proper handle for it, or even just tape your reel to the handle and you'd be set. Another option to consider are the T&T rods that The Graveyard Shift has been using. I'm sure he will attest to their fortitude and lifting power, combined with their short (for a TH) length will make them a good contender for a TH boat rod. For blanks I'd look at a long light surf rod blank or a carp blank around a 2.75lb to 3lb TC.
  9. CCB, How much of the head we strip in depends on a lot of things. How close the fish are, environmental conditions, even the fly can influence it as a very large fly is harder to roll cast than a smaller one. By large I mean 8"+. The most efficient cast is one where we only retrieve as much line as we need to in order to have only a few feet of line dribbling on the surface after unplugging it. Then aerial roll, backcast, and deliver, shooting whatever we need to in between on the roll or back cast. At night this is the cast to use as it's all about being efficient. But if the fish are in very close or if the wind is very strong. Instead of retrieving a few feet of head to within the guides it could be 10 or more feet. Mike usually needs 4 or so feet with his 12'9" rod and a 34 foot head, but one mark we fished at night last fall dictated that we retrieve a lot more and include a false cast to get the rest of the head out. I had to retrieve close to 15' or even more sometimes to get my roll cast away, but that was with a 42' scandi head which I found the hard way is not a good head profile for TH OH casting at night because it is just not punchy enough. On my local lakes I retrieve till the leader touches the tip top because fish can be very very close. I've caught bass while lifting the fly out of the water. You do have to roll cast multiple times and I let the head slide through my fingers as I set up for the roll cast to get the head out of the rod efficiently. Sorry for this next part. Begin short ramble on lines and such: One thing I have found regarding head length is that for TH OH out front a head a bit less than three times the length of the rod works very well as a longer head gets to be hard to handle in high wind and weather and especially at night. Too much longer and it gets to be hard to handle and doesn't punch as hard as we'd like to for surf casting. One really easy setup for a TH OH line is a 12 or 13 wt line and Skagit head spliced together, where the Skagit head makes up the rear half of the head and you use 15-20 feet of the other head as a tip, with the running line being attached to the back of the Skagit head. Splice everything together however you prefer and you can have a TH integrated line from 500-900 grains depending on your Skagit head in either full float or Intermediate. Full sink unfortunately isn't as easy to fabricate but there are some full sinking scandi heads which have plenty of punch for surf casting. One I have, a scientific Anglers Ultimate Scandi Taper 10/11 type 5 sink weighs 41 grams overall with the back half being 20. So damn near a WF profile and it definitely behaves like it because it throws 11" musky flies with little issue.
  10. On false casting with the TH out front, I have two comments I'd like to make. If I make a particularly sloppy aerial roll or first back cast and I have time to fix it I'll add a single false cast just to clean things up and keep from sending a squib cast out. Sometimes when the wind is very strong and in your face, you won't be able to get the line to unroll or punch through it during your aerial roll, so you'll have to draw more head in through the guides and add a false cast or two to get the head out. If the wind is strong enough you'll only be able to shoot line on the back cast. Typically this also means you won't be able to shoot anything on the delivery stroke either. But it takes very strong winds and very hard conditions for this to be the case, and with the TH you can stay meaningfully fishing way longer than with a single handed rod. It's also much safer at night as well as effective. Even if you can only get the head out and no running line, with a 13' TH, a 35' head, and a 7' leader you've got 55' of line out there, and you'll need damn near a Gale to make that difficult to achieve. At night this can get you into fish as they'll often be in close to shore.
  11. J, Answering your questions in order: 1) Unfortunately you'll have a hard time finding a traditional WF line that will work for you at that amount of mass but there is an option for you in shooting heads for salmon. I've been using Scientific Anglers Ultimate Scandi Taper Shorts which are available from float to sink 7 and everywhere in between with graduated densities in the heads. They cast excellent and will deliver about a 7" fly before starting to have issues with turnover in the 8/9 size (525 grains). If you want to throw bigger flies than that you'll want to look at a setup using Skagit heads and a tip as they'll have more punch to them. 2) both will over significantly more performance over your 11'er, with Mike's shortest blanks being 12'9" and the pac bay being 13 even. The pac bay though really likes 650 grains to start, any less and it's like casting a 7wt line on a 10wt rod. It just doesn't care about anything under 600 grains. It will throw it but the rod mostly will bend under it's own weight and the head will do little to load it. Mike has rods for 550, 550-650, and 750-850 grains, all 14'ers and the two lightest in 12'9" as well. My preference is in 14' minimum as I see no reason to go shorter except possibly physical space to cast a rod, which is rarely if ever an issue. The longer rods will have more capability for basically everything, but also be more taxing to handle than a shorter rod. Bit of compromise there, both will perform very very well. I've hit 120' casts with the pac bay and 650 grains while fishing, and with an empty leader 130' isn't too much of a stretch. That's with an 0.04" fly running line too, not mono. 3) getting that line unplugged is mostly a two step process. It also requires you have a certain amount of the head within the guides. With a 13' rod and a 34' head this may be around 4 or 5 feet. Experience will teach you what works best. First lift the rod vertically as high as you comfortably can, then draw it back like you're prepping for a roll cast but don't stop winding up until you have just a few feet of fly line dribbling on the surface, and you're unplugged! Then just an aerial roll cast, shoot some head, back cast and shoot the rest, then a confident forward cast and let it fly! Simple, efficient, and you can nail very long casts with this with some good practice. There's a YouTube video posted years ago where Mike Oliver was teaching a guy relatively new to the TH this process. I will dig up the vid and edit it into this post. ETA:
  12. Welcome to the forum J! And glad you're seeing the benefits of the TH! I fish mine almost exclusively, they're so damn fun to use and so effective I just can't put it down.
  13. Tom I had no idea! I loved those handling grouper vids he did ages ago. Haven't seen his recent stuff but just wow, small world huh?
  14. Tom are you and Josh from BlacktipH close friends or something? Forgive me if I'm reading it wrong but he seems like someone personally familiar to you with how you mentioned him. Been wanting to try my hands on JC and the southern species from shore down there for the longest time. Problem is I'm about 1000 miles too far north to make it a regular thing for me. I'm torn between living in the Northeast and the south after I finish school and get my own place. Love stripers and surf but with how things are going you'd almost get more from your time hunting trophy fish targeting Muskies instead of stripers which is very sad indeed. One of these days I'll make it down there.
  15. Tom Sounds like a reasonable test to me. I'd be doing the same, especially knowing how much of a PITA it is to get lines for these rods. Wouldn't be a bad idea to test the running line too. I may do that myself as I've never tested it, just assumed it was 30# since it's from a 13wt fly line. Kevlar too which is very unusual. Could be even stronger. No way of knowing till it's tested. Also wouldn't be a bad idea to test the Skagit head you're using too. That's definitely at least 30# strength. I could test the one I have a 560 grain one. For anyone wondering where I'm getting this from, Tom and I have been in correspondence for weeks regarding building a TH rod for fishing rough surf and big flies. Personally I would have no quarrels about typical braided line for backing. You're not using snake guides, but ceramic ones from stripper to tip top so there should be no issue unless you're using that as a running line too. Spin guys use it as a main line for surf rods all the time and guides rarely if ever wear out. I haven't heard of one grooving yet.