Theflyguy

Two hand rods for the salt

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57 mins ago, RedGreen said:

Mike and Doug,

 

You two are peaking my curiosity. Pray tell, what happened that Mike has strained his nether regions on and Doug needs to work on moving in that "stuff"?

What happens in Chatham stays in Chatham :)

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7 hours ago, RedGreen said:

Mike and Doug,

 

You two are peaking my curiosity. Pray tell, what happened that Mike has strained his nether regions on and Doug needs to work on moving in that "stuff"?

Bog hopping shoes

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Hello from a new two-hander,

 

Not sure if this thread is still alive, but I enjoyed reading it and it encouraged me to stop lurking and join the forum.  I live within earshot of Point Judith, so I fish the Rhode Island rocks, beaches and salt ponds A LOT.  The first time I tried a TH rod, it was a complete no brainer and I immediately bought one.  That was last summer. I absolutely love the setup and have some questions, but wanted to introduce myself before jumping in.

 

J

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1 hour ago, JfromRI said:

Hello from a new two-hander,

 

Not sure if this thread is still alive, but I enjoyed reading it and it encouraged me to stop lurking and join the forum.  I live within earshot of Point Judith, so I fish the Rhode Island rocks, beaches and salt ponds A LOT.  The first time I tried a TH rod, it was a complete no brainer and I immediately bought one.  That was last summer. I absolutely love the setup and have some questions, but wanted to introduce myself before jumping in.

 

J

Hello J,

 

Welcome.   What are you waiting for .... fire away  :)

 

 

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J

 

That was a very polite way to start hi to you and good that you have stopped lurking and now feel able to join in. TH threads somtimes get a bit cranky but mosty they are pretty good fun and informative. Well that’s how I see them.

Wonderful that you are enjoying your new set of gear and that for you it was a no brainier. One or two others of us feel the same way.

So if you have some questions there is a good chance someone will have an answer. We have a mix of guys some who Spey cast and can help in  that area whilst others like myself are mainly Over Head Casting guys.

 

Mike

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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. 

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3 hours ago, JfromRI said:

Hello from a new two-hander,

 

Not sure if this thread is still alive, but I enjoyed reading it and it encouraged me to stop lurking and join the forum.  I live within earshot of Point Judith, so I fish the Rhode Island rocks, beaches and salt ponds A LOT.  The first time I tried a TH rod, it was a complete no brainer and I immediately bought one.  That was last summer. I absolutely love the setup and have some questions, but wanted to introduce myself before jumping in.

 

J

J,

Welcome.  We're neighbors.  I live in Narragansett.  I fish Narrow River, the beaches and salt ponds also.  I started with two handed Spey in the River and fast moving inlets such as Quonochontaug Pond.  Then I picked up an 11'er for overhead on the beaches.  Now I'm building one of Mike Oliver's 12'9" beach rod blanks.  PM me with any questions, but do join in here.  It's informative, fun and 99% of the time civil.  The other 1% move out with the tide.

 

Mark

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Wow.  Thank you.  The friendliness of saltwater fly fishers is one of the things that got me into the sport a few years ago, after decades of surf casting.  Brace yourselves: this is a long posting, but I'll break it down in to three questions after describing my setup and habits.  I realize a book could be written about each of my questions.

 

So, I have a CND 11' 8/9 wt (Oceana Saltwater Specialist), which I use only for overhead cast.  I have an Abel 4.5N on it with Beulah Serum Surf (500 gr, 34' head).  The CCR measurements (defining the deflection distance as 1/3 the entire rod length), appears to be about 12, with AA of about 68.  I got good deals on this gear, and have been very happy with it, but also curious about other/longer setups.  I am a total gear head and like making stuff (used to make my own surf plugs and now make all my own flies), but have never built a rod.

 

I fish 6 or 7 times a week during the fall, mostly on beaches, but sometimes in the ponds, where I still prefer this rod over the 9' 10 wt single hand because of wind issues and distances required to reach my favorite holes.  One of the best days I had with it was standing in waves up to my beer gut during a blow on a Narragansett beach.  Fish were all around and were easily caught, but the big ones were visible atop the rollers that were beyond my reach because of the wind. 

 

Question 1:  The line is already showing some wear, so my first question is whether anyone is familiar enough with this rod to recommend another setup.  I like making stuff, so not afraid of making a custom line.  Cost is a factor, so I don't want to guess.  Also, I've been a bit frustrated finding the right leader and tippit, but this might be because of sucky technique.

 

Question 2:  As I said, I like making stuff.  Would a 13' blank like the ones Mike Oliver has discussed or the Pac Bay 14' that Redgreen shortened to 13' be likely to expand the conditions in which I can fish, either for distance or for line handling, mending, etc, and the size of flies I can throw?  I am a bit of a clod, so even in my yard with no wind, distance from my feet to the fly on a careful cast, with two back casts to sort out lumps, is 85 - 90 ft, and then I need at least two or three long strips to eliminate slack (the Serum line may not like cold temps, but it was 50 degrees last time I did this).   

 

Question 3:  On the beach, my biggest struggle seems to be getting the roll cast right to get this intermediate line out of the water, which sometimes hits the surface, sand, grass, or whatever's behind me, because I have to throw such upward tip trajectory that I get a huge open loop on the first back cast.  I think Mike O. described earlier the scenario where the caster does this and then tries to correct it by rushing the forward cast.  He must have been watching me from behind the dunes before he wrote that.  Is any one close by to critique what I'm doing (Mark?).  I'm also interested in looking at other setups in action.

 

Thank for reading all this!

 

J

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Posted (edited) · Report post

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:

 

Edited by RedGreen

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J

 

Red just about covered your questions I think. I admire you for being straightforward with your current cast. For starters it can’t be so far off as your touching 90 feet. With just a small amount of help I am betting that in friendly winds which generally are side winds on your none casting side and tail winds that you could easily stretch that to 120 feet and with quite a relaxed. rod stroke. No one casts big distances into very strong head winds but the TH can keep us in the game when single hand rods have run out of steam.

If you could get together with Mark that would be great I think.

After swoping emails with Mark I am re evaluating my own cast. The basic three  stroke cast shown in the video,with Tom works quite well. Tom had the classic hang over from his surf casting days with an extended right upper arm and a lazy lower hand but it was his first ever time with a TH and he was faced with a nasty tailing wind. Yet he was still sending his fly to around 100 feet.

It is possible to put in a couple of false casts which is ok when you have time to,do that. In a busy surf we do not have that luxury. We need to get the cast away before the next wave takes you out or just messes with you.

You will find it slightly more difficult with an 11 footer to get the fly line head unplugged and all of it into the air with a three stroke cast.It can be done if you can shoot some head on the roll cast and on the single back cast. But if that is not happening best to throw  in another false cast.

On a cost front the PAC Bay blank that Red modifies a tad is a pretty decent option. Don’t be frightened by grains in the order of 650. That is what helps defeat head winds and deliver large flies.

The C and D is a bit of a classic and will serve  you pretty well up to around 500 grains.

Yes a more powerful,rod will increase your capabilities massively as long as you can extract that performance but that should not be a problems for you.

 

Dont worry about your leaders too much. With sinking lines a 5 feet to 10 feet single shot of clear 20 lb mono,will work well. With a floating line you may wish to increase to around 12 feet and make the butt section around 8 feet long in 30 lb and loop on  4 feet of 20 lb tippet.

 

If the cast is good the fly is going to go out the length of the leader. If Line is not banging into the reel then the fly is not going to turn over well unless it is wind assisted.

You are doing ok. Most Guys new to,single hand fly rods don’t get it down in a single year.

 

Mike

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