RedGreen

Pac Bay Quickline 1409-4 report

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Earlier this year I built a 14' 9wt Pac bay Quickline spey blank into a double handed fly rod specifically for overhead casting out front on windy beaches and anywhere else you'd fish from shore in saltwater. I have used it many times now and it has seen time in saltwater, both in day and night, rough and calm conditions. Long story short, it makes a fine TH out front fly rod blank, if and only if you shorten the blank from the tip to make it 13' even. 

 

The blank as boxed measured 13'10", and the CCS measurements I took matched exactly what Pac Bay quotes it as in their catalog (ERN 15.3 =~ IP 409 grams, AA82 degrees). The mass measurements did not match, as the blank was 6.4 ounces as opposed to the quoted 5.6 ounces from pac bay. All other measurements were exactly as the catalog states. 

 

For a TH fly rod for out front you don't want a soft tip (this one was VERY soft as boxed) as it makes it difficult to maneuver and boss around a heavy shooting head in a rolling surf, night or day. It also makes it easier to cast tailing loops and when you're in a fast dynamic environment like the surf you want to make your casts as easy and efficient as possible, while still being able to dominate that heavy shooting head. Knowing this, I decided to cut the blank short to a measured 13' from the butt section, removing 10" from the tip. This made the blank overall slower in action, and increased it's intrinsic power. The measurements at 13': IP 557 grams, AA 72 degrees. This is still a fast action (not ideal) but since the blank has a much higher intrinsic power it is workable and useable. A more ideal AA for an out front TH fly rod would be 60-65 degrees, on the high end of moderate fast to the low end of fast. 

 

I used 13 guides plus a tip, In order from stripper to tip top: BLCAG16, ICLNSG12, ICLSG10, then REC RSFX4 to the tip, which was a SeaGuide TI-XLT top, tube size 7.5, ring size 8. All can be sourced from Anglers Workshop, as well as the blank. I would recommend going with a 16M LC for the stripper or even a 20, while replacing the size 12 LN with a 12M KW or similar height single or double foot guide. You want a tall stripper with a smallish ring. Reason why is because the running line travels from a basket to the stripper, which is a direction that is rather vertical. As such, the running line can sometimes overshoot the guide AND the blank, then wrap up and around the stripper, cinching it tight and cutting your cast short. You won't break a running line most likely if this happens but it is annoying especially out front where all the elements are against you. Hence a tall frame which makes it harder to wrap the line up around the blank and guide, and a smallish ring to tame that line very quickly before it gets to the runners. If you get a tangle in your running line it tends to stop right at the stripper, which makes it easier to reach up and untangle it, especially at night where visual help is a luxury. 

 

I used syncork for my handle, 7" lower grip, 16'5" foregrip. Reel seat was a fuji DPSM17 in black, with a matching LOGR ring. If you use these seats for fly rods you must buy the locking nut, otherwise the seat will loosen up on you. Ask me how I know.

 

All in all, it's a very affordable build that will get anyone into the TH out front game very easily and offer fantastic performance for the price, IF AND ONLY IF you cut the tip down such that the rod measures 13' from the butt. You don't want that soft tip, it will do you no favors and the rod is much better without it. 

 

Price for the build for me was ~$285. With consumables you're looking at a liberal estimate of $350. More affordable than the least expensive option I know of for TH overhead in the salt, the 9wt TFO pandion, which is far softer and less capable than this rod for out front. 

 

As for lines that work well, look for lines between 550 and 650 grains. Head length 35-40 feet. I built this rod with the REC single foot snakes as I wanted to keep the tip as light as possible but I have the suspicion that it will handle itself with ceramic framed runners just fine as well. I will be stripping the guides off of my rod and replacing them with a new set to test this, and will follow up once I have done so. 

 

All in all, it is a wonderfully affordable and capable blank for a TH out front fly rod, as long as you modify it as I have done so here. 

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On 9/20/2018 at 6:24 PM, RedGreen said:

Earlier this year I built a 14' 9wt Pac bay Quickline spey blank into a double handed fly rod specifically for overhead casting out front .....

 

THank you for taking the time to post this.

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Update: I re-measured the finished rod with CCS and I suspect my initial measurements were wrong because I returned the values of IP620 and AA72 as opposed to what is listed above. I cannot falsify this new measurement, but I think I can do so for the last one. Use this measurement instead for reference, not the old one. 

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Update: Since blanks often have a tolerance and aren't exactly the same length each time the OD along their length varies and as such a size 7.5 tip top was just what fit my blank, it may not fit another if the 13' cut is made the same way. I have had two people contact me telling me they bought the wrong tip top which really is entirely my fault and I don't want anyone else making that mistake.

 

So, for anyone building to this formula, buy your blank and everything else, then once you've made your cut, measure the tip OD and then buy your tip top. Unfortunately you pay shipping twice but at least you don't end up with parts you don't need and don't have to deal with returns later on.

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Update: 

 

Blanks often have a tolerance of error for their lengths. My blank was 13'10" long, but two others who I have guided through the process of building a modified 1409-4 like mine have had blanks that were 13'11". I had them both cut the blank still at 13' even, and both of theirs resulted in having a higher IP than mine. One person had an IP of 735. 

 

I theorize that this happened because the taper is mostly the same across the whole length, so their rods lost more of the tip taper than mine so they saw a greater increase in power than I did. 

 

From now on I recommend cutting a percentage of the tip off, not a set value. 10" of 13'10" is 6.0241% of the whole length, and it is this amount that I recommend cutting the tip down. So for a 13'11" rod that would result in a 13"0.5" rod after the cut and should preserve the IP of ~620 that I have achieved. 

 

Note that cutting a tip does not make a rod stronger, it just increases the minimum amount of mass needed to load the rod for casting. 

 

Personally I would prefer an uncut blank purpose built and designed at it's original length but the only ones I know of are Mike Oliver's. More expensive but the best in the world and simply perfect for our front TH fly rodding. I much prefer his to this pac bay setup. I have one right now and will be buying as many more as I can.

 

Still, this pac bay format can have you in the game for comfortably $400, and as of writing this is better than any production TH rod for overhead casting out front. 

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Hi Red,  

 

Per:

  1. Personally I would prefer an uncut blank purpose built and designed at it's original length but the only ones I know of are Mike Oliver's. More expensive but the best in the world and simply perfect for our front TH fly rodding. I much prefer his to this pac bay setup. I have one right now and will be buying as many more as I can.

why so many?   A lot of screen / car doors in your future? :)

 

 

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HT that's a good jab but I'm a little sensitive there still. Still pissed at myself for doing something so unbelievably dumb. You don't know the whole story and if I may I'd like to keep it to myself and those who I have told already. I still haven't fully forgiven myself and likely won't for a long time.

 

I have learned my lesson and planned for further mistakes which I believe to be wise. Historically tip sections are what fail on me the most. So I now have two replacement tips for the Mark III coming and any other blanks which will be made to heavily used rods I will also get a spare tip for. 

 

I like Mike's stuff a lot and truly believe it really is the very best option we have for out front TH blanks when all out performance is the only metric. I haven't fished a single handed rod in a long long time because I just enjoy THs so much. Plus Mike is a close friend of mine and I want to support his endeavors in rod building as much as I can. 

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57 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

That’s cruel HT. Red has only just gotten over his painful moment.

He is on a quest. Longer and longer. It is a tough call and expensive and risky.

 

oly

 

Sorry, though Chris is much bigger and stronger than I so if he wants he can kick the snot out of me this spring...... and anyway I did use a smiley face. 

 

I am anxious to see him some day swinging  a 15 to 16 rod,  throwing a Beast Fly clear across the Stage Harbor Channel.  With his enthusiasm he's well on his way!

HT

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You are not going to see that HT.  When I said long I mean long. Red is going to be dapping  his fly on the other side of Stage Inlet. It’s the way to go. No casting ability needed. The rod really is the solution not the Fisher.

Now where did I put my pills.

 

Oly

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7 mins ago, RedGreen said:

HT that's a good jab but I'm a little sensitive there still. Still pissed at myself for doing something so unbelievably dumb. You don't know the whole story and if I may I'd like to keep it to myself and those who I have told already. I still haven't fully forgiven myself and likely won't for a long time.

 

I have learned my lesson and planned for further mistakes which I believe to be wise. Historically tip sections are what fail on me the most. So I now have two replacement tips for the Mark III coming and any other blanks which will be made to heavily used rods I will also get a spare tip for. 

 

I like Mike's stuff a lot and truly believe it really is the very best option we have for out front TH blanks when all out performance is the only metric. I haven't fished a single handed rod in a long long time because I just enjoy THs so much. Plus Mike is a close friend of mine and I want to support his endeavors in rod building as much as I can. 

Hey Chris, much agreed.   I've come close a few times myself, as have many others  I'm sure.  I've actually had a number of conversations with Mike for spare tips on my Mark II's as if it isn't a screen door than a weighted Clouser can be just as deadly.  Haven't ordered tips yet as I haven't wanted to send back the mating section for a fit up and the time it would take.

 

HT

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Posted (edited) · Report post

3 mins ago, HillTop said:

Hey Chris, much agreed.   I've come close a few times myself, as have many others  I'm sure.  I've actually had a number of conversations with Mike for spare tips on my Mark II's as if it isn't a screen door than a weighted Clouser can be just as deadly.  Haven't ordered tips yet as I haven't wanted to send back the mating section for a fit up and the time it would take.

 

HT

So far HT I am about a month into waiting but the fee isn't bad at all. PM me if you want the details on everything. Best to do it now while it's winter and no fishing is happening. It's freezing where I am and nothing to catch besides a movie. 

Edited by RedGreen

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RedGreen I am in a very similar situation.

Shortly after Thanksgiving built the FSP 1368-4MHX.

This was purpose built for TH in the surf for my Christmas run.

In TH application I am finding that a 10 wt outbound as suggested is to light to load the rod.

I have since thrown a Rio Skagit Chunker 580 Grain? which I believe is still to light.

I need to learn more about the scientific side of things. But I am starting to think it might take into the 700-800 grain.

Hopefully I can get this dialed in sooner than later.

 

Paul

 

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Hey Paul,

 

I cannot find that blank on mudhole's site as it looks like they dropped the entire spey and switch lineup of blanks.

 

It would be massively helpful to yourself to read up on the Common Cents System for measuring fly rod power and action and take measurements of your rod so we have something objective to look at. We can't go too much off of the information given to us by the mfgs as there is no set standard for any line weight rod.

 

For example the Sage TCR 14'9wt and Pac Bay quickline 14'9wt are both rated as 9 wts, 4 pc, fast action, and 14' long. IIRC they have similar power but very different actions. TCR has IP377 AA68, while the quickline has IP409 AA82. IP is the number of grams it takes to deflect the rod one third of it's length downwards after taking into account the droop of the rod under it's own weight, and the AA is the angle the tip top makes to the horizon, which establishes the action (how fast or slow the rod is).

 

Both rods are similar in intrinsic power (IP) but their AA is massively different. The tip on the pac bay is very very soft, softer than a single handed 8wt rod, while the sage TCR is much harder and is a slower action overall.

 

With the CCS info for your rod I can get you dialed very fast as I have formulas and references based on my own rods and experience out front. The last thing to sort out will be yourself as casting practice and ability is huge, way more important than having the right rod and line match up.

 

I have found that for rods out front you want minimum IP450 or so to do well, and generally you want 1-1.2 grains of line per gram of IP

 for overhead casting out front. The vast majority of people use lines way heavier which slows the rod recovery down and takes away the guts it needs to punch a line into a hard onshore wind; the bane of a flyrodder's existence in saltwater.

 

You'll know if the rod is loaded right if it recovers quickly after the cast, almost as quickly as if it weren't strung up at all, and you should just barely feel the road loading and unloading during the cast. Hell even if you can't feel it loading that's still good as it means the rod has lots of needed reserve power to punch that fly line into a wind in your face.

 

So google "common cents system", click on the second link from the top and when you get the chance measure your rod and let me know what those figures are and I'll do whatever I can to help you.

 

You need 15 posts to PM people so get to that point and PM me your info and we'll get you set up.

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