xjclint

Budget TH Beach Rod

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After spending a few seasons going back and forth with a few th rods and then settling on a single hand Skagit type set up, I'm again swinging (pun intended) back towards a true TH Beach rod to be used out front. Plenty of expensive options exist, but what about a more cost effective rod? Anyone know if a 11-12 ft fast action rod with some guts to throw the big stuff?

 

For reference, I typically use 400-500 grains on my 8-10 wt single handers and find it works really well. One load and it's 80 ft easily. I'm just looking for something longer to get it up off the water when I am wading and to deliver some bigger payloads.

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Have you tried looking for used equipment?   I see quite a few Beulah Surf and Opal rods come up for sale on some other sites.   I have the Beulah Opal 7/8 and it's a cannon.   

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Personally I would avoid the beluah like the plague. I have measured it with CCS and found it to be around a nominal single handed 10wt in power. Figure a 6/7wt spey rod. Just weak. I doubt even the 9/10 would have the guts you need. 

 

You're not wanting to go more than 12' for a rod which means carp rods around a 2.75lb test curve are an option. They will have the guts you need to throw 550 grains minimum and possibly more. The Daiwa emcast 12' 2.75lb TC model would have been perfect but my understanding is you can't get them anymore. They will feel too stiff like they don't load that much with your lines at first but trust me thats the feel you want as you need lots of power and backbone to spare in a TH beach rod for out front. So just look for a nice fast action responsive 12' 2.75lb test curve carp rod, tape the reel on and go fishing. Don't worry about the guides being technically the wrong size for a fly rod, it'll work fine nonetheless.

 

Personally I see no reason to go so short save for joint issues, I say go as long as you can find. I have two 14' blanks I am building right now and a possible 17'er in the future. The length just isn't tiring to me and offers huge benefits. I am not a huge guy at 6' and 180 lbs. So I would recommend looking for the longest most powerful rod you can find. Take power over length as a shorter pool cue will be better than a long linguine noodle. 

 

But 12' isn't bad. Better than 11' shorties which are pretty pointless out front. 

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33 mins ago, RedGreen said:

Personally I would avoid the beluah like the plague. I have measured it with CCS and found it to be around a nominal single handed 10wt in power. Figure a 6/7wt spey rod. Just weak. I doubt even the 9/10 would have the guts you need. 

 

You're not wanting to go more than 12' for a rod which means carp rods around a 2.75lb test curve are an option. They will have the guts you need to throw 550 grains minimum and possibly more. The Daiwa emcast 12' 2.75lb TC model would have been perfect but my understanding is you can't get them anymore. They will feel too stiff like they don't load that much with your lines at first but trust me thats the feel you want as you need lots of power and backbone to spare in a TH beach rod for out front. So just look for a nice fast action responsive 12' 2.75lb test curve carp rod, tape the reel on and go fishing. Don't worry about the guides being technically the wrong size for a fly rod, it'll work fine nonetheless.

 

Personally I see no reason to go so short save for joint issues, I say go as long as you can find. I have two 14' blanks I am building right now and a possible 17'er in the future. The length just isn't tiring to me and offers huge benefits. I am not a huge guy at 6' and 180 lbs. So I would recommend looking for the longest most powerful rod you can find. Take power over length as a shorter pool cue will be better than a long linguine noodle. 

 

But 12' isn't bad. Better than 11' shorties which are pretty pointless out front. 

Any thoughts about the daiwa maddragon? Seems cheap enough to test and fits the specs above.

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54 mins ago, RedGreen said:

Personally I would avoid the beluah like the plague. I have measured it with CCS and found it to be around a nominal single handed 10wt in power. Figure a 6/7wt spey rod. Just weak. I doubt even the 9/10 would have the guts you need. 

 

You're not wanting to go more than 12' for a rod which means carp rods around a 2.75lb test curve are an option. They will have the guts you need to throw 550 grains minimum and possibly more. The Daiwa emcast 12' 2.75lb TC model would have been perfect but my understanding is you can't get them anymore. They will feel too stiff like they don't load that much with your lines at first but trust me thats the feel you want as you need lots of power and backbone to spare in a TH beach rod for out front. So just look for a nice fast action responsive 12' 2.75lb test curve carp rod, tape the reel on and go fishing. Don't worry about the guides being technically the wrong size for a fly rod, it'll work fine nonetheless.

 

Personally I see no reason to go so short save for joint issues, I say go as long as you can find. I have two 14' blanks I am building right now and a possible 17'er in the future. The length just isn't tiring to me and offers huge benefits. I am not a huge guy at 6' and 180 lbs. So I would recommend looking for the longest most powerful rod you can find. Take power over length as a shorter pool cue will be better than a long linguine noodle. 

 

But 12' isn't bad. Better than 11' shorties which are pretty pointless out front. 

My Beulah Opal 7/8 throws a 500gr line all day so i have no reason to think the 9/10 would have any issues at 550.   

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Brett if that is the case then you are not fishing in very inclement weather. Otherwise you would see your rod fold up. That rod has IP209grams while my single handed 10wt has IP268. My TH for 650 grains has IP620, more than three times the power of your 7/8 beluah. 

 

Myself and others who fish out front have found that you want between 1 and 1.2 grains of line per gram of IP in a rod to perform out front overhead casting. Around 2 grains per gram if you are spey casting. It is widely known that for overhead casting your grain weights are decreased over spey casting. For out front overhead it is a around half or very slightly more than half of your spey casting range. Simply put you are way overloaded. If you try and take this setup out front and punch it into a solid headwind your rod will fold up like an overripe banana. It won't be pretty. With a side wind it can be ok and even a slight tailwind but a headwind no way. 

 

My first TH was more powerful than the 9/10 beluah and the 12'9" TCR of years ago which was a brute of a spey rod and even then it just would not cut it. There really isn't anything commercially made that is powerful enough to work out front overhead. Maybe the 11'2" 12wt exocett but that's a fair bill to pay and at 11' is quite short for a TH. The TH rods I am building now are way more powerful than my first one and are fully fit for purpose out front on rugged New England beaches.

 

You need bare minimum 450grams of IP to have the power to punch into a headwind that blows single handers off the beach. That's the biggest point of the TH. To be able to fish meaningfully in conditions that makes single handed rods futile. The fact is very few TH fly rods are this powerful. I know of exactly none that are commercially made which have the metrics we need out front. 

 

So spinning blanks and rods are the best option. Short of going custom with fly blanks specifically made for this. I have cast several and they are without a doubt the best option we have for this. I have one right now and another coming this week and for performance see no reason to go anywhere else.

 

I'll look into the mad dragon myself later today after work but I have a hunch it will do great. 

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Xjclint

 

ok tough ask. 11 feet can work but for many of the experienced guys are a bit short. 12 to 13 feet will perform better.

 

Carp blanks and finished factory rods can offer a lower cost solution. Some spinning rods can be press ganged into use to.

 

You need a rod that can totally master a minimum of 550 grains. By this I mean it would be considered by almost every guy out there to be underlined.

 

Redgreen knows of a PAC Bay blank that when modified makes into a pretty decent rod for lowish cost. A pm to him will reveal all or go to rod building forum and he has full details of this build.

 

It is possible to buy very low cost single hand rods that can cut it in the surf.

Currently it is not easy to do that for a TH so you will need to be creative.

 

What size budget do you need to,work to.

 

mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Posted (edited) · Report post

I have the Opal 9/10 beach rod and love it.  My current set up is a 500 grain third coast intermediate Skagit head ( 22' I think) with the rio heavy MOW tips.  It performs very well with bigger flies and can chuck some line.  I also fish crab flies on a 30 foot T17 head with no issues at all.  In terms of fighting fish, I did land prehistoric by-catch this summer that was around 5' and 75 lbs...

Edited by titleguy

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Leland Outfitters sell Loop Xact 13'6" 8 weight Spey rods discounted to $165. It might have too fast/tip action and cutting tip about 6 inches shorter accelerates line faster and lessens tailing loop when heavier line is cast.

 

Esa

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Guys I am going to act as a mediator.  The issue is you are talking about very different fishing conditions and power required.  

 

Mike/Red are talking about casting in 25mph SUSTAINED wind or greater when they are describing OUT FRONT.

 

My Thomas and Thomas 10wt Excocett is a great rod with lots of fish fighting power.  I throw a 425 grain head and it throws big flies very well.  It fishes great into wind for normal fishing conditions.  I consider normal conditions 0-15mph wind.  Once the sustained wind hit 15mph my 10WT did not have enough power and what they are describing with rod unable to perform was occurring to me. The 12wt Exocett was able to fish in 15-25mph wind, but I would say that 15-20mph is its sweet spot.  When the wind got 25mph with 30-40mph gusts I was having trouble once again so at that point I will say screw it grab my 2-6 oz surf rod and throw 3 oz bottle plugs to keep fishing.  MY CAVEAT is I am a decent caster, but no master by any means so its always possible I just need more lessons and practice to achieve better results with the rods I use.  But I did experience what I believe Red is trying to get across where the rod cannot deliver its payload in high wind.

 

Mike/Red's rods will keep fishing at the point I have to grab my surf rod.  Now to be the devil's advocate for guys fishing the exocett and the opal rods: I fished 65 days in 2018 and 52 of those trips were planned fly fishing trips.  Only 2 trips out 52 in the entire season did I run into conditions so bad I had to switch to spinning gear due to weather.  So, in my opinion, the Beluah 9/10 Opal or Exocett Surf 10WT is a great rod for 96.15% of days you will actually go striper fishing as an avid angler.

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32 mins ago, titleguy said:

I have the Opal 9/10 beach rod and love it.  My current set up is a 500 grain third coast intermediate Skagit head ( 22' I think) with the rio heavy MOW tips.  It performs very well with bigger flies and can chuck some line.  I also fish crab flies on a 30 foot T17 head with no issues at all.  In terms of fighting fish, I did land prehistoric by-catch this summer that was around 5' and 75 lbs...

I haven't held one myself so it's an educated guess but I would say that rod is still less powerful than the THers I have seen work very well out front. 

 

Pre-historic you say? Don't leave us hanging, please do tell!

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Graveyard,

   You beat me to the post.  I don't have the experience of you and certainly not Mike and others but if the OP is looking to get into something of an upgrade over SH for short money then Beluah TH rods seem like a step in the right direction.  I am working with a build I did on a R Meiser 11' 5/6/7 blank and for me it definitely throws farther then my 9wt SH. I'm using a 450 skagit line.  I plan on a new build on the next size up which is rated for 550gr at the same length.  The blanks are $300 and with nice parts ends up being about a $375 build.  Certainly not cheap but not crazy either.

I always bring a spinning rod.....

Edited by qecfly

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Temple Fork TiCr 12x12 (12', 12 wt) is able to handle ~510g (+/- 50g) overhead, so an Outbound 11wt or 12wt.  Discontinued model, and no longer covered under TFO's warranty.  IM-6 plus tougher TiCr (titanium/chromium) coating.  12' and don't need to cut the tip but you probably could cut it down another 3-6".  Found one for $145 listed as "New Old Stock" awhile back.  Might be hard to find at this low price but IMO this is the best cheap option above ~11'.  

 

Most 9/10 spey rods (12.5' to 14 ft) that can handle 660g Skagit can overhead cast an 11 or 12 wt Outbound short  line (30' head) or Skagit intermediate 480g head (22') plus medium 8-10 ft tip (so a total load of around 530g to 580g).  The trick is to find a model with a stiffer tip and rapid tip recovery.   The Echo2 9wt scandi rod (actually rated 9/10) can handle ~500g overhead and the rod is 12'6" so 1.5' longer than the similarly rated Beulah 9/10 surf.  Around $225 used.  I believe that Echo also has newer models of TH rods out that are inexpensive and powerful (around $249) if not ideal.  Echo's warranty will generally apply. While not specifically designed for THOH (unlike the TFO 12x12 which was), these rods can get you started out until you decide you are more serious or want to spend more $$$.

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