xjclint

Budget TH Beach Rod

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I think many of us overestimate wind strength. A 12 mph head wind is a handful. 20 to 25 mph and almost no fly guys are going to be fishing. 20 mph is a force 6 and sea conditions will be poor and small boat advisories will be posted.

There are plenty of TH rods that will let you fish in the sort of conditions that most are happy to fish in with a fly rod.

It depends on where you are fishing and what your expectations are.

 

If you want full on open surf beach then truth is most TH rods fall short as they lack sufficient power to cope. It is that brutally simple. Equally brutal is the reality that very few guys want to fish Surf with fly rods.. So most don’t need a powerful TH stick. The mistake that quite a few guys have made is to think that a TH is the silver bullet when they are forced off the beach fishing a single hand rod. I made the same mistake some 12 years ago. It was utterly frustrating.

At that time there was a small group,of enthusiasts already established but interest by named Fishers soon disappeared  and they soon faded away and I wonder if it is because they shared the same frustrations and disappointments that I did in my early years. 

The drivers for me were much stronger and my stubborn streak would not allow me to just walk away. I needed to be able to fish fly in the worst of conditions as well as though normally accepted as ok for fly.

I don’t just use TH for open beach I use them in many situations and for various reasons.

For me if my TH can’t cope with more than my SH 10 wt then I feel myself asking why I am using it.

 

It is not just about the rod it is also about the rest of your gear. The combination of a wet suit and TH rod can allow you to fish in ways not possible with waders and SH rods.

Lets be honest how many fly guys do you see wearing wet suits.. It does not fit at all well with the territory.

 

The essential message is manage expectations when trying TH for the first time. They are not a quick fix. Not by a long chalk.

 

Mike

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41 mins ago, crunch said:

On ebay there is TFO Pandion 13'3" 8wt for $310 and cutting its tip should improve as well.

 

Esa

It should Esa. I think they do a 9 wt version and that would be my choice over the 8 wt any day of the week for a general purpose TH for the salt. My bias is for the conditions typically found in the NE of the USA.

 

Mike

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39 mins ago, RedGreen said:

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!

Atlantic Sturgeon.  Ate an olive and purple seaducer....  Quite a tussel.  I switched from a Loop Goran Anderson scandi rod 9/10 to the Opal and find it much more pleasant to cast with the same line set up.   With the lazer line for running line and the intermediate head, I can chuck some line, even into some serious wind.

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1 hour ago, titleguy said:

I have the Opal 9/10 beach rod land ove 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've got the same rod with RIO OBS 12 weight and I have a blast. Never casted anything that powerful. Way more than a SH 12 weight...And I'm a beginner TH caster...

It's light, easy to maneuver, and has some backbone to it...Can't wait to catch fish on it in a couple of weeks...

I don't flyfish much in 25 mph headwinds...I'm not sick enough. To me fishing has to remain an enjoyable experience...

^..^

 

Edited by snapper1

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Killie

 

It is much easier to find low cost SH rods that perform close to very expensive ones . You can start out with a low end SH rod try the salt and not be dissapointed. 

 

My own personal,experience with TH was that the rods I started with did not get me started in the way that was encouraging. In fact The temptation was to Jack it in. But to calibrate I was seeking a TH that exceeded the performance significantly over my SH 10 wts and I was wanting to fish open surf beaches that had both wind and surf.

 

It is about what you expect and what you wish to do. The issues surface when the going gets tough and you can’t undertand why your TH is not doing what you hoped it would.

Rods with firmer tips I agree help with performance . Fast action TH rods I don’t like much at all.

 

If you don’t wish to fish open surf when its choppy then a great many TH rods will,work fine.

 

If you seek a general purpose TH then my suggestion is that the experience will be enhanced if it can easily cast 550 grains with power left in reserve.

 

Most Guys look to a TH to increase capability so the yard stick is the TH in use on a given day should have more than a SH or its pointless.

 

We have chewed over lower cost solutions  many times on other TH threads for powerful,OH casting rods. Carp rods and blanks and some spinning are places to look. 

If your new it’s tricky as you have no base line to work from.

 

Perseverance is often a requisite . Nothing wrong with that.

 

Mike

 

 

 

 

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Snapper1

 

I don’t see any one fishing in 25 MPH winds with a fly rod on the Striper coast from shore.

 

I have seen posts on SOL by guys claiming to fly fish in 40 MPH winds but they are dillusional.

 

Some of is do enjoy fishing  marginal ,conditions, as well we enjoy the challenge . But of course it is not for the majority.

 

Mike

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TGS yes you have it exactly right. A TH does not need to be a pig sticker to do well in peaceful weather, but in peaceful weather single handed rods work just fine unless you want to bomb to the horizon all day long. But you understand the concept of overloading a rod while casting. Imagine hanging 700 grains off your 10wt exocett. That's what guys are doing throwing 550 on rods rated 6/7/8wts. Load way down to the butt and deliver but only in calm weather. Once the wind kicks up it's game over.

 

I use my powerful rods whenever I use a TH and still find them a pleasure to use in calm weather. But they have the guts to keep performing when the ocean decides it wants you gone and that's the huge advantage. Versatility and fortitude. They just keep you in the game regardless of what the weather is doing, which is something you can't say about single handed rods.

 

You know all this well as you actually go and fish out front as well as the back bays unlike most. Lots of guys pack it in or only fish in lighter winds which to me I just cannot understand as it's the rougher weather that our stripers like so much. My best days of fishing have been when I've had strong winds, at least fully overcast skies and some rain.

 

Killie I would be very very surprised if Echo had any TH rods which can handle out front weather. I stress out front weather as being very different than back bays and blue bird days. When the wind and surf aren't kicking any TH will do the job. I handled the Echo King 10wt which is rated to handle an 800 grain skagit head and this was not as powerful as my first TH I built this time last year which simply didn't cut it either. To my knowledge this is their most powerful TH rod. So how could the others work?

 

If I wanted a production rod for calm weather, I'd look at the TFO pandion 9wt. A good friend of mine has one and in calm weather it is a treat to use. It is slightly more powerful than the older 9wt TCR which was a brute of a spey rod but the TFO is 13'9". Long enough to actually really take advantage of the TH platform over these short 11' rods which I would never own. It can overhead cast and spey cast in winds probably up to what TGS uses his 10wt for. So for calm and mild weather it will serve very well. Still I would not throw more than 500 overhead with this rod. I would go around 600 for spey casts.

 

I still prefer a very powerful rod. I just see no reason not to have one, save perhaps what the market has.

 

Agree with everything you've said Mike. You are the one who pioneered so much of this and fleshed it all out for us.

 

Lots of talk on wind speed but how many fly fishers have ever carried or used a wind speedometer?

 

Maybe I'll bring one to the cape this spring and figure it out for myself where the absolute limits are.

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1 hour ago, xjclint said:

Thanks for the info. Next steps are a cheap carp rod and some smaller guides for weight. Might be fine for $60.

xjclint personally I would not go with the mad dragon. You don't want fiberglass in one of these rods. You really want a full carbon blank.

 

Google big carp tackle and look at what they have. The Fox Warrior S would be a much better choice than the diawa mad dragon. Compared to most fly gear $60 for a rod is buttons. If I wanted to give one a go I'd opt for something along the lines of the Horizon X3. You'll get what you pay for.

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Red/Green,

You guys measured my Beulah 9/10 last fall on the Cape, do you remember what the numbers were? The 9/10 is OK with a 550 grain but I just don't how the rod feels like a wet noodle to me, its OK for a back bay rod but leave in the car when I'm fishing out front.

 

Doug

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5 hours ago, RedGreen said:

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. 

That may be the case but you are talking about conditions that few people fish in and were not mentioned by the OP.  To “avoid something like the plague” it would imply the product is just not fit for purpose.  Clearly that’s not the case.   Fishing in the conditions you are may very well push the boundaries of mass produced gear but that’s something the majority of people are not in need of. 

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1 hour ago, RedGreen said:

TGS yes you have it exactly right. A TH does not need to be a pig sticker to do well in peaceful weather, but in peaceful weather single handed rods work just fine unless you want to bomb to the horizon all day long. But you understand the concept of overloading a rod while casting. Imagine hanging 700 grains off your 10wt exocett. That's what guys are doing throwing 550 on rods rated 6/7/8wts. Load way down to the butt and deliver but only in calm weather. Once the wind kicks up it's game over.

 

I use my powerful rods whenever I use a TH and still find them a pleasure to use in calm weather. But they have the guts to keep performing when the ocean decides it wants you gone and that's the huge advantage. Versatility and fortitude. They just keep you in the game regardless of what the weather is doing, which is something you can't say about single handed rods.

 

You know all this well as you actually go and fish out front as well as the back bays unlike most. Lots of guys pack it in or only fish in lighter winds which to me I just cannot understand as it's the rougher weather that our stripers like so much. My best days of fishing have been when I've had strong winds, at least fully overcast skies and some rain.

 

Killie I would be very very surprised if Echo had any TH rods which can handle out front weather. I stress out front weather as being very different than back bays and blue bird days. When the wind and surf aren't kicking any TH will do the job. I handled the Echo King 10wt which is rated to handle an 800 grain skagit head and this was not as powerful as my first TH I built this time last year which simply didn't cut it either. To my knowledge this is their most powerful TH rod. So how could the others work?

 

If I wanted a production rod for calm weather, I'd look at the TFO pandion 9wt. A good friend of mine has one and in calm weather it is a treat to use. It is slightly more powerful than the older 9wt TCR which was a brute of a spey rod but the TFO is 13'9". Long enough to actually really take advantage of the TH platform over these short 11' rods which I would never own. It can overhead cast and spey cast in winds probably up to what TGS uses his 10wt for. So for calm and mild weather it will serve very well. Still I would not throw more than 500 overhead with this rod. I would go around 600 for spey casts.

 

I still prefer a very powerful rod. I just see no reason not to have one, save perhaps what the market has.

 

Agree with everything you've said Mike. You are the one who pioneered so much of this and fleshed it all out for us.

 

Lots of talk on wind speed but how many fly fishers have ever carried or used a wind speedometer?

 

Maybe I'll bring one to the cape this spring and figure it out for myself where the absolute limits are.

 

Ha Chris,  Been there done that. 

 

When Mike referenced fishing the beach in 15mph winds in one of these posts it was probably the day I pulled my meter out for a measurement as the wind, for the most part, was averaging 15 mph.  Some larger gusts at times less, but pretty much 15. Even with the TH if you weren't, (or couldn't), use the wind to your advantage it was a real bear to cast in.   Mike, with his wealth of experience, did much better than I did but I suspect that even the best can't cast more then 30' in a true 25 mph wind.  This is in my bag of tricks and will probably bring it along again this spring.  The nice thing about a 15 mph wind is it makes the Kelly Kettle scream (once you get it lit  :) ). 

 

HT

 

windmeter.jpg.19fec11e0be1159696c14d66d83bed5d.jpg

 

 

Edited by HillTop

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One trip I put fly gear away last October during start of a big storm and had my firsy truly amazing big surf big fish night.  It was dangerous I did not try to take pictures as I did not want to get knocked off my feet (which still happend a few times anyways).  I got four fish in the 40" class (referenced quickly to rod section during release) and a dozen 30-35" fish.  That night is still burned in my head but its hard ro imagine getting enough distnace with a fly rod in that serious wind to cast to where fish were.  Would not want to get closer as where I was standing was not even totally safe.  Lot to work on and maybe one year I will repeat it with fly gear,  but I think that is a few years away.  I am going to focus on figuring out Surfcasting out front in rough conditions once I get that dialed in then will reattack with fly gear.  All other conditions or terrain I am attack with fly gear and my short TH rods.  Cant wait for May!!!

 

@RedGreen your quickest path to big bass is not out front its at inlets with good structure and current.  Getting down with a fly is a different challenge but an easier puzzle to solve for me that big surf with a fly.  A rod designed for out front will give you serious power to land any trophy fish if you hook them.  Just food for thought for you next visit to the Cape

 

 

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