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Budget TH Beach Rod

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@Killiefish you will find everyone's reasons for gravitating to TH differs.  My main purpose is the ability to throw big flies easily (no shoulder pain) and further than I could with a SH rod.  To @RedGreen point I am using a heavy head on an 11' rod to make this endeavor that much easier on me.  

 

I have experienced what he and @Mike Oliver are saying where the strong head wind ends up limiting my rods ability to cast with it being over lined and not having enough power to beat the head wind.  However, by playing angles with my postion and getting wind at an angle I am usually still able to keep fishing and do fine.  Sometimes I may have to move to a different piece of the structure.  If its really bad I may move to a different location.  

 

Also where I fish headwinds for extended periods onto my beaches makes it too weedy to effectively fish even if I could make the fly casts.  I have tried throwing completely weedless heavy soft plastic on spin gear and was also unable to fish due to weed build up.  So I am not incentivized to fish beaches in strong onshore winds except right at the begining of the storm (first four hours).  I have multiple spots where each wind direction creats ideal conditions without having to fight a straight on head wind the whole trip or too much weeds in water.

 

So my point is as local angler with a deep list of potential locations and a knowledge on what winds make them unfishable I dont feel limited at all with my choice of gear.  I fish pretty much all weather except lightning.  When it gets super rough I will switch to spinning gear at a certain point because I actually dont want to wade for safety and still reach structure (120-160' casts) which I dont think I could reach with any fly rod let alone in strong wind. I will use loaded plugs that cast insane distances in normal conditions to get my need wind range and safely fish super rough surf.  These lures and with my surf set up I can cast roughly 2/3 the way across the Canal but only get half that range in bad wind. So I may at some point invest in one of the cannons TH Rods.  But I have spent more than enough money getting the 10 and 12 weight T&T rods so no more rod purchases for a few years.

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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8 hours ago, Killiefish said:

So what you are saying Esa is that if it is calm or there is a tailwind, those are the only situations where a longer TH rod really excels???  In strong headwinds you argue there is little or no advantage to a longer rod? 

 

Re: your words "unless line head is too short" are not completely clear to me.  It is generally true that with a shorter rod we are using shorter head lines for more convenient fishing, but 30-35' ft (for a 10-11 ft rod) vs 35-38' (for a 12-13+' rod) is there really that much difference due to head length?  I can't see it.   I fish heads from 28' to 38' on my short two hand rods anyway. With 38' heads sometimes 3-5 ft or so of the rear head is inside the guides until the first backcast.

 

I can see the argument about the height of the rod tip allowing for a longer hang time of the loop in the air when there is no or little wind from the front, or a tailwind -- that part makes sense.  You also argue that you can speed up the line by using a narrower hand spacing.  How narrow?

 

The logic seems opposite of what people are saying that it is necessary to use a longer rod in serious headwinds.  Confusing...to say the least.  I wonder if that's one main reason some manufacturers (T&T, Beulah) are still making circa 11' beach rods; maybe it's not that they aren't aware of the benefits of a longer rod in a calm wind or tail wind but that they think these two conditions are less likely to occur on an open beach.

Yes K, and when longer line head is cast which longer rod makes possible. 

 

Shorter rod alone does not do much but when also heavier line is cast then it does!

 

Line head length has significant effect to cast length but there also come limit to fly size.

 

I use very narrow hand spacing when I DH cast 10ft rod. Perhaps it is only 2/3 what I use with 15ft rod so the ratio is the same. I like how easy it is to cast narrow and fast line loop using short rod. I can cast narrow line loop using long rod too but I can not full power casting stroke but I am working on it. 

 

My principle has been many years that I cast heavy enough line for my biggest salt water flyes and use just long enough rod that I achieve easy 90...100 ft when it is calm. Now I have a 10ft DH rod and 750...800gr lines and it quarantees that when wing gets nasty the performance does not drop too much. Mike and Red will beat me when no wind with their 550gr lines and longer rods but when casting to strong head wind I will win! 

 

I also have a 15ft rod for Spey casting practise which I today used for small fly fishing as well when I had mangroves close behind and it was enjoyable to shoot line which did require up to 20 three feet long line strips :) 

 

Esa

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Esa

 

I did not get involved with TH rods  to cast in calm conditions. I did so to stay in the game when the wind got up.

 

I don’t have to stay with 530. I can go to at least 650 and one stick around 700 plus but the downside to this rod is that it is 14 feet long and I would agree with you that is not an ideal length if you are at the limits of doable because of wind.

 

There are practical limits. I think I have found them.  When we are near those limits and some are individual self imposed ones and the other is the real one then a shorter TH and for me that means 11 feet and 700 to 800 grains would be a sensible choice.

In those marginal conditions no one is going to be casting more than the head of the fly line at best. A 40 foot cast would be world class.

When the wind is head on and over 15 MPH it is in reality extremely tough. You do here of guys talking 20 mph but I have never seen anyone fly casting from a beach into a head wind of that strength. 

You do here it at the top of the beach or in the bar.

 

 

Mike

 

 

Edited by Mike Oliver
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Posted (edited) · Report post

22 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Esa

 

I did not get involved with TH rods  to cast in calm conditions. I did so to stay in the game when the wind got up.

 

I don’t have to stay with 530. I can go to at least 650 and one stick around 700 plus.

 

There are practical limits. I think I-have found them.  

 

Mike

 

 

Mike I saw those videos.  I would really have to change my risk tolerance and get a wetsuit to do what you are doing.  I agree your rods and the wetsuit are the only way a fly guy can stay in the game in those conditions.  My biggest problem is the two areas I have found in rough surf that produce big fish near me have very dangerous rock bluffs that the current sweeps towards.  Last October even staying way back in a "safe area" a few big waves caught me off guard in the pitch black and knocked me down.  I fear that if I had been further out I might get caught in that sweep current and into a potentially life-threatening situation so I hung way back with the surf rod and pounded casts out with 4-5 oz loaded plugs and savage sandeel jigs.  I would love to be able to get at those big fish with my fly rod, but having a family now my risk profile has really changed compared to my twenties.  This season I am going to explore some of the more open beaches that have good looking structure, but no cliffs or bluffs to get pinned against.  These new areas have a lower risk profile and if they start producing big fish I may re-evaluate trying to fly fish in the heavy surf again.  

 

One thing I found last year was some of my inlets also produce excellently during these big storms, but due to the nature of how an inlet is formed, I can always find a spot to make the fly fishing work in the bad weather.  In discovering that it has kept me from chasing the big surf bass consistently as there can be a great bite in a location that is easier to make fly casting work.  The difficulty at the inlet is during big storms you have to be scraping the bottom to hook up which is its own difficult challenge with fly gear.  That said the only time in my life other than the Canal I have caught two 40 inch fish in the same trip was during my October 2018 heavy surf trips with the spinning gear.  So it is clearly a great scenario to produce trophy class fish so I understand the appeal of trying to tackle it with fly gear.

Edited by The Graveyard Shift

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TGS

 

My ability to push the envelope has been reduced considerably this past five years as I age.

I certainly would not put myself in a situation which I knew for sure could have a very bad outcome. What you describe with a strong sweep and rocks is a no no for me to.

The wet suit allows me to access small rocks which are not doable in waders. If you get washed off it’s no big deal you fight your way back on again. It is not for everyone but to me that is fun. The Spin guys showed me the ropes in Montauk a few moons ago now. So I reasoned  if you can do this with a spin rod why not a fly rod and then why not a TH to make it even more doable.

My goal was to allow me to dictate where I fished rather then prevailing conditions. Of course there are limits but they got reduced just a little bit.

like yourself though where I have choices I am not so perverse that I chose the most difficult. My goal is to catch fish.

Confession time the appeal of the surf was not the possibility of big Stripers but the surf itself and the physical and technical challenge it poses to Fly Fishers.

I would not focus my fishing effort on open surf beaches if looking for Trophy fish. I have seen on accasions in Montauk huge  fish in the waves but key word is accasionally. My UK Bass fishing days strongly influenced my preferences for the surf which was the traditional,approach 45 years ago with bait.

 

You have peaked my interest greatly to fish more up on the inside. I need to learn how to,tye those huge flies.

 

I have been side by side with my spin fishing mates who were throwing very large plugs and they bailed decent fish. I could not get a single take even when I moved 100 yards away from them. My normal 2/0 Deceivers were of absolutely no interest to the Bass. Bass were feeding all around me in the dark and it drove me nuts. I did not have the solution. Which is good as it keeps us coming back.

 

Mike

 

 

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I think that Mike just likes playing in the suds :) Experience with UK bass has meant that while there can be larger fish in the surf they are mostly schoolies. Just about all my larger fish have come to crab baits fished in very rocky and weedy terrain or live baits fished at night very close to the shore. Very similar fish in feeding habits and location and I have caught larger UK bass than my best striper but that is down to me fishing in the wrong places at the wrong times always a problem for visiting anglers. Big baits catch big bass...usually.

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