ryc72

Favorite two handed surf rod...

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Rather than derail my own thread and read through 80 pages of an older thread of which I am still going through. What are your favorite two handed surf rods for low wind days and for high wind days?  Length of rod. Type of action. Head type, grain weight, length, float or sink for lines.  Any out there that folks like that are commercially available?  

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I've got 3 that I've been using, and a Cabela's cheap two-handed rod that I bought to see if this was something I wanted to do.

   I have a 12' 12wt rod that was built by Angler's Roost that is pretty light and has more of a light action. I like this rod when it's not very windy and the fish are on the smaller size (but it has handled fish to about 33' just fine). I've got a couple of 12wt lines, an intermediate and a floating, both supposedly Airflo but bought from a distributor in England that sold them in little plastic envelopes rather than in a box. They're a little stiff, but do well enough. I recently cast a Wulff Triangle Taper 105' 12wt line and the rod really liked it. I haven't fished that line yet, but it'll come out in early spring. That rod'll throw good sized Bob's Bangers, but going into the wind is tough. 

   I've also got a CND Oceana 11'1" 11/12wt. An 11wt line would be a bit light for this one. It's a bit beefier than the Angler's Roost, and really likes a 500-550gr line. I use a 13wt Rio floating shooting head on it that is no longer sold. I also use a 500gr Intermediate Rio Leviathan line, I think it's 100'. I recently tried a (I think) 30' length of T17, which I believe is 510gr, and that line really flew. That'd be great for windier days and deeper/faster water.

   My third rod that I've been using is a Loop XACT 8136 MF Spey rod. It came from the factory as a 13'6" rod rated as Medium Fast and for a #8 rod (Spey designation). I took a foot off the tip and it casts that 500gr Leviathan line pretty nicely. It's not quite as stiff and the CND, but it dumps that line with out problem. If conditions were pretty windy I'd probably go with the CND, but I've really been enjoying that Loop, as well.  I think it was a foot I cut off, I'll measure it later and get back to you on that. I haven't gotten anything bigger than 24 or 26" on it yet. 

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Oh, in light of discussions some other threads discussing rods I should add that most  of my fishing is on the north shore of Long Island Sound, so surf isn’t an issue unless we have a good wind. 

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The Opal Surf is an absolute cannon. I fish mostly the CA coast which is fairly light compared to the East Coast. I did fish it in a storm in CA and had no problems with getting it out there. It is heavy rod but prefer it to switch rods. Others here will suggest carp rods but I have not tried them as of yet. I am coming around to thinking that rod/reel and line balance is more important then a particular rod. 

 

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All of the commercially available TH rods I've handled have shown themselves to be spey rods. Switch rods even worse. You wouldn't surf fish typical NE conditions with an ultralight trout rod, would you?

 

I'd sooner take a 10wt from any company than any commercially available TH including the pandion, or any 10wt spey rod available.

 

If you want a rod that can deliver all the advantages a proper TH rod has in saltwater shore based fly fishing, you have to go custom. Lots of solutions there now thanks to a lot of experimentation by members here, some of them actually very affordable. 

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After 2 years on this 2H overhead adventure casting a 14 ft rod and 15 different types of fly lines and talking to Mike O and you way back then ,you’re saying I will hit a brick wall purchasing a commercial rod trying to upgrade for overhead casting. 

The rod I’m using now I think I’ve achieved maximum distance. It is a Orvis Clearwater 14 foot nine weight. The old green color before the new Clearwater rod became available. 

I tried upgrading to new Clearwater rod 11 ft and 14 ft  The 14 ft thinking I could achieve more distance. The 11 ft just curious. 
The same day I receive them I return them to Orvis. Just to soft.
See you are right.

The 11 ft felt like I was missing something casting it. 

Like maybe 3 feet. Both rods way to soft. Completely different than casting a 14 foot rod


I was thinking of purchasing your rod that you had in BST but I’ve never built a rod and I’m not about to start now. I’m thinking of what to do next. 

Test casting  a 2 H fly rod is tough 

Road trip to Bears Den is not gonna happen. 

I can’t do to another company what I did to Orvis  by returning them.

I was looking at the Opal and the Thomas and Thomas rods but they are 11 foot and I don’t think I can do with an 11 ft rod  what  I am doing with my 14 ft  rod so I would have to sacrifice. 
I know the fish are in front of you. 
I’ll figure something out. Lol

Just hope I don’t break the rod I have now. But you never know. 
 

 

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Posted (edited)

Reel em in

 

Its possible I can help. It just costs silly money to keep buying  what amounts to spey rods which are never going to give you what you are seeking.

I will send you a PM with an email address.

 

Mikey

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Posted (edited)

Ful Disclosure, I'm tremendously biased as I have very little TH experience prior to my purchase of Mike Oliver's TH blanks but having attended one of Mikes TH casting days at the Cape and now having used Mike's designs for the last 4+ years, including watching my spring compatriots all using Mike's TH rods,  I can't imagine a better performing TH'der that's commercially available.  Four other "sports" I fish with at the Cape, some who were TH flycasters originally have now moved over to rods either made by Mike or banks supplied by Mike. Its obvious why.   We're talking the Cape where the wind is always a factor.   More disclosure Mike is a good friend but my opinion is independent of that friendship. 

 

About a year ago I won a Hardy Zephrus 13`6" Two Hander at a Bear's Den raffle designated as an 8 / 9 weight for spay or over hand casting.   Very nice rod, thought the grip is too small in diameter for my liking.  Would be great for backwater scenarios with little wind.  Still has the cellophane on the handle.  Just going through the OH casting motion in the yard told me this rod had nowhere the backbone to cast in Cape onshore winds.  Maybe one day I'll take up spey casting, the closet for this rod otherwise.

 

This winter I'm  building two additional MO TH rods, a 12' 9"  Mark I and Mark II. Hoping to get my son TH`ing when he's home from Seattle this spring. 

 

Merry Christmas All !!

HT

 

 

Edited by HillTop

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Posted (edited)

From an elevated position or steep beach (no wading possible):  Diawa Ardito 11ft medium converted to surf spin/fly combo rod.  Plugs to 2 3/4 oz.  Fly: 450 to 480g Skagit intermediate with 10-12ft, 120g to 140g tips.  So, in single hand terms - apprx. 570 to 620g overhead.  This is the "short stix" of two hand rods.  5 piece for international travel.  Stiff and powerful, and also cheap to convert with nothing more than a Fuji metal reel seat.

 

For back bay or light surf:  Ross Reach 11' 9" 7wt switch/short spey rod, with Beulah 375g or 400g Elixir Scandi (or Sci Anglers UST Scandi) and 10-12ft poly tips (float, int, sink). Can also handle a 9wt Outbound or a standard 10wt striper line, or 10 or 11wt weight forward intermediate.

 

I don't use two hand rods much for heavy surf in real high winds, preferring to use spinning and metals or plugs.   I might try the TFO TiCr 12x12 with 33ft of T-14 and an Airflo running line. or a 12wt Airflo Tactical shooting head (465g, 35ft).  That or the Ardito, above.  If or when I come East again I'd likely bring both and get smoked by Mike O and RedGreen.

 

In tropical situations, I'd take along the Beulah 9/10wt surf, for use with a 12wt Outbound Short or ~11-13wt Tarpon lines.  The rod can handle big jacks and roosterfish better than a longer rod. I'd bring the Ardito as back up though.  So, overall - the Ardito.

Edited by Killiefish

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Posted (edited)

Favorite Switch Rod ... for Surf / bigger Saltwater gamefish (Stripers / Big Blues) ... a custom built Sage Z Axis 11 foot 8wt (8110-4). It's standard fly line 10 / 11wt ... or lines around 450 grain. 

 

Spring time Shad & Schooligans  ... Hardy Demon Switch 10.5 foot 4/5 wt. which handles standard 6/7 wt. / 250 grain WF fly lines. These new Hardy rods are really nice Switch rods to use in a single hand fashion.

 

But I still like and will use 10 foot single hand rods.

Edited by KironaFly
add some wording

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On 12/22/2020 at 11:56 PM, Killiefish said:

From an elevated position or steep beach (no wading possible):  Diawa Ardito 11ft medium converted to surf spin/fly combo rod.  Plugs to 2 3/4 oz.  Fly: 450 to 480g Skagit intermediate with 10-12ft, 120g to 140g tips.  So, in single hand terms - apprx. 570 to 620g overhead.  This is the "short stix" of two hand rods.  5 piece for international travel.  Stiff and powerful, and also cheap to convert with nothing more than a Fuji metal reel seat.

 

For back bay or light surf:  Ross Reach 11' 9" 7wt switch/short spey rod, with Beulah 375g or 400g Elixir Scandi (or Sci Anglers UST Scandi) and 10-12ft poly tips (float, int, sink). Can also handle a 9wt Outbound or a standard 10wt striper line, or 10 or 11wt weight forward intermediate.

 

I don't use two hand rods much for heavy surf in real high winds, preferring to use spinning and metals or plugs.   I might try the TFO TiCr 12x12 with 33ft of T-14 and an Airflo running line. or a 12wt Airflo Tactical shooting head (465g, 35ft).  That or the Ardito, above.  If or when I come East again I'd likely bring both and get smoked by Mike O and RedGreen.

 

In tropical situations, I'd take along the Beulah 9/10wt surf, for use with a 12wt Outbound Short or ~11-13wt Tarpon lines.  The rod can handle big jacks and roosterfish better than a longer rod. I'd bring the Ardito as back up though.  So, overall - the Ardito.

I’ve got that ardito in I think 11’ Surf Spinning. I bought it on a whim to have a trunkable laid back surf pack and outfit handy if I wanted to go light feeding in the upper DE bay and C&D canal. I didn’t want anything good to use just handy and I have my rigs and tackle in a Orvis backpack for this. Got it all set up and never have used it once. It sits hanging on a hook in my garage. Rod seemed decent enough for its low price. Hardware looked iffy as did the reel seat. 

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On 23/12/2020 at 4:56 AM, Killiefish said:

From an elevated position or steep beach (no wading possible):  Diawa Ardito 11ft medium converted to surf spin/fly combo rod.  Plugs to 2 3/4 oz.  Fly: 450 to 480g Skagit intermediate with 10-12ft, 120g to 140g tips.  So, in single hand terms - apprx. 570 to 620g overhead.  This is the "short stix" of two hand rods.  5 piece for international travel.  Stiff and powerful, and also cheap to convert with nothing more than a Fuji metal reel seat.

 

For back bay or light surf:  Ross Reach 11' 9" 7wt switch/short spey rod, with Beulah 375g or 400g Elixir Scandi (or Sci Anglers UST Scandi) and 10-12ft poly tips (float, int, sink). Can also handle a 9wt Outbound or a standard 10wt striper line, or 10 or 11wt weight forward intermediate.

 

I don't use two hand rods much for heavy surf in real high winds, preferring to use spinning and metals or plugs.   I might try the TFO TiCr 12x12 with 33ft of T-14 and an Airflo running line. or a 12wt Airflo Tactical shooting head (465g, 35ft).  That or the Ardito, above.  If or when I come East again I'd likely bring both and get smoked by Mike O and RedGreen.

 

In tropical situations, I'd take along the Beulah 9/10wt surf, for use with a 12wt Outbound Short or ~11-13wt Tarpon lines.  The rod can handle big jacks and roosterfish better than a longer rod. I'd bring the Ardito as back up though.  So, overall - the Ardito.

No you would not get smoked at all. You are welcome to use our kit.

 

Sometimes we cast micro short to.

 

mike

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One from left field: Douglas DXF 11'6" 8 weight.

 

This is the first overhead casting rod I've owned, but it took about one cast to see its true quality. Throws 500 grains of T17 like a cannon.

Edited by changed

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