young

Douglas Sky 9904

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Young:  See if there's a fly fishing club in your area.  Many of them hold casting clinics.  Some will have individuals who will take new fly fishers to the local casting pond.  (You might have to wait a little while to do that where you live). Some have members who want to get rid of old rods in their garage. Mike O's advice spot on.  

add edit:  Caveat:  There's good fly clubs, and not so good fly clubs.  

Edited by bmac

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On 1/10/2022 at 6:43 AM, young said:

"... I just wanted to go there and wiggle rods."

I would caution you about using a "wiggle test" to make your decision.  First, the actual behavior of a rod under load and in actual casting situations is poorly predicted by a "wiggle" or even a "wobble" in a store.   There is an in store test that is more reliable but it is not a "wiggle test" - more of a rapid sharp deflection and tip recovery observation. Still not a perfectly reliable test.   Second, my guess is that you probably don't know what your own preferences are vis a vis rod "action" or other performance attributes, other than perhaps what you have been told, or read in a review somewhere. These reviews are often biased, or based on a specific line choice.  Third, the notion of a "fast" rod may not be clear in your mind and might be equated with "stiff" which could be an incorrect assumption. These are typical rookie mistakes that are avoidable.  You should get the most reliable input from your own experience casting a few different rods, not ask other people what rods are most like "rod X" but cheaper, when you don't even know if "rod X" is right for you.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Killiefish.

 

Is speaking a great many words of wisdom.

 

Problem is one all of us were faced with at the beginning.

 

A good way to find out before you buy is to have a lesson. But it needs to be a lesson with a teacher who can bring along a number of rods for you to try out. As a caveat you might like an action on day one which you will hate quite soon. I have this theory that a great many guys are impressed with very easy flexing rods at the start as they can feel them bend. Big big mistake,

 

Even then reality is you are in Still a position of knowing not a great deal. A first rod to a huge degrees is always going to be a leap of faith.

 

Bears Den in fly shop terms is a good place to begin. Suggest you fix up a visit so they can plan to give you enough time. They have an indoor casting court. I would put my faith in Scott any day of the week.

 

I have put myself in your position. So as I see it there are pretty safe bets out there Orvis being in my list. There will be a rod in their range in your budget that will work. Pretty sure Sage have a salt water rod around the $500 mark that will work well.

 

In my mind there is totally no doubt that for salt water irrespective of preferences which may show up eventually that the vast majority of people are best served with fast action rod. Rods in the Orvis offerings are not going to be nasty stiff sticks. They will be a safe start and you may wish as time goes by  to stay with them. Rods like the Clear Water and Recon. If warranty is a big deal for you then they have one. 
 9 or 10 wt. That’s a tough one but a good 10 will be ideal for most situations.

You can learn to cast on a 9 or 10 wt just as easily and in some respects it is way better to learn on them than the 6 wt so often favoured by casting teachers. I now teach and for sure for the fresh water guys the 6 is a nice weight.

Best to get real from the start  for salt water. We are humans and we are not weak pathetic creatures. No one and I repeat no one should ever be afraid of a 9 or 10 wt.

Not sure why you are trying to use the Douglas rod as a reference.

As Killie said there is a huge difference between fast and stiff although to be fair  the two tend to be synonymous. It is a bit early to get into the differences between rod action and power. Most of us do not understand it. To be fair it is 100% not essential to. On today’s market with maybe the exception of some rods from TFO most rod makers will be selling for salt water fast action rods.

It is no big deal although the marketing departments even after all these years would try to have us believe it.

The rod is no magic wand it is a dumb stick and can only respond to the input we put into it. Crap goes in crap comes out. No rod is forgiving. No rod can produce tight loops on its own and none totally none can cover up for poor timing. We control the timing of a cast and only us. Yet these claims and beliefs by Fishers even are still with us.

Fly fishing is not complicated it is quite simple so try not to get bogged down with detail and especially rod reviews most of which have this ability to make me want to vomit in particular the so called shoot out variety.

Enjoy the journey with no end. 
 

mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Going from your other thread and assuming a kayak.

 

I am in a different fishery and inshore can have trees and grass to deal with, so, ymmv greatly.

 

I either take a 6 and an 8 or two 8’s. When Intake two 8’s, I take a lighter and and a chucker.  The lighter 8 is more enjoyable to cast and is almost parabolic with a fish. I like a more moderate rod in a kayak. Easier to stay hooked up and land the fish for my old arse. In a kayak you are always doing multiple things. Steering, paddling, peddling, etc. I like durable rods for that.  I don’t take an Asquith on a kayak.

 

I recently picked up a TFO TFR that Killiefish mentioned. It is not a rod that I would want to cast all day, nor is it a rod I enjoy casting. It is a tool. More of a 9wt in my opinion. Cheap! The wind has been crazy lately, but this will chuck line in the wind. First bigger fish on it was a 34” redfish. Not an Alby, but, ..

 

When practicing and starting, a rod that is enjoyable is nice (I like old glass ;) )  but the few casts you make when site casting combined with adrenaline and you don’t notice the weight. You don’t need to spend a kayak load of money when starting out. Heresy I know.

 

Now if you are blind casting all day, get the lightest stick you can!

 

Get a few lessons and practice in a low beach chair.  

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@Killiefish

@Mike Oliver
 

I very much appreciate all your words of wisdom and from others that have graciously spent time on replying on this thread.  I understand and that’s why I am getting casting lesson. 
 

I have broken a favorite jigging rod (discontinued) of mine. At the time, I did not know what I have lost. Through agony and pain from trying to find an exact replacement has thought me many aspect of a fishing rod. It has enlighten me in many ways but I agree the terms and definition to describe a rod action is never quit accurate and complete. 
 

the best way that I know to really test a rod is to fish it. I don’t have that connection. I agree, Test casting in a shop is only going to allow me to feel how the rod load and cast.
 

I called concord outfitters and they are willing to give me casting lesson when the temperature is above freezing. I explained to them that I have zero experience. I requested varying setups for test cast and they would be happy to bring out different action rods for me to cast. 
 

I hope the casting lesson will then help me narrow down my decision. I will also go to bears den and do more casting at that shop because I also want to compare the different rods that they carry. The list of fly rod manufacturers are insane. I will try and test cast as many rods as possible before picking out one. I believe no matter what I choose, I will end up with more down the road. 
 

The reason why I choose the Douglas Sky in this thread is out of the handful of rods that Natick Outdoor have at the time, the Douglas has a nice tip, fast recover and good back bone (power to lift/control a fish). I felt that (using killifish words) “the sharp deflection and rod recovery observation” that I made at the store”. Obviously I could be totally wrong but it’s a starting point.  I also like that the Douglas used Double foot K guides for the first two and then follow with single foot guides. The build of the rod would be a complete separate discussion. I will go to the rod building forum when the time comes. I find most manufacture built rods are not built for me. The negative part about the Douglas is I would not use titanium guides because mainly due to the cost. If I do narrow down and pick a rod, I prefer to hand build my first fly rod. But finding a blank during Covid might be tough. 
 

I am using my surf experience and I hope that some of it will translate/carry  over to fly fishing with rod action. I am probably wrong by doing so. But the journey has begun for me and let’s see how the ride will turn out. 

well this thread has turn out more fruitful then I expected. I was hoping for rod type feedback but the feed back I am getting is more enlighten.  Your wisdom and feedback is more helpful with what you have provided and I am glad that you are answering in the way you have. 

 

Mike, I am impressed how much you know about our shops in the state. I believe you are thousands of miles away from MA. ;) 
 

oh yes, my wish at the end of this journey is to fly fish from my kayak for false albicore. The learning curve is sharp (understatement in my case).  The threads I have started, layout a path for me. The path looks exciting like a roller coaster. 
 

Note to self, the next time I start a thread in the fly forum, I need to rethink on how I compose it. 

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4 hours ago, G8trwood said:

..."I recently picked up a TFO TFR that Killiefish mentioned. It is not a rod that I would want to cast all day, nor is it a rod I enjoy casting. It is a tool. More of a 9wt in my opinion. Cheap! The wind has been crazy lately, but this will chuck line in the wind. First bigger fish on it was a 34” redfish. Not an Alby, but, .."

LOL....This just goes to illustrate that people's preferences can vary all over the place.  I have no difficulty casting the TFR all day and prefer it over many other 8/9 wt rods for certain applications - sinking lines or shooting heads, really large flies, windy conditions (usually all three).  It's not just a tool, but in these situations it is really a superb tool. 

 

No doubt the TFR is definitely a distance in wind throwing big ugly stuff kind of rod.  It is built for that purpose.   I personally find it HIGHLY enjoyable to use but maybe I'm a masochist. 

 

Note:  the place where new fly fishermen go to get rod reviews (hosted by George Anderson) online is fond of testing all 8wt rods with a weight forward floating (usually a "bonefish" taper) line.  All of their recommendations are based on that line.  Would I use the TFR with that kind of line?   I've done so and have no problem throwing it.  But that's not where this rod excels.  If you use it only with a standard weight forward floating 8wt line you are not getting the best performance from this specific rod design.

 

 

 

 

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41 mins ago, Killiefish said:

LOL....This just goes to illustrate that people's preferences can vary all over the place.  I have no difficulty casting the TFR all day and prefer it over many other 8/9 wt rods for certain applications - sinking lines or shooting heads, really large flies, windy conditions (usually all three).  It's not just a tool, but in these situations it is really a superb tool. 

 

No doubt the TFR is definitely a distance in wind throwing big ugly stuff kind of rod.  It is built for that purpose.   I personally find it HIGHLY enjoyable to use but maybe I'm a masochist. 

 

Note:  the place where new fly fishermen go to get rod reviews (hosted by George Anderson) online is fond of testing all 8wt rods with a weight forward floating (usually a "bonefish" taper) line.  All of their recommendations are based on that line.  Would I use the TFR with that kind of line?   I've done so and have no problem throwing it.  But that's not where this rod excels.  If you use it only with a standard weight forward floating 8wt line you are not getting the best performance from this specific rod design.

 

 

 

 

I am old and cranky! ;) and agree on line, I have a mid range 9wt line and it really performs vs a true 8wt.

 

Thanks for the tip!

 

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Young,

 

I like to build my own rods to. I don’t know what you have to pay for single leg Torzite guides in the USA but in fact the single legs are not that expensive.

The titanium K guides are a bit pricey but not that bad they make you feel ill.

All my own rods have Fuji Titanium  K guides and single leg Torzite.

FWIW the K guides in a size 16 and 12  are fine for 8 to 10 wt rods. You can then go one size 8 single leg and the rest size 7 in the Torzite.

 

If in Titanium but sic inners you might want to go with size 8 ‘s after the two strippers.

 

Ok you want to make your own then one of the very best blank makers are CTS. Our very own Herb, HL on the forum sells their blanks.

My favourite is the Affinity MX in a 10 wt. The slightly quicker Affinity X is a very nice blank to. Good idea to talk to Herb.

I build on Sage blanks and CTS and like them both very much.

If you google up Guides and Blanks a UK company who can ship globally you maybe nicely surprised with their Torzite guide pricing.

For me  I love titanium as it is never going to corrode in my life time, plus it is 40% lighter than stainless steel. This gives a better feeling and faster recovery rod from flex. The Torzite centres are slightly bigger than the sic ones which means often it is possible to go down a size. Also I doubt That we will ever wear out a sic or Torzite Center in our life times.

So it costs not that much more but you only have to build your rod once.

Snakes belong back in the prehistoric period and yet they sit on rods costing more than a $1000.  Never could work this one out.

I have been coming over to the USA for 25 years to fish for Stripers in Montauk, Maine and Cape Cod so got to know some of your really good tackle shops. 
Heh with your spin background you might consider a wet suit when not in your kayaks. Especially Montauk. About the worst place for chest waders.

cheers

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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Went to cabelas after work last night. Spoke to an enthusiastic young gentlemen working at the fly section. I explained to him my situation. He was gracious enough to show me how he cast in the store down the isle! “ keep the rod between 2-10 o’clock when you are casting. (Shorting the story and simplified in all that he said)

 

I tried to cast first Orvis encounter 8’-6” 5wt (moderate action) , second TFO NXT TF 08 90 04 (moderate action) and third Orvis Clearwater 9’ 8WT (moderate to fast action) 

 

For the first two moderate rod, it took me a little while to adjust my timing (slow down my swing for moderate rod) and I was able to keep the line over my head then point the rod down to let the line go forward on the cast. 
 

when I tried the Orvis Clearwater, it was a moderate fast action rod and I didn’t have to adjust my timing to keep the line over my head. I felt comfortable with this rod. So I sat on the floor and tried casting and I also was able to keep the line over my head. 
 

for my first time ever casting (lack of better term) a fly rod, it seems that my stroke is naturally fitted for a moderate fast action rod. 
 

I need to go cast a fast and extra fast rod next. ;)


this week is too cold outside for casting lesson. I will head over to bears den this weekend. ;)

 

With this little bit of experience with the fly rods, I think I like it so I will continue walking down my path. 
 

@Mike Oliver

I spoke with Herd long time ago and I do own a couple of surf CTS rods. Thanks. 

Edited by young

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The Orvis Clearwater is a great entry level rod. I used one of those and a TFO Pro II Lefty Kreh when I first started. Both similar action I would say. 

 

As a side note, has anyone used the Douglas Sky G yet? I use it for my 8wt, it's a hell of a stick. 

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30 mins ago, BillyBallGame said:

The Orvis Clearwater is a great entry level rod. I used one of those and a TFO Pro II Lefty Kreh when I first started. Both similar action I would say. 

 

As a side note, has anyone used the Douglas Sky G yet? I use it for my 8wt, it's a hell of a stick. 

The one key feature that seems to be missing from the clear water rod is a nice tip action. From that observation, it seems the rod is not that sensitive. Just my observation and I have very limited. :(  
 

 

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3 hours ago, young said:

The one key feature that seems to be missing from the clear water rod is a nice tip action. From that observation, it seems the rod is not that sensitive. Just my observation and I have very limited. :( 

This is one of the things that new users of fly rods tend to conflate or be confused about, IMO.  The relative deflection of the tip versus the rest of the blank is how we primarily tend to decide whether a rod is faster or slower.  It's can be a bit counterintuitive.  A rod that has a flat curve or deflection pattern for most of it's length and then a more pronounced deflection or "bendy nature" in the tip section is what we normally call a "faster" rod, relative to one that bends more easily toward the bottom of the blank and has a more "progressive" action.  On the other hand, a rod that is stiff all the way up and barely bends at all can also be referred to as "fast" when in fact it's really just stiff or very powerful, or perhaps both (i.e., needs more of a total load or force applied to begin to deflect it).  Sensitivity is a term that is best used for other kinds of rods (for example in describing how well a spin rod or bait rod detects a bite). Sensitivity as applied to fly rods is a confusing or confounding term and really should not be used much if at all, IMO.  It's an easy thing to be confused about especially if you are coming from a conventional/spinning rod/bait rod background.

 

It's great though to see you making your own observations of rods including ones that feel more "right" to you than others.  This kind of inquiry will help you sort things out, eventually.

 

 

Edited by Killiefish

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21 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

Killie,

 

Bang on. You been taking the tablets. 
 

Oly

LOL....No tablets, except daily multivitamins and hemp-derived CBD gummies (pain control, legal in all US states).  As far as mood control goes I use other things that are legal in my particular state.

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