CaryGreene

Fly Line Manufacurer Review

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294 posts in this topic

13 mins ago, Mike Oliver said:

Greg Sorry . I was talking more generally.
 

It will be tough to get every line maker to have same diameter running line. Probably not desirable depending on purpose of line. Lots of guys do buy into thinner is best and that is an issue. I gave up long ago with the problem you are having. I am a heathen with some reels under spooled and others rather over spooled.

Heh it is never too late to address the casting. I was 68 when I fell in love with casting for its own sake. The journey has been truley fantastic. Managed to gain a qualification and practicing hard to get to the next level. Made a ruck of new life long friends in the process.

 

Mike

Hey Mike, when you have time, would you please take us through the lines you like for the long rods, your thoughts on shooting heads..etc? Much appreciated (said in advance). 

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Posted (edited)

Cary,

 

By no means am I qualified to advise on SH as I do not use them for single hand rods because I plain don’t like them. In the past when I first tried them commercially available heads were typically 30 feet long.  I did not like the way the short heads unfurled too quickly and then dumped. Handling mono running lines was never much fun in fresh water in the ocean a bit of a sad joke.

I much prefer a medium length head WF line with an integrated running line made from the same material as the head. Medium length head to me is around 42 feet. One of the arguments for SH is distance. In a fishing scenario I dont see that. In the U.K. SH did have a period of popularity on the big water supply reservoirs but I can’t recall seeing anyone hitting the bench mark of 90 feet. I did see wind induced running line tangles. Mono sinks and was maybe ok for lures but not Buzzer fishing a major tactic. Cost and ease of portability is put forward to support the use of SH.  Winding a SH if you want a quick change of head type around your hand leaves you with a twisted head. Not great. Anglers often are lazy critters and I wonder how many do swop out heads to changing circumstances. Ok it costs more to have say two spare spools with Wf lines on them but for me full lines have it over SH period. The argument of portability of two spare spools again for me just does not wash. So many Anglers carry a sling bag or worse a rucksack on their backs stuffed full of gear. My two spare spools if I need to carry one or two sit in a small beg off a surf belt. Any thing else is in my pockets apart from a water bottle hung on my belt. Mobility for me is everything and makes for greater efficiency.

 

Long TH Surf Fly Rods.

 

By long 12’ and over. We are unable to buy ready made fly lines designed for these rods. About 15 years of experience plying the NE Coast of the USA and trying various lines the best performance has come from lines that have been discontinued for at least ten years. These  are Airflow Beach Lines. I have the 10 wt in S6 and 10 wt in Clear Intermediate. They are approx 530 to 550 grains and the head is approx 35 feet. The running lines are right diameter wise and behave pretty well in your line tray.

35 feet long heads are ideal from an all round perspective. It is a compromise. For best distance it is too short. A long head when wading only waist deep even is very difficult to quickly unplug and get away with only one back cast. 
To further expand. To make a good cast we must have all the head plus an amount of overhang out side the rod tip. When fishing in surf  waist deep we can’t lift all that head onto the surface of the water with any kind of sinking line. So we have to pull at least five feet of head inside the guides before going into our cast sequence and this is with the 35 foot head.

ok then we need to look at head weights. A TH surf fly rod is not line matched as we would a single hand rod or a spey rod. An inexperienced Angler would think the rod is hugely underlined. This is deliberate. The rod needs to have reserves left in the blank to totally dominate the line. The rod tip moves that line had better follow it. We do not have time in exciting breaking surf for a rod to bend to the line whilst unplugging. Everything is happening fast much faster than flat water.

So if a line maker could be persuaded to make a tiny weeny minority of Fly Anglers intergrated WF lines with 35 feet heads in Floating, Intermediate, and S6 Sinking In 550, and 650 grains we would be happy bunnies. We do not need heavier lines to cope with the maximum conditions that are realistic with the TH. A good caster will achieve high line speed and with 550 grains you can punch holes in high winds.

So to those Anglers looking for lines I am afraid we are reduced to compromises. Cut and hacking spey lines or skagit lines. Or maybe going to a custom line maker. He or she is going to be cutting and hacking to. If that has no appeal then you need to play around with Fresh water Spey lines. Vision have a hybrid line that could cut some of our needs. I use for a floater a 500 grain RIO Outbound the old ones with 37.5 feet heads. It casts ok but is like a bungy cord. Lay down a big cast and the take is muffled at best.

Get more Anglers wanting to go the TH route and enjoy the reasons why we choose to go this route and one day we may get what we need.

In my life time?

 

Sorry if this is not desperately helpful but it is what it is.

 

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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16 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

By no means am I qualified to advise on SH as I do not use them for single hand rods because I plain don’t like them.

**Said more as a note to our readers than in respnse to Mike on this point - when fishing in river, there isn't a huge need to strip a fly all the way back to where you are standing. You can launch line and cover areas of the river, letting the fly pass through them, either by dead drift method or by mending and swinging line. Shooting heads are fine for this style of fishing and they easily allow for quick changes. You can move from heads with various sink rates to handle changing water flow..etc. You can also change SH Head lengths and switch to ones with different grain weights as well. 

 

In Saltwater fishing though, we do often strip a fly all the way back to where we're standing. Therefore, a SH that is looped to a running line becomes much more undesirable than a line where the Head is integrated into the Running-Line. Also, after stripping the fly all the way back, there's the matter of arealizing the Head again AND the issue of the hinge in the cast that even the slickest of braided loop to loop connections cause. 

 

Therefore, Shooting Heads are kind of niche solutions. They'll work fine for some applications and not well at all for others. 

 

16 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

In the past when I first tried them commercially available heads were typically 30 feet long.  I did not like the way the short heads unfurled too quickly and then dumped. Handling mono running lines was never much fun in fresh water in the ocean a bit of a sad joke.

I much prefer a medium length head WF line with an integrated running line made from the same material as the head. Medium length head to me is around 42 feet. One of the arguments for SH is distance. In a fishing scenario I dont see that. In the U.K. SH did have a period of popularity on the big water supply reservoirs but I can’t recall seeing anyone hitting the bench mark of 90 feet.

**Again said more as a note our readers - Mike's statement kind of still holds true today. Most commonly available SH today are of the compact ilk. 

 

For most of my personal fishing, I also like Head lengths of 40 to 55' becasue lines with longer heads generally cast more accurately and better at distance. Once a fly line starts to "shoot" there is obviously a finite amount of extra distance it can cover, before the head begins to snake and the cast begins to erode or "dump" as Mike says. Longer Heads reach out further before this inevitable process occurs, hence, for distance applications where accuracy matters most, longer Heads are easily better than shorter ones. That's why many Flats fishing lines feature longer heads with smoother, more progressive tapers. The same holds true in Freshwater Dry-Fly fishing. When trying to land on the nose of a Tailing Permit at 90', shooting a compact head isn't the best option - far better to have a line with a longer head that can still turn over a weighted crab pattern - so the Leader and the Head both work together to give a straight-line presentation. 

 

Personally, this is why I don't care for compact heads and unless I absolutely need one because of lack of room to backcast or need to shoot line quickly, I become choosy and prefer 40' Heads for all-purpose work and longer ones for more specific applications. In my hands, I can load a 40' Head just as easily as a 30' one, so I get very little benefit from a 30' Head. Other casters may feel the 30' Head works decidedly better for them, which is of course fine because it's entirely and individual decision. 

 

16 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

By long 12’ and over. We are unable to buy ready made fly lines designed for these rods. About 15 years of experience plying the NE Coast of the USA and trying various lines the best performance has come from lines that have been discontinued for at least ten years. These  are Airflow Beach Lines. I have the 10 wt in S6 and 10 wt in Clear Intermediate. They are approx 530 to 550 grains and the head is approx 35 feet. The running lines are right diameter wise and behave pretty well in your line tray.

35 feet long heads are ideal from an all round perspective. It is a compromise. For best distance it is too short. A long head when wading only waist deep even is very difficult to quickly unplug and get away with only one back cast.

This is a golden-nugget from Mike, regarding using Long Rods in the surf. 

 

17 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

So to those Anglers looking for lines I am afraid we are reduced to compromises. Cut and hacking spey lines or skagit lines. Or maybe going to a custom line maker. He or she is going to be cutting and hacking to. If that has no appeal then you need to play around with Fresh water Spey lines. Vision have a hybrid line that could cut some of our needs. I use for a floater a 500 grain RIO Outbound the old ones with 37.5 feet heads. It casts ok but is like a bungy cord. Lay down a big cast and the take is muffled at best.

Get more Anglers wanting to go the TH route and enjoy the reasons why we choose to go this route and one day we may get what we need.

In my life time?

 

Sorry if this is not desperately helpful but it is what it is.

Interesting closing and very similar to my thoughts - coming from my use of Long Rods in Rivers and also in Salt. Mike, you are our resident expert in this category, so I thought it would be very beneficial to get your simple thoughts on this topic into this thread and without derailing a Manufactuerers Line Review into a dissortation of Long Rods in the surf. 

 

My Thoughts on Long Rods for Surf Fishing? - I often fish on beaches with sharp drops. There is sometimes back-cast clearance issues facing me as well. I try to fish near moving water, where there is some sort of structural funnel point that delivers bait to staging predators. 

 

Long Rods excel when there is moving water present. BUT - I also often need to strip a fly back to my position and operating a Long Rod tucked under my armpit, while stripping fast is a genuine pain in-in-the-ass. I also fish out front a lot. I've come to the point where I think a comprimise is best. I like a rod 10 to 11' long, that's very light and not bouncey like most Spey Rods are designed to be. I like something that handles and flexes like a single-handed 9' surf rod does, but that is a bit longer to give me more clearance on my back cast and also, so that I can reach out into current and mend line easier. Greater reach is often an advantage (to me). 

 

I also don't always strip a fly back quickly. I tend to work some flies very slowly and on the bottom. One-handed operation while retrieving is key for me. I rarely place a surf rod under my armpit. I like to control the rod with my dominant hand and manipulate the rod tip while retrieving. Rods that are "too-long" suck at this becasue their elongated rod grips make them awful for one handed operation. Not to mention, the secondary grip on the seat of the rod makes single handed casting all the more difficult. 

 

Long Rods easily work best when using two-hands and they are a joy to cast when that's an option. But, for most surf casting, I find too many advantages with a single handed rod to part with one in favor of a long rod. 

 

As far as head lengths, on two-handed rods I LOVE longer heads. Again, I'm using moving water to my advantage and therefore, booming roll-casts and Spey Casts are possible, plus, tremendous line mends are possible as well. Therefore, sometimes I will break out a long rod for certain applicaitons and sometimes, I use a full-on Spey Line with a long head. It's not optimal for turning over larger flies, but with standard Decievers and Clousers, it works pretty stunningly well. 

 

I like the Rio Long Head Spey line, used with and without sink tips, as one way to flick effortless VERY LONG casts. (120'+). Sometimes I actually want most of my line to float, especially when I'm drifting crab patterns, shirmp flies and other types of patterns where I might even be surface fishing (Gurglers). I don't care for the taper of this line and I wish it had a more uniform belly. It's too wimpy for bigger flies too, which is a drawback as I said. But what I do like about this line is that it has a 66' Head so it's a really specific specialty line for me. I also use this line on single-handed surf rods (10' or longer), when I want a floating line with a long head and yes, I will use short sink tips on it as well from time to time. 

62ebf33b03f71_Screenshot2022-08-0412_22_40PM.png.deda79acedb198e7268eb0bbc9fec0e9.png62ebf33950a4d_Screenshot2022-08-0412_23_08PM.png.08dce62c42ea803c69d940259dd655e0.png

 

Antoher tactic I'll deploy with a Long-Rod in the surf is to use a more compact head approach, as Mike descirbes above. I only do this when I don't have to retrieve the fly all the way back and re-cast it (as I mentioned). I start with a Running-Line. I like the Airflo Ridge Running Line Extreme. It comes in 20#, 30# and 50#. I personally like the 30# for most of the applications I deploy this method for when surf fishing.

62ebf565b9ef4_Screenshot2022-08-0412_35_09PM.png.427fcdc4b95982898618f32de2f791ee.png

 

Next, I'll Loop on the Airflo SKAGIT COMP F.I.S.T. Head, which is 22 1/2' Long and features a Floating rear portion of Head, an Intermediate Middle Section and a Type 7 Sinking Front Section. 

 

62ebf6459d8ec_Screenshot2022-08-0412_38_30PM.png.cf3b69a1fe6d5e989ced2a6ca92fc644.png62ebf643ea9f7_Screenshot2022-08-0412_39_11PM.png.d9c235573d1db917cc3055e7a01f749c.png

 

Then, I will either use a 7 1/2' Lightning Leader looped directly to the F.I.S.T. Head, or, I'll loop on a Sink Tip 

62ebf77d87e8f_Screenshot2022-08-0412_44_04PM.png.cd63914be5c71989669cfeb2118dbad9.png62ebf77c21ece_Screenshot2022-08-0412_44_18PM.png.912777b96cd7b50b6acba232396b142b.png

 

This effectively gives me a 32 1/2', very heavy shooting head that excells at loading a long rod with two hands (effortless two-handed casting). 

 

I don't stop there either, because this strategy, for me, dovetails into single-handed rods and overhand casting. One thing you (our readers) may have noticed is that even the D/C lines that are available for saltwater fishing simply don't cut-it much of the time. Sink Rates of 7-ips are cupcake-city in strong currents, when water is deep (90' or more, easily). Open water fly-fishing is not something any line manufactuerer getts yet I'm afraid. So, I use what's out there and improvise. 

 

I also use these same Sink Tips on the RIO Long-Head Spey line above. I love that the Sink Rate options with these tips ranges from 7-ips, to 10-ips, to 14-ips and even 18-ips. I frequently even loop a 10' or 18' tip to a D/C Fully Integrated Sinking line as well, to make the wimpy D/C line vastly more appropriate for open water boat fishing, thus enabling me to stand a chance of getting down on a drift in strong currents found in the Race or Plum Gut or off Block Island and in and around Fisher's Island. 

 

I have to be careful NOT to strip the head back all the way to the point of bringing in the Sink Tip, that's the only drawback to the strategy. In a boat, I often have no issues keeping the sink tip out of the guides and the only time it will come back in is when landing a fish. 

 

To Mike's points above, he's right. They really don't make appropriate lines for Saltwater Long-Rods but I'm using his point to open Pandora's box at this stage of the thread. 

 

My biggest complaint with lines made regarding Saltwater lines today is that they're just not thought out well at all. I'll spell it out here and now. Here's what we need:

 

Floating Lines30', 40' 55' options. 200, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450, 500+ Grain Weights in both a Coldwater and a Tropical Option

 

Intermediate Lines30', 40' 55' options. 200, 250, 275, 300, 325, 350, 375, 400, 425, 450, 500+ Grain Weights in both a Coldwater and a Tropical Option

 

D/C Fully Integrated Sinkin Lines with Intermediate Running Lines:

  • 200, 250, 275 - 30' Type 7 
  • 300 - Type 8, 325 - Type 9, 350 - Type 10  All 33' 
  • 375 - Type 10, 400 - Type 10 , 425 - Type 11, 450 - Type 12  All 35'
  • 500+ Type 12 30'
  • All models available in both a Coldwater and a Tropical Option

This would be a comprehesive starting point from which D/C innovation could move forward. The overall assortment of Floating, Intermedaite and D/C lines would allow fly-fishermen to pick the exact head lengths and grain weights they want for given situations. 

 

With technology what it is today, I'd challenge the industry to offer the above D/C lines with Intermediate runnings lines that moved to Quad-Density Heads (3ips-5ips-7ips-to final densities of 8, 9, 10, 11 or 12-ips depending. 

 

If a company were to do the above and lay it out really clearly, it would look something like this:

 

1. WF Floating & Intermediate Lines, Coldwater or Tropical

  • Bird Squall (30' Head)
  • All-Purpose (40' Head)
  • ICBM (55' Head)

2. D/C Lines - Quad Density, Coldwater or Tropical

 

Who knows where an assortment like that would lead, but it would cover all bases and it's a hell-of-a-lot more on-point than offering 5 to 12 lines all named something stupid and having only limited choices available. It's my challenge to Line Makers to wake up and do more. 

 

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Posted (edited)

536A646A-2056-4A84-9857-4C1EFDDEC854.jpeg.0f916f75aecab8ccf8a9559beb5e8e77.jpegThanks for response Cary,  you are absolutely correct on braided mono running lines. I use old gudebrod 30 lb braided butt leader as shooting that is close to 30 years old and still going strong except the loops I made at each end wear out and have to be redone. So I have found that in a shooting line contest between Berkeley Big Game, old school SA coated level fly line sold as shooting line in 1 or 2wt and Gudebrod braided mono butt leader, Gudebrod wins but Gudebrod is no longer made.  Mike I agree with you on mono running lines You can get great distance but  in the surf in the striping basket they can tangle badly or get blown out and many times require ditching the basket and coiling them in the hand that is not holding the rod. However, this technique is more difficult for two handed rods. I can totally see how integrated lines are are better for two handed rod use in the surf or anywhere but I stubbornly cling to braided mono although I may give a full fly line with integrated head a shot soon after Cary’s reviews. There is a good anology between fly lines and conventional reels. Thirty years ago DT lines dominated the market as did relatively large conventional reels  like Beachmasters or even an ABU 6500. The literature emphasized casting technique for DT lines and an “educated thumb” for casting with conventional reels. Little did a fisher person know that you could make your own WF lines or shooting heads by cutting up DT lines with a ruler and scale or that to cast a conventional reels it had to be carefully matched with weight at end of line whether it be bait or lure. More than thirty years ago I foolishly tried to throw a large rebel using 20 lb mono on a Jigmaster with a 10ft rod and an “educated thumb” and got totally frustrated but miraculously caught a couple fish within 15 yards from shore. While casting technique and an educated thumb remain just as important today the options of fly lines and conventional reel matched to specific fishing situations are mind boggling specialized.  A couple examples of specialization come to mind but they are just the tip of the iceberg. Cary in post 244 above discussed the Titan line as designed to move large flies short distances and use of ultra light BFS  reels designed to throw 3-5g lures on 5 1/2 foot rods. Technology has created specialized niches for our use and enjoyment, 

but ; see above (“Synergetics” R. Buckminster Fuller, 1982 pg xxv.

Edited by flyrad10
Clean up

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Posted (edited)

flyrad10

 

I loved reading the insert on specialisation.  It sure resonated loud and clear with me. There is great satisfaction to be had in making our gear work to the purpose we wish to put it to. I have a friend who only fishes one lure rod and one spinning reel. His life is so uncomplicated. I was teaching last weekend at the Game  Fair  and behold guys were just totally bemused by the plethora of lines on offer. And yes they wanted to push out responsibility to others and I had a degree of sympathy with them. Not everyone has the time or inclination to study fly lines and leader systems. They just want to go fish. It really should not beyond the wit of fly line makers to simply their offerings. Just how many floating Trout  Lines  are needed. Rio have a ruck of them and it is to me a pure and utter nonsense. The older guys amongst will recall the SA Aircell and Aircell Supreme Floaters. From Cortland we had the 333 and the much loved and still available 444. Forget the PVC issue for now. It was easy job done. Tye your customer up in knots and you lose him to other companies who don’t or they take up another sport. There are great lines out there it is just such a pain for new guys to find them in the haystack.

You love your Guderbrod running line. It works for you. Job done. I come from the era like you when guys cut their SH from DT lines. Mostly for reservoir long range as salt water in the U.K. is a very recent happening and ironically timed with very depleated fisheries. The die hards carried on with their DT lines cast from heavy split cane rods. They did not utalise line trays back then but held their line all bunched up in a figure of eight even whilst double hauling. Those Boys could hold an awful lot of line in the air. DT’s are good for that but you still needed resolve stamina and skill.

These days a floating line for the surf and water up to say 6 feet does me proud with a bit of sink tip if required. The Intermediate I still find useful and a S6 sinker for fast inlets and a couple of other jobs. Fly lines named after the fish just rile me up. 
Who would be a retailer trying to manage inventory balanced to cash flow and profit.

Mike

Edited by Mike Oliver

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On 8/3/2022 at 6:58 PM, Mike Oliver said:

Cary,

........

By long 12’ and over. We are unable to buy ready made fly lines designed for these rods. About 15 years of experience plying the NE Coast of the USA and trying various lines the best performance has come from lines that have been discontinued for at least ten years. These  are Airflow Beach Lines. I have the 10 wt in S6 and 10 wt in Clear Intermediate. They are approx 530 to 550 grains and the head is approx 35 feet. The running lines are right diameter wise and behave pretty well in your line tray.......

I agree: I had a set of these lines that I used with my Juro/CND 11-footers.  I could swear that the lines were designed for these rods.  I only have one left, the others finally bit the dust.

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9 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

.........

Long Rods excel when there is moving water present. BUT - I also often need to strip a fly back to my position and operating a Long Rod tucked under my armpit, while stripping fast is a genuine pain in-in-the-ass. I also fish out front a lot. I've come to the point where I think a comprimise is best. I like a rod 10 to 11' long, that's very light and not bouncey like most Spey Rods are designed to be. I like something that handles and flexes like a single-handed 9' surf rod does, but that is a bit longer to give me more clearance on my back cast and also, so that I can reach out into current and mend line easier. Greater reach is often an advantage (to me). 

..........

I've always preferred "short" two-handed rods for overhead casting: long rods are too awkward for me.  My current favorites are out-of-production 10' "8 weight" T&T two-handers that I bought as closeouts at Bears Den.  For me, they are a straight replacement for single-handed 9' 10wt rods, down to me using my 10wt lines with them.

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29 mins ago, GregPavlov said:

I've always preferred "short" two-handed rods for overhead casting: long rods are too awkward for me.  My current favorites are out-of-production 10' "8 weight" T&T two-handers that I bought as closeouts at Bears Den.  For me, they are a straight replacement for single-handed 9' 10wt rods, down to me using my 10wt lines with them.

Hi Greg,

 

Interesting thoughts. So you like a rod longer than 9 ft too? But not anything past 10 ft? 10 ft is an excellent length for the surf - I think. In fact, if a blank is light enough I'm good up to 11 ft. Personally, but I definitely like a single-handed grip because I do a lot of single-handed casting and as mentioned operation of the rod with one hand opposed to tucking it under my armpit. 

 

Does the rod you like have a two-handed grip or is it a single spey hybrid grip? 

 

 

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7 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

Hi Greg,

 

Interesting thoughts. So you like a rod longer than 9 ft too? But not anything past 10 ft? 10 ft is an excellent length for the surf - I think. In fact, if a blank is light enough I'm good up to 11 ft. Personally, but I definitely like a single-handed grip because I do a lot of single-handed casting and as mentioned operation of the rod with one hand opposed to tucking it under my armpit. 

 

Does the rod you like have a two-handed grip or is it a single spey hybrid grip? 

 

 

The lower part of the handle is 4", upper is 9.5", about 2" longer than the average single-hander.  I cast it single-handed at times but not often, but that's not the rod's fault :-)

 

At this point in my life, 10-10.5 feet is the ideal length.  I used CND 11' rods for a long time but I always wished they were a bit shorter.

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On 8/5/2022 at 7:27 AM, GregPavlov said:

The lower part of the handle is 4", upper is 9.5", about 2" longer than the average single-hander.  I cast it single-handed at times but not often, but that's not the rod's fault :-)

 

At this point in my life, 10-10.5 feet is the ideal length.  I used CND 11' rods for a long time but I always wished they were a bit shorter.

Oh okay, was just trying to picture whether it was a "Single-Spey" configuration (which it is) or a "Double-Spey" grip. I don't personally care for Single Spey grips for Saltwater but LOVE them for nymphing in rivers and for situations in Saltwater where I have moving water. They can be a joy. Would love to hear more about how/where/when you fish this honey of a rod! 

 

This topic actually does belong in this thread because we're contemplating fly-lines and head lengths and tapers and all sorts of other things like line cores, coatings..etc, on and on! It was only natural that rod lenght, grip configuation, taper, hardware and many other things all would come up. Our goal here, in this thread, is to help people line a rod of choice. There is no right or wrong approach. It's all about what works for YOU (not meaning specifically Greg above, but each of us, on a case by case basis)

 

My personal preferences of course are dictated by what I'm doing. Surf fishing is done from open beaches, its done on jetties and its done in salt marshes and back bays. When I think of a beach rod and the needs therein, I think about waves, wind and all sorts of tide stages. I think about miles of sand. I think about rock piles..etc. 

 

Considering Greg's rod above as a solution for a beach rod causes me to frown. I wouldn't like it. But - it works for him, in the way he uses. It would benefit all of us to learn more about how he uses the rod and what he's doing with it, so Greg, if you would, in your response, please respond to only what I've said ^^^ up there ^^^

 

**Now a Note for our many readers: My general thoughts on the kind of rod Greg is describing and whether or not it's a great beach rod. First, let's properly identify the rod itself. It's a Single Spey rod, with a full-wells girp and a second handle. Waving that rod around as if it were a bonefishing rod, double hauling all day, is nearly impossible. It would be VERY tiring. 

 

Single Spey grips can be cast in single overhead casting fashion (when double-hauling) but it can be very stressful on the wrist and arm because they are not ideally balanced and they add weight to the rod. Usually, a Single Spey rod is often cast with two hands, using moving water to "water-load" the blank, or, using short Skagit style heads and using a modified Roll-Cast called a "Spey" cast to arealize the Head. Due to the extreme weight of the short, compact Skagit head, not much effort is required to zing it a suprisingly good distance. 

 

It is also possible to Spey cast with a rod that has only a single "Full Wells" grip (the kind you see any garden-variety 9' saltwater rod). BUT - just like it's harder to cast a Single Spey rod (with the slightly longer Full Wells front grip and mini second grip behind the reel seat), it is less efficient and more tiring Spey Casting without the use of your line management hand on the rear grip. 

 

For those that have never Spey Cast a true "long rod" like the one's Mike is talking about in the thread, it's actually effortless. You can relax and cast all day long. The Fulcrum of a Spey Cast makes casting very easy. Therefore, and most manufactuerers don't get this all, not even remotely, THERE IS A PLACE FOR LONG RODS on the beach and in saltwter fishing. Contrary to all the marketing stuff out there that suggests 9' saltwater rods are what you want. The problem is, we have precious few lines for Saltwater long rods and the ones we can make work don't have suitable tapers for Saltwater fishing. That said - 

 

Double-Hauling has it's advantges though, so there is a trade off. If your rod is light and easily managed, then Double-Hauling is an optimal way to accurately throw long casts, from open beaches or from the deck of  skiff or center console boat. When we get into waves and standard 1-3' or 3' to 5" surf, getting up over those waves is important. 

 

This is why I personally prefer a longer, single-handed rod with a single, full-wells grip. Something 10' to 11' in length. 20 years ago (or so) few companies made Salmon Fishing rods with single full-wells grips. Other companies made "Single-Spey" rods 10' to 11' long (or longer even, up to 12'9" I think) that came with the slightly longer front full-wells and rear grips. 

 

I kind of went a direction with my preferences that made it hard to find a readily commerically avialable solution. Orvis made a Trident TLS 10' 8wt 2-piece that was really good for light-duty surf fishing, it had a single full wells grip and a fighting butt. It was light and easy to cast, double-hauling was no problem. They designed the rod for salmon fishing though, so it was on the "slightly too bouncy" side as most of the rods in this category always seem to be (but not all of them). This was the first 10' 8wt single handed rod I ever fell in love with for beach fishing. 

 

A few Years later and kudos to Bob Popovics for exploring the possibility of a longer rod, with a single full-wells grip and a fighting butt -- NOT a mini rear-handle! St. Croix did a Legend Ultra per his specs, in a 9wt too which is IDEAL for all-season beach fishing but they are a salmon fishing company and their tapers are BOUNCY by design. They seem to have slapped his name on a salmon fishing blank and gave it the right grip for beach fishing, unfortunately, the blank itself was pretty heavy (by today's standards) and as a said, bouncy. Still, it was even better than the 10' Orvis Trident TLS and so it became my preferred beach rod (by a mile). Was it hard to cast? Not at all. I could double haul and send a standard 275 or 300 grain D/C fly line into the backing with amlost no effort. 

 

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Then came the rod that blew my mind. I had Steve Rajeff to Cabelas in East Hartford for Captains Days one year and over lunch, I was blithering away about how nobody makes a true single handed beach rod. Boom. Problem solved. THIS arrived in the mail one day, ATTN: CARY GREENE

 

So now we had an exceptionally light, much stiffer 100% salwater DNA beach rod. A 10' 9wt. Lighter than most 9' rods of it's day, this 10' G.Loomis NRX quicly sold out and became completely unavailable. It featured a standard Full-Wells grip and a fighting butt. The carbon fibre reel seat reduced weight. It had crushable RECOIL guides a swelled tip and a fast, progressive taper. This rod made 125' casts easy. Crazy-cool beach rod. I have three of them and they are by far my favorite beach rods. 

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If you want a rod like this, it may be best to build it or have someone build it for you. They are very hard to come by these days and in fact, only a handful have ever been made. Most of the ones that have been made are simply too soft, because they're designed to water load and Spey cast with. 

 

The reason I mention and picture all of this is because, many fly-fishermen fear long rods because quite frankly, they have almost always been generally too bouncy as and also too heavy to put a single full-wells on and appoint with salwater grade hardware. It made no sense to even try the above.

 

However, in theory, if a rod is light enough and conmfortable enough to operate, it's length can easily be more than 9' long. But, herein lies the problem. Longer rods ARE WAY HARDER to control casting single-hand, double-haul style. Most casters will have markedly better resutls with shorter rods. That's because the tip of a longer rod travels a significantly longer distance and therefore, it magnifies casting issues regarding the back cast, forward cast and casting arc. A slight problem with a 9' rod becomes a big problem with an 11' rod. Shorter rods are easier to cast. 

 

When I say shorter, I mean a 7'6" rod is by far easier to cast than a 9' rod and consequetnly, a 9' rod is way easier to cast than say a 10' or 11' rod. However, the longer the lever is, the more advantages it has for beach fishing - to a point. I think 10'6" or 10' is an optimal length to get over standard waves easily enough. I'm often casting into moving water but it may be a was off and there may be slack water between me and the moving water, so double-hauling is by far going to be my best-bet, day in and day out. 

 

My preference for a beach rod is that it needs to be versitile. This is why I prefer at least 9', up to 10'6", as light as possible, proper saltwater hardware, stiffer, faster taper, single full-wells grip and a fighting butt. That's what I want out of a surf rod. 

 

The moment I get off a beach and onto a Jetty or into a salt marsh, or go out on the skiff or center-console, I go to a 9' rod and that seems to be good, though even shorter would be great also. The G. Loomis Short-Stix rod series is amazing for kayak fishing - very easy to cast. 

 

Rod length is an important part of selecting the right line. When I use my beach rods (all 10' to 11'9"), I usually need to cast far and get up off the waves. So, I like lines with heads at least 40' long, preferablly though, even longer. The Sic A Sonar Camo Intermdeiate is about perfect for this type of fishing. a 50' Head is exactly what I like. 

 

If I don't have a sharp beach drop off or high waves, or a dire need to mend my line (like when channel fishing or working an outflow), I will usually go to a standard 9' rod and be quite happy, in which case, I chose the head length of line for what I'm doing and a 40' head would be an All-Purpose type solution. 

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5 hours ago, CaryGreene said:

Oh okay, was just trying to picture whether it was a "Single-Spey" configuration (which it is) or a "Double-Spey" grip. .......

 

Considering Greg's rod above as a solution for a beach rod causes me to frown. I wouldn't like it. But - it works for him, in the way he uses. It would benefit all of us to learn more about how he uses the rod and what he's doing with it, so Greg, if you would, in your response, please respond to only what I've said ^^^ up there ^^^   .....

That's a great post, in followup to the very detailed and informative one about lines.

 

I don't have any significant insights here.  First, to be perfectly honest, I have done very little shore fishing this year: most of my fishing has been on boat with 9' singlehanded 10 weights.  BUT for me, when fishing from shore, the T&T rods serve two purposes:  1) I'm a mediocre caster and the T&Ts give me an extra 20 feet or so compared to my casts with a single-handed 9' rod; 2) I'm 73 years old and the two-handed T&Ts are much easier on my shoulders, etc than the usual 9' rods most people use.  The bottom line is that I am using the T&Ts as a direct substitute for 9' 10wt one-handers.

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3 mins ago, GregPavlov said:

That's a great post, in followup to the very detailed and informative one about lines.

 

I don't have any significant insights here.  First, to be perfectly honest, I have done very little shore fishing this year: most of my fishing has been on boat with 9' singlehanded 10 weights.  BUT for me, when fishing from shore, the T&T rods serve two purposes:  1) I'm a mediocre caster and the T&Ts give me an extra 20 feet or so compared to my casts with a single-handed 9' rod; 2) I'm 73 years old and the two-handed T&Ts are much easier on my shoulders, etc than the usual 9' rods most people use.  The bottom line is that I am using the T&Ts as a direct substitute for 9' 10wt one-handers.

Two Hander is the way to go in this instance, much easier to flip line around using two hands and they pack a nice punch! Thanks for sharing the insights with us Greg!

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Cary

 

I think there is just a tad of over complication on your rod post above and that spey casting In the salt is an extremely minor tactic especially with single hand rods. Too many of us struggle with the basic overhead and the double haul to want to go spey route as well and have to buy additional lines on top.

We could quite easily get into a long debate but this is the wrong thread and I suspect the only two people truely interested in it would be us two so it would be pointless. The overwhelming majority of salt water Fly  Anglers have settled on the SH 9 footer and they are not for changing. After a while sawing wood dust gets to be tedious.:howdy:

 

Mike

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3 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

After a while sawing wood (to) dust gets to be tedious

That right there is dead-funny

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Posted (edited)

8 hours ago, Mike Oliver said:

Cary

 

I think there is just a tad of over complication on your rod post above and that spey casting In the salt is an extremely minor tactic especially with single hand rods. Too many of us struggle with the basic overhead and the double haul to want to go spey route as well and have to buy additional lines on top.

We could quite easily get into a long debate but this is the wrong thread and I suspect the only two people truely interested in it would be us two so it would be pointless. The overwhelming majority of salt water Fly  Anglers have settled on the SH 9 footer and they are not for changing. After a while sawing wood dust gets to be tedious.:howdy:

 

Mike

I'll defer to you on the Double Handers here Mike. I'm assuming you correctly contend that a Double-Hander can throw a compact head quickly, with no moving water. BUT -- what about stripping the fly all the way back and then getting the head back in the air?

 

From a line manufacturer prespective, what about the nuisance of looped sink tips to looped running lines to looped heads..etc. How does that play into strippig a fly all the way back in to your position and then re-casting? 

 

With a one handed rod and a fully integrated D/C line, I can strip all the way and re-cast. With a two-handed long rod, the extra reach allows me to strip the final 13 to 15 feet, by sweeping the rod along the waters surface (forming my Spey-D Loop behind me) but stripping 80' or more of line back means I have to hold the long rod under my armpit right? That's a lot of rod to play with, but the act itself is easily possible. 

 

For me, I just prefer to use one hand holding the rod when stripping. My reason is that when I cast, I never truly let go of the flyline (with my stripping hand). I shoot it through my hand (creates a bit of extra friction, but high line speed compensates, full line casts can still be easily achieved). Then, I'm instantly in touch, and I start stripping (or count down). I find it cumbersome to do that with a two-hander. 

 

D/C heads can easily get down 10 to 15' deep. Sometimes, roll casts don't pick them up. That's one reason to strip all the way back to your casting position. The other reason is that Stripers and Blues often ambush within the last few feet of a retrieve. 

 

I'm very open to two-handed rods (I own more than two-dozen of them and have many conventiional and spinning long rods also). But we're talking beach fishing here. When I tide is slowing (flooding or ebbing) or coming in steadily, what are your thoughts on how to handle that with a two-handed rod? Also, the line must play a huge part in how you're using these rods in the surf. So too must the conditions. Lay it out for us in simple terms - from your perspective & considering how you use the two-handed rod in the surf. 

 

Also, a separate quesiton. If you could design ANY line for these rods, what would the basic specs be. (I laid out my wishes back a few posts, focus was on single handed rods). 

 

I do have many other questions on this. But we'll save them for now, perhaps best asked over a Boddington's!

 

Lastly, the spirit of this thread isn't to inspire people to change what they're doing. I think we're all here to evaluate lines basically. So how YOU'RE using the Long Rods is YOUR topic Mike (not mine). It's about what you're doing, how you're doing it and what works best. Many of us have two-handed rods. Any expertise you can share will benefit all of us. Don't feel restricted. Just touch on lines while discussing and sharing. That way, the conversation stays relevant. 

 

I think we all can agree, Long Rods do have a place in Surf Fishing/Saltwater Fishing. Though their application is and always has been very niche, there is good reason to understand the subject as a whole, but from a decidedly saltwater perpsective. 

 

I've stated my preferences. 10 to 11', light, single full wells grip, fighting-butt, stiff action (not bouncy) for open beaches with steep drops to get up over the waves and also, deal with sharply dropping beaches. 

 

Would be curious if you would quantify your preferences. What jobs are long Rods in the surf good for?

 

For me, there's no real casting advantage to a 15' Rod. If I line a 9' or 10' rod right, I'll get very good distance. For me/to me, a Long Rod gives better reach for mending (implying an advantage where there is current) and better ability to get over the top of waves and keep the backcast clearance higher, plus an ability to fish along Jetties where back cast clearance can be an issue (say you're standing on a rock at the waters edge, Jetty wall of rocks behind you - roll casting or spey casting a short head in that spot is desireable)

Edited by CaryGreene

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