new rod for the salt?

Ok' so i have been the fishing the salt for almost a year now and i have been using my st. croix imperial 9' 6wt. I am wondering if anyone has any other suggestions for a rod with a little more punch. I am looking at a tfo but wondering if anyone has any other ideas of a good rod for the salt. i would like to keep it under 200 if possible but all ideas are welcome. I have also heard that a longer rod (9'6") makes a big difference? Thank you in advance to all replies.

For under $200 is tough... I would look for a used RPL. If there wasn't a cap, I would second the the XP. My 696 is my fav for NW salt.

The TFO TiCr X is the way to go. You'll be a little over the $200 mark but you'll have all of the performance capable in a single handed rod. Truly a great series of rods from a great company that stands behind it's product.
Jake, I think you will like a rod that is both faster and longer. I have a 9'6" Scott 6 wgt, which I like a lot for the Salt. The combo of faster and longer rod allows me to use a 7 wgt line, load deeply, and throw better distance while using larger bait fish patterns.

My next rod will be longer still, since I want to be able to get large flies out further to increase my chances at coho from the beach, and a longer rod makes up for some of the leverage that you loose due to being waist high in the water and backcasting over a sloping beach. I will stay at 6 wgt, just because I will also use it for searun cutts. I am looking at getting a two handed overhand caster, or a switch rod, but the cost starts going up to around 500 bucks, so I am waiting on that 'till I save my pennies up.

I like the 9'6" also for steelheading, as the extra length makes easier the line mending for control of speed and depth. For the money, TFO seems to be getting a great reputation.
Jake, I've got a St Croix Legend Ultra 9 foot in the 7 for the returning coho that shoots line great and is a terriffic beach or boat rod. I also have a 6wt Legend Ultra that is good for the pinks and smaller coho of the winter. Love both of these rods. For cutthroat, my trusty Sage RPL has done me well for many years, although I think that now is the time to retire it to backup status for the trout. I like the Sage XP a lot, just that it seems like overkill for the cutts. Most of the lower priced rods seem a little soft for punching out the line in a stiff breeze, however. I would like to try a TFO sometime, but would not want to buy one without a try out. I would be very satisfied with a Legend Ultra.



Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater
Also check out the TFO Professional series. Not as fast as the TICR or TICR-X, but as mentioned, excellent customer service. Price point is $140 for the 9' 6wt 4 pc and $185.00 for the 10' 6 wt 4 pc.

David Loy

Senior Moment
Salt Dog (or anyone w/input)
I have a Sage 6126-3 spey rod that I've fished occasionally overhead casting a 6-8 WC line shortened to a 40' head (w/o tip 2). Does anyone here have any experience using light weight 2-handers in the Sound? I don't but am curious how it would work. I'm a decent spey caster and normally fish at +-75' with full WC (or DTs also). Over head casting I can reach a bit farther but line control becomes an issue, even with a basket. Another problem with OH2H casting are obstructions, at least where I've tried it recently. I suppose fishing the salt is easier from that standpoint except at high tide on a steep overhung beach.
Any input?
Sorry Jake for not addressing your question.
I don't have any experience, however I have seen it down when distance was an issue. For Searuns it would be over kill. However for the returning salmon, it may work. It might be a little light. 7 or higher would be better. I think 7 would be best all around rod.
thanks for the replies everyone really appreciate it seems like for the money the tfo pro series is gonna be the way to go i have a signature series 3wt and the ticr 8wt and have been happy with them guess i might as well try the pro. Thanks again to all who replied. :thumb:

Hey Ben, my $0.02 for what its worth.

From my experience there are not many around here trying the double hand overhead casting as opposed to spey casting. It appears to be more prevalent on East coast beaches amongst the 'stripah fishah's'.

Matt Burke has been doing DH OH casting on local beaches for several years. He appears to be on the cutting edge about the subject. You may try contacting him on his experience. Additionally, I believe Leland Miyawaki may have beta tested a prototype DH beach rod for the Puget Sound, and may have a knowledgeable opinion on the matter. Both are members of this forum and can be found in the directory.

The spey rod has a much slower rod taper than a switch or DH beach rod. The idea of a DH beach rod is to be able to put out 120 ft of line with one backcast by using a long rod with a much faster taper, and a heavy but relatively short head (30 - 38 ft.) as compared to the spey rod and line.

When you talk about line control issues, are you addressing line tangles? or casting?

Richard E

Active Member
TFO, either the professional series if you're trying to stay under $150; if you can spend more, pick up the TFO TiCr-X light, and buy an add-on fighting butt. The Series 1 TFO rods, though not multi-piece, will lay out a really nice, long line for just under $100!!

Another option is the Sage Launch, I believe it is, that is at $195. I get it and the FLi mixed up and can't recall which is the more expensive.

The Echo rods are a great value.

o mykiss

Active Member
I don't know anything about the action on most of the rods mentioned other than the Sage XP, but whatever you do, get something that has some backbone and can throw line with large flies in a stiff breeze. Even if you end up going for one of those TFO rods, I would recommend against buying a medium action rod just to save 50 bucks. If the TICR is the fastest they have, I would recommend buying it, although I guess it depends on your casting style. When I started fishing the salt, I used a medium action rod and spent many a frustrating day fighting onshore winds. I got an XP recently and it has made fishing the salt a much more satisfying experience. I also don't think you need a rod that is more than 9 or 9 1/2 feet in length. You are going to be fishing into stiff winds on a regular basis and every inch of rod represents an extra inch of resistance in the face of an onshore breeze. In my view, a longer rod equals more fatigue. Maybe there's some advantage to having more length if you are truly fishing the surf (i.e., where the waves are a lot bigger and that extra rod length helps you keep your casts above the waves), but I'm not sure it is that critical for fishing Puget Sound.
I just acquired an Orvis Power Matrix 9'6" tip-flex 6-weight. I've rigged this rod for the beach with reels set up up with full lines and shooting heads. I like the it way it launches a shooting head and figure that it will even hold its own in the fall when the big coho show up.
All of the TFO rods are good tools for the beaches as they have nice fast tips that allow the quick pickup and redirect of one's fly, particularly when salmon are on the move. Fast rods on the salt often make the difference between getting one cast at a fish, or two. There are a lot of fast fly rods on the market in a wide range of prices.
During my years behind an editorial desk I sometimes had my office so jammed with fly rods that I didn't know where to begin when it came to handing them off for testing, or which ones to take out and cast myself. What I did learn is that there are more good fly rods on the market than bad ones throughout any reasonable price range.
Good Fishing,
Les Johnson