Newbie Needs Some Help Lining Rod.

I just recently purchased a 13ft 8wt TLR rod from Cabelas and was hoping to get some help finding a line that would be a good match. I wanted to use running line to a shorter Skagit head, only because that is what I've been told would be best, not because I actually know why, I've practiced a snap T cast and a double spey with my single rod in preparation
I don't have a lot of funds to buy a lot of different lines. I emailed cabela's about the grain window and they suggested a 202-218gr line.
It's a lot of information to take in and I'm kind of in the dark and was hoping for some help. I've never casted a two handed rod before and have done everything in my power to avoid buying another toy but couldn't help myself.
Thanks guys.

Edit: So I did some digging and saw on chart on Rio's website that the older cabela's 13ft8wt with the same model name had a grain window of 525-575 which makes a little more sense to me. I am thinking about going with the Airflo compact skagit and whatever running line comes up first for cheap.

Does this make sense?
Thanks yeah something didn't make sense. I gave their CS props for responding to me within 10 minutes of an email but that doesn't really matter if they're giving out bad intel.

That's the head I was looking at so I think I am going to try to pick it up next payday.
A spey newbie friend has that rod. Recently we tried it with various lines of mine. His preferred choice was a Sci. Anglers 600 grain, 9 weight, skagit head. That's a trifle heavy for my tastes, but it certainly works, and without straining the rod. I'd suggest a skagit head, or belly with an integrated line, between 550 and 600 grains.
Hm. I have a feeling I've ordered the wrong rod for the water I intend to be fishing. Maybe I should try to cancel it before it ships if I can. I wanted a longer rod because in theory it should be easier to learn on but I don't really need to be hucking something that heavy. what to do, what to do.


Tropical member
As other people mentioned, 210 grain is too light for your rod.
Cabelas people gave you the single handed rod line (8 weight = 210 grain) which is very different system than the two handed rod system.

Double handed rods (which is the one you have now), are using different weight chart. NooksacK Mac has some great suggestions for you.
And yes, 12'6 6 weight rod has plenty of power to turnover big fly. There are several good readings in RedShed flyshop. LINK


Ian Broadie

Flyfishing is so "Metal"
One line suggestion you may want to think about is the Airflo Delta Multi Tip 8/9. It will be a bit more challenging to cast at first since the head is approximately 55' rather than the 35' or so with a skagit rig but in the long run I think you'll be better off. After learning to cast a line that will force a little more technique on you a skagit rig should be really simple to cast and big wiggly steelhead flies will get the flight lesson they so richly deserve.

Now you won't throw the super big flies that you would throw using a skagit rig (because that's what skagit heads were invented for) with a Delta Spey but you'll throw files that are plenty big enough to get a nice hard strike. Also if I were you I wouldn't throw super big flies anyway since you are just learning to cast a two handed rod, unless you are in to body piercings, wader repair, or hitting yourself in the head with blunt objects (I wonder how I know this ;) ).
That being said if someone was going to spend 200, 250 max bucks on a rod and line (I have a reel that will work) for fishing medium sized norcal rivers? I was thinking about something that can cast a 450 grain Skagit head and is about 12'6 feet. Something that doesn't feel like too much rod but will still be able to hunk big flies (decked out in body armor of course)
Cabela's information was fairly accurate. The designations on the TLR 6wt and 8wt switch rods are AFTMA line designations. Actually, the 8wt has a slightly broader grain window than what Cabela's suggests, in the neighborhood of 200-300 grains or about the equivalent of a 4/5 spey. The 6wt is very fine and would probably break on the first cast loaded with a #6 spey line, it is about the equivalent of a 2/3 spey. Both the TLR (6 and 8wt) make nice trout rods, and the 8wt might be fine for light steelhead but wouldn't be my first choice for an all-round steelhead rod.
thanks Steve. I ended up getting a 12 1/2' 7wt Allen Olympic rod instead of the cabela's one and decided to stick to eating raman for another month. I'm just waiting on my Skagit head in the post and I'll be set. I hope.