Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Idaho steel, Nov 27, 2011.
never cast a TR rod, but it looks like a great rod for dry fly fishing
There are so many choices on the market right now in the lower price point (say $250.00 to $350.00) 2-handers all of which have decent actions that it is fairly easy for someone to get into spey casting with a decent rod without spending $1,000.00 plus for the rod and a line. And as had been said, unless the rod is lined with a line that works well withing the grain window the rod was designed for, it will not perform all that well regardless of how much it cost. Also, if the rod's action and "feel" when casting doesn't suit the individual casting it, it will never satisfy and will be a poor choice for him.
That said, the high-end rods have more than cosmetics that set them apart, just like the Ferrari (or a Corvette,Porsche, or Viber) has more than top speed and "status/price" that sets it(them) apart from the Fords, Toyotas, Hondas, etc. that most folks drive. And the high-end rods won't be cast to (or close to) their potential by the vast majority of spey casters, just like the Ferrari, Corvette, Porsche, Viber, etc., would not be driven to (or close to) their potential by the vast majority of drivers. Despite the protestations many often make, their is much difference between a high-end 2-hander and the low-priced ones. Otherwise, the tournament spey casters (who are among the best spey casters in the world) would be casting these lower-priced rods. The tournament spey casters all use high-end rods and many of them are modified to better suit the individual for a reason-better performance.
I agree the St. Croix Imperial 2-handers are decent rods. The 9140 is a good, solid casting and fishing rod that was sold at an excellent price. However, I don't consider it to be a fast rod at all. Yes, it has a fairly stiff butt, but the tip and middle sections of the rod bend into the butt when casting and its recovery from being bent is moderate, not fast. I noticed you overload your with the 10/11 Delta, which makes it bend even further when cast than when it is lined with an 8/9 Delta (the line I prefer on it, although the rod really is too slow and flexible for my tastes). Different strokes for different folks is all this is.
I currently own a Redinton RS4 7133 and although it is a nice casting rod with the stiffer tip and fast recovery I like, it isn't in the same league as the T&T 7130, T&T 8130, Loomis 13' 8/9 wt. and other similar high-end rods. And even these rods aren't the same as a custom rod or blank Burkheimer or Meiser that were modified by the maker to suit your prefered rod action. I bought this rod used to replace a Loomis 13' 8/9 GLX I had to sell a few years ago when I had been unemployed for over 2 years. However, I'm not very fond of it because it isn't in the same league as the high-end rods I mentioned. Don't get me wrong, the RS4 rods are OK and decent casting rods that most people would be very happy with for many, many years. If just miss the performance of the Loomis, T&T, Burkheimer, and Meiser. I will quit using it and sell it once I get the money saved to buy Meiser 13'er because the Meiser is a far better casting rod and that Meiser will modify to the action I prefer.
I prefer a stiff-tipped rod that is a now quite mid-flex for most distances cast with a fast to very fast recovery to straight after the cast and that has a nice moderately stiff butt. I've not found this action in any of the lower priced 2-handers, although some the TFO Deer Creek rods come close. This means for me to get the rod action I perfer and that works best for me, I have to buy a high-end rod. And not all high-end rods have this action I prefer because they have a too flexible tip or bend too deeply when cast.
Great post! FT.
Agree your points. I am a fan of Meiser MKS action too!
The TFO Deer Creek action is really close to the MKS action and fast recovery speed. I was amazed how fast the blank recovered despite the cheaper price!
Another extremely fast recovery and mid-flex rod that has surprised me is the SAGE TCX switch rods. It seems the company can modify any taper they want by using those extremely fast recovery materials.
I have found the discontinued Snowbee Torridge (12 ft , 6/7) to be a rod that can favorably compete with most of the higher end scandi type rods .
Yes nice rod have had it since it came out in 2005. Also have its replacement the Snobee Diamond spey in same length and weight. Both throw a nice Scandi line.
Is there? Seems to me a few years ago Steve Choate won an international tournament in the UK with a Daiwa rod, a low end (lowest end WF series) daiwa rod. Tournament casters are searching for max distance, fishermen are trying to catch fish. Don't think I'd have any use for a tournament casters rod and doubt most tournament casters would use their tournament casting rods for fishing, unless they are under contract with their rod maker. And the lines they use...I'll leave that one alone. My $.02
I like the Beulah Classic 12'7 7/8 - Mieser commented that its basically a Highlander Classic- he designed it.
But for a few bucks more than what you would pay for the Beulah blank you can get a Highlander blank- or even an MKS blank I believe. If your into spinning up your own.
It might surprise most people that some of the tournament rods are not super stiff but rather are full flex action.
I have fished with both my 15ft and 18ft tounament rods and they do just fine and as for lines I use the same for fishing and casting.
The Daiwa that Steve used was......a full flex action rod, at the time it was one of the rods that would full flex but not break as Steve is a powerful caster.
To continue the true line of this thread the Echo DH 7146 is an outstanding long, light line rod!
Puts a big smile on my face
Cool! My next rod definitely is one of those long and full flexing rod!! : )
You better hurry Mark as they were discontinued. I think Poppy has one left.
Absolutely right on regarding the myth about so-called tournament rods not being fishing rods! All a person has to do is get to cast one of Carron's superb 18' "tournament rods" to see that the best 2-handed "tournament" or "casters" rods aren't as stiff as a broom handle and that they would very nicely indeed for a days fishing. And like you, I fish regularly with my 16' 11 wt T&T and 18' 12 wt Loomis rods.
By-the-way, the Carron rods are among the most expensive 2-handed rods in the world and they have accounted for nearly all the spey casting distance championships the last 7 years of so. But broom sticks they are not, nor are they extreme full-flex rods like the old Sage 9140 Brownie or the CND Expert series rods. But then again, if a person has very limited experience casting a limited number of different rods from different rod makers, it is easy to make this mistake.
Thanks for your input FT. Never meant to suggest that tournament rods couldn't be good fishing rods but really, who uses an 18' rod for fishing, maybe a few but I'd wager very few. Thought this was about "blue collar" spey rods. You've just stated Carrons are the most expensive, not blue collar...
Even a 15' rod is rarely used. If I push my old Daiwa 15' Jim Love speycaster I'm in the trees on the far bank. Fishing and tournament casting are two different things. I don't doubt your Carron rods are great casting rods. I usually fish 13' rods but have never seen or heard of one used in a tournament. Thought this was about about fishing rods, no disrespect intended. I'm no fast taper enthusiast as a matter fact I'm the opposite. The Daiwa tapers are the best I've found for fishing...hope the Carrons are equal...should be much better at the price.
Despite the trend of short heads and rods, 15 ft rods are still popular on large rivers where long lines are used. The long rods have little to do with casting distance in these applications.
Another "blue collar" rod is the FLI. A little heavy, but a great entry or back-up rod.
On the Clearwater and Snake I like to fish behind the short rod guys with my 16, 17, or 18ft rods and with these rods, it is all about the distance!
You can cast really far and hook lots of fish if you cast at the right angle. The fly is fishing is soon as it lands and no mending.
Distance is a byproduct of casting long lines and big rods handle long lines better.
I enjoy scoring big dollar rods on ebay...now that's a budget option!
I've recently scored a LeCie and a Greaseliner, combined price of either at retail.
Best deal of all IMHO... a Meiser standard build. Yeh, will sting when you pay but like butter when you play.
And on the Columbia, the Cowlitz, the Deschutes, the Skagit etc. Certainly we can get more distance with a longer rod and longer head. Now back to the blue collar spey.
Indeed some will use longer rods but most won't...and most PNW rivers don't appreciate rods beyond about 14'...with many a 13 footer is too much. In agreement with FT, a strong tip is crucial (either fat in diameter or fat in graphite thickness).
It's about rod taper much more than rod length...and rod price. The most pleasurable speycasting rods are all auto-casters...if the caster provides the correct impetus the rod will do the work...and with these rods a caster can push or limit them with ease. The weight grain windows are wide and they are forgiving should the caster lose his rhythm.
Good tapers were developed in Scotland, on the Spey, many years ago and few (none that I've experienced other than an early 12ft.8wt.3pc T&T) rods can compete with the physics/geometry of those tapers, whether high buck or blue collar.
OK, that's my take...but I do admit that I've not cast any of the more recent CF Burkheimer or Meiser or ACR or TFO rods. This should provide a resurgence or this thread, please forgive me!
Think we should have tournaments based on rod length. 12 footer, 13 footers, 14 footers and 15 footers. Now that would be fun and really quite informative. I'll enter the 12 & 13 footer games and use low buck rods (so I can make a fool of myself) ...only commercially available lines allowed, pick your line and go. How about it speycasters?