first steelhead/salmon rod -- multi tip or no??

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by golfman44, Apr 28, 2013.

  1. This will be my first steelhead/salmon rod (only have a 5 weight right now). Ideally I will be using this for both river and beach fishing in the sound (I live in Seattle).

    After reading countless posts here and around the web I've seen a lot of discussion about multi/versi tip lines. Basically I guess I'm asking if:

    1) Being as inexperienced as I am, will I get the value out of a nicer reel + multi tip line or is it just an unnecessary expense?

    2) If you have a mutli/versi tip setup, whats your experience with it?

    3) I've noticed a few people mentioning throwing a 5wt Rio Short Scandi Spey system on a 8wt Single hander which is apparently easier to cast than their Versi Tip system, plus its about $40 cheaper (specifically Red's fly shop says they do this a bunch). Have any of you heard about this and/or tried this setup? If its easier to cast and saves me $40 this is definitely something I'd be interested in. Some say that its harder to mend and control your line with, but right now I'm still so new to fly fishing that I think casting well would benefit me more. Mending well won't do me any good if I'm not getting the fly to the fish.

    Thanks for all the help
  2. What are you trolling for Paul? Now that you have adjustable drag springs for your Islander and Taupo, your work is finished. So now you have to stir some shit up, is that it?

  3. What
  4. Wrong Golfman; my bad. Sorry. An answer better suited to you tomorrow if I can.

  5. Oh ok that explains it haha.

    I would appreciate that, thanks!
  6. A 10' 8 would work, I really like my old 8100-3 RPL but if you're about to join the steelhead/salmon the PNW, you'll end up with a spey rod, might as well get it now cause it won't be easier later...might as well get the line conundrum started for real,'ll save money in the long run.
  7. I think you'll find that rod is great for fishing the beaches in the summer and fall. Probably a little heavy for pinks, but should be fine for coho. I've got a St. Croix 7/8 wt that I use on the beaches and I like it. It will probably be a great way to get started on steelheading as well--I fished a single-hander for steelhead for 3 or 4 years before getting my first spey rod this winter. Plus, you might find yourself in plenty of situations in the future where you might want to have a single hander for steelhead even if you do end up getting a spey set up.

    As for the versi-tip set up--I have that for my St. Croix and really like it. It will definitely give you a lot of options, and will allow you to easily switch out and learn how those different tips will work. Especially when getting into steelheading, it might be useful to play around with those tips and learn how they sink and how they fish. And the intermediate tip is perfect for fishing the beaches.

    Hope this helps!

  8. Golfman44,

    I'm not acquainted with the rod in question, but I'd be confident in the quality of an Orvis rod. What matters is if you like casting and fishing it. Some anglers find that a 10' length wears on the wrist during all day casting, and salmon and steelhead fishing IS all day casting. It is worth considering that 9 and 9 1/2' 8 wt rods are the most popular single hand steelhead rods. I'm partial to a 9 1/2', but I have 8 wts ranging from 8 1/2' to 10'.

    I don't own any factory made multi-tip fly lines for single hand rods, mainly because I was making my own before the factory made models came on the market. An 8 wt floating line is a good one to have, but would likely get the least use on a year around basis. Sink tips make up close to 90% of my steelhead fishing. Type III and type VI are good choices and get lots of use.

    The posts about getting a Spey rod if you're going to take up steelhead fishing have merit. While Spey rods are not necessary, they are handy and allow an angler to fish more steelhead water than is generally possible with a single hand rod. However, if you're a beginner, and 8 wt single hand rod is a good place to begin to give steelheading a try and see if it's something you want to stick with.

    Most any reel costing $100 or up will be satisfactory. Look for one that has reasonably tight tolerances without a lot of slop in its components.

    Good luck.

  9. Thanks a bunch for the replies, really do appreciate it.

    I'm still torn between 10ft vs 9ft. I figured 10 would be better for beach fishing but the 9ft being easier on your arm to cast sounds nice.

    Seems like a Lamson Konic 2 3.5 reel will be perfect...but after looking a bit more I've noticed a few people mentioning throwing a 5wt Rio Compact Scandi Spey system on a 8wt Single hander which is apparently easier to cast than their Versi Tip system, plus its about $40 cheaper. Have any of you heard about this and/or tried this setup?

    (Edited my top post to include this last part so more people see it)
  10. i'm going to buy the scandi system for my new spey - that i don't have any idea how to cast yet...

    but, skip the versi tip. it's the worst casting line i have EVER cast. i'm a hack but it absolutely totally frikkin sucks. in my professional opinion. :)don't waste your money.

    and also IMHO, it's great to hav a mix of different kinds of floating, sinking, skipping, and singing and even dancing tips. but, on a budget - using a floating line and varying the length of your leader, weight of your fly (weighted fly for example), and even (god forbid) throwing a small bb weight on your line can cover 90% of what you need.

    i'll probably get flamed by the 'purists' but don't get too up in all the fly lines.

    i have also been recommended to try the scandi system on my 8 wt. would love to hear what you have to say about if you try it.

    Or, just get a decent WFF and work with it. ;-)It'll save u a bunch of $$
  11. Your probably gonna want multiple lines or at the very least some Polyleaders of varying sink rates to hang off a floating line. As others have said, "versi-tip" lines on single handed rods are dodgy at best when it comes to casting. I'd generally try and avoid them. Good concept, just not practical. If I were you, I'd get a quality floating line and quality type 6 sink tip. Do not cheap out on line, ever. If your going to go cheap on one aspect of the kit, it should be the reel. The Lamson sounds about right for that. It offers an excellent balence of price to performance.

    As far as rod length, I think you should get comfortable with a 9 foot rod before considering a 10 footer. It will be a little easier to handle and until you become proficient with the heavier rod, you won't notice a significant performance increase.

    Also, if you don't want to drop the $$$$ on two lines, get a good quality floating line that allows for throwing bigger flies/coping with winds (perhaps an Outbound Short or SA Streamer Express) and a couple fast sinking Polyleaders. If your not familier, a Polyleader is a tapered leader with a coating similar to that of a sink tip line that allows the leader to sink. They have a pre-tied perfection loop in the butt end and a exposed segment of mono on the other. In the exposed section you tie a loop and loop-to-loop connect of piece of your favorite tippet material (I like Maxima). The advantage to PolyLeaders is they are much easier to cast with a single handed rod then a loop on, Versi-Tip style sink tip due to the taper. Just something to consider.
  12. Thank you so much for the help. I've already learned a bunch from you and the others here. Learning to fly fish completely solo has been hard, not sure where I'd be without this forum haha.

    Seems like I'm set on the 9ft and the Lamson reel but I'll need to look more into the line.

    Do you mind if I pm you in a day or two when I narrow down my search?

    Thanks again, I owe you all a brew
  13. "What"

    Too funny:confused:

    Just another pitch for getting a spey now intead of waiting. You'll be "needing" one once seeing the benefit on a steelhead river.
  14. You can PM me whenever you want. I know how you feel, when I first started around age 10 I never took any lessons at all, I got the book "Fly Fishing for Dummies" from the library and more or less figured it out between that and trips my Father would take me on (he didn't start fly fishing till after I did).
  15. Why not give Steve Godshall in Medford OR a call? A custom line designed just for your rod, and no more $$ than one off the shelf. The info you get from him is priceless.
  16. Sent you a PM
  17. A happy medium between 9 and 10ers and great for both rivers and beach single handers is to get a 9'6" 8 wt.
    Just my opinion, but 10 fters feel a bit clubbish to me when you get up into 8 wts. For beach fishing, they can wear you out pretty quickly since you'll be casting all day.
    I've used a multi-tip line off the beach for years and caught plenty of fish. I generally used the intermediate and type III tips. For rivers, you can also make your own T-11, T-14 etc heads to cover even more basis. Not great casting lines but fishable.
    That being said, once the integrated shooting head lines (OB Short, 40+, Streamer Express) became available, it was hard to fish anything else off the beach. While not cheap, if you got another spool and both a multi-tip and integrated head line you could cover just about any situation you'd encounter on the river and beach.
    Ed Call likes this.
  18. Yea I'm looking at the outbound short floating to start with and I can throw on some sinking polyleader when I need to. Not ideal for every situation obviously, but it's a nice start that won't be too expensive.
  19. I won't pretend to know all of the current possibilities. I love the versitip idea, just not the versitip. The tip itself is too light or something.
    I will share an old guides tip though. When I bought my first SH rod (an 896 RPL, a classic and all time favorite), one of our veteran guides hooked me up with a 9wt SA Steelhead taper line. We cut it at 15 feet and whipped loops for quick connection. Then took a super fast sinking 30 foot shooting taper line and cut it at 18 feet and looped each end for 12' and 18' sink tips.
    It takes some balls to cut new lines like that but I'll tell you one thing. That setup still brings a smile to my face. Throws far better than the Versitip. As good of a caster as I have. The RPLs are fast in their class so the 9 is a good fit, and helps to muscle the sink tips and heavy stuff when you need it.
    Free advice, worth the price.

    Oh, and I've been throwing an Outbound Short on a 6 wt for a while now. Helluva line. You won't go wrong that way either. Won't mend as well on the river but has advantage off the beach. Swing both ways for twice the fun.
  20. Thanks for the tip...I think that kind of stuff is a bit over my head right now haha.

    I ended up going w/ a floating 8w outbound short to start with. I'll use poly leaders as needed to help sink it a bit for now. When I get the hang of things and see the need for a sinking line I'll grab one then. I figure the less things I'm having to think about out there the better. Can't wait for June...

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