Two Handed Overhead Casting Rods for the Salt?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Stonefish, Aug 4, 2005.

  1. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    I'm curious if anyone is using two handers for fishing the salt here locally? I'm talking about overhead casting rods like they use for stripers on the east coast, not traditional spey rods.
    CND makes a Atlantis rod series. These 11 foot 3 pc rods come in 9/10 and 11/12 wts, which would be overkill in my opinion for fishing around here. A 6/7 or 7/8 seems like it would be the ticket for fishing around the sound.
    I catch most of my fish within 50 feet of shore. There are those days though when you have lots of fish showing themselves but they are just out of casting. It seems the casting distance of a two hander could put you in the zone.
    Thanks for any input you can provide.
    Brian
     
  2. flybill

    flybill Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!

    I haven't cast them myself, but I've heard a lot of good things about the switch casting rods.

    Talk to the guys out at River Run Anglers, or go see them if you live in the area. They're out at the Snoqualmie / Tolt confluence every Saturday morning from 9 - 12.

    Hopefully Matt will chime in on these as well, since I'm pretty sure he's farmiliar with quite a few of the rods you would be interested in.
     
  3. Surf_Candy

    Surf_Candy Member

    have not casted them either. Been considering a 10' single hander. Recently went to a 30 foot shooting head system on a 9' rod and I am happy with the single backcast 90' casts that I get with the line system.

    I don't like the look of long rods...just a personal thing for me - some sort of deep rooted childhood envy possibly.

    surf
     
  4. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Surf Candy,
    What are you using for your heads and running line (intermediate or floater)? I use 30' T-14 and LC-13 heads when fishing down in Baja. I don't think that heavy of a head would be required up here.
    Brian
     
  5. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    The Atlantis is a good rod and real popular on the east coast for 2 handing the salt. I think it might be due to the fact that length may not be an issue as their beaches do not climb too steeply behind a caster. There is only one other 2 hander here in Puget Sound, Sean, but he is leaving or may have already left for the east coast. He used the Atlantis exclusively in the salt. Too much rod was never the issue for me, length is when there may be a slope behind you of 20% and more, plus sun bathers strolling behind you. Also, for me, I think there is less effort to cast 2 handed with a longer rod. I have argued this point with fellows who use shorter rods, but it’s pointless. It’s what works best for me and you will have to discover what works best for you.

    All of my over head casting is done with shooting heads and usually are floating or intermediate line, both off the shelf and home made, with mono or flat mono running line. A stripping basket is imperative. I started two years ago with a Sage 5120 for SRC’s in the salt. Heads run around 350 grains and it’s been very effective for small fish, but it is not a distance rod. Merely a way to reduce false casting and improve distance or casting into the wind which occurs 90% of the time in Puget Sound. I’ve also adapted this method to lake fishing and skinny water on some of our trout rivers. A second rod I’ve used is a 12 foot 8 wt Loop greenline. This is when I realized a faster, stouter rod was better for over heading. It got me to 500 grain heads. I also have a Talon Midgar 13 foot 9/10 wt of Scandahovian decent. It said 9/10 but felt more like a 10/11. Some of the better rods for over heading are from Sweden and Norway, but can be very difficult to get a hold of, or in my case, pay for. The Midgar proved to be what I was looking for and was my goto rod for a long time. It put me into the 600 to 700 grain range. Now I’m in love with a Bob Meiser rod. A 15 foot, three piece, 9/10/11. It was a prototype that as soon as I touched it, I knew it was what I needed. It put me in the 700 to 800 grain range for shooting heads, but handles lines up to 1100 grains. I have hardly touched my other rods since I got it. I have been using it on the rivers too and have almost forgot how to spey cast. It wasn’t until recently that I picked up my other, lighter rods for summer run and tried to remember how to spey cast a floating line.

    You see, in the salt I was using float and inter heads. For the rivers during the winter, I was able to use heads with T-14 tips and very heavy, large flies. This would get me very deep and over heading was the most efficient way of getting all that fast sinking crap out in the water in one cast. I can consistently cast a chunk of cable and a piece of lead with feathers stuck to it, 125 feet. Out in the salt with a stripping basket, when the planets line up and weather conditions permit, I can cast a bit farther than that without making wind knots.

    Other rods I’ve heard endorsed for the salt are T&T. If you are not an Atlantis fan and want a longer rod and living on the east coast, chances are it’s a T&T. Another rod I’d like to check out would be a 15’ 10/11 Loomis GLX.

    The only other issue about two handing the salt is catching and releasing a fish with a long rod. After you have used them for awhile, that is not a real issue, just something else you have to learn. Ask me anything you want, if I can keep you from breaking a few rods like I did trying different things, then I would be glad to help. Maybe we can hook up down at Aaron’s or out in the salt sometime.
     
  6. Surf_Candy

    Surf_Candy Member

    Stonefish - after Matt's professional response above I'll keep it short! Nice job Matt - the professor is in!

    I use 2 heads for the beaches 90% of the time - both 30', a floater (Scientific Angler 10wt) and a Rio clear intermediate 30' head - not sure of grains, don't pay too much attention to that part of it. Typically use a floating running line with the floating head, and clear intermediate running line with the sinking head...so I swap spools if I am moving from top water action to below- but I will put the intermed. head on the floating running line if the tide slows down or I walk to a more shallow area instead of swapping spools.

    for fast currents off deeper beaches will toss 30' of LC 13, but that is a rare event for me.

    I had to upgrade my rod this year to take advantage of the heads - my last rod overloaded with the 30' heads and was not much fun to cast.

    surf
     
  7. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    surf,

    You’re being too kind to an inbred hillbilly like me that just happened to grow up here for the last 45 years. I love 2 handing the salt and believe that it is the final frontier for Washington. I’m hoping it will lead us to other fisheries in the salt that most people wouldn’t consider with a fly. As far as I’m concerned, there are only two true professionals and real gentlemen on the board when it comes to the saltwater. Les Johnson and Leland Miyawaki, both of whom have taught me a lot and I’ve never met Les. If I don’t seem like a hillbilly, it’s because of these two guys.

    If we get another guy interested in this, we could have a Puget Sound 2 Hand the Salt Calve. Something I’ve mentioned several times on the site before, but every time I do, CPS shows up wondering how a wacko like me could be allowed around small children.
     
  8. pcknshvl

    pcknshvl Member

    Meiser makes a two-handed, 11' 6/7 wt, plus others on up to 11/12. I messed around with one (I think it was the same one) at Aaron's Saturday morning deal. Since I was just learning the switch cast, and since this rod is so light, I didn't cast it much. I did over-head (two-handed) it a couple of times (very rustily since I hadn't done that since my Cape Cod trip last year) and liked it. It one-hands very nicely, too.

    Check out his web site: www.meiserflyrods.com/salt.html

    Let us know what you end up with--I've been searching for the right Puget Sound two-hander as well, since I hooked up with Juro and cast both models of the Atlantis. Love 'em.

    Tom
     
  9. Brent Comer

    Brent Comer Member

    I'm in! I've spent a little time and a little dough on two-handers. I'm waiting to get some trial time in on some two-handed overhead casting rods for the salt. I've had my eyes on the smaller Atlantis... However, I don't own any Meisers (yet).
     
  10. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    I have been casting a Sage 8126 European two-hander with a 10wt Rio Outbound. It is a 120' line with a 37 1/2 floating head. I don't know if I like not seeing my popper anymore when it lands. Fall coho fishing off the beach is a distance game and with our sloping beaches and rising tides that push us back into the driftwood, a two-handed overhead casting rod with a short head that requires only couple backcasts is just the ticket. I have also been casting the Orvis 1267/8-3. At only $350, it's a bargain.

    Leland.
     
  11. Brent Comer

    Brent Comer Member

    Leland, how are you lining the Orvis rod? Thanks, Brent.
     
  12. miyawaki

    miyawaki Active Member

    Brent,

    I tested it with an 8wt Outbound but it should also load with a nine.

    Leland.
     
  13. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Matt, I bought the Atlantis All Arounder last Fall after being frustrated with too many fish just beyond my casting range. I have both the floating shooting head and a new intermediate clear sinking head. It has about 350 grains so it should get down pretty well. I am in for a clave to fish the beach. Let me know. I look forward to meeting up sometime this fall.

    Steve
     
  14. Stonefish

    Stonefish Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater

    Fellas
    Thanks for the info. Very much appreciated. Now comes the bad part. Your replies brought up a few more questions from this two-handed newbie that I hope you can help answer for me.

    It sounds you folks are using "european" or traditional" style spey rods for fishing the salt. Most of these rods primary use would be for fishing rivers, correct? What are the main differences between these and rods like the Atlantis, which are touted as overhead "surf tamer" casting rods.

    Matt,
    Thanks for explaining the different rods and lines. If you going to pick one of your rods for fishing silvers off the beaches locally, which one would you use?

    Leland,
    Have you fished with any of the other outbound lines besides the floater? How about the intermidiate?

    Steve,
    You mentioned you have an Atlantis All Arounder. Is that the same rod as that CND describes as their "Surf Tamer" on their website? How do you like the rod so far, any pros or cons.

    Thanks again for your input.
    Brian
     
  15. Steve Rohrbach

    Steve Rohrbach Puget Sound Fly Fisher

    Brian, the CND Surf Tamer is the 11/12 weight. The 9/10 is the All Arounder. Juro was talking about a 8/9 last Fall that they were discussing as the Pacifica. I would rather have an 8/9 but chose what was available at the time.
    Pros:
    Long effortless castes with one falsecast.
    Great quality construction.
    Cons:
    Costly.
    A little more rod than we really need around here although I appreciated the extra muscle last year during the Chum run.

    I like the rod but am hoping to hook up with Leland soon to get some coaching on how to get the most out of the rod.
    I hope this helps. Steve
     
  16. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    Brian,

    I use my traditional rods (CND, Loop Yellow line, Sage) for summer run on the rivers now. It’s the best way to swing line with the traditional/slower action rods. For overheading, I like the fastest rods I can get. For off the beach for Coho, I will go to the Meiser 15 footer.

    You know guys, we are getting a lot more response to a 2 handed salt clave this year. What I will do since we all may not be able to meet as a group, I will meet with you individually at anytime after I get my kids back to the EX on the 15th. I’ll bring my cutthroat 5120 to the 15 footer if you want to check it out and use my rods. I don’t have an Atlantis, but maybe somebody can bring one. They are cool to play with. Mostly I’d like to BS about lines ( building, weights, off the shelf and different types of running lines ). Also, there are baskets, flies and technique we could pretend that we know a lot about. Lincoln Park, Shilshole, Carkeek, Richmond, Picnic Point, Meadowdale, Mulkilteo, Howarth, Whatever. PM me and we will hook up. They are already catching Coho and Pinks out there. Slowly, but it is starting.
     
  17. kjackson

    kjackson Banned or Parked

    Hmmm...I almost hate to post here since my experience is so limited. I started using a G. Loomis Trilogy 13 for a 7/8 as a two-hander last year with mixed results. Started with a standard SA spey line but quickly switched to the SA short-head spey when it became available. I didn't get to use it much but did land chums to upper teens on it in the salt and am pleased with the distance I can achieve. The only problem I have is my occasional tendency to use the rod as a single hander...

    While I haven't used it with a two-handed rod yet, (I have with a couple of single-handed rods) Spiderwire Stealth has been a great running line in 85 or 100-pound tests. The stuff floats like a cork, doesn't absorb water, and best of all, doesn't tangle much. On the Kenai last year, it didn't bury in the spool at all under pressure. I imagine any of the other GSP braids would be about the same, but it's worth trying. Of course, it is thicker in diameter, but the floating and relative stiffness of the line are its strong points.

    KJ
     
  18. Matt Burke

    Matt Burke Active Member

    I’ve thought about gel spun as a running line several times. There are a couple of folks in Australia that have laboriously placed mono inside of braided gel spun with dabs of cyro-acrylate glue along the 200+ feet. The only problem with using gel spun is that if you hook a fatty and he runs, gel spun will cut through your fingers like butter. Placing the mono inside of braided gel spun supposedly rectifies that problem. I would think it would only increase the diameter of the running line and would just stick with regular gel spun. I’ve even thought of placing a very large open faced reel on my 15 foot rod lined with very thin diameter gel spun and seeing how far I could cast a line. An open faced reel would solve the problem of cutting fingers and the tangle of a stripping basket. Now don’t get your panties in a bunch gentlemen, I only thought about it and still prefer mono running line. I like having finger tip control. Of course there are those that will say using mono isn’t fly fishing anymore.

    You have to understand that I would do just about anything to figure out how to cast a fishable line and fly, 75 to 100 yards out in the salt. If someone would promise to show me how, if I would take on the entire defensive line of the Seahawks during a game at Quest field, then there would be one bloody mass of bodies laying on the fifty yard line. Coming up with a new method of fly fishing the salt requires extreme, unorthodox thinking and as anyone will tell you on this site, there is a lot wrong with my rational.
     
  19. Brandon S

    Brandon S Member

    I actually own both the smaller and larger atlantis's. The surf tamer is a serious rod, well suited for our line sided friends to the east, or feathered friends to the south, I just can't picture myself using the surf tamer in the sound. The All Rounder on the other hand is actually a really sweet rod off the local beaches for silvers and the like, although a tad on the heavy side for cutts. It does feel very light in hand, I think I heard it compared to a 7 weight spey rod to give you an idea. Im no expert by any means with the thing, but 90' casts are pretty routine, perfect when there jumping just out of range, or when trying to reach that rip seam. Oh, and there really fun!Down sides are the increase tangles that come with 100' of line stripped off the reel, and the necesity for a stripping basket, though it seems most guys are using these now anyway.
     
  20. pcknshvl

    pcknshvl Member

    I'm currently slavering over a Meiser 11'7" 5/6/7 two-hander for both Puget Sound and for Yakima Trout ( and various Bulls, Searuns in Rivers, the surprise summer-run....). Has anyone given this a serious field test?

    Tom