I mentioned it in another thread but I recently lined a new 10ft 8wt for chasing steelhead. Ive wanted to fish a twohander for years but was always after other more accessible quarry and steelhead kinda felt like destination fishing for someone without much gas money let alone a whole new setup complete with puffy jacket. After using the royal wulff ambush line off the beach for a while I started to get a feel for spey casting just by repositioning my line before shooting an over hand cast. I figured I'd keep my eye open for a sh rod for steelhead and finally found it on clearance for 75 bucks. The first line I tried was my beach favorite. this summer I was using my 7wt 9' Grey's xf2 salt with a 6wt ambush(235gr) so I knew that the 350gr my friend loaned me would be heavy for the slightly less fast Greys GRXi+, and it was. When everything went perfect I could spey or switch cast a sinktip 55-60. But it was pushing it, and the running line, although great for stripping flies on the beach, was not pulling off the water very well so I scrapped the idea and figured I'd try a lighter short shooting line. After looking into a few options mostly airflo and Rio I felt that airflo's and Rio'scandi shorts were too long at around 30ft whereas the wulff is around 20'. I ended up with Rios scandi short body that normally goes with the versitip setup at 23' I had the guys(and gal) at the Avid Angler order it and got a call two days later saying it was in. I went with the 265 grain head at first, I figured the 235ambush felt nice on my 7wt, maybe the 265 scandi would be nice an 8 wt. The problem was that it wasn't turning over the tip completely even when I switched to a homemade imow tip instead of the 10ft sink. I then had them order the 305grain which is the next size up, rated as a 6wt line. went out this weekend and first cast I knew it was money. I paired the line with Rio's grip shooter running line which is just 100'of slick shooter with the first fifteen feet coated in orange floating flyline. Again I ordered too light, I got the 25lb and switched to the 35lb on the second order. I kept the lighter setup, I'll use it on a different rod for summer work. The 35lb felt great, a little easier to grasp with cold fingers and was green/orange, not orange/orange like it says on Rios website. I cannot stress how nice it is to have the gripshooter option for a sh rod. All the mono running lines are very tough to grab and haul and like I said before, the thicker running lines don't pickup as easy with the lighter head. I also really like how light the slick shooter core is, just be sure to stretch it well. Lastly, I was having trouble with the full sink tip and needed to try something else. I could cast it far enough, but it really doesn't keep the nice light feel that I was enjoying while casting intermediate tips on the beach. After looking into Rios imow tips I felt they were a little to heavy still, so I used a few old versitips to Frankenstein something together. I took about 7foot of the butt of the 6wt int tip, and spliced it to 4ft of the front taper of an 8wt type 6 tip. The result was a tip that weighed about 70 gr and since it has a smooth taper and thin intermediate section, the sinking portion was able to cut down through the water column easily bringing the fly to a depth I was comfortable with. well anyways that is my adventure in trying to find a setup that fits my style and can still deliver tips and heavyish flies. It took me a while but i really do love the feeling of a well timed double haul, and the fight on a single hander is second to none imo. I wanted to write this up because wasn't finding a lot of good info on the subject and I figure it might help a few people get setup easier. Its pretty fun and a lot cheaper than a whole new rod, reel, Simms waders and matching guide jacket, you know the stuff that the budding two hand fisherman has to buy. Lastly,(for real this time) I found my self on a beautiful stretch of river accompanied by a good friend of mine and although we didn't go bonkers on any hatchery brats, nor did we rope any chrome, we did a bit of exploring and spent the day appreciating the fact that there is still a reason to be on the water on such a nice February day even without catching fish. I will add that I caught my first "steelhead" last weekend out of a different stretch before the closure. It was a hatchery hen kelt that didn't fight much after the first few shakes and was tailed in about a minute. Then bonked, bled and smoked. Its a shame my first steelhead didnt do the species justice, but it was my second steelhead excursion and I had low expectations of touching a fish this winter, at least I know I'm on the right track now. Here's a cool panorama shot of my buddy and a little snap t action. Hope you guys enjoyed my not so short review and report.