Let's Talk Two-Handed Beach Rods

wetswinger

Active Member
Thought I would talk a little about two handed fly rods used for overhead casting on the beach. This isn’t about single hand vs. double hand or any of that stuff. Just talking two hand beach rods. I've been using two handed fly rods for about four years now. Started using them mainly because I could hardly fish anymore because of a bad right shoulder. As it continued to worsen I couldn't go for more than an hour single hand casting and it would hurt for days afterwards. Tried some spey casting, as it was all the rage, and found I could fish for a few hours without as much pain. About this same time I returned to Puget Sound after working in Utah for a few years and started fishing for salmon and SRC off the neighborhood beach using a casting rod with a bubble and fly outfit, which actually worked quite well. But l soon started using my 13' spey rod overhead on the beach and was hooked. Now I rarely fish rivers. Without a boat, river fishing here is an epic struggle. Obviously a 13' spey rod is not ideal for overhead casting, so I have bought and used a couple of different switch rods. First a 12-footer and now a 11' Echo SR. I still wasn't satisfied as the switch rods, when cast overhead, just don't seem to have that nice crisp snap to them that a good single hand rod has. Something was missing. As I read some East Coast striper blogs, they would mention using two handed rods designed specifically for overhead casting. These are a rare breed with only a very few commercial rods available. The list includes: the Beulah two hand Opal, the Thomas and Thomas Exocett and the Echo Boost Beach. Out of production but possible to find is the G.Loomis Crosscurrent Specialized and the CND Atlantis/Oceana. Many others are built by local rod-builders using available blanks. I was able to find a CND Oceana 9# at a great price on close-out (ballisticlines.com) and have been using it for the last few weeks and couldn't be happier. It’s exactly what I was looking for. Nice crisp action. Effortless distance. You can really put the screws to it and it doesn't complain. I'm sure many of you think an 11', 9# rod is a little overkill for our poor measly little SRC and Resi-Coho and your probably right. The thing is, a perfect cast, the strike and the hook set is the essence of fly fishing and I get those with these rods. After that I just want to quickly get them in and on there way. So to my way of thinking, if you want to cast two hand overhead, consider getting a rod designed for it. Along the way I had a full shoulder replacement surgery and recovery. I've taken my single hand rod to the beach a couple times and realized, even without the pain, I really prefer the ease of the two handed rod..... Here is a good link...
 

Bake

Member
After having both shoulders rebuild I have converted all my baitcasting rods to two-handers. All the spinning rods were two-handed, to begin with, and now I am thinking about converting all my single-handed fly rods to double-handed fly rods.

Right now I'm using an Echo Boost Beach in 7wt. to chase Strippers down here in the Delta (from the front end of a bass boat). Instead of buying a Boost Beach in 6wt., I thought maybe I could add a second lower hand gripe to some of my single-handers. and save a few bucks.

Have any of you guys tried to do something like this? What did you try, add a long fighting butt, or cut and slide the front gripe and reel sit forward about 6"?
 

Jack Devlin

Active Member
Other than the Beulah Opal, I am not familiar with the other "overhead casting" rods you mentioned. I have fished the Opal, I like it, and my Striper friends on the East Coast love the rod. It is fast and gets a big flatwing out there in the wind over the waves. For SRC? No. Way over rodded. It is an 8/9wt rod . Where is the fun, the challenge? In the last two years or so I have seen so many SRC fisherman using way too heavy rods and lines. I don't get it. You can use a lighter rod, have more fun, and still not over play the fish. The equivalent to a 5 or 6 wt single hander is adequate.

I understand the shoulder issue. Experience it myself. Don't know what the answer is. Shoulder surgery or a spinning rod? :) Switch rods just don't seem to cast two-handed overhead very well. Also, this focus SRC fisherman seem to have on distance I don't buy into. Most all of my SRC and Salmon are caught within 50' and most often within 20'-30'.
When you find the perfect two handed beach rod let me know. :)
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
In all honesty though, I've been keeping my eye on what other folks think of them. For me, it would be for surf perch, but as of right now, I don't see the need because much like many of you folks getting after SRCs, most SP come well within 50'. That said, casting further easier is never a bad idea.
 

Bake

Member
I always thought that strippers required a full 9...
I always have my figures crossed for a big one, (+24 plus inches, but all I ever hook are about <20 inches, not even a legal keeper). Of course, I would never keep anything I catch in the Delta. Those little towns there have been dumping raw sewage in the water for over a hundred years. Thanks, but no thanks!
 
Last edited:

skyrise

Active Member
I bought an Echo TR 11-3” in 4wt. Love this rod & have been wondering why not use it for beach fishing ? Landed enough salmon this fall & now know it could handle salters & Salmon. But to use as an overhead caster, I just don’t know? And what kind of line would/could I cast?
 

Stonefish

Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
Problem is, no one makes dedicated overhead TH rods in light weights. They’re made for heavy winds and ocean sized fish. I was just trying to pass on some info. not be judged.
You should ping some of the rod manufacturers and put a bug in their ear about what you want.

If they hear it from enough people, you might just get your wish for some lighter two handed beach rods.
SF
 

Randall Clark

Huge Fly Guy
I think that Echo's TH beach rods are weighted as SH rods...at least judging by their line rec's, which correspond to their standard SH line rec's for that type of fishing. Lowest they have is a 6wt.
 

Bake

Member
Problem is, no one makes dedicated overhead TH rods in light weights. They’re made for heavy winds and ocean sized fish. I was just trying to pass on some info. not be judged.
That's the reason I would like to convert some of my rods to two-handed rods. I have 4wts.(3), 5wts.(5), 6wts.(2), 8wts.(2), and a 9wt in primo condition. These rods are just collecting dusty...
 

Nick Clayton

Well-Known Member
WFF Supporter
I agree with @wetswinger . The fight when targeting src is the least of my worries. For me the joy comes from targeting them, finding them, getting a fly in front of them, and getting them to eat. After that I just want to land them as quickly as possible, admire how incredible they are for a few seconds, and send them on their way.

I'd much rather fish for them with a rod that I enjoy casting and does what I need to do than worry about extracting a few extra seconds of fight out of them. I mean let's face it, for the size of the fish we usually catch a 6 wt is even kinda overkill, but sixers handle wind, weighted flies, distance casting etc better than lighter rods.

I dont fish for src for the challenge of landing them. These aren't tarpon for crying out loud. The true challenge is finding them in this huge saltwater environment and getting them to eat.
 

Bagman

Active Member
I only use switch rods, and I only use over head casting. I picked up a Sage Z Axis 7110-4 a few years back, never even cast it untel I broke my Loop Cross S1 6110-5. I think the Z was build for over head casting, I talked to a guy that had a Z and he said he did not like it because it had too much flex in the tip area and did not Spey well.
 

Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
This brings up a question I've had. I bought and used a 7wt Echo switch rod for overhead beach casting a few years ago when I had a shoulder injury. It worked ok - I was able to cast about as far as I do a SH (without the shoulder injury!) and not hurt myself further. But it certainly didn't add distance, since you can't haul when overheading with both hands. Is there a trick to getting better distance from a TH without going to a spey cast?
 

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts

Top