How many grains do you REALLY need.

#16
As long as you are catching fish with what you are using, use it.
We made it 14 posts without a rhetorical, stupid reply. Thanks

On my 7wt's I fish 480-570 grain compacts with tips up to 170 grains depending on the rod. For bigger tips I'll drop down a line weight with the head in order to accommodate the load.
This is the kind of thing that I love to hear, In my opinion, the general thought is "it takes grains to turn grains" and for heavier tips, guys throw heavier heads with heavier rods.

I have always wondered if the rod "cared" about the difference between a 600gr skagit 75 grain tip, or a 550gr skagit with a 125gr tip. My hunch is NO.

I see a lot of guys fishing smaller water, or even bigger water where its not necessary to make a 1,000 foot cast, fishing 9 and 10 weight spey rods. To each his own, for sure, but I just don't find it enjoyable to throw a 14 or 15 foot rod around all day.
 
#17
A wise man once said...it takes grains to throw grains....I only use my set up because that's what it take s to turn over my flies that i like to fish.
i also typically fish water much deeper than 2-5 feet as well as some super heavy and fast water. Basically I am trying to hit the water most fly guys wouldn't even look at but the gear guys wreck them out of.
 
#18
I hear that Rick! I am too new to know for myself what works and what doesn't, it just seems like you talk to 10 different people and get 10 different answers. Good news is, the guys who keep their fly in the water are the ones who catch fish. I just bought a lighter spey this year (Meis 12'6 7wt) and am looking forward to throwing skagits in the 500-540 range. Rather than the 14+ foot rods I have thrown in years past.
 

TrevorH

Active Member
#19
If I were going to draw a line between winter and summer, I'd draw it around 500 grains of belly.

Edit: I've actually found it slightly tough to find rods around this power level, ideally in a 12'6"-13' length. Seems like a lot more 450 & 550 rods to choose from.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#20
TrevorH, not sure I understand, but if you are looking for a winter rod that can fit into the 12'6" to 13' lengh and toss more than 550, I think the Z Axis 8129 will fill that niche. I'm not positive, but I think the grain weight window on that bad boy is 500-750. Again, I'm horrible, but it will deliver a lot of fly tying materials, tip and line.
 

Ian Broadie

Flyfishing is so "Metal"
#22
I have always wondered if the rod "cared" about the difference between a 600gr skagit 75 grain tip, or a 550gr skagit with a 125gr tip. My hunch is NO.
I would think that it would actually make a difference as the shooting head by itself generates energy more efficiently than the entire line would including the tip. This is why we can use strait 10 to 15 foot pieces of T 14 and not really have to worry about the grain weight of the T 14.

If the shooting head is matched to the rod correctly the head itself will do the work of loading the rod making it easier to launch the T 14 tip and what ever fly is being used. For example I had the fortune of using a nice Winston 6/7 last winter on the Sol Duc and the easiest way to combat the super tight casting conditions on the upper part of the river was to overload the rod with a shorter heavier shooting head to generate more energy in a smaller cast.

Hope this helps.
 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#23
Sage 9140 3 piece.. Skagit 650, flies a lot like Matney's; 6" plus and tied on a 55mm waddington.... I want to move to around 700, but I've resisted to date, mostly cause I don't want to spend the dough.
 

Salmo_g

Well-Known Member
#25
Skagit 450 on my CND Solstice 6/7 to throw 15' type III, VI, and up to 15' of T-8. I have a Sage 9140-4 that I don't use for steelheading any longer, but I put a 550 on it last summer to toss 12' of T-14 in deeper, swifter chinook water. I came by a Beulah 12' 7" 8 wt last summer that should be a good winter rod. I'm not sure how many grains to find comfort there, but I'm thinking 500 - 530 maybe. I'll use the same tips that I use on the Solstice, since they're ideal for my steelhead fishing.

Sg
 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#26
Skagit 450 on my CND Solstice 6/7 to throw 15' type III, VI, and up to 15' of T-8. I have a Sage 9140-4 that I don't use for steelheading any longer, but I put a 550 on it last summer to toss 12' of T-14 in deeper, swifter chinook water. I came by a Beulah 12' 7" 8 wt last summer that should be a good winter rod. I'm not sure how many grains to find comfort there, but I'm thinking 500 - 530 maybe. I'll use the same tips that I use on the Solstice, since they're ideal for my steelhead fishing.

Sg
Steve, that thing rules with an Airflo Compact Skagit of 510 grains. For the Rio, since it's a longer belly than the compact, I found I liked the 550 better than the 500...
 
#28
Great topic that is sure to help the learning curve for several members, I find your rod to line ratios very interesting. I have a 14-1 winter rod that throws a skagit 500 good and the 550 flight like a rocket. When I add 12 feet of t-14 it still casts well till I go to the big fly and then it gets a little tricky. I have to really connect with my casting stoke to stay in the game. I feel at that point I have found the top end in tip grain because i couldnt lift a heavier line consistently in all of the fishing situations.
So I am looking at another winter stick in the 650 grain window as well because I find myself wanting a little bit more to often.
 
#29
Great topic that is sure to help the learning curve for several members, I find your rod to line ratios very interesting. I have a 14-1 winter rod that throws a skagit 500 good and the 550 flight like a rocket. When I add 12 feet of t-14 it still casts well till I go to the big fly and then it gets a little tricky. I have to really connect with my casting stoke to stay in the game. I feel at that point I have found the top end in tip grain because i couldnt lift a heavier line consistently in all of the fishing situations.
So I am looking at another winter stick in the 650 grain window as well because I find myself wanting a little bit more to often.

William, try the 510 compact skagit before you buy anothr rod...unless that's just an excuse to buy a new rod, then by all means "You need nes rod!"..., the skagit flight really lacks the turn over power needed for the heavy flys and tip. The compact Skagit by AirFlo doesn't have this problem. Or just continue to use the Rio 500 Skagit, that should throw a large heavy fly and 12' of t-14 no sweat.

James.
 

James Mello

Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"
#30
Second on the Rio flight. That thing blows for *really* big flies. It'll work with the standard intruders and jumbo critters though, so don't give up.
 

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