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dead drifting into thread drift
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm mostly curious if anyone actually does this with a single hand fly rod [easily].

Last year I picked up my 7wt Echo glass switch. I absolutely love the rod and really enjoy casting it and fishing it. I still find myself reaching my 8wt single hand rod far more often. In part, this is because I enjoy nymphing far more than swinging a fly anyway but I also have been playing around with various short skagit heads for swinging with it.

After playing around with an Ambush head, I settled on an Airflo intermediate skagit head that I cut back to 14' and weighs in at around 290gr. This coupled with 10' of T-8 to T-11 (haven't found it necessary to try anything heavier) and lightly weighted non-rabbit flies up to 4" (larger than I normally fish) and it really sings & fishes very well out to at least 80' (the vast majority of my coastal runs are far less than this, just tested it out on a couple of wider ones). note: I use Berkley Big Game 35lb for running line.

I'm curious how many of you have broken away from TH and gone back to SH for some of this type of stuff & what you've found to work for you?

Cheers,
Randy
 

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first I should confess I am a spey addict.....however I sure caught a lot of fish with the single handed rod...If you are going to fish with an indicator, the single handed rod is probably better. A shooting head with mono running line will probably get you the distance you want with a single handed rod. You will probably not find any converts from SH to TH, there is a zen like facet to swinging a fly on a spey rod that is hard to duplicate......
 

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dead drifting into thread drift
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
there is a zen like facet to swinging a fly on a spey rod that is hard to duplicate......
oh believe me, I totally get that...especially when things are clicking (one reason my two-hander isn't going anywhere). The fact that at any time while swinging flies I can just close my eyes and listen to the sounds of the river is soothing.

However, for the majority of coastal rivers that I fish, even the switch is rather clumsy and totally overkill, but there are many spots where if you don't get way down (and fast), you're just not in the game. So I guess that switching away from TH is a misnomer, it's more a question based on fishing smaller waters.
 

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Robert
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I'm with you Randall. Majority of my Steelhead fishing is on the Upper Trinity where flows are typically 350-450 CFS in winter. My preferred set up is a 9-1/2' first gen graphite by Walton Powell in 7-8 weight. I use a 7 (260 gr.) Ambush and 10-12' leader, occasionally but rarely an intermediate 3-5 ips Riotip. 90% of time it's a weighted stone nymph or moore john Jr. Bantam with long leader. I went to the 2H rod a couple of years ago but it's really overkill on a lot of the water on the upper T and I just don't use it as much as I like.
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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Good thread Randall.
I don't fish steelhead much anymore, but back in the day it was a SH 10' 8wt with a Teeny 200 for swinging. I had several of them cut back to different lengths depending on the size of water. I also had a 300 and 400 but rarely used them. We caught fish doing this, but it really wasn't that much fun....think feeling rotator cuff surgery after a long day on the water. It also sucked in tight quarters.
Lots of different options out their now for getting things done. I'm looking forward to the replies as I'd like to do the same as you are thinking about doing.
SF
 

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I haven't gone back to using a SH rod for steelhead fishing, but if I regularly fished small streams and creeks I likely would, especially if nymphing tactics were the best way to cover holding water. The head, tip, and leader combinations to make it effective are endless these days.
 

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dead drifting into thread drift
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
but if I regularly fished small streams and creeks I likely would, especially if nymphing tactics were the best way to cover holding water. The head, tip, and leader combinations to make it effective are endless these days.
yeah, considering I mostly nymph those waters....then again, sometimes I just want to swing a fly regardless of water size or water type. I have an OPST head for my switch that I like so I figured I'd start experimenting with shorter skagit heads on my SH. I had two of the Airflo intermediate heads, one for my switch, the other was going to get sold, but figured I may as well do a little experimentation. After getting it into the 280-300 range (I thought it might be a little heavy for my Steffen 8wt, but I really liked how it performed), I settled on that. It loads that rod really deep but it really performs well with that heavy of a load. I figure that if it eventually becomes too much, I can always cut it back further. The Ambush I had was 290, but was several feet longer.
 

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Anywhere ~ Anytime
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"I'm mostly curious if anyone actually does this with a single hand fly rod [easily]."

I enjoy swinging tips on single handers even though most places I frequent are switch length friendly. Fishing them seems fun and easy enough to me. If extreme conditions are present a double hand is default.

Ambush lines one size light with T-10 8' - 10' tip. 10' rods- Scott 6wts and Loomis 7wt. Don't necessarily rely on a spey cast exclusive.. Sometimes with a bit of slop present or need more distance I'll use the spey as a set-up / change of direction (provided there's room) keeping the cast aerialized over the water, then once back overhead and out. It's a combination that works well for me ..including with switch and short double hand rods.
 

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I'm mostly curious if anyone actually does this with a single hand fly rod [easily].

Last year I picked up my 7wt Echo glass switch. I absolutely love the rod and really enjoy casting it and fishing it. I still find myself reaching my 8wt single hand rod far more often. In part, this is because I enjoy nymphing far more than swinging a fly anyway but I also have been playing around with various short skagit heads for swinging with it.

After playing around with an Ambush head, I settled on an Airflo intermediate skagit head that I cut back to 14' and weighs in at around 290gr. This coupled with 10' of T-8 to T-11 (haven't found it necessary to try anything heavier) and lightly weighted non-rabbit flies up to 4" (larger than I normally fish) and it really sings & fishes very well out to at least 80' (the vast majority of my coastal runs are far less than this, just tested it out on a couple of wider ones). note: I use Berkley Big Game 35lb for running line.

I'm curious how many of you have broken away from TH and gone back to SH for some of this type of stuff & what you've found to work for you?

Cheers,
Randy
The simplicity and effectiveness of single hand rods is why I'm just now getting serious about putting my Spey rod to use. The reasons being there are too many spots I like with zero backcast room. That, and for line control in water with complex flows, multiple seams, etc...

Doubt I'll ever give up a single hand rod to fish small water though. There's a particular stretch I think you'd really like that can be good for summer and winter runs, sometimes both. I'd be glad to give you a tour in trade for some Spey casting pointers ;) (no trade needed :) ).
 

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dead drifting into thread drift
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I'd be glad to give you a tour in trade for some Spey casting pointers ;) (no trade needed :) ).
not sure exactly how many useful pointers I'll be able to provide, perhaps some basics, but I'm basically a hack...but I do manage to get it out there and sometimes it even looks pretty.
 

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Robert
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yeah, considering I mostly nymph those waters....then again, sometimes I just want to swing a fly regardless of water size or water type. I have an OPST head for my switch that I like so I figured I'd start experimenting with shorter skagit heads on my SH. I had two of the Airflo intermediate heads, one for my switch, the other was going to get sold, but figured I may as well do a little experimentation. After getting it into the 280-300 range (I thought it might be a little heavy for my Steffen 8wt, but I really liked how it performed), I settled on that. It loads that rod really deep but it really performs well with that heavy of a load. I figure that if it eventually becomes too much, I can always cut it back further. The Ambush I had was 290, but was several feet longer.
IIRC my 7 wt Ambush is 21' at the head. What length are you cutting the Airflo back to? 10' SH rod?
 

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dead drifting into thread drift
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
IIRC my 7 wt Ambush is 21' at the head. What length are you cutting the Airflo back to? 10' SH rod?
I'm sure my Ambush was the same length as yours. It actually worked fine, but I'm also always tinkering...can be good, can be bad--in this case, good.

no, my Steffen is 8'6". the Airflo ended up being between 14' & 15' (it started out as a 420gr compact skagit-likely 20' or 21'). In all honesty, that rod would probably be fine with something even lighter at that length (then again, it works fine on my 7wt Fisher glass rod as well). Buuuut, I really really like how that intermediate short skagit fishes once on the water. It certainly doesn't hurt that it casts pretty well as well.
 

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Robert
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Buuuut, I really really like how that intermediate short skagit fishes once on the water. It certainly doesn't hurt that it casts pretty well as well.
After being introduced to intermediate sinking heads by a guide on the Rogue last winter I stopped in at Bob Meiser's and had Steve Godshall make one up for my 2H Meiser; I agree with you, it really hunts.
 

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Those that have used Skagit style lines for a long time know who the Sultan is. For those that don't a gentleman by the name of Homer or some might know him as Brian was one of the best line makers around. This was before you could buy decent lines from your fly shop. Almost everybody made their own or knew someone who could splice them for you. As stated Homer was one of the best if not the best and acquired the nickname Sultan of Splice.
 
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