I own the rod and it is one of my favorites. I bought it back in February of 1997 for use on winter steelhead, chum, kings, and fishing BC's Thompson River, so I've been using it for 13 years now. I like casting and fishing with long-belly lines, so that is what I use on mine. In fact, back when I bought it the longest belly WF spey lines on the market at that time were the RIO Accelerator lines. I bought a 10/11 one, cut the line at 25' from the tip, spliced in 25' of 10 wt level line, and then looped tips (floating and sinking) to it. This gave me a line with a belly of 87' instead of the Accelerator's 77' belly. I now use either the RIO GrandSpey 10/11 (a favorite line with sink tips because it has such positive turnover with sink tips and large flies) or the SA XLT 10, which I cut at 26' for use with sink tips.
I never liked the rod with short- and mid-belly lines because the rod needs a lot of grains to load it up, so I don't use them. I personally wouldn't use a line that weighs less than 800 grs or more than 1050 grs (yes, I know the GrandSpey 10/11 weighs 1100 grs and the SA XLT 10 weighs 1070 grs, but I keep the 10' back tapers in the rod tip with both lines to keep the rod from being overloaded).
I've been accused of overkill with this rod by some folks, and I've had others tell me there is no need for such a beast of a rod that will wear you out in a day's fishing. I fish it all day long, don't have it wear me out, and haven't found it to be overkill. Unlike a Skagit setup, a rod for a long-belly line needs to be able to toss some very serious grains in order to have enough mass in the line's tip and line itself to turn over large flies at distance.
What I most like about the rod is I can cast 90' all day long without the need to strip any line, and if I find a need to make a cast of 120' or so to cover a far distant lie on a river like the Skagit, the rod is up to doing so with the long-belly line and shooting 30' or so of running line.
This rod is not for everyone, but for those who like a long rod and casting long-belly lines with large flies, this is one of the rods that will do so. However, if a person is not fishing larger rivers, this rod is going to be too long.
just the info I was looking for Russ, thank you very much, I should have just PM'd you-
I fished this rod quite a bit this season, and to the naysayers, they are missing out is all I can say ... The "overkill" deal tickles me !!:rofl::rofl:
On the XLT, which is the line I'm most curious about, when you cut it back for tips, you are adding a sink tip that is a bit short of what the floating "Tip" was correct? So does this affect anything in a bad way? Does this line seem to like the sink tips in your opinion?
Iv'e fished a CND 10+11 on it and it likes it, but seems like it may even like a touch more grains to me, and if memory serves me, that line is on the low side of the total weight you recomended-
I agree, that those who disparage big rods like this are missing out, but then again, I like and fish long rods winter and summer (my favorite summer rod is a Meiser 16' 8-10 that I've been fishing for 5 years now).
Yes, the CND GPS 10/11 is a bit light for the rod. I much prefer the CND GPS 11/12 on the rod and it is a good match.
You are correct, when I cut the SA SLT 10 back 26' to put a loop on it and then use it with sink tips, it comes out to be 11' shorter than the uncut line (but this is only true with the 15' sink tips I use, the floating tip restores it to its full length). To answer your question, I've not noticed any change in how it casts with sink tips when cut at 25'-26'. Remember that it takes a bit more line diameter/mass to pull up 10-12 weight sink tips (I use 11 or 12 wt RIO sink tips on the XLT 10), so cutting it 25'-26' from the tip provides the needed line dia./mass. And since these 15' sink tips (SA's 200 gr sink tips also work nicely) of RIO's weigh must about the same amount as the 25'-26' of line that has been cut and looped, the rod could care less. Also keep in mind, that changing the weight by 50 grs or so one way or the other has very little effect on how a long-belly line casts on a long rod (that is provided you don't exceed the grain window designed into the rod).
Interesting insite ft , thanks a bunch !
So, If I'm understanding this correctly, you go with a heavier sink tip to compensate for the shorter length ?
I think that rod would handle winch cable with ease... It realy makes ripping tips out of the water effortless childs play .
Ive heard rumor that the GPS lines don't do so well with heavier tips, say 10 wt and over. Have you tryed tips on that line with the T$T ?
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