Redington Hydrogen 2wt,3wt, 4wt Line Tests - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-19-2016, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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Redington Hydrogen 2wt,3wt, 4wt Line Tests

I was able to test the new Redington Hydrogen rods this morning.

My casting style is power mainly via lower hand, I use very little upper hand in forward delivery. This style may not fit others and heavier lines are usually favored when using upper hand for forward casting stroke.

2110 Rather disappointing, the rod label indicates Scandi 175-200 and Skagit 200-225.
I started with Scandi 210 which works very nicely on the Sage 2109 ONE. The rod had a hard time casting the line, rather heavy. Changed to a 180gr RIO Scandi and it would cast the line but with poor line speed and almost impossible to obtain a tight narrow loop. Perhaps the Single Hand Spey in 150gr may fit the rod better? To me personally this rod is rather soft and not a true 2wt Spey.
Skagit line was RIO Skagit Trout 200gr with MOW Light floating. This would cast but the tip section MOW would flop to the side, no line speed and poor distance. Tried the same line and MOW tip on the Sage 2109 and it really banged out beautiful casts.
Perhaps if I make up some lighter tips than the MOW and shorter length it would be better.
In addition, I have the OPST lines in 150gr and 175gr with shorter lighter tips they will do better,,, next week.


3113 Scandi 200-225 and Skagit 250-275 on rod label. Now this is a very nice rod. The RIO 210gr Scandi was very impressive on the rod and it could cast nice long distance with little effort. To me a Scandi 210gr line is a 2wt rod. This is very comparable to the Sage 2109 ONE and I would recommend this rod for anyone as ultra light Trout Spey.

4116 Scandi 250-275 and Skagit 300-325 on rod label. This rod really liked the RIO Scandi 240gr line which to me is a 3wt rod. Very nice loops and good distance was easily obtained.

I did not have time to cast Skagit lines on the 3113 or 4116 rods. Perhaps next week. The way these rods cast the Scandi lines, I am certain they will have no problems with Ultra Short Skagit lines from RIO or OPST.

Regards,
FK
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 01:15 AM
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Thanks for posting such an in-depth review of the 3 rods. I have been very interested in the performance of these rods since I heard about them. Any chance you could give us some feedback on the size, style and weight of flies that the rods will handle?

Tight Lines,
Gary
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 03:19 PM Thread Starter
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Second chapter on the Redington Hydrogen rods.

Woke up early determined to dial in the 2110 rod,,, the blank is nice with good flex and recovery.

Tried a standard WF6F Cortland 444 SL line,, much improved over the Scandi lines of yesterday.
Next tried a WF5F 444 SL, it cast O'K however, was sensitive to timing, if you were off it did not like to cast very well.

Also had a RIO WF6F Trout LT on a reel in the bag,,, this line is perfect, for my casting style.
The line would bang out casts long or short distances with nice tight loops.
This line is a rather long head 47ft total with very long front taper.
It has a color change at 36ft length and I pulled that into the guides about 5ft. If the line is accurate AFTMA rating that would make the head about 160gr outside the tip. Great line for small wet flies and streamers.
I discussed this line a few years ago with Simon Gawesworth for spey casting on trout single hand rods,, he agreed and stated that is what he uses personally. Since then RIO has introduced Single Hand Spey Lines as a specialty line in the freshwater series, they are not included in Spey lines in their catalog section.
I have a SHS inbound from RIO in #3 which is 150gr. This is a 33ft head and should be great on the little rod.

Now the ultra short Skagit lines.
Set up the OPST 150gr head with a 7ft Polyleader,,,, dynamite casting combination, nice loops and unrolls nice and straight.
Felt there was no reason to continue testing Skagit lines.

The Hydrogen is a true Micro Spey rod, to me that is under 200gr lines class. It is not a 2wt Trout Spey rod.
Small waters for smaller stocked trout,,, bluegills in a pond,,, would be my recommendation.

Fly size on the RIO Skagit Trout and OPST lines,,, well, last year when the Sage 2109 and 3110 ONE series was introduced,,, I was easily casting size 2 Zoo Cougars on the RIO Skagit Trout lines in 225 and 250 grain weights. That was with MOW tips with 2.5ft-5ft of T-8 and T-11. I also cast the same fly with only short pieces of T-8 and T-11 without the MOW tip design. If you did not wish to change heads,,, just use a 10ft Polyleader with tippet and cast small wet flies and unweighted streamers.

Regards,
FK
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-20-2016, 10:38 PM
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I bought the 2110 a couple of weeks ago and have now taken it on three outings. In contrast to FKrow's preferences, I would have what you might call a more balanced stroke when it comes to upper hand vs. lower and I favor Skagit casts and lines over Scandi. Much of that is dictated by the fact that I like to strip flies vs. swing them and that I tend to throw weighted patterns (beadhead wooly buggers, little clousers, small bunny leeches, conehead sculpins, etc.). Consequently, I lean toward the upper end of a recommended grain range or even completely outside it.

All that said, I've been impressed with the 2110. Compared to my Sage ONE 2109, it is indeed slower and not as crisp, with much of the power provided by the lower 2/3 of the rod whereas the Sage seems to produce power throughout. I think this works to the 2110's advantage, though, as the softer action requires less grains to load it compared to the Sage. I'm throwing an OPST Commando 250 on the 2110 vs. 275 on the Sage. Both rods are mated to 10ft Airlfo Intermediate Salmon Poly's. Despite the lower grains, the Hydrogen is just as capable of throwing the same patterns that I toss on the Sage and at comparable distances.

I've also been lucky enough to fight a few fish on this rod, ranging from 10 to 14 inches. This is also where the softer action works. There's enough bend in it to get some enjoyment out of this size range and but not so much that it couldn't handle larger fish, too--I'm looking forward to testing this theory on some of the fall sea-run cutthroat that will be showing up soon.

In terms of rod design, I would agree with FK that this isn't really a trout spey, at least from an aesthetic and functionality standpoint. Both the upper and lower handle lengths are more along the lines of switch rods and the flex profile exhibits a springiness to it (although a somewhat slower springiness) that is reminiscent of them, too. The handle length encourages a shorter sweep and forward stroke, while the recovery rate and power placement along the blank take advantage of the tighter hand positioning by providing feedback and guidance as to when the rod is or isn't loading.

Some people have said that Hydrogen single-handers are a lot like the GLX Classic and I would tend to agree. The 2110 would be what I imagine a Loomis GLX Classic switch rod/micro spey would be: light, responsive, rewarding of good timing and technique and honest when you're not on top of your game.

It will be tough for me to decide between it and the Sage 2109 this fall!
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
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RedFive,

Thanks for posting contrasting line preferences. The new Trout Spey rods do have a wide grain window and it all depends upon your individual casting style. It is so difficult to recommend lines for a rod without observing the caster and what type and size/weight of flies desired.

I will test my rods with OPST and RIO Skagit Trout lines with heavy flies and only a Polyleader and not with MOW tips, this is an interesting observation. Heavy flies require heavier lines to deliver the payload.

Regards,
FK
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 08:20 PM
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Thanks FK. It's definitely true that these trout-sized two-handers exhibit wide performance ranges. I think that's what makes "profiling" them from differing perspectives (Scandi, Skagit, full lines; weighted flies, streamers, soft hackles; swing or strip, etc.) so valuable--and fun, too! It at least gives others a reference point since, like you said, you can't observe the caster's tempo, style, setup, etc.

With regard to the poly to head set up, I ended up going that route b/c I wanted a smoother turnover and more sustained flight in my delivery. On top of that, the kind of fishing I do requires (at least in my head), a clear intermediate tip. Before the OPST and Trout Max heads came out, there was only the RIO Skagit Max Short and with the longer length (18-22 feet, I believe), it made it difficult to throw even 10' Versitips in lower line weights (5 and 6 weight tips). There was too much stick and the taper of the head, along with the grains per foot, just couldn't dig up the tip and THEN produce the forward energy needed to get my fly out there. I would have to set my anchor and then almost immediately start my sweep. T-tips and light MOWS were even worse b/c of their level design; I had challenges with hinging because there was no taper from the tip to the tippet. The solution I found was to abandon the tip, move to a poly and concentrate the "motivating" grains into the head itself, which is why my setups are either on the high end or outside the recommended grain window. The result was just the right amount of stick, smoother turnover and longer flight, despite moderately weighted flies. It seems counterintuitive based on commonly accepted rules and principles, but it works for me and at least one other person I know.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-21-2016, 09:50 PM Thread Starter
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RedFive.

I understand completely, the MOW tips are rather heavy and long even when added to the ultra short OPST and Skagit Trout lines.

The line casting dynamics you have described make perfect logic to me.

When these lines and Trout Spey rods were made popular last fall, all of the posted data and videos ignored the simple solution of only Polyleaders with the heavier weighted flies.

Regards and thanks for posting.

FK
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2016, 11:54 AM
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Thank you both for the in-depth reviews. The 3 wt sounds exactly like what im looking for, and as much as i'd love the sage, finances prevent me for now.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 05:40 PM
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Just picked up the 4116-4 and looking at lines for this thing. Any input on Skagit and Scandi Options?

Thanks for the help, right now im just trying to get it dialed so willing to try a few options. Will be fishing primarily the Spokane and Missouri with this rod.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 10:02 AM
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Reply to 4wt - what line ?

I would try your existing single handed trout lines before you make any additional purchases. I've used my 5wt trout lines on my 3wt 11" spey rod with good results. Weight forward for skagit and double tapered for scandi. I would imagine a 6wt-7wt trout/bass line would work on your 4wt.

I like Wulff Ambush and would go 2-3wt over rod wt on spey. Looks at the grain charts before you purchase.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2016, 02:08 AM
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I had the chance to break in the new Hydrogen 3113 today and am still grinning from ear to ear. After trying this and that for awhile, I dialed in on the 200gr OPST with 10' versileaders, throwing size 8 conehead muddlers. It just jacks the line out like it's no big thing. Reminds me a lot of the slower action of the DH 5122.

Oly
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-18-2016, 08:13 PM
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I am oh so close to pulling the trigger on the 2wt. I primarily would use it on wintertime stockers here in middle TN(8-14 inch cookie cutter rainbows with the occasional breeder thrown in). However, my local tailwater is the Caney Fork river. The big browns really wake up when the dam is generating, and are very receptive to a swung/twitched baitfish fly. I usually use my 9' 6wt, but I bet the 2wt Trout Spey would be killer for this.

I use a rio trout max @250gr + slickshooter on my 4wt dually.

Any input on the guide sizing of the 2wt Trout Spey? I may want to go with a fully integrated line(Ambush or Rio SHS) if the guides are even slightly too small.
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 03:28 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SmallJawSpey View Post
Any input on the guide sizing of the 2wt Trout Spey? I may want to go with a fully integrated line(Ambush or Rio SHS) if the guides are even slightly too small.
While the 3113 was a blast, the only thing I didn't like about the rod was the single foot guides...they're small, and yeah, they bumped all the way in. An integrated line would be awesome-

Oly
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-19-2016, 08:31 PM
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I purchased the 3113 about 6 weeks ago and really enjoy it. My experience is 2 to 4 weight spey rods really need mono running line to get any distance... I would be worried about integrated lines and the thick running line manufacturers insist on using w/ even the lightest heads.

My favorite line so far is the 225 gr OPST head. It's amazing to me to be able to fling 12' of T-8 and decent sized fly on a 3 weight but this head makes it happen. It also is by far the best choice where I fish when the wind comes up.

For example, I also have a 210 gr Rio Scandi which casts nicely if I can resist the urge to not blow anchor. But if there is ANY wind, forget it. The tip gets blown all over the place.

But the OPST handles wind nicely. Casts tips. Casts far. Handles the largest flies. The new short-head skagit is a revelation on the trout speys in my experience to date.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-20-2016, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom P. View Post
I purchased the 3113 about 6 weeks ago and really enjoy it. My experience is 2 to 4 weight spey rods really need mono running line to get any distance... I would be worried about integrated lines and the thick running line manufacturers insist on using w/ even the lightest heads.

My favorite line so far is the 225 gr OPST head. It's amazing to me to be able to fling 12' of T-8 and decent sized fly on a 3 weight but this head makes it happen. It also is by far the best choice where I fish when the wind comes up.

For example, I also have a 210 gr Rio Scandi which casts nicely if I can resist the urge to not blow anchor. But if there is ANY wind, forget it. The tip gets blown all over the place.

But the OPST handles wind nicely. Casts tips. Casts far. Handles the largest flies. The new short-head skagit is a revelation on the trout speys in my experience to date.
Try 50# P-line hyrofloat for a running line! I use it on all my Trout speys , shoots a mile!
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