Originally Posted by Randyflycaster
I know this will cause an argument, but it is what I strongly believe. If I were to cast a 60 foot head line I would want to use a 17 foot rod. With you 14 foot rod you will be struggling and working pretty hard; and I don't buy the argument to cast with part of the head inside the rod tip.
Yes, I, and probably everyone else on the board that casts long lines, pretty strongly disagree that a 17ft (!) rod is needed or even desirable at that head length. Good luck even finding a 17-footer these days, especially in lighter non-salmon weights. To give one objective data point -- the max rod length for the FFI THCI exam is 15'; the practical minimum head length to qualify the line is in the low 60s for a 9/10 weight rod. For a good caster, a 60ft head is fairly standard and pretty easy to manage on a 15' rod. If you prefer a longer rod, fine, that's your preference, but most people will be better served with more practice than more tackle.
Having said that, I do agree that a 60ft head on a 13'6" rod is a bit much when first moving up from Scandi heads. And personally I'd prefer a 15' at that head length [though, a 14' wouldn't be a problem if that's what I found in the truck.] My usual advice for someone experimenting with longer lines on a 13'6" would be something like an Aero or a NextCast FF55. Get perfect with one of those and then move up.
On the head weight question vis-a-vis skagit heads: Yes, it is the case that midbellies in the 50'-60' range often come out similar in weight to a Skagit head sized for a similar rod. Above that, weights will tend to start to go up. But, with long heads, unlike skagit where pretty much any non-ridiculous taper will mostly work, with long heads, there is a complex 3-way interplay between line taper, rod action, and caster preference. While most people who cast long heads have a favorite line system and are familiar with it enough to guess what might work on a given rod weight, there is really no substitute for trying the specific combo. When I am doing a new rod / line match, even if I have a pretty good idea what weight I want to be at, if at all possible, I also try a line weight under and one over (three sizes). 70-80% of the time my initial hunch is right, but every now and then I get really surprised. Not infrequently I find rods that work well with two line sizes.