T&T 1308-4 - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 02:26 PM Thread Starter
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T&T 1308-4

I am seeking advice from the T&T and CND experts. Has anyone thrown the T&T 1308 4-piece? I have the 1307-3 and the 1409-3, and have read the various T&T posts that are here. I am looking for something a bit softer than the 1409-3 in regards to fish fighting qualities, but I'm not sure that I want to move up to the 1509-3 which has been described previously, as I already have the Scott 1509-4. Can any of the CND folks give me some suggestions regarding possibilities in the CND line? I guess I'm looking for a 13 to 14 foot 8-weight that is pretty "fast" like my other two T&Ts but allows more of a feel of connection to the fish than my1409-3 gives me with a 8 - 10 pound steelhead. I know there is no subtitute for throwing the rods but I would appreciate any thoughts.


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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 05:00 PM
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The 1308-4 T&T is a little slower than the 1307-3, probably due to being 4-piece instead of 3-piece. It is also a little stronger than the 1307-3 and a little lighter than the 1409-3. The T&T 1308-4 is noticeably faster than the CND rods of the same size, which means since you already have the faster 1307 and 1409, you probably would be happier with another T&T than with a slower CND.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-30-2004, 05:34 PM
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Try CND Solstice 14'3'' 7/8. The rod has faster recovery rate then CND 1308 Custom, but bands similarly.
Works well with 7/8 MidSpey or 7/8/9 WindCutter. Great fast-progressive rod.

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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-01-2004, 12:57 PM Thread Starter
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Salmo and Flytyer,

Thanks for your informative replies. They both have helped me in thinking about this. Maybe I will get a chance to check out the Solstice 14'3" at the Red Shed when I am up there this fall, and then make a final decision.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-03-2004, 07:51 AM
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if you get a chance to cast them on water remember to try them with the weight of head you usually use. the slower rods bog down a bit with over 200 gr of head. if you usually use a heavy head i think you will like the faster rod better. they all cast wonderfully with a dry line but if you fish weight things change dramatically.
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 12:44 PM
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BC -

One of the beautiful things about the speypages / forum is that you will get a lot of perspectives from a lot of people, all valid in their own way. Yet it's important to understand that many of the responses come from the perspective of a certain preference or style that the responder subscribes to, and you'd do well to investigate all of these to find which are best for you.

Here are a few things I would offer to this discussion:

1) A rod does not cast a tip, a line casts a tip:

First and foremost, a rod does not cast a tip. The line casts the tip - and if the rod can cast said line, then the rod is 'good for the tip'. Yes, of course there are considerations for moving a sunk line that conveys to the action of the rod, but I wanted to establish that the relationship between a tip and the rod is through the line, not direct from rod to tip.

IMHO, the notion that rods are suitable or not for tips is hogwash, however rods are suitable or not for lines. In field tests on the Snoqualmie River last Saturday, I consistently threw the Windcutter 7/8/9 with a 15ft high density head to the backing with the Solstice Series IM8 14'3" 7/8wt 4pc using a relatively easy stroke, letting the flex and recovery of the rod to do the work - not my arms. It is a balance between a flexing taper and a super-high modulus graphite and works equally well with a light greased line method or an abrupt fat head with grains to chuck provided the caster allows the rod to do the throwing, not the arms. In fact I have been casting for several hours a day for over two weeks and my body is none the worse for wear, the rod takes the beating for me.

2) Using the arms verses using the rod:

Where one approach is to muscle a tip out of the water, the other is to use a deeper flex in the rod to lift the tip with it's recovery.

Case in point: Circle spey verses snap-T

It's universally accepted that the circle spey is a far more effective method of lifting a tip out of the water than the more direct pull of the linear snap-T, although the two casts only differ by a very small distinction. The circle uses a slower, fuller, more circular path putting a wider bend into the whole rod blank. That tells us something important about moving weight.

When opening a heavy door, like an industrial swinging warehouse door, we can either "hit it" to open it or push it open with a constant accelerating motion. My hand hurts just thinking about option #1.

In my humble opinion, relying on rod stiffness instead of flex and high-modulus recovery puts the onus on the arms and shoulders, not the rod to achieve the same task. I am no physics professor but it's intuitively obvious to me that the direct pulling method would be more effectively performed with stand up tuna gear than a long spey rod, because it uses direct leverage instead of rod loading and unloading. Ok that's a little over the top but you get the idea. The spey rod provides a tool for doing appropriate movements like the circle spey that are efficient, pleasant, and deadly for fishing deep.

3) Preferences:

I am a caster, not a rod designer but I find rods with light tips and heavy butts to emphasize the use of the arms more when casting. Here is specifically what I mean by this (voiced in the context of my own preference, of course):

Given a simple switch cast:

a) a soft tip gives in during the lift and sideways transition into the d-loop sweep, so the start of the cast feels mushy. Thus the arms pull harder and faster to try to feel the load happening, which finally comes later as you get deeper down the blank. By the time you have a good sense of load in the hands you've come around quite far and it's time to stop to form the d-loop, otherwise you will push too hard to the back or over-rotate due to the late feedback. So the next time you sweep back more quickly to feel the load coming back.

I find a stiff tip combined with the proper flex profile (Spey action specific) further down the blank provides good feedback at the critical point in the transition from the lift to the sweep, "out in front". This allows the d-loop to be a very relaxed and consistent movement that is largely performed by the rod, not the casters arm force trying to feel the start-up load. To answer your question about CND, this is a characteristic that I find most appealing about the CND taper.

My theory (right or wrong) is that without this start-up feedback (e.g. soft tip), the brain tells the arms pull harder to compensate for the lack of feel, speeding up the sweep of the d-loop dangerously close to the point where it should be stopped to allow the 'dee' to float back smoothly. Maybe this is why people call the rod "faster", because the sweep back has to be fast to compensate for the lack of initial feel. I can speak for myself in this case, that is what I feel.

Preference again: I find the smoothness and feel in the sweep while forming the d-loop to be a most enjoyable part of spey casting and thus much prefer a less radical taper.

IMHO, either rod design will deliver a beautiful forward cast by adjusting the angle of attack approriately and doing the right thing in terms of tracking and acceleration.

So it boils down to whether you're fast-muscle twitcher or a smooth operator, and each and every one of us are different so viva la' difference!

4) Rod speed verses line speed

Since my rod only moves 10-15 ft and that is all counted at the tip, I don't understand how speed relates to a rod. I hold onto the rod but I cast a line therefore I believe the designation of rod speed (whether "fast" rod or "slow") for rods is nebulous at best. Line speed, however makes all the sense in the world to me. If anyone can explain what rod speed is all about I would sure appreciate it. I need to get more enlightened on the topic by Nobuo but for me it's all about taper and stiffness, and stiffness relates to line weight and grains. So it's down to just taper and since that doesn't move I don't know how to relate that to rod "speed".

Enough of my exercise in rhetoric already, my point is the terms "fast" and "slow" are fuzzy, and line speed is where it's at.

When I want line speed, I want a rod (taper) that gives me (a) the biggest wad of energy (b) released with the greatest rate of acceleration (c) in the most focused shape. To me the optimal configuration is the rod that flexes appropriately to build up the maximum potential energy in a high-quality material that unleashes this beast in a manner that is easy to focus during the split-second that I get to do it in. My dream rod is the one I don't have to push very hard at all to get tremendous line speed for full distance.

5) Fishing / fighting taper

One of the comments often heard about light tip / heavy butt rods is that they are not fun for fighting fish. The exertion of pressure on the fish goes from not pulling hard enough to pulling too hard quickly back and forth throughout the fight. Hence this lack of "connection" you spoke of.

I prefer a more traditional flex for fighting fish as well. In the end, the objective is to cast easily, accurately, pleasantly - and catch fish.


This is a matter of preference and taste, and all opinions are valid to the beholder.

Both designs are great and should be checked out. It's great that we can have lots of choices to enhance our Spey fishing lifestyles!
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 03:15 PM
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Peter -

I appreciate your well-thought reply and you make some very good points. I must get out of the office immediately and re-test my theories since the weather is nice and I would much rather be doing that

I absolutely agree that the latter portion of the sweep just prior to the release (stop) is effected into the lower half of the blank, in fact I often demo it with the top hand on the graphite to emphasize where it should be bent at that point. But to make sure we stay on topic, I was specifically describing the initial movements which occur at the lift and transition leading up to the low blank flex - the part of the sweep where you mentioned you compensate by changing your lift angle.

To repeat, my point was about feedback in the hands at the lift and initial transition. You overcome this softness by your lift technique, however many people will in fact push too far to the rear or over-rotate as a result of less feedback early in the sweep. Aside from your personal perspective or mine, this is an observation I have made from many students. I think if we get too deeply into our own perspectives that we polarize the discussion when all actions are good for somebody, and what's right for one caster is not right for another.

Personally I don't find T&T rods to be very 'tippy', in fact I find them to be beautiful rods that cast wonderfully. They consistently throw a beautiful loop. I was referring to several rods that I have been asked to check out recently at shows, classes and conclaves. These rods were not premium brands like T&T but rods purchased by folks based on low price criteria from catalogs or were still in the experimental stage, having the actions I am comparing (soft tip, strong butt). Even with these rods, once I adjusted to them they cast just fine, but again they were on the other end of the spectrum from what I would prefer.


1) To your point on rod length - if a rod is light in the tip, wouldn't that reduce the operative length of the rod while lifting a sinktip, when we agree that the longer the lever, the easier the lift?

Fish fighting:

What interesting differences in perspective! I need further education on reaching fish at the end of the battle using just low angle pressure, I use a broad spectrum of rod flexing methods even when fighting one fish... side pressure with a big bend, low angle straight pull to move a fish, one way bend, then another - it all depends on the situation. I don't think I could manage a low angle pull all the time.

Yet another reason to get out of here and re-check my thinking!

In any case, this debate / discussion is healthy and my objective is to provide a complementary perspective. I hope as a result we are providing both sides of this comparison to BC Chromer.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 03:27 PM
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In my experience I really think rod length only matters when it comes to line length. The shorter the head the shorter the rod you can use to chuck tips.

For instance I can throw tips up to 20' long all day with my 13'8" rod using an SA short head. However trying to throw tips on an xlt or grandspey the rod length needs to be above 15' regardless of rod action. Even a midspey with tips on the 13'8" is not all that fun and I would choose a longer rod to do the job.

As an extreme I can throw tips easily with my meiser 10'6" switch rod but I have to remove the tip2 from the windcutter to shorten the line length.

So for me both line and rod length must be taken into account when throwing tips.

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 03:37 PM
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Exactly! A rod doesn't cast a sink tip, the line does.

I should have referred to the difference in flex profile (i.e., how quickly the blank moves the load down the blank when casting, or how much of the rod flexes with a given length of line, and how stiff or flexible a blank is that is rated for a particular line.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 04:03 PM
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"Tippy" -

I simply re-used the word as you provided it, assuming the definition was (taken from context) soft in the tip. My use of the word was simply a mnemonic to refer to your jargon ("tippy") with your own words rather than mine ("soft in the tip").

My definition of "tippy" or "soft in the tip" is a rod taper that feels like the tip does not exert power at the point of initial lift and transition to the sweep for d-loop; and/or the rod length feels shortened at the top end by the lack of power during the forward cast.

Hinge -

Well if the line was wrapped around my foot it would be affected too - but there is no hinge in play here, perhaps we could discuss this without you interjecting the hinge
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 05:04 PM
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BC -

Sorry we got off track.

To summarize:

The T&T is clearly one of the premium rods available in the market today in all respects. Focusing the discussion on taper, the Spey rods often have a lighter tip tapering to a stronger butt. There are many endearing characteristics to this taper, as you know by owning them already. The power is distributed more toward the lower end of the blank.

You will find the CND rods to have a stronger tip and a fuller flexing taper through the blank varying by model. The Skagit Specialist has a more dramatic taper from tip to butt, the Salar is a powerful progressive spey action with a strong kick in the tip, the Solstice are light and flex fully but have a hidden punch in the IM8 materials, etc. But in all cases it's safe to say that the taper is more traditional combined with modern high performance materials.

There is no use in further discussing preferences, but hopefully our debate has illuminated some things for you to consider when you try them both in your own hands, for your own preferences.

One approach would be to buy one of every kind of action so you can experience the whole spectrum of Spey casting actions!

good luck with your decision,
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-04-2004, 06:24 PM
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You were probably hitting it too hard with a tippy stroke. :wink: :wink: :wink: J/K

over and out,
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