What is the smallest size river for which you would routinely fish a 12'9" 7 wt. two - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 12:03 AM Thread Starter
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What is the smallest size river for which you would routinely fish a 12'9" 7 wt. two

Assuming the quarry was no larger than 12 lbs of steelhead or 5 lbs of smallmouth, and lines used were Skagit and scandi, how wide would the water have to be for you to bring your 7 wt. 12' to 13' two hander for the day as your only rod?


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post #2 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 04:25 AM
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It is possible Im not getting what you are asking, but I think maybe the question arises from a false premise. When a longish rod is not strictly required for the extra distance a longer rod reverts to its main function, which is alway first and foremost to better control the presentation! So for example I and some of my friends usually use 13-14’ rods on small rivers the majority of the time - where there are some (but not all) places where you need less than half the head out to hit the opposite bank, and where there is no place you need to cast more than 5 or 6 strips of shooting line. I even learned to use my favorite 13’6” pretty well for cutting flies under and between low-handing willow branches with the fly landing a few inches from the opposite bank, as is useful on a lot of small rivers we sometimes fish. So for me a 13’6” 7/8 evolved naturally as my default, “universal” rod for all river situations.

But I did recently decide to try bringing a switch rod, and to try it out on some of the runs that require a lot of accuracy. But now that I’ve gotten through and past the phase where hanging my fly on a branch with the longer rod is at all common I’m guessing the switch rod is going to feel superfluous.

Same thing can be said of longer (short belly and up) lines - you can learn how to make them work beautifully both with little or no space behind you, and in especially narrow spots. I get that for a lot of people they might have to get forced to “make do” at some point to figure this out, but once you graduate you will use one willingly (and joyfully) in all kinds of tighter-than-normal situations.
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post #3 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 05:09 AM
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ha ha.. the old 'to spey or too ghey' question...


answer: one foot wider than my superhero ultimate cast.

alternative solutions: single handed spey.


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ps. it's okay to be new, it's not okay to be 'that guy'.

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post #4 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 11:01 AM Thread Starter
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Thank you both for your answers to my question. My two handed fishing is on small Ohio lake Erie tributaries. The other day I noticed that my old 11 ft. 7 weight tip flex switch delivered the fly, but did not give me the control I needed to best target a very promising holding lie on my side of the river. Jeff Liskay described the Ohio Erie tribs as "open books" with obvious places for steelhead to hold. A little longer rod would help me get the fly on the right page, so to speak. Being a novice, I didn't know if the 12'9" rod I was considering was appropriate in relatively small waters or whether I would be making a pricey mistake buying it to help my mending. (It will also help me improve my Spey casting, too, I am told). If that makes me "that guy", whatever that means, so be it. I appreciate the replies. The fact that my old rod is a tip flex Helios and I prefer a sweeter action also prompts me to pick another as my 7 wt. "all arounder" for the Great Lakes. Have a Happy New Year!

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post #5 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 01:36 PM
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Sounds like you have thought it out a good bit so I’d say try it out! If it feels awkward at first know that if the tool is actually useful you will figure out how to make it work. I think it is perfectly appropriate, and if it works any weird looks you get will just be an added bonus.

I once caught 3 huge rainbows swinging with my 13’ trout spey across river from three guys Czech nymphing who didn’t seem to be having any luck just then, and it was somehow absurdly satisfying.

An extra-good tip I learned on here is if you want to find an inexpensive rod of the type you are looking to try, try posting a WTB (want to buy) add in the classifieds, with low price being a criterion. There are tons of fellow experimenters with too many rods on here, and I bet you can find a decent one that needs a new home and will be cheap enough that you will not feel too bad about trying out your idea.
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Last edited by Botsari; 12-26-2018 at 01:57 PM.
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post #6 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 02:04 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Botsari! I appreciate the advice. That's a great story, swinging up three large fish from across the river in front of what I'm sure was a delighted audience of Czech nymphers...

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post #7 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 02:21 PM
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Originally Posted by bocast View Post
Thanks, Botsari! I appreciate the advice. That's a great story, swinging up three large fish from across the river in front of what I'm sure was a delighted audience of Czech nymphers...

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I don’t know what they actually thought, but the little voice in my HEAD heard them saying as I got into the river “look at this idiot using a long spey rod on this famous western trout river. How inappropriate!”
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post #8 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 02:51 PM
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I don’t want to get to into river sizes but, I do all my swinging on the Ohio tribs. I mainly spend most my time on the tribs east of Cleveland. There is only one river I would fish a rod over 12’ on. If you think you want to go up in length go for it. Over time you will figure out what size rod is perfect for your tribs fishing. I hope all works out.

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post #9 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 02:58 PM
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I don't think there is an exact answer, but I would say if the river is less than 50 feet, a 12'9" rod might be a bit of overkill.
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post #10 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 08:31 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Ambest View Post
I don’t want to get to into river sizes but, I do all my swinging on the Ohio tribs. I mainly spend most my time on the tribs east of Cleveland. There is only one river I would fish a rod over 12’ on. If you think you want to go up in length go for it. Over time you will figure out what size rod is perfect for your tribs fishing. I hope all works out.

Thanks
Andrew
Thanks Andrew. I hear you. I can see your point on many of the east of CLE tribs and on Elk Creek in PA. I haven't explored enough of those productive tribs because of the crowds. I've fished some of them with singlehanders in the past. Luckily, I am within walking distance of some wider spots on less pressured, less productive waters. The 12'9" I am considering would be used at spots that are wider, require long stretches of wading through shallows, have 10 ft high steep banks surmounted by thick and thorny brush which discourages access, are relatively free of low tree canopy and require more tricky line control as I vary presentations to the few sweet spots surrounded by mostly barren water. I've considered getting a Watermaster raft and trying to drift down to all the good spots, but frankly I could use the exercise of wading. Also I could see myself ending up floating into trouble by not paying attention to my surroundings. That would be bad for an old fart like me. My eulogy would be an "I told him so.." by my darling wife. I'll pass on that.

I have a 4wt. 11 ft. Microspey that I love, love, love. I have used it to quickly play steelhead which surprised me as I practiced casting and swinging or when fishing for smallmouth. They were all under 10 lbs. I'd rather carry a 7 wt two hander when actually targeting steel, but my 11 ft 7 wt. switch rod just doesn't have the soul of my 4 wt two hander. It's like the difference between kissing your true love and kissing your sister.

Thank you for an experienced opinion. Time will tell if I choose correctly. Tight lines!

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post #11 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-26-2018, 08:35 PM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Skol Bandit View Post
I don't think there is an exact answer, but I would say if the river is less than 50 feet, a 12'9" rod might be a bit of overkill.
Appreciate the input, Skol Bandit. I'll make sure to pick my spots accordingly.

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post #12 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 09:22 AM
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I think a SH spey would probably be a blast on a 50'ish river (or bigger) with a smaller head. The reason the 7129 kind of doesn't make sense in my eyes is because the head is at least 20 feet, the tip is at least 10 feet, and your leader is at least 3 feet. So, that's 33 feet right there, and then your rod adds another 12, so you're at 45 feet with just the head out. Usually you're wading out from the bank and then you don't want to fish the super shallows on the other side usually, so that means you would be fishing less than your head. So, essentially you won't even be casting at all.
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post #13 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 10:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Skol Bandit View Post
I think a SH spey would probably be a blast on a 50'ish river (or bigger) with a smaller head. The reason the 7129 kind of doesn't make sense in my eyes is because the head is at least 20 feet, the tip is at least 10 feet, and your leader is at least 3 feet. So, that's 33 feet right there, and then your rod adds another 12, so you're at 45 feet with just the head out. Usually you're wading out from the bank and then you don't want to fish the super shallows on the other side usually, so that means you would be fishing less than your head. So, essentially you won't even be casting at all.
there's the difference.

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post #14 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 12:11 PM
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Originally Posted by Skol Bandit View Post
I think a SH spey would probably be a blast on a 50'ish river (or bigger) with a smaller head. The reason the 7129 kind of doesn't make sense in my eyes is because the head is at least 20 feet, the tip is at least 10 feet, and your leader is at least 3 feet. So, that's 33 feet right there, and then your rod adds another 12, so you're at 45 feet with just the head out. Usually you're wading out from the bank and then you don't want to fish the super shallows on the other side usually, so that means you would be fishing less than your head. So, essentially you won't even be casting at all.
Yes, and the 2’ extra you save, via that calculus, using a switch rod makes all the difference.

What about quartered down? Also when you cast to the other side you often aren’t fishing the shallows, you are setting up the presentation to fish somewhere during the swing. Etc, etc.

I’ll admiit that if this is ALL you will face during the day, super narrow stretches of water, you might want to reconsider many details. But having only part of the head out is just as fishy, and even in those condition the longer rod will still allow you to manipulate the presentation BETTER than the short rod.

Obviously I’ve been playing devils advocate here a bit. The point is you can make it work just fine, and it sounds like bocast had a specific idea in mind for the longer rod that was sound, and that was all I needed to hear. I heard his question and the follow up he posted as “would it be considered weird if I tried this?” Definitely not. Use the tool you have enough, and get good at it taking full advantages of its special up-sides, and if it works very soon you will no longer feel this is somehow “wrong” but that it is perfectly natural - because is IS.

Everything else is just “casturbation”.
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post #15 of 32 (permalink) Old 12-27-2018, 12:18 PM
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You can undoubtedly make it work. I just think a lot of the fun of the spey rod is casting it and shooting line, not just flopping the line out. But, that's just my preference. I look for bigger water to cast and shoot and cover more area. Of course on smaller water or in slots, etc, I'll still fish it without casting and shooting line, but it sure is fun to shoot some line!
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