WTB Nice Casting 13ft 8wt 4 Piece - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 11:46 AM Thread Starter
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WTB Nice Casting 13ft 8wt 4 Piece

Hey, gang,

Hoping those of you who have cast a few different rods and know the difference between them can shorten my search.

I'm looking to buy a nice casting, nice fishing, 8 wt 4 piece in the 13ft range that will cast a minimum of 600gr compact skagit but not more than say 650 grain compact skagit (and 150gr or less sink tip). Any more weight is too much for my liking. This rod will be used for the sole purpose of pacific coast winter/spring steelhead fishing big flies on big rivers with big flows from dawn to dusk, so it has to be a comfortable rod to cast all day long. Nothing stiff or fast action.

I had a Scott ARC 1308 that I loved, but it was a bit unwieldy to travel with through airports being 3 pieces. If it was 4 pieces, I'd have kept it forever. So I want a quality rod with feel into the butt like the Scott, with reasonably fast tip and somewhat softer midsection. When I needed the extra long cast, there was power aplenty in the butt section without the rod "collapsing" with the added umph.

Nothing entry level, yet nothing exotic, or one of a kind, either. I'm not really into fancy and I really don't want to spend over $500. But I do appreciate a handsome rod with quality finish and components. If it breaks, I want to be able to send it in and get it back in the same decade and I really prefer west coast manufactures.

If you have a rod to sell, trade or care to recommend a rod that I should consider, I'd appreciate your input.

I know I'm being particular, but I know what I like, I just don't have the time to cast a bunch and figure it out on my own. I know some of you have the knowledge already to shorten my search and I'll appreciate any advice or direction you care to provide.

Thanks for your help.

Last edited by forthetug; 03-16-2011 at 09:46 PM.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 12:35 PM
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Your description reeks of Meiser! It wouldn't hurt to talk to him; he'll set you up in great style and comfort.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 12:42 PM
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I owned the Scott ARC 1308 a decade ago and know the soft feel you desire. This rod wasn't too popular at a time when rods overall were getting faster and faster, and it seems few people nowadays are familiar with it. Anyway, there are 3 options that I think float to the top, though 2 are entry level and the 3rd is getting harder to find:

Echo Dec Hogan 7130 or 8133 - full flexing rods that especially have that soft midsection that is easy to feel. May not be "refined" enough if you don't want an entry level rod. The 7130 especially has a soft mid, and can handle a skagit 570

TFO Skagit 13'3" 8 wt - flex profile perhaps most similar to the ARC (soft top and middle, power low in the butt), moderate recovery rate, but the cosmetics are pretty low end (fishable, but the cork and seat are definitely entry level)

CND Solstice 13'4" 7 wt - like the Echo with better graphite and a very slightly stronger mid, but still in that same class of full flexing easy rods. Lighter action - skagit 500-550

[and maybe (just maybe) the Sage Z-7136. This is mislabeled by Sage as fast. It is not at all stiff. It flexes easily through the top and middle, then gets stiffer in lower 1/3. Less ARC-like than the other 3 listed]

I don't know how the Beulah Platinum got in your hands, but it is not at all in this category of "deep slow easy" rods. It may prove difficult to get exactly what you want if looking for rods that are widely available in the USA. On the custom end, perhaps Gary Anderson and Steve Godshall can make something work for you, especially if they can map your current rod's flex and make a reproduction of sorts. None of the normal Meiser rods would fit that super soft midsection criterion, but again perhaps he can do a special design, a mellower Highlander or MKS with a more deliberately mushy feel (not Bob's normal style). However, you don't want one-of-a-kind, so if limited to factory rods, you are cutting your options. Loomis has a very soft 13'4" Dredger but it won't carry nearly enough grains for what you want, and their Versaspey 13' 7/8 is a bit faster action.

good luck. The ARC rods had a unique action derived from the old Scott "G" single handers, and few have bothered to reproduce rods like that.

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Last edited by SSPey; 03-16-2011 at 01:07 PM.
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-16-2011, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, gents.

JGS, I think I should have kept that rod too. Anxious to find a replacement and not regret my decision to sell it.

SSpey, Thanks for all the info. TFO is too entry level, Echo may be as well but I'll investigate, Loomis is too noodly for me, never had a CND in my hand so I'm not familiar with the quality.

What's your opinion regarding a Sage VT2 9139 or Sage Z-Axis, 8134 or 8129? I've not cast any of these but suspect they might be in line with with what might be an acceptable replacement?

Thanks again.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 03:11 AM
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I used to have the Z-axis 8134 (and I still have a few others) but I found it had a clunky feel to me...it was not like the other Z-axis speys I have. It is a far different rod than the 7126, which some feel is best of the Z-axis series.

I have the 7130 VT2 and have cast the 8 weight...I think they are great rods, especially for the money. Sounds to me that you may well like the VT2 more than the Zaxis. I have not cast the 8129

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Originally Posted by forthetug View Post
Thanks, gents.

JGS, I think I should have kept that rod too. Anxious to find a replacement and not regret my decision to sell it.

SSpey, Thanks for all the info. TFO is too entry level, Echo may be as well but I'll investigate, Loomis is too noodly for me, never had a CND in my hand so I'm not familiar with the quality.

What's your opinion regarding a Sage VT2 9139 or Sage Z-Axis, 8134 or 8129? I've not cast any of these but suspect they might be in line with with what might be an acceptable replacement?

Thanks again.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-17-2011, 11:19 AM
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The 8139-4 VT2 could be the ticket, depending on how you load the rod and what line you like. The "standard" recommendation for a skagit line is 550. I found this too light for my taste, and the rod casts off the tip quite a bit with the 550. I like it with a 650 skagit, and the rod loads deeper in the blank. With the 650, there is a little flex down in the cork, a softer middle, and the tip is still a bit on the firm side which I find helpful for lifting sink tips. This rod definitely has a firmer tip than the Sage Traditional 8136, but doesn't flex as deep in the blank as the traditional.

Another recommendation is to call Gary Anderson. He will mix and match compatible rod sections from his inventory to get the flex profile you want.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 02:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by forthetug View Post
What's your opinion regarding a Sage VT2 9139 or Sage Z-Axis, 8134 or 8129?
the Z-8129 is like the Beulah you already have, multipled by 1000 - way fast. The Z-8134 is substantially stronger and faster than your 1308, the "clunky" description above may refer to the fact that it has strength along every millimeter of the rod, and isn't a lazy man's rod. The VT2 8139 a bit more flexible in comparison (still much stiffer than your Scott) but will feel like a lot more rod due to the length.

these are all fine rods, but IMO none fall in the category of a deep flexing moderate action like the ARC

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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 06:38 PM Thread Starter
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I appreciate everyone's attempt to help. Thank you.

But here's where I'm at now. Maybe rather than trying to replace a rod that has a really unique flex and taper not found in most modern rods and what I sold only because it didn't travel well being 3 pieces, let me be adventurous.

How about your advice on this:

A quality, nice casting-nice fishing 8wt 4 piece steelhead rod . I don't necessarily want a do-it-all rod, although, if there is such a thing, terrific. But I want a rod that's pleasurable to fish all day, easy to cast and well balanced (I don't want to work hard) and capable of casting a maximum of 800 grain head, including the sink tip. Ideally, a 600gr skagit short and 150gr sink tip, not much more. Any more and I feel like I'm weight lifting, not casting to steelhead! All the previous requirements apply.

Nothing too fancy, nothing clunky, just a workhorse. Sage, Anderson, Meiser, Hogan, Beulah come to mind. No CND, Loop, TFO (too entry level) or Loomis (too noodly).

I'm guessing the Z-Azis 7136 is not enough rod, the 8134 is too much work, a Hogan 8133 or 9136 (I've heard if fishes more like an 8wt) might work. What about Beulah Platinum 1248 or 8136?

Keep in mind I have a 12'6" 7wt rod I love that casts up to a 570 skagit, but won't do any more, so heavy sink tips and big flies are not possible with this rod/line combo.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 07:19 PM
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Winston?

Have you thought about the Winston's...BIIX or BIIMX...I have the 13'3'' 8/9 and it is a gem---extremely light, forgiving (unlike the Sage 8134 for me, so what I meant by clunky is that it is not very forgiving, feels a bit heavy, hard to use for full day of fishing for me).

The Zaxis 7136 is, I think, the best of the Zaxis spey series...however it sounds like it may be a bit too close to your other 7 wt...however, I dont view the 7136 as a summer-run steelhead only rod by any means...I have used it with skagit lines around 550-570 grouns with 10-15 foot sink tips and intruders...and it has handled fish over 15 pounds.

So, I expect the problem here will be that you will get a variety of good advice here...but a lot of this comes down to eprsonal casting style and there is no substitute for actually test casting the rods.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-18-2011, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, Zimmer. Great description of what I don't want in a rod: "not very forgiving, feels a bit heavy, hard to use for full day of fishing."

It's funny, hundreds of rods on the market, but when you start requesting particular features for a feel, for a particular application combined with a particular price range... the list gets incredibly short!

And equally funny that you can have a series of 6,7,8 weight Z-Axis rods (or any other manufacture, I presume) and all have a totally different feel. You would think they would all have the same feel, just capable of tossing heavier line.
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 12:31 AM
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Hi Forthetug,
You mentioned the Beulah Platinum 1248, i have just recieved mine a couple of weeks ago with the tonic 600gr. I have 10-12' of T-14 and fish big rockstars and six inch moel leeches. I think it cast pretty good with this system. My opionion its a progressive rod with lots of power to cast the big stuff. I have not used a 570gr yet but will later on. As for the 8136? I will cast this when i get together with Bruce the rep from Beulah and post my results.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 12:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zimmer View Post
Have you thought about the Winston's...BIIX or BIIMX...I have the 13'3'' 8/9 and it is a gem---extremely light, forgiving (unlike the Sage 8134 for me, so what I meant by clunky is that it is not very forgiving, feels a bit heavy, hard to use for full day of fishing for me).

The Zaxis 7136 is, I think, the best of the Zaxis spey series...however it sounds like it may be a bit too close to your other 7 wt...however, I dont view the 7136 as a summer-run steelhead only rod by any means...I have used it with skagit lines around 550-570 grouns with 10-15 foot sink tips and intruders...and it has handled fish over 15 pounds.

So, I expect the problem here will be that you will get a variety of good advice here...but a lot of this comes down to eprsonal casting style and there is no substitute for actually test casting the rods.
Zimmer, I didn't mean to ignore your Winston suggestion. You may be right about Winston. I have a BIIx 6wt of theirs and absolutely love the casting dynamics and feather-light weight, color and finish. I forgot about them. I'll check it out. Thanks!
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-19-2011, 12:54 PM
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T&t?

What about the T&T 1308-4?

I'm not familiar enough with the technical descriptions of how various rods are designed to flex and recover, so I can't say how it compares to other rods.
I also have no idea if it's a forgiving rod, if it's heavy, or if people would find it pleasant to cast and fish all day. I've only ever used the T&T DH rods, so it's not my place to categorize it. But it's a sweet friggin' rod, no one else had mentioned it yet as an option.

I've got mine lined right now with the Airflow 510 Skagit head and I cast 15' sink tips of various types. Earlier in the year I had the 600gr Rio Skagit head on it and it was a cannon, particularly with the 15' tips and a weighted fly. (I dropped down to 510 because I'm a little timid right now, having broken the tip on a 1409-3 when I hit the rod tip with the weighted eye of an articulated bunny leach... No more weighted flies for me, at least until my technique improves.)

"I was spey casting for sure. Everything else I'm unsure about." ~Mumbles
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 03:38 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the suggestion on the T&T!

Love the rod, the 7wt too. One of the best casting 7 weights made. But I hate what you have to go thorough to get them repaired and back to you... takes forever and costs a mint if you're not the registered owner. That doesn't work for me. That's why I mentioned I'm only interested on in rods from West Coast companies and builders. I had T&T in mind when I made the request.

Now grow a pair, put that 600gr back on, attach that 15ft tip, and get 'er done! Duck if you have to.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 03-20-2011, 02:49 PM
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if the only problem with the T&T is that they're made on the east coast, then you can widen your search for acceptable rods. The T&T is one of the faster rods made, not much at all like the Scott ARC 1308 except that both are very progressive tapers - with huge differences in rod stiffness and speed. So, if you like the T&T, then great because most any progressive taper rod ranging from fast to slow will suit your tastes.

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