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Brockton
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Advice: if you had $500 to spend on an 8 weight rod for Great Lakes steelhead and salmon in rivers ranging from roughly 60-300 ft wide, what would you buy? Say 90% swinging, 10% nymphing. Or maybe swinging all the time...

Open to all ideas from full spey to switch, new or used, to building my own (though I've never done that before)... Just want the most for the $$.
 

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Check out TFO Deer Creek 13'6" 8/9. less than $400 ??? I have caught lots of Salmon on mine. Good bang for your buck IMHO.
 

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$500 can buy you a lot of rod on the lightly used market. You wouldn't have to exceed your limit to get a very well made rod.

My most recent 8 weight is a used Anderson 13'3", and it was within your budget. For me, it is an absolutely fantastic rod - I couldn't be happier.
 

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You shouldn’t have to spend all of your $500.00! If you are after a new rod, I would recommend an Echo TR series. Very good performance, basic look – I call mine my army surplus rod. I have a 13’ 7 wt, a TR7130. $350.00, distributed by Rajeff Sports. No issues with them. A used rod? There are a ton of used Burkheimer and Meiser rods sold through the Pages. If you know what model or series you would like, do a wee bit of online research to establish a retail price, then expect to pay no more than 50% to 60 % of that for a carefully used rod. I bought two European-made rods on the Pages, a Guideline and a Loop, retailing for over $1000.00, and paid $350.00 for each. Can’t tell they were used. These are fantastic rods with top end construction, aesthetics, and performance. Cheers, Buff.
 

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Rods

I recommend a Sage One 8136-4 or a Winston 1308-4 BIIx or a Winston 1297-4 BIIIx. Buy them used and have some swag left over (at least on the Winston 1308-4). All three are great rods for swinging. There are very few bad rods out there today, so if you have $500 to spend, why not buy a really good one?
 

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Check out TFO Deer Creek 13'6" 8/9. less than $400 ??? I have caught lots of Salmon on mine. Good bang for your buck IMHO.
That rod was designed for kings. I owned one an was to heavy for my taste for steelhead. I am much happier with a 14' 7/8 and the 13'7/8 is a great rod.

As mentioned above lots of great new rods in your budget. TFO, Echo, Snowbee Beulah, Gary Anderson has a line of rods new in that price range as well.

As far as used Meiser, Burkie, Anderson, Sage (the vxp's are on closeout currently), etc. would all be good choices depending on your casting style. Personally I would stay away from USED Winston rods. I own a few and love them but because of their warranty policy if you are not the original owner I will not buy one (except a vintage one). Check with Poppy at the Red Shed for good used rods and he has a return privilege.
 

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slipped away to grey...
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I would go with a 7wt, especially if you fish Ontario...

Ross Reach 7130-4 is an incredible stick...
 

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A bloke that hangs out in the fly tying section: 808steelheader, or some handle such (you will find him). He has some good sport with a Cabellas brand. Not all the info about the fishing rod. but something is interesting that people are out fishing with good fun
That's me. Yes, I've been having a blast with the Cabela's TLR switches. I own the 11' 6wt, 11' 7wt, and 11'6" 7wt. I got them when they were on sale for $79.95 each this past summer. They are amazing rods and I couldn't believe what I was getting for 80 bucks. Even at their regular retail of $149.95, they are still a great deal. They are no frills, but still handsomely functional rods. I've been a spey caster since 1995 and I've cast higher end rods, but can't say that I feel compromised at all while using these inexpensive gems. If I had more spare change I would have grabbed the 11' 8wt and the 11'6" 8wt as well. They are just plain great fishing rods and I've been using them almost exclusively since I bought the first one in August. I used the 11' 6wt and the 11'6'' 7wt in BC last month and they worked great and needless to say, they are perfect on my homewaters in Oregon as well. (I couldn't help myself and added the 11' 7wt after returning from BC)

Todd
 

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The Dude abides
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$500 can buy you a lot of rod on the lightly used market. You wouldn't have to exceed your limit to get a very well made rod.

My most recent 8 weight is a used Anderson 13'3", and it was within your budget. For me, it is an absolutely fantastic rod - I couldn't be happier.
agreed here... and I'd perhaps be willing to sell/trade mine as I just never pull out the 8wt anymore. I have a 6 and 7 by Gary Anderson as well. Most soulful rods I've touched. PM me if you are at all interested and we can chat about it. I have a hardy to match it as well.
 

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I’ve been Spey casting Great Lakes tribs for almost 20 years now.

Based on rods I’ve owned in your price range my recommendations would be:

First, for Great Lakes steelhead get a 7 wgt.

Second, don’t buy a used rod unless you can cast the rod before buying.

Next, I can’t say enough good things about Echo rods. The two I own are SR models lined with Wulff Ambush lines. I don’t know if it’s the rod or the line but I believe that getting in tune with these set ups has actually helped improve my overall Spey casting. Even improved my long line casting.

The most pleasant surprises are my two Cabela’s Lsi rods. I bought them in the online bargain cave for about $150 each. THESE RODS FLAT OUT CAST. I love the lightness of my Winston rod in my hand and the powerful feel of my Sage rod but I can’t throw significantly better casts with them than I can with my Cabela’s rods.

Finally, one of the most frustrating things about Spey rods is matching the rod with the right line and then that combination has to match your stroke. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve talked to guys who said they bought XYZ rod and were never really impressed with it. Then one day they try a new line and all of a sudden it becomes their favorite rod. Plus what works for one person doesn’t necessarily work for another. I know two other guys who have the exact same Winston rod I had. We each had strong preferences for different lines on the exact same rod.
 

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Great Lakes rods

Good suggestions here:

I would also consider the Redington Prospector series of rods. The prospector 11'3" 7wt switch for (nymphing + swinging) and 13' 7wt spey for 100% swinging. It is a very responsive rod. can handle a wide range of lines too.

Also, I would highly recommend Beulah Platinum series of rods. The 13'2" 7wt would be an awesome swinging rod for great lakes. Brand new, they are a little bit out of your price range, but, that is a superb rod for the money.

good luck.
 

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Echo

Wait for the echo glass spey rods to come out. They run at 300$ and look like they are going to be a Big Bang for your buck. They will be out in January. I got the 7wt on pre order by my local shop already. There are many options out there in the 250$-500$ range. Redington and echo rods would give you the bang for buck.

Andrew
 

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Brockton
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Discussion Starter #14
Wow - thanks, everyone. Lots of great ideas. I might start a new thread narrowing the field or try contacting some of you individually for more info once I've done some thinking/reading.
 

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Madison River Fishing Co has the Sage VXP on sale - 7 wt spey would be spot on. Also, Anderson Nova. 7 wt. can't go wrong with either
 

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What the heck, call Bob Meiser, ask for his suggestion, order a builders kit. That way you can become addicted to speycasting and rod building at the same time.:hihi:
 

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In that price range I would say a Ross Reach (take ur pick) or an Orvis Clearwater (take ur pick) but would stick with a 7wt in either for great lake steel.

J-
 

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classifieds are a great idea. recently picked up a Sage 10 foot 7 weight RPL specifically for GL rivers. $200 for such classic... how much more can you need for GL tribs?
 

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Redington

I have the Redington RS4 13" 7 weight and really love it - I think they are around $350 but I got mine on sale for substantially less ....
 
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