Considering an entry level Spey rod and considering the Derek Brown 15' 8/9wt, the Sage 9141-4 European Style, or the T&T DH 1409-5. Can anyone offer relatively unbiased comparison on any combination of these rods? Thanks
entry level is more like SAS 14' 9wt. Yer shooting right to the top, especially with the $$$DBF. If you haven't cast a spey rod, save your money and try some out first. The differences in actions might surprise you. 15' rods also take some getting used to.
Sorry for the sarcasm here, its been one of those days at work.
You are looking at rods that approach the highest price point of any 'entry level' category available, but here goes- DBF 15' 8/9- too heavy :eyecrazy: , and too expensive T&T 1409-5- too stiff (personal taste here)for anything but blue marlin in the 300# range :hehe: , and quite pricey. Sage 9141-4- fewer ferrules and still pricey, but not as much as the other two.
On a serious note- Each of the rods you are interested in are radically different. I would highly recommend that you get your hands on several rods and test them. Talk to the local flyshop(s), or go to Fred's house , and I am sure that they will be more than helpful to arrange some demo rods and (if need be) lessons for a starting point. With all of the models currently being produced by several manufacturers it is a 'must do' to shop around and find something that fits your casting personality.
Good advice above. All three are not entry level rods. That is not to say you shouldn't consider them. My experience is people buy entry level and within a year then go for top quality. All three you mentioned are fine rods. I guess you should probably tell us what your primary use will be as advice will differ depending on the use, rivers, fish, etc.
As for the three you mentioned. The DB does tend to be heavy but I know people who love it. I have only spent a few minutes casting it and couldn't give an informed opinion of it. The 9141-4 is a nice rod although I do not like it near as well as the 9140-3 that it replaced. The T&T is a superb rod and I would not be worried about any of the "300# marlin comments". (Hey Inland, that is what a true 9 weight is supposed to feel like ) It is however fast action and as with all things spey, some like it and others don't.
If you are really looking for an entry level rod, the St. Croix is a good option for the dollars. I have also heard good things about the Winston Ibis but have yet to cast one.
Or if you are interested in top quality rods at less than premium prices, I would see if you could pick up some of the Loops to cast or wait a little while and try the CNDs that will be released soon. Both are outstanding!
The T & T is the best dry-line (i.e. floating) two-hander I have ever cast; it is particularly suited to modern spey-casting technique, and fires extremely tight loops. I find it too quick in the tip for casting sinking lines and sink tips--the rod just does not lift sinking lines well for my style of casting.
As an all-around rod, I prefer the Sage 9141-4. It is not as quick as the T & T, but lifts a sink tip to the surface with greater ease (again for me, but perhaps not for the next guy). It has plenty of muscle in the butt of the rod for normal fishing distances/large fish.
As Inland says, try--as in cast--before you buy. There is no one rod that suits all styles of casting. Given the selection in the marketplace, however, there should be a rod to suit your tastes and budget.
If entry level means less expensive, I would echo that the Scott SAS rods should be considered. I just spent 5 days on the Trinity fishing my SAS 13' 8 wt with a mid-spey 7/8 with tips. sometimes used the sink tip compensator. Had no difficulty picking up all of the tips. This rod was so satisfactory on this small river that I left my T&T 1509-3pc in the car. Like others, I would like to try the new Winston Ibis rods.
Thanks for all for the suggestions, I appreciate them. I certainly misused the term "entry-level." I should my said-my first Spey rod. I have fished a number of Winston, T&T and Sage rods and that is why I have gravitated toward those brands. I've heard good things about the St. Croix too. As for fish-steelhead. As for rivers I fish a wide range equally--Winter runs-the Hoh, Sol Duc, Oregon coastals to the Sauk/Skagit, Summer runs- Hood, Deschutes, Rogue, Lower Snake and Clearwater. Ultimately I plan on buying a 7wt. spey too but I have been told that an 8/9 is a good all purpose starting point. I have also heard that compared to their single-handed counterparts, fast action speys are more unforgiving. Thanks again.
Sounds like the three rods you mentioned would work fine for the uses you have in mind. If you are looking for a single rod, an 8/9 and possibly the 7/8 DB would do you well. If you are thinking about getting a summer run rod soon, I would suggest going with at least a true 9 for your winter choice. I know there are some fine fishermen on here that would suggest a 10 instead. I have a 10 but rarely use it as my nine works for the rivers and tips I fish.
Blue.. your location says OP that mean olympic penninsula? if so what would be in your best interest to do is to drive down here to Portland OR on mat 17 and 18 and come to the Sandy river Spey clave. About every spey rod currently available in the world will be there and you can try out any of them you like with about any line combination imaginable. By the end of the two days you should know exactly what rod and line combination you want. I cannot stress enough what an incredible opportunity this is for anyone looking for a new spey rod. beginner or otherwise.
As sinktip said, these rods all have very different actions, and all are very fine rods too.
I have a decided preference for fast rods whether they be 2-handers or single-handers. That said, I prefer the T&T 1409 and in the 5 piece configuration you mentioned (1409-5) it has the added advantage of taking up very little space for transport, as do the Derek Brown and the Sage. The 1409 T&T is a fast rod that has a progressive action, much like the single-hand T&T Horizons. It casts and fishes sink tips as easily as floating lines or tips.
The Derek Brown is a bit heavier than the T&T or Sage, however, if you use a reel that has sufficient weight so that the Derek Brown in not unballanceed by being tip heavy when checking for ballance by holding the strung rod at the blank just above the winding check, the extra weight will not be noticed at all. Afterall, we're only talking about onces, not pounds. The Derek Brown is a powerful, mid-action rod that will also cast sink tips and floating lines easily. The Derek Brown has an action similiar to the BL-5 boron single-handers.
The Sage 9141-4 is a slower medium action rod that has a bit less power than the 9140-3 that it replaced. It is a fine rod that is a bit more forgiving than the T&T simply because it is a somewhat slower rod. It also works well with sinktips and floating lines. The 9141-4 has an action somewhat like the older Sage XP's, that is medium, fairly full-flexing rod with reserve power.
Fast action 2-handers are no less forgiving than their single-hand counterparts. In my opinion and experience, if a person likes fast action single-handers, s/he will be happiest with a fast action 2-hander.
You might be better off getting two St. Crois, cheaper Redington, or Loop 2-handers. one a 7 weight for summer fishing and one a 9 or 10 weight for winter fishing. This would cost about the same amount of money to get both rods and then you would have a rod that was bettesr suited to the intended purpose.
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