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Hello all, new here to the Forums and did a few searches on subject topic but didn't really find the advice I was looking for. I am a long time SH guy, but was recently introduced to 2 handed rods by a guide on a trip to the Salmon River in NY. I mostly fish smaller local streams in SW PA, but have been heading up to the Lake Erie Trib's for Steelhead as well. Reason for investigating a 2 Hander, is I am taking a trip to Alaska early next September for Coho & Rainbows on the Kenai Peninsula. I am thinking of adding a Switch Rod to my arsenal, but not sure on which weight I should be targeting, in past Alaska trips I've taken an 8 wt SH for Coho and usually 6 or 7 wt SH for rainbows on upper Kenai. What would members recommend for first 2 Hander? I have been looking pretty closely at the TFO Deer Creek in an 11' length, but not sure if I should go 7 wt or 8 wt.

Will likely be back to the Salmon River in NY again this fall, so would like to swing for Steelhead there too.

THOUGHTS?
 

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The TFO Deer Creeck rods are some of the most versatile switch rods made, get the 7wt or even better would be a 6wt(as much power as an 8wt single) and would work well for steelhead too!
 

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just a thought....

TFO also makes a Deer Creek Spey in a 12'6" 5-6. I have fished this configuration (althought not a TFO) on both Erie tribs and in AK. I feel that the added length would be easier for you to learn the two-handed game and would be appropriate for the waters and fish you are targeting.
 

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Sage One 7116 switch would be perfect for you right now, and it's one of my personal favorite casting rods too. We had a blast catching good sockeye and silvers on that rod last summer, and there are plenty available right now (including on this forum) since Sage has moved on to the X.
 

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TFO, Echo, or Redington;
6wt is plenty for steelhead, get a 7 if you think you want to tangle with Chinook in the 12-20lb range. I’ve used my 7wt for chinook no problem (it’s like having a 9wt singlehand for fish fighting, think of the 6wt as an 8wt for fish fighting.) 12’6”-13” with a Skagit compact and a couple MOW tips in T-8/T-10 and you will be good to go brother!

I like the idea of a 6wt because when you buy another Spey rod (and trust me, you’ll own a few) you can go to 8wt, then 10wt, or down to 4wt for trout. I like the idea of spacing rod wt out every other.
 

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WARNING: There isn’t a 12-Step program for spey..... You will own several rods before it’s over. I think your first rod should be something you’ll use a lot and use the guide’s rod on the Kenai. If you, like me, are absolutely determined to have your own quiver of rods, you can’t go wrong with a 7wt. Why? The spey 7wt is to spey what the 5wt rod is to trout single-handlers. To quote George Cook, the 7wt is the 30-06 of spey. Get yourself a 13.0/7 weight and be done. That rod should be the best all arounder you’re going to find. Long enough to play the summer game with softer presentations and heavy enough to toss skagit with a sink tip and heavy fly. The more moderate the action, the easier it will be to use. You may suffer a bit if it gets windy, which is why I like a moderate/fast to fast action rod. Believe me, as the day gets long, my timing gets off and my performance starts to suffer. The more moderate the rod, the better you’ll be at the end of the day. I would consider a 3, 5 and 7 spey. The three for trout with soft hackles, buggers and lightly weighted flies. The 5 is great for larger trout, smaller summer steelhead, smallies - basically bigger fish and bigger waters. Surprisingly, it is actually great for nymphing too. The 7 covers 90% of everything else larger. You’ll be under-gunned on Kings and perhaps some of the larger salmon but will be in good shape for most everything else. Trout won’t be as fun unless they’re spawning browns. Big picture - have fun. Just accept it now, you’ll be buying more rods later. :)
 

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Hello all, new here to the Forums and did a few searches on subject topic but didn't really find the advice I was looking for. I am a long time SH guy, but was recently introduced to 2 handed rods by a guide on a trip to the Salmon River in NY. I mostly fish smaller local streams in SW PA, but have been heading up to the Lake Erie Trib's for Steelhead as well. Reason for investigating a 2 Hander, is I am taking a trip to Alaska early next September for Coho & Rainbows on the Kenai Peninsula. I am thinking of adding a Switch Rod to my arsenal, but not sure on which weight I should be targeting, in past Alaska trips I've taken an 8 wt SH for Coho and usually 6 or 7 wt SH for rainbows on upper Kenai. What would members recommend for first 2 Hander? I have been looking pretty closely at the TFO Deer Creek in an 11' length, but not sure if I should go 7 wt or 8 wt.

Will likely be back to the Salmon River in NY again this fall, so would like to swing for Steelhead there too.

THOUGHTS?

If you are going to hit the Salmon River in Pulaski NY then I would honestly go with an 8wt or 8/9wt so when you hook in to a huge Chinook, you will be able to bring it in a lot easier. I have hooked in to some monster Chinook and Steelhead on that river and my uncle was a top guide in that area for decades. We used to fish it and it’s tributaries 20-25 times from the fall through the spring. My wife and I use T&T SW1008-4 10’ 8wt 4pc Switch Rods and 8wt and 8/9wt two handed (Spey) Rods up there which is a good weight to have. My favorite rod to fish up there is our T&T DH1208-3 & 4 two handed (Spey) Rods that are 12’ 8wt 3 & 4 piece. The Coho up there will give you a run for your money and hit hard and the Chinook will grab it and keep running like they stole it lol. Look at what everybody uses up there and call Malinda’s and Whitaker’s and ask them what is the most common weight rod used up there and they will say 8wt and 9wt. Then buy a 7wt for the Kenai. Honestly, you are going to end up buying 3 more Rods in the next 18 months lol. They are like firearms, sneakers and everything else that all have different purposes. Then the collecting starts and you find deals and get in to building them lol. My collection is over 70 something now between the wife and I and I wouldn’t sell any of them lol. Welcome to the addiction and good luck on your trip!
 

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Hello. Rods I have used with for coho (silvers) on the Kenai are the Beulah 11'6" 6/7 and, previously, the Sage Z-Axis 11'0" 6 weight. While feisty, in my experience, coho on the Kenai are generally not that large (compared to some other Alaskan runs), Kenai rivers fairly small, and flies and flows don't require super heavy lines or tips. The exact same setups have worked well for me on Lake Ontario tribs for steelhead. My suggestion is to think of a smooth casting 11.0-11.5 rod that can handle 360-420 grain skagit lines.

I'm not an expert on either of those fisheries, just my observations.

Good luck.

Tom
 

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If you are fishing for species that haven't seen salt then a 6 wt. switch should be just fine, if not, overkill.
 

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If you have plans to fish the SR in the fall, definitely a 7wt or even an 8wt if you plan on fishing there frequently. I fish there frequently and the steelhead then can be hot. I have even landed chinooks up to 10-12 lbs as well. TFO DC are great rods. It was my first 2-hander. I still have mine but do not use it very often anymore. I may be willing to part with it. If you are interested PM me and we can discuss it. That being said I would look at the new Cabela's rods. They are called the Vector. I believe they replaced the LSi which were very good rods.
These new rods looks beautiful. I have not had a chance to cast them, so if anyone knows anything about them please chime in.
But at $250 you really can't go wrong.

Emel
 

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I would go 7wt or 8wt. Unlike single handed rod, heavy weight switch rod or spey rod will not tired you more than the lighter weight rod. But heavy weighted rod cast easier and cast further. You can cast any kind of fly, any tips. In terms of fighting fish, a 5wt switch is as strong as 8wt single handed rod. But 7wt switch brings in fish fast. The feel of the fish is as same as lighter rod.
 

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I fish the Salmon River (NY) often in the fall and occasionally in the winter. I carry two rods: 10'9" 8wt switch (Batson blank) and a 12' 7/8wt spey (Anglers Roost UHM). I would not want to fish there in the fall with anything lighter. Yes you can land a big fish with a 7wt switch but it is not good for the fish. In the winter I use the 8wt switch and a 11' 5/6/7 Meiser blank. I alway have the spey rod in the car in case the water is high or I end up in a couple of sections of the river that are wide.

And yes, I have too many fly rods . :) Last count was about 15. But they all see some action every year even if I don't really need them.
Currently building a cool 8wt 8' white fiberglass rod. Can't wait to try it out from my boat for stripers....

Quinn
 

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IMO, you can't go wrong with a switch in the 6/7 wt range for coho and trout...It's what I use.
If you were multi-tasking w/one rod, including dredging heavy flies/tips for winter steel, then I'd go 8 wt.
 

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spawning trout and steelhead are not suppose to be fun. they're supposed to be left alone.
You make it sound as if i’m targeting fish that are on the Reds? I don’t condone targeting fish on the reds or walking on reds. i’m talking about the time of year and the aggressiveness we see in our larger trout. Anyone targeting Steelhead or Salmon is doing the same thing. Like it or not, these fish are in the river to spawn but not currently engaged in the act of spawning. Those are the fish that i’m referring to in my comment. I appreciate your comment because we all should protect our fisheries so they’re around for generations to come.
 
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