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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to add a second spey rod. I'm currently fishing an Orvis Trident 12'6" 8 weight with a midspey. I like the rod a lot but have been fishing bigger deeeper great lakes tribs in the winter. I also manage to get out to the Deschutes or North Umpqua once a year.

I am currently torn between the Winston 15' 8/9 weight, T+T 1509 and the CND Steelhead Specialist.

I prefer to swing a line instead of shooting since I fish a lot in the winter. I also want to be able to throw heavy sink tips with big flies.

If anybody has experience with these rods or could give other ideas I would be greatful.
 

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Gillie,

At this point I think the best advice would be to get ahold of the rods and fish them. This is not always the easiest thing to do but it is well worth it. Of course as a CND Rep I have the Steelhead Specialist - it is a great rod, I love it. However, the others are excellent rods as well, so try to get them into your mitts and see what you think of them.

I don't know if there is a Great Lakes CND Dealer as yet, but MJC of the Red Shed Fly Shop in Peck Idaho (and Forum Sponsor) has said many times that he is willing to get a CND into people's hands - no matter where they are! It is a great offer, drop him a PM and see what he can do.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I tend to gravitate towards the bigger waters. I like my 12'6" for a lot of streams, but I spend a lot of time on the Niagara, Genesee, and Salmon River. Pretty big water with some deep runs that require a heavy sink tip to swing in the winter. As much as 300 to 400 grains.

Would you go heavier but not longer to meet these conditions ?

I'm trying to keep the line out of my guides to keep from icing up and I'm trying to reach out about 70 - 75 feet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
No, I'm far from superspeyfisher. My goals may be somewhat lofty. But I do appreciate the input. I'll probably end up going middle of the road 13-14 ft but a size heavier than my orvis.

Thanks
 

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Gillie,

I personally love and fish long rods whenever I'm on a large river. I know this is not what the vast majority of folks I see and meet on the river are using; however, the longer rods allow for a lot more line control, make casting over 70 feet a lot easier, and thus are less tiring over the course of a day's fishing. I would use my 16' 11 wt rod on those big rivers you named and never consider using a shorter one on them.

There is a huge difference between the 12'6" rod you have been using and one of the 16 ft 11 wt rods on the market that you need to be aware of. The long rods cast better with the mid-belly or longer lines because of the huge mechanical advantage you have with the extra 3.5' to 4' of rod length than with the shorter lines. It isn't that they won't cast short lines, it is just that everything has to happen faster with the short line because more line is off the water with the 16' rods.

Kush's advice is best! Cast the rods you are thinking about and cast each one with several different lines before you make your choice. This way you will get the rod you will be most happy with for years to come.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Although I do fish the niagara the genesee is my home. At waist depth wading I am still a 50 - 70 ft cast from the prime holding water in some of the best wet fly water. I've received a few other messages and I will definitely need to try some different rods. I would particularly like to get my hands on the CND Steelhead and Salar models.

I agree that my 12'6" will cover most of the waters in the great lakes, but I'm looking now for something to cover a few particular deep far away lies. I do have a friend who covers some of the bigger runs on the Salmon River like the Meadows and the bridge pool at pineville with a 15' rod when the water comes up.

The other factor is that I have cast his T+T and simply enjoy the feel of casting a longer rod with a longer belly line, although I think I'll enjoy it more when I can do it a little cleaner than I do now.

Also, I do try to make a pilgrimage out to the west coast once or twice a year.
 

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I'm probably the wrong person to listen to on this, but my ideal "heavy GL rod" would be a 14' 10 or, especially if the Niagara is included, a 10/11 (then again, I've seen ff'men pull in a fair number of fish with a single-handed 9' 8 wt).

Peter is right about Artpark, and the same applies to some of the other foot-accessible sections on the lower Niagara: there is a shelf and then a steep drop-off, so all of the useful fishing area is reasonably close to shore. And when the water is high your back is in most places up against a wall, quite literally.

The one twist on things that might make a truly long rod quite useful - other than the lifting capability that others mentioned - is something I found on a smaller scale: if you have no space you can cast by creating a semblance of a d loop that stays almost completely in front of you. I imagine that that would be easier with a longer rod. True ?? I don't really know.
 
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