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Blog...

Couldn't agree with you more...
As long as the rod/reel/line are balanced it is a less tiring, more relaxing way to fish.

thanks for sharing this,
Tom
 

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Its was a good read. And big rods can be fun to fish.

When I see the big rods aren't that tiring topic, I think of the movie line from The 13th Warrior: Antonio Banderas (holding a sword)"I can not lift this", viking response "Grow stronger".

My thoughts are this:

I don't go off conventional wisdom. I'm more of an experience type person.

I used to own a 15' St Croix Avid 10/11wt. I learned to cast it, and was one of my favorites, even more so than my Echo DH7130 13' 7wt. Truth be told, it was easier to cast. Then I learned to cast my Decco, line it properly, refined my technique, and learned that it wore me out less than my favored 15'. I started leaving the Avid at home, and the Decco was my favorite.

Now I own switch rods, and they are nice, less cumbersome rods, and when cast correctly, are even more of joy to fish.

I'm along the lines of, match the rod to the waters you fish. If I was fishing big wide rivers, a 14-15' rod with a longer belly, would be the ticket. Medium rivers, a 12'-13' rod is ideal. Small-medium rivers, my switches come out. Trout rods - 4-6wt, steelhead & coho - 6-7wt, Kings and big fish 8wt+.

Experience tells me I don't go after kings with an 11' 5wt or after trout with 15' 10wt. Experience also tells me an 11' 5wt is alot easier on the arms than a 15' 10/11.

On the other side of "Conventional wisdom" crowd, there is the"its worked for a 100 years" crowd.

Just because you can happily cast your 15' 8wt all day, doesn't mean you couldn't benefit from a lighter rod. It's like, I'm comfortable driving a full size diesel truck to work everyday, but could probably benefit from a smaller car with a better fuel economy and better suspension. (And easier to park!LOL)

So in short, my experience with many rods from 10'6" switch to 15' 10/11wt spey, is that all rods can be cast well, but a lighter rod is less fatiguing. And if the situation allows it, I will always lean to the lighter rod.
 

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''Speydo-masochist''
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Its was a good read. And big rods can be fun to fish.

When I see the big rods aren't that tiring topic, I think of the movie line from The 13th Warrior: Antonio Banderas (holding a sword)"I can not lift this", viking response "Grow stronger".

My thoughts are this:

I don't go off conventional wisdom. I'm more of an experience type person.

I used to own a 15' St Croix Avid 10/11wt. I learned to cast it, and was one of my favorites, even more so than my Echo DH7130 13' 7wt. Truth be told, it was easier to cast. Then I learned to cast my Decco, line it properly, refined my technique, and learned that it wore me out less than my favored 15'. I started leaving the Avid at home, and the Decco was my favorite.

Now I own switch rods, and they are nice, less cumbersome rods, and when cast correctly, are even more of joy to fish.

I'm along the lines of, match the rod to the waters you fish. If I was fishing big wide rivers, a 14-15' rod with a longer belly, would be the ticket. Medium rivers, a 12'-13' rod is ideal. Small-medium rivers, my switches come out. Trout rods - 4-6wt, steelhead & coho - 6-7wt, Kings and big fish 8wt+.

Experience tells me I don't go after kings with an 11' 5wt or after trout with 15' 10wt. Experience also tells me an 11' 5wt is alot easier on the arms than a 15' 10/11.

On the other side of "Conventional wisdom" crowd, there is the"its worked for a 100 years" crowd.

Just because you can happily cast your 15' 8wt all day, doesn't mean you couldn't benefit from a lighter rod. It's like, I'm comfortable driving a full size diesel truck to work everyday, but could probably benefit from a smaller car with a better fuel economy and better suspension. (And easier to park!LOL)

So in short, my experience with many rods from 10'6" switch to 15' 10/11wt spey, is that all rods can be cast well, but a lighter rod is less fatiguing. And if the situation allows it, I will always lean to the lighter rod.


I agree with most of the above, the key point being to match the rod/ line weight outfit to the river. A shorter & lighter rod is easier to use as long as it will comfortably cover the water - but on a larger river having to push a shorter outfit to its' absolute limits to achieve adequate water coverage is more tiring than using a longer rod/ heavier line outfit at 80% capacity [i.e. a nice easy casting stroke] to achieve equal [or better] water coverage.

Add windy conditions & this difference is even greater, same with big heavy weighted flies etc.

There is no one size fits all; to use a golfing analogy you wouldn't play the whole course with a 6 iron - it's possible, but far from optimal.

Regards, Tyke.
 

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Bamboo Rod Maker
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Heavy rods

Nice article Eric.

And then there are those of us that fish cane rods. My latest adventure with long cane rods is with the beast Brutus. A 15' bamboo spey rod lined with a Nextcast WA 70 9/10 line. Brutus will wear you out pretty quick if your casting technique is wrong. It is nice to not have to mess around with a bunch of running line which is a plus.

Jerry
 

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Drags are for Sissys
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.... I disagree totally, heavy long rods and longer lines are more tiring,... I mean that's what I've read. And long rods are NO FUN at all when fighting a fish. Short rods and lines that's the current trend, they are much much better and you don't get tired. How could everything thing I've been reading be incorrect ..... :confused::confused:

you can't be right Erik - the short game is much better!, it must true because I read that on the internet ;)
 

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I also agree about matching the rod/line to the water. I used to get into trying to make a given setup work in all conditions that I fished in, such as the phase I went through fishing my 13.5' and 14' two handers (and longer lines) everywhere, even in little coastal streams and on the other end of things, also when I was trying to use glass single handers everywhere, including big winter rivers. Up until recently, I didn't even buy into the utility of switch rods until I bought one this past summer and realized that they definitely have their place and are fun to use. After going through the gamut of rods and lines that I have since 1995, I've settled on generally, using a setup best suited for the water I'm fishing. My glass single handers shine on smaller water, switches on medium sized rivers, and the longer two handers on big water. That said, I still sometimes just feel like fishing a certain setup regardless of the conditions I'm faced with and that's fine too.

In the end, every rod/line combo has it's place depending on the water/conditions being fished and the angler's preferred style and mood.

Todd
 

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fly on little wing
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Nice article Eric.

And then there are those of us that fish cane rods. My latest adventure with long cane rods is with the beast Brutus. A 15' bamboo spey rod lined with a Nextcast WA 70 9/10 line.

Jerry
i really enjoyed taking out brutus and stretching his legs.
i will enjoy it even more when you get the 4 3/4" brass faced perfect for him..... :smokin: :smokin: :smokin:
 

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You don't shoot elephants with a 243 caliber rifle. Easy on the shoulder when firing. You could, but would that be fair to the elephant?

Lets quit thinking about ourselves and think about the fish.

If your tackle will not allow a quick catch and release, then it is the wrong tackle.

Old school was to catch and kill. Didn't make any difference how long it took, it was bonkers anyway.
Your obviously not reading the posts. You wouldn't take a 458 Linebaugh to shoot a Blacktail deer either. Matching the rod to the water and fish you are after. No one suggested going under-gunned, that is a thought cooked up in your mind. Taking a 15' 10wt rod out for trout on the Yakima River, would be ridiculous.
What the discussion here is are heavier rods more fatiguing to cast, my experience says, yes they are. And they should be reserved for bigger rivers and BIGGER FISH.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Glad some people enjoyed it. The point of the article, was not to point out the benefits of longer rods, heavier rods, etc, but simply to provoke thought, such as "Gee, I remember using that 14' rod with a windcutter and struggling from time to time... I wonder if I take it out of the closet after all these years and after my casting skills have improved, and I no longer fight the rod, what would happen?" We should always question things. Therein lies the path to wisdom, or the path to somewhere! ;)
 

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Glad some people enjoyed it. The point of the article, was not to point out the benefits of longer rods, heavier rods, etc, but simply to provoke thought, such as "Gee, I remember using that 14' rod with a windcutter and struggling from time to time... I wonder if I take it out of the closet after all these years and after my casting skills have improved, and I no longer fight the rod, what would happen?" We should always question things. Therein lies the path to wisdom, or the path to somewhere! ;)
Erik,
I agree. Proper setup, and learning to cast will go a long way with any rod. I remember watching a video with Goran Andersson, where he said the reason he came up with underhand casting, was his father wouldn't buy any extra lines for him, so he had to make the line work with rod he had.
I gave up on longer bellies myself, until one day, I was "damn it, I'm going to learn to cast this". Well after 3 or 4 hours on the river, watching different casting videos on my phone, I managed to get some decent casts out. After a couple outings, I was really getting the hang of it. And I really appreciate not having a pile of stripped line next to me. Today, I reserve Skagits for casting really heavy sinktips and flies. If I can get away with a polyleader, I will fish my 40-50' lines on the Meiser 13' 6/7/8. Especially on freezing mornings, shooting line through iced guides doesn't work so well.
 

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I think many people have gone the same route Erik. I did. Shorter and lighter and shorter and lighter and soon I was chasing big steelhead with a 5wt trout rod on the CW. Loads of fun. Until it wasn't.

One day I grabbed that heavy, old and dusty beast out of the corner of the closet. Still and always a work in progress, made me a better caster and angler while being great fun.
 

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Eric, I enjoyed reading it again, as much as I did when you first posted it on your blog!

I started out with long lines (70-80 ft. heads) on shorter (13ft.-6 in.) rods, and I guess, was lucky enough to find a magic combo of rod, line, and casting style that never tired me out, never gave me trouble in the wind, nor limited the space behind me. All the benefits of why Spey-casting was developed!!

I totally agree on the "take it out of the closet" and try again aspect! I recently posted a fly that touches on the very same concept.

Thanks for the post Mr. Helm,

-Bill
 
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