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Discussion Starter #1
I know I am opening up a can of worms here and probably going to start one heck of a debate but here goes. I am looking for the best 7wt available for the money. I realize that this depends upon your casting technique and type of setup so here is what I want to do with it. I prefer more of the traditional style rods but not a real limp rod. I want it primarily for casting with sinking tips and fairly large flies, 3" aluminum tubes and or flies tied on a 1/0 hook. The style of casting that I prefer is the Snap T. Snake Roll and the Double Spey. Thanks in advance!
 

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I love the Scott 1287. It is a medium fast action and can cast a mile but does well in close. I have not really used it to cast large flies much - will be trying that in Idaho on the Salmon next week. But it does very well with type 3 and 6 15' tips and the sinking leaders - especially with the snap T and snake. It is awsome with the 7/8 XLT.

Got the rod at the recommnedation or Way Yin who is on the Scott pro staff. At the Sandy, Steve C played with it some and liked it but thought the tip was a bit soft for his liking.

Burky makes a great rod though have not played with it enough to really appreciate what it can do.
 

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To my way of thinking, "casting with sinking tips and fairly large flies, 3" aluminum tubes and or flies tied on a 1/0 hooks" is not the job of a 7 weight.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I agree w/ Sinktip, you'd have to use very short compact high-grain heads to do that kind of work with a 7wt rod IMHO.
 

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I also agree with Sinktip. The 10 or 11 weights would be the better tool for casting 1/0's and 3" aluminum tube flies.
 

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Best #7 wt. available

ChromeFever,

My vote:

-13' length: Thomas & Thomas 1307-3
-14' length: Sage 7141-4

Both rods are rather quick in action. The 7141-4 is more of a #8 wt., and may throw some of your larger flies. 3" Brass Tubes will require a bigger stick!

TB
 

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Sink tip is absolutely dead on right. a 7wt spey rod is for fishing small flies with primarilly a floating line. Expecting it to cast a 3in metal tube is just unrealistic. A properly designed spey rod should do the same exact job as it's single handed counterpart. I don't know anyone throwing 3 inch tubes on a 7wt single hander.. That as was mentioned earlier is the job of a rod in the 9-10-11 range.. Also a 7 weight line simply is not going to have the mass to turn over a 3 inch tube.

The proper application for a 7wt spey rod is fishing summer run steelhead on a floating line or very light tips with flies in the 8- 1/0 light wire range.

having said all that the best 7wt spey rod I know of that is a true 7wt ( casts a 6/7 xlt or a 6/7 windcutter) is the Burkheimer 7133-3
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great Lakes Steelheading

Here is the dilemma. The majority of the rivers here in the Great Lakes dont require casts more than 70-80'. I have been using a Sage 9140 for the last couple of years with a Windcutter and a Midspey multi-tip line. Throwing this same style of fly. It felt like overkill especially when most of the fish are in the 6-10lb range maybe a few up to 15 but those are very few and far between. I got my hands on a Sage 7136 and a 7141. Fished them for a few weeks and felt that a 7wt in a 12-13.5' range was much more suited to the rivers around here as opposed to the 14-15' 9 and 10wt rods that I am use to using. The majority of the fishing I do is with a type 3 and or a type 6 sinktip that comes with the windcutter and midspey mult-tip lines. Once in a great while grease line fishing and dry flies work but that constitues roughly 2 weeks a year. So the majority of the fishing will be with fairly large size flies and tubes 1.5-3" and size 8-1/0 and sink tipe lines. Good Luck and Tight Lines!
 

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Chrome Fever I understand your dilema however it takes the same type of strength and design to cast a big fly as it does to land big fish. a light rod cannot be disigned to properly cast a big fly. and or a heavy sink tip. it is a design impossibility. balancing your rod to the fishing you do has less to do with the size of fish than it does with the conditions you face. You are simply not going to find a true 7wt that will comfortably cast the flies you describe.
If I were going to recommend a rod for you application I would recommend the Burkheimer 8139-3
 

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Rob- Why is it acceptable to catch steelhead on a 7wt single hander but not on a 7 wt spey rod that is 10X's more powerful? Any good 9' 7 wt 'youth stick' easily throws a Teeny 200 that will put you in the money in any situation, winter or summer. If only I had known that what I have been doing for the past 9 years was against the rules. :hehe:

And for the rest of the naysayer's- At one point in time people believed that the world was flat. Good thing that some folks like to break away from status quo and explore to do the 'impossible'. :devil:

Chromefever- It all depends on what style of rod you like to cast. There are several rods that will fill the bill, as you have already found out by using the 7136 and 7141. Get your hands on as many as possible and find the one or three that you like and have at it. One sleeper that has not been mentioned is the Sage 8126. Food for thought.

Peter- That little Lami will do a lot more than 300 grain lines. It will handle the 6/7 XLT up to about 75' at the hands. If more distance is needed shoot it as far as you can. Midspey 6/7 is good, windcutter 6/7/8 is too. While it does throw a DT7 OK, a DT8 pushes deeper into the butt for more power to attain distance. For $380 it is finished nice enough. In addition, I have yet to find a more versatile sub 13' 6/7 wt spey. For the money, how can you beat it?
 

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7 wts can thorw 15' type 6 tips with not much problem. The issue is the large flies. If you use unweighted tube flies with a very short leader and a fast sinking tip I think you should be able to quite easily fish the distances you suggest. The shorter heavier lines as suggested make sense here. It may not be pretty but doable!!
 

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7wght

Hello,
I would have to agree with rob, the Burkie 7133 is the most powerful 7 around. I fished it with 129grains and tubes in the fall. Though I would have chosen a 9wght to do this all year it did manage it well enough. The 8139 would also be a great all rounder, and it is the rod I plan to fish with this year 85% of the time.
P.G
 

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Inland maybe I wasn't clear. All I mean is that the 7wt is not a good rod for throwing a 3 inch metal tube and outside of a 7weights intended use. That is however the designed purpose on 9 and 10 weight rods. My point was that there is more to having the proper outfit that the size of the fish. The rod and line have to be matched to the size and type of fly and even the type of water.
Using a 7wt to throw large metal tubes for steelhead is just like going to montana and expecting to fish a number 2 wolley bugger double wrapped with .035 lead with a 3 weight.. Sure you can do it but you are abusing your equipment to do it. That is the job of a 6weight even though the fish are the same size..
 

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Rob- Chromefever said up to 3" ALUMINUM tubes. They probably weigh less than your .035 double wrapped bugger. He also said that flies tied on, at the largest, 1/0 hooks. Why are you assuming that he going to jump right to 3" copper/brass tubes? How is it abusing your tackle to cast a fly, as he described as his MAXIMUM size, that weighs about 18 grains wet (on a sink tip with a short leader)? A 7 wt spey rod is not a delicate 3 wt trout rod. (Besides, I would still use my 4 wt and skip the weighted flies- not my cup-o-tea.)

Flytyer- I used to believe exactly as you do. That the only way to winter fish was with a 16' 10/11 wt rod, and did it for several years. After using a 7136 for 99% if my summer fishing on large inland rivers, I decided to give it a go on all of my fishing- From the Sustut to the Umpqua. Scotland to Quebec. Floating line and 35 grain lead eyed leeches, floating line and any sized fly for standard summer surface fishing. Also with tips and 4/0 flies. It quickly became apparent that I no longer needed the 10/11 weight rods- they are simply overkill for 99% of the fish and conditions. Certainly it is easier to cast large heavy flies on big gear, but for me, the trade off is not worth it. Is the light set up for everybody? NO, but the big sticks aren't either. Thankfully there are no set rules to govern tackle choices or we would all be fishing the same stuff in the same way.
 

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ChromeFever re the best 7 weight for what you want to do.

I haven't casted big tube flies, but my Sage 7141 with the Mid Spey 7/8 with the interchangeable tips does what you are talking about.

In Northern California, we don't have that big of steelhead, and the 7141 can handle them.

The local Sage Rep favored the 7141 as the all around winter and early spring rod for Northern California. He uses his 7141 to fish for the big steelhead on the Smith River.

In heavy winter flows, the 7141 will lift up big flies, the sink tip compensator, the new fast sinking tips with no problem with either a single or double spey cast. If I pay attention and time the casts correctly, there is no need to roll cast to get the tips up.

Another alternative might be Bob Meiser's 7/8 switch rod with the WC 678 with tips. Yesterday, I took my 7/8 to the Napa River at high tide to just play. I couldn't wade at first, brush was right up to my back, the wind was swirling and gusting up to 25 knots, and the river was going down and upstream at the same time. I was able to roll cast size 4 and 2 Striper flies 50 and 60 feet with the tip compensator and the type eight sinking line from my Mid Spey 7/8 set. I had so much fun, I'm headed there again in a few minutes.
 

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Just got back from two days fishing the Salmon out of Challis. Fishing was slow but the trip was great fun. Got to put the Scott 1287 though a great test and it handled the type 8 sink tip and a #2 long shank hook with a full wrap of lead out to 90 feet with relative ease (shooting the last 20') Mostly using a Long Delta with 15 feet cut off the front and a loop. Even tried the 24' big boy and the rod held up well.

Also used the 1509 with the XLT cut back at 26 feet and was snake rolling the 15' type 8 with 90' out the tip - great fun casting but few fish were showing with water temps in the low 40's. I bogged down with the big stick and the 24' big boy and heavily weighted cone head rabbit leach in the wind - looks like I still need some pointers from Steve and Way. Maybe I will try to get back up for a second shot at the Rogue Clinic next year.

Had a great day on the Big Lost with my 2 wt and a great hatch of BWO's - 15 to 20 fish to hand to 18".
 

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I also continued my fall season into the winter with the 7136-4 one year. I was fortunate in that I met a number of really big bad natives in a relatively short amount of time that year, but they really got the better of me because it's hard to sink big winter irons with that noodle and big fish in big water tend to over power that rod in winter, although everyone's experiences may vary. Don't get me wrong, I love my 7136 although for me it has it's place in the arsenal, summer run fishing with dry line and occasional light tips.

Another rod not mentioned yet above which is a step up in terms of power without additional weight (in fact less I believe) is the CND Custom 13' 8/9 made by site sponsor CND Spey Rods. I've tried this rod with the 7/8 midspey as well as the 8/9 for deeper loading, also with a 10/11 mid-spey tips with the mid-section removed for Skagit casting (thanks Mike Kinney!) with tips and it's a great all-around rod that fishes well on everything from the Skagit to the Sol Duc. With the hi-grain back section of the midspey I was throwing Skagit minnow's 4" with no problem and the solid iron flies I was throwing were not much smaller and tied on 2/0 TMC 7999's. Why do I suggest it in a 7wt thread? I have a few 7wt speys and it's almost as light and easy to use as any - but provides the additional beef you talked about. I believe it would be a great option for what you described, among the other great rods named above.
 

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Juro

Juro, your comments below summarize the reality of the 7136 for most of us.

"I also continued my fall season into the winter with the 7136-4 one year. I was fortunate in that I met a number of really big bad natives in a relatively short amount of time that year, but they really got the better of me because it's hard to sink big winter irons with that noodle and big fish in big water tend to over power that rod in winter, although everyone's experiences may vary. Don't get me wrong, I love my 7136 although for me it has it's place in the arsenal, summer run fishing with dry line and occasional light tips. "

My 7136 is the perfect rod for the half pounders and the blue backs or second salt fish on the American River now. It is the perfect dry line rod for late Spring, Summer and early fall for most waters in N. Californian and S. Oregon.

However, most of us are are not doing the fish any favors or us trying to use the 7136 in the late fall and winter with big fish, big water and trying to fish deep holes.
 
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