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I'm trying to pick a spey rod, but the options are overwhelming and my experience with different rods is limited. I'm definatly more interested in Skagit casting over long belly lines and fish tips 80% or the time. In really low summer flows I'm apt to switch to a single hander for smaller rivers, but will continue with tips (shorter, lighter material) on the two hander. I know lots of people really prefer long bellies/dry lines/waking/whatever, but it's not my cup of tea. I've been considering the loomis dredgers, either in 7/8 or 8/9, but money being tight, I have to absolutly love whatever I get, so help me out!!!

I'd like something that I could comfortably reach the 80-100ft range with 8-10' tips and a lead-eyed leech. It needs to be able to handle fish in the 6-12lb range (summer-run, winter hatchery). I'd like it to be as light as possible, cause I'm not into getting a workout of any kind while I fish. I fish the skagit double, circle/snap-t, and perry poke. I don't know, but I have wondered if a faster rod than the dredgers is better at the poke or not. Let me know what you guys think.
 

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I feel that the different "Skagit casts" can all be done well with varying rod actions. Though I prefer the slower more full flexing actions for my Skagit casting, faster rods work well too. It is a matter of adjusting your timing. Even sustained-load Skagit casts can be done very well with a fast action rod, so I wouldn't be concerned that faster or slower rods are better for Perry Pokes or any other casts - they all work.

As for rod recommendations, CND has some that might fit your bill; the 13'4" Solstice was my rod of choice for summer fishing last year. It is rated as a 6/7/8, but the 6/7 is for more accomplished casters and the 7/8 for those who would benefit from a little more load on the rod. I consider this rod a 6 wt. Though it was designed as a greased line rod, it is excellent with tips - I have used it in the sustained load Skagit casting style with up to 9' of T-14 and large Intruders - and it is great.

The North Fork Specialist is a rod designed purposefully for smaller river Skagit casting applications (it was North Fork Stilliguamish guys who pressed us for this rod). It is 13'3" and is rated as an 8 wt. I like this little one so much that I used it for all my winter/spring fishing as well - it is small and light but it has the reserve power in the butt to handle tough winter conditions.

As well, I am looking forward to using the two smaller Black Speys this summer. The 12'6" 5/6/7 and the 13' 6/7/8. These rods are have a little faster action than the other CNDs and are very sweet casting, I look forward to giving them a good workout this summer where I am doing more than just casting them :D .
 

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Consider

the Meiser 13'6" 7/8 MKS. It is a great medium/fast rod designed for Skagit casting by Mike Kinney/Bob Meiser. If you are close enough, get to Aaron's in Carnation to try out some rods on the river. This is by far the best way to do it.
 

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Hi, just bought a tfo skagit 13'3" from red shed. I love it. at 250.00 it's cheap and cast like a dream. put a skagit 550 on it and cast away, it seems to be a slower action rod than others i have cast.

a bonus was I got a free jim teeny floating spey line from red shed with my purchase, a tfo promotion?

cb
 

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Jack Cook
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Hms Vii

The new Henrik Mortensen Mortensen VII from SCIERRA is hard to beat. It loads like a noodle and cast like a rifle shot. In 7/8 or 8/9 dependig on your water it is just about perfect.

PS - The 8/9 has enough muscle for Winter fishing also.
 

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I haven't actually seen a price list yet, but they are to retail between $400-500 US depending on the model - so that will translate to a pretty decent price in Canada with the Northern Peso acting so much more like a dollar :Eyecrazy:
 

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Maybe a Sage 6126-3 or one of its clones with an Outbound line

"I'd like something that I could comfortably reach the 80-100ft range with 8-10' tips and a lead-eyed leech. It needs to be able to handle fish in the 6-12lb range (summer-run, winter hatchery). I'd like it to be as light as possible, cause I'm not into getting a workout of any kind while I fish. I fish the skagit double, circle/snap-t, and perry poke. I don't know, but I have wondered if a faster rod than the dredgers is better at the poke or not. Let me know what you guys think."

Thanks to Simon's help and input, I have matched my Sage 6126-3 with the Rio Outbound Floater WF 11 Floater. With a Rio 15' leader and a sinking fly it will reach the bottom of most of my rivers in late Spring, Summer or early Fall. If not, one of Rio's 7' sinking leaders or an Air Flo will work. With floating flies, intermediate flies and unweighted hackles it is a :D blast to cast with the 15' leader and a few feet of tippet.

This rod line combo works great with the three Skagit Casts, you like to use. It does a good job with standard Spey Casts and enters the world of :Eyecrazy: wow with overhand casts. The OBs fit on the smaller and lighter reels like the Redington CD 9/10. My Skagit 450 requires a Loop 3W to handle it, and that is more weight to cast several hundred times each day versus the lighter Redington CD.

Chris Andersen of Sage prefers the next size of OB Floater, the 12 weight. Chris and many other casters also like using the WC's without the end tips with the 6126. They never worked for me:eek: . That is probably related to my lack of experience versus Chris and the others.

The Skagit 450 with a floating tip or Rio's 12' sinking tips works well with this rod. The OBs are more fun and a little easier to Skagit and standard Spey cast.

The one drawback to my 6126 is that it overwhelms :eek: any fish under 5 pounds. So I use my Sage 5120 with the Rio OB Floater 10W for the smaller fish. Experienced fishers like Ed Ward would have no problem with the 5120 on the Big D. As Ed noted, even the 5120 is like the one handed 7/8 fly rods.
 
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