Over the past few months I have cast a number of long rod proto types ( long rods are any thing over 15ft) and must say that this is the wave of the future I think I am going to like it.
I find the rod a pleasure to cast light ,fast dampening deep loading. Bit more progressive that the DH1611/3 Thomas and Thomas and quicker reacting than the Sage 10161-4 European it will lend it lend it self well for most of the long and mid belly lines.
The Rods light weight lends it self well to deep wading and high arm position that accompanies the deep water work it is very little work to make 5 conserve casts.
_I have added on to this rod to the TRY RACK and here are the lines that I have worked with so far.
SPEYBUM'S CASTING RULES
The lines are fully cut and not altered in any weigh.
The casting is done in four one hour session for each line.
No two lines or rods are tested in the same series. Casts are preformed on both
sides of the river off both shoulders with no less than five consecutive cast
Note for the fun of it when casting the entire line to the backing knot it only
counts when I can do it five consecutive cast so I very rarely mention it.
"Each rod has been rated for two different line designations. The 'A' rating is
for casters who like to feel a 'faster' action rod, and those that are good
Spey casters. The 'B' rating is for beginner and moderate casters and those
that like to feel the rod with more flex."
From Rio's website information
RIO MID SPEY 10/11WIEGHT 875 grains B
RIO GRANDSPEY 8/9 WEIGHT 1100 grains_A
RIO GRANDSPEY 9/10 WEIGHT 1300 grains_B ( very close to max not finished with a full session as of yet)
SA XLT 8/9 WEIGHT 990 grains A
SA XLT 9/10 WEIGHT 1050 grains B
AIRFLO LONG DELTA 10/11 WEIGHT 770 grains A
AIRFLO TRADITIONAL 10/11 WEIGHT 900 grains A
Total hours cast 24
I have a few more lines and some new Custom Super Power Heads for long rods to try.
Speybum, thanks for the detailed report but was wondering why heavier lines wernt tried. Is it because the rod isnt able to lift a full long belly of the heavy stuff or just wont cast it. I have always felt that the heavier load on a rod in the D loop would equal a long cast, that is if the rod can lift the line into position and not fold on the foward cast. You would think that a rod like this one would be rated fairlly close to what it is! Dont get me wrong, a light (line size) long (ok really long) rod woulld be very cool but a rod called a Thompson specialist should be able to be loaded to the max and handle it. Also if you could answer my question as to the size and shape of the shock dimple, I would appreciate it much.
As I noted this is just part of list.
All the lines that I cast are factory and yes I have some heavey long belly custom lines .
I have tried the 10/11 Grandspey and 10/11 XLT as I do with most of the rods I cast.
Both lines were too heavey for me to produce a cast where the entire head and leader would turn over before the belly hits the water.
Both lines failed.
Will keep you posted as to the line count when I finsh.
I only had the Sage 10161-4 European for abut two week a demo from Sage.
Worked the RIO 10/11 Midspey and RIO 8/9 and 9/10 Grands with mixed results.
My Preface was the 8/9 Grand just easier for me to cast the whole head.
Used the 9/10 XLT with grand results real corker.
No Airflow tested
I may return at some time and do it again.
Thanks for your imput. That's why I like this board, I sometimes get into ruts and new ideas help me get out of them. After reading your post on the CND rod, I changed lines on my 10161-4 from a GS 9/10 and a XLT 10/11 to a GS 8/9 and a XLT 9/10. It made a noticable difference.
I can't pick up the whole head on the GS like you , but just picking up 100 to 105 hand to fly, shooting the rest of the fly on a spiral or single spey is relatively easy. The 9/10 XLT also seemed to be a better match. I don't seem to be able to shoot the XLT quite as well as the GS, but I can pick up more line. Working 120' with the spiral or single spey was a little easier than with the 10/11. I'll keep working on it, thanks again for your post.
The 9/10 Grandspey and XLTs load the the Thompson Specialist very well. This rod is designed for very long casts specifically with extreme long belly lines in mind. When you are carrying a 100' head into your D-loop there is a tremendous amount of grains being moved, maybe someone more technical than me, like Way could give the actual weights being aerialized - but they are substantial.
This is also the main reason why Simon Gawesworth in his line ratings for various rods suggests a heavier line for the intermediate caster than for the expert. The expert caster is often casting a longer line, therefore the rod is properly loaded with the "lighter" line, while the intermediate caster is often casting less line - therefore requiring the heavier line to properly load the rod.
To answer your question the material and design of the Specialist series is especially suited to tightening the bottom half of the loop, what I dub the "driver", or the segment from tip to bottom of the wedge. Recovery is among the fastest of the rods on the market today, and the super high modulus graphite and carefully calculated taper optimize the transfer of the load in the rod into the cast even with 100' head lengths. One of the first things I noticed was the velocity in the driver with Specialist rods.
I would also think that whether a rod can lift a number of grains or not is also dependent on the caster's choice of casts as well as the other points people raised. For instance someone might prefer to use a circle or snap-c every cast and drive a large number of grains effectively with a given rod, yet be unable to single spey that same combination at full head length from the dangle due to the dynamics of the cast itself. Handing that same outfit to a finesse caster would result in a sour face from that caster, who might hand it over to a power caster who makes aggressive and dynamic snake rolls, snap casts only who loves the combination.
I tend to lean toward the finesse side, although not nearly accomplished enough to be expert I am truly a dedicated student. I like to use all casts from both sides, left hand up and reverse, so the ultra-grainy lines like the ones you named are undesireable for me.
The 9/10 lines Kush listed, the 100' speydriver, etc - load the load so well I couldn't imagine going any higher without having to work harder than I would enjoy for a day of fishing.
As discussed frequently, they're only numbers. Line weights in spey lines mean little, and least of all for extended belly lines. Find what the rod loves for your casting style and enjoy the river!
The Thompson and Salar like longer belly lines, at least for me. I am used to the mid spey on 13 and 14 foot rods. Putting a mid spey on either of the Specialists makes it difficult to get an anchor with my familiar dynamics. I haven't had a chance to try a longer belly yet, but will report when I do.
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