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Discussion Starter #1
I had the opportunity yesterday to cast a bunch of CND (Custom Nobuo Design) Spey rods. For those who have not yet had the pleasure, the CND is one of the finest rods you will cast.

I cast several models in the 'Expert' and 'Custom' series in less than ideal conditions: water and air temperature in the mid thirties, swirling winds gusting to 25 knots. The 13' for a #6/7 wt. 'Expert,' an "entry-level" rod, handled the gale with aplomb firing out tight loops with a MidSpey in conditions that would push many #9 wt. rods.

The 14' for a #9/10 wt. 'Custom,' a $455.00 rod finished in a gorgeous, translucent green, ignored the unpleasant conditions altogether, and launched most of a full WindCutter 9/10/11. Both 'Expert' and 'Custom' series have a traditional British fit and finish; their designer, Nobuo Nodera, spent ten years in the home of all things Spey designing two-handers.

I did not cast the 'Specialist' series, CND's top-of-the-line rods; they were on loan to a dealer who is loath to return them to their rightful owner. I really want to try the 'Salmo Salar Specialist,' a 15' 6" for a #9/10/11 wt. line. It will, I am sure, have to be pried from my greasy mitts well past the "due back" date.

For more info on CND Spey rods, go to www.cndspey.com or click on the rotating banner at the bottom left of the screen.

TB
 

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just one more cast...
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Topher,
Glad to hear your positive report on the CND's! How would you describe the action of these rods. Maybe compare the CND 'Custom' 14' 9/10 to a T&T DH1409?
John
 

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Also thanks for posting the connect to their

new web site. Prior to this all I could get was one from Japan .... not a lot of help.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Dear Macspey,

As a matter of fact, we cast the CND 'Custom' 14' for a #9/10 "side by each" (as we say here in Maine) with the T & T 1409-3.

I found the CND to bend more towards the middle of the rod at most fishing distances than the T & T. The T & T has a very progressive, "tip down" action not unlike most modern single-handed rods. It feels lighter in the tip than the CND, but is probably a more difficult rod with which to learn speycasting.

While both rods are very light in the hand, the heavier-feeling tip of the CND follows through with a satisfying "whump" after the forward stop. I am not sure if the tip of the CND 'Custom' 14' is actually heavier, or if this is a design feature incorporated by a master designer (Nobuo Nodera). It was definitely something that I could feel, however.

I have cast a lot with the T & T so I'm in a pretty good groove with that rod. The CND is more of a purpose-built Spey rod, if I can make that distinction. I think it is an easier rod for most folks to find a good, consistent belly or D-loop behind them before tapping the rod forward.

As a beer-guzzling, couch potato might say, "It's all about the belly!"
 

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Unfortuately they do not have a UK branch yet but if Juro wants to send me a 15ft sample I will tout in round Scotland for him.

Malcolm:chuckle:
 

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just one more cast...
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Topher,
Thanks for the add'l description, look forward to 'sampling' a CND, maybe at the upcoming NE Clave, if we can sidestep the next blizzard...
cheers,
John
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Comparisons are hard because everyone has their own unique casting idiosyncracies and where one guy might love a very fast nearly overhand-style progressive long rod another might love a buggy whip.

That being said, accounts of spey rod practitioners in the old country adding a piece of whalebone as a tip to old greenheart rods were intent on stiffening the tip to force the load further down onto the blank on the sweep and provide a more pronounced 'claw' into the forward casting stroke.

The CND Custom Mark II was recently improved by Nobuo to fine-tune the top section. It definitely creates a more pronounced 'whump' that transfers directly into the loop; it's unmistakable when you stop the forward stroke. No doubt about it, this rod is a rocket and it's design allows the caster to exploit it's power without being overly temperamental as some spey rods can be. This becomes especially apparent from the weak side, I was able to throw as far from the left as I could from my right side albeit not as consistently.

The T&T was also a pure gem as well; I had not cast that particular rod since a few flicks at the Sandy Clave last year when I lucked out and got some tips from Simon G. Topher's immaculate single spey motion showed me some of the cleanest tight loops I'd seen since the west coast spey claves. I hope everyone can get to one of our nor'easters, us east coast spey guys have to stick together! ;)

When you stop to think about it, we're so lucky to have so many good choices in spey rods and lines nowadays! If we look back 5, 10 years it was a whole different industry leaving much to be desired and I can imagine 5 or 10 years down the road we will have an incredible list of spey fishing advances to discuss here on Dana's speypages.
 

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I would say that Juro and Topher were right on with the T&T v. CND comparison. The T&T is a faster action rod by all means but that should not be confused with being more powerful. The CNDs have a really smooth "traditional" action but without the feeling of being noodly. I would agree that they would be easier to learn on than the T&T. They are not a beginers rod though. Especially since Nobuo came out with the mark II version of the customs, they are hard core four season fishing tools.
 

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Malcolm,

If you hang around the Dee for a bit, you may just run into Nobuo himself and be able to check out the rods. I'm not sure of the exact dates, but he is meeting Per Stadigh there for a weeks fishing very soon.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Nice Job!

Dana,

Thanks for the very informative review of CND Spey rods and other new stuff on the Spey Pages--as always, the most complete resource on the Web, or any other place for that matter, for all things Spey.

Look forward to your next article.

TB
 

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Flyfishing Camp Cook
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WHat about 7wt speys?

I'm looking to buy a 7wt spey for my summerrun steelheading. I have a lead on a 7136 green blank Sage. Can't buy now, but will be buying after I sell off my big cataraft. But I saw the prices of the lower end CND's and was amazed. I want to pick up another rod (I always like having at least one backup). How is the 7wt lowere cost spey compared to the 7136? I may end up buying both (I also like having two of each rod so my girlfriend can use one as well, since we fish as a team).

Let me know, I just found out about these rods. Thanks
 

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SH69,

If you are interested in a 7136 type rod I would suggest the CND 7/8 Custom, rather than the 6/7 Expert. The 6/7 is really ultralight, there will be guys who love it as they normally focus on small average sized fish, the Morice, Deschutes and Ronde come to mind. However, for more all-round summer fishing the 7/8 Custom will likely be more practical.

I find the action of my older Sage 7136 and the CNDs very similar, the progressive actions are very pleasant - almost relaxing to fish with. If you haven't already seen CND's website (they are a Forum Sponsor) you can check it out at cndspey.com
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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I would even suggest taking a look at the expert or custom 13' 8/9. It is lighter in the hand than the 7136 but more powerful. I was thinking about getting the 7/8 for summer work but Juro convinced me otherwise :).

Plus the 8/9 can do double duty for skagit style winter work as well and throws tips with no problem.

As far as action I would say the CNDs are comparable to the sage action. Although somehow Nobuo has found a way for these rods to hold a lot more reserve power than what I feel a sage has.

Can't wait to get mine :cool:. I will still pick up a 7/8 eventually for light summer work but for a rod to cover all my bases for summer fishing (excluding big ole summer rivers like they have up north) the 8/9 seems perfect.

Get down to the Sandy clave and give em both a try.

-sean
 

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:>) Sean, you missed a major point ...

"As far as action I would say the CNDs are comparable to the sage action. Although somehow Nobuo has found a way for these rods to hold a lot more reserve power that what I feel a sage has."

And at half the price!
fae
 

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Flyfishing Camp Cook
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Thanks

I'm looking for more of a solid 7wt, up to 8. I already have a 9140-3 and works great for my winter fishing. But is way overkill on my summerrun fishing. I was debating between a longer one hand 7 wt or a smaller 2 hand 7wt. I normally use a 7wt for my summer fishing and never had a problem with it. I don't like using much heavier then that. Plus, this rod will ONLY be a summer floating line rod. I don't need it for anything else.
 

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I am very interested in seeing these at the michigan clave next weekend. Especially when the rogue spey master makes such statements !

Particularly the following quote:

And at half the price!
PM Out
 

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Congratulations Tyler

Didn't know you were on the Pro Staff for CND rods.

Well done... a tip of the hat to you'

Jake
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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SH69 -

I am not one for taking comparisons too seriously since every good rod has it's merits and earns it's following, and the 7136 is certainly one of those rods. I recently cast them side by side and did note a few things about each but take them with a grain of salt as your observations may differ.

God knows I've loved the 7136 to a fault over the years, using it when it shouldn't like that big nate on the Sol Duc who didn't even think it was hooked. Both of these rods are fun to cast because they love to be worked hard and put away wet ;)

I initially had trouble with the 7136 years ago because it must be hit just right to make it work. But once I found the handle to it, it became one of my favorite rods of all. I cast a little more consistently now and it seems to me that the CND has a broader range of effective strokes - tip casting, punching from the middle and pushing from the depths of the butt. It's lighter in the hand and has a smoother load profile which gives it a different feel - more crisp than the old trusty 7136.

Using the 7/8 midspey (man I love that line) I cast both, switching the reel between the two. Like the 7136-4, the Custom 1307SP is a lightweight super-fun summer rod. They both love the 7/8 Midspey, 6/7/8 Windcutter and will work with 6/7 lines as well I assume... more testing will follow when I can get more lines.

The 7136 is like an old pair of boots to me, and it was good to fire the line with it again. It has a strong recoil from the middle when you put the rod into play and it's design encourages a traditional spey motion that is efficient and pleasant to fish. What a snake roll rod! No doubt about it, the rod has played an important part in my learning curve and I will always love my 7136.

Yet of the two, the Custom feels lighter in the hand perhaps because of two verses three spigot vs. fit over butt ferrules and Nobuo's graphite selection, more specifically it seems to have a lighter top-end and is less noodly (smoother, tighter bend profile) when you wag it. It may or may not have any more power overall but the power it has comes more directly to the caster. I agree with others who believe that the Custom will also handle a 6/7 line and allow the caster to hang into the running line and flatten out the d-loop to drive the cast harder. Even the fairly grainy 7/8 midspey works well with some overhang on the 7wt provided you reach lower into the blank when making the forward stroke, which also brings out it's reserve power. This approach shoots line effectively, in fact surprisingly well. On this piece of river I was able to put it onto the other bank when I got lucky and hit it just right by flattening the d-loop, raising the arms a bit higher in the back and looking to hit the forward stroke from a meaty part of the blank combined with an aggressive lower hand motion.

I then put the same reel/line on the Expert 8/9, which I tried last with Topher post-blizzard. Casting this spey rod is a revelation in that a rod under $300 could deliver such performance, quality hardware and workmanship, super-smooth casting tool. If you are in the market for a very affordable summer run rod you should give the Expert 1308 and Midspey 7/8 setup a toss sometime. It also loads with and throws the 8/9 Midspey very well with a deeper load.

Then to the Custom 8/9... although very light the 1308SP has an authoritative "tight" feel to it but a very accomodating taper design that supports tip casting laser loops for short work, progressing into an easy motion with the head just out of the guides using the middle of the blank for shooting a moderate amount of running line, and then using a good amount of overhang with a flat sweep to power the head easily into the trees on the other bank of this small river. Of course I am just an average caster and the river wasn't all that wide, but it sure felt good :p

When the leader was in the trees, I took the opportunity to yard on the rod to see how much guts the rod possessed. The rod's power instantly reminded me of Nobuo's words on the water last fall - "a spey rod must be as good of a fighting tool as it is a casting tool". The Custom series are surprisingly powerful rods yet lightweight and great fish fighting tools.

The way I see it, any steelhead or atlantic salmon worth it's muster deserves the most powerful rod you can enjoy fishing under the conditions, and the fish is better off being fought aggressively especially in low-O2 summer flows. In this respect (strength + summer fishability), the two 1308's have an edge. That being said, it may be more than some summer-run anglers prefer for their ulltralight summer spey fishing needs and the lighter rods definitely have their place.

Although all four of these rods are simply awesome summer run rods, I suggested the 1308SP Custom to Sean because it has the versatility to be fished with tips even in winter. Marlow Bumpus liked this rod on the Skagit with his custom lines.

I recently fished it with an 8/9 midspey tips on the SolDuc and Elwha, then either a 9/10 or 10/11 midspey with both tips removed and a type 4 tip on the Queets in winter and it rocked. The Windcutter with midsection removed should produce similar results. These lines cast beautifully on the Custom 1409SP, 1510SP and CND Specialist rods so you could use the same tip line (with mid removed) on both 1308SP and the bigger guns (1408&1510 w/ mid re-inserted) in winter although wide river swings without stripping would call for a tip looped to a longer belly line.

But in summer, the 1307 or 1308 rods deserve to be fished with a floater, long leader, and a greased line swing. Those lazy days are coming! If you'd like your local fly shop to put one on the rack for testing have him contact me at [email protected]
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Greg -

Don't you have the 14' 9/10 (Custom 1409SP)?

Just making sure. That's my favorite for an all-around 4 season rod BTW.
 
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