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I have read most of the posts regarding DHs in the salt, and I just got back from a great trip to the Mayan Riveria. Thanks to you guys here that helped me out with info.

I didn't take me two-hander for a number of reasons, but I just didn't feel comfortable with it mostly. So, I am not totally qualified to ask this question, but...

How can a two-handed rod be any where near as a efficent as a single-handed rod while fishing the flats for permit? I think about the wind at 5-6 knots all day, jumping in and out of a boat, guides franticly giving instructions about where to cast, and the fish constantly on the move.

I gave it a lot of thought while I was out there, and I just don't understand how you would have the time to whip a DH cast (overhead or otherwise) out there in time to get it where the fish are going to be under these conditions.

Thanks for any answers. I am excited to understand how you guys do it, because I could barely handle it with a single-hand rod.
 

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In that set of circumstances the DH is probably not the best choice. IMO a single handed rod is much quicker and accurate to cast when sight fishing especially at shorter distances.

I find a DH rod works best covering a lot of water blind casting, dealing with high winds, distance, casting large heavy flies, etc. I mostly fish for stripers and under these conditions so I find it to be ideal. It's also much less tiring than a single handed rod and allows me to fish effectively longer.
 

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A DH rod is no panacea. I once too thought it could be but in all reality it is not.

That being said it does excel in some areas and a great trick to have in the bag. Long casts, heavy flies, and heavy lines are great on a two hander. You will lose presentation capabilities though as they are just not as accurate and soft presentations are harder to come by with a two hander. Not an ideal sight fishing rod. Of course a good single hander can cast big flies and such but a two hander is much more efficient for that kind of thing. This is in reference to overhead work.

Also most guys use short shooting head style lines on two handers and the ability to pick them up after a long cast and reposition them is tough as you gotta strip in so much line for the recast. Not what I would want from a flats rod.

The biggest mistake I see out here on the east coast regarding the use of two handers is this panacea mentality. Guys are using them on boats and flats where they really do not have much of a place. Also being that a two hander is a new skill that takes practice. If you do not have control of the rod it ends up in frustration. Been fishing with guys who have had a lot of low number days due to the simple fact they are not good with a two hander and do not put in the time to practice with these rods. The marketing about long casting, easier on the body fishing with a two hander only applies if you take the time to learn about it.

You were probably right not to take one with you on the flats. I firmly believe you are giving up too much by not using a single hander in those cases.

-sean
 

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SH for salt is a Yes...

On a recent trip just off Venezuela, I used a SH Loop #10 9'6" rod alternating with a Sage #10 9' rod for all the fishing.

The SH rod was certainly the answer, although didn't take a DH rod to try anyway, as it was good enough to cover the sight-fished bones, jacks & bonita, but still difficult with the need to rapidly change direction for the fast moving fish. I think a DH rod would have been more tricky for the rapid casting at times. Was windy all the time.

Beach fishing, flats wading and fishing from the boat deck resulted in plenty bones (around 40 up to 3.5Kg), as well as jacks, the odd bonita, needle fish, yellowtails, mini permit, a couple of snook, but no tarpon to hand.

If I went again, I would use a short shooting head setup rather than WF or WC type line, however.

Mike
 

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The biggest mistake I see out here on the east coast regarding the use of two handers is this panacea mentality. Guys are using them on boats and flats where they really do not have much of a place. Also being that a two hander is a new skill that takes practice. If you do not have control of the rod it ends up in frustration. Been fishing with guys who have had a lot of low number days due to the simple fact they are not good with a two hander and do not put in the time to practice with these rods. The marketing about long casting, easier on the body fishing with a two hander only applies if you take the time to learn about it.
-sean
Well said...that's been my experience also. Somebody will buy or borrow a DH rod, throw a few casts and wonder why it doesn't work for them. They don't bother to learn how and when to use the tool.
 

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I tend to agree. The best experience I've had with a DH on the flats was more like fishing a river: back up against a wall (sand dune in this case), gentle current flowing laterally over shallow water, casting and swinging to feeding holding fish, round to the dangle and then a spey cast back out. It was hardly like flats fishing. Otherwise the DH didn't really strike me as THE most appropriate tool in all cases, especially with chop on the water when spotted fish didn't show until they were close. So I traded my salty 11' 7 wt to an east-coast DH addict :razz:

DH rods still rock off the beach into the wind
 

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DH for salt

I just purchased my first DH rod this christmas. I am going to use DH rod for striper fishing in the James River. I have heard so many things about DH rods so I thought I would get me one and give it a try. I have finally got it all set up with line and reel and now all I need is to get me a video and learn how to cast it.

Dan
 

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This is a good question.

When is a 2hander better in salt?

First start with those times that a single hander sucks...

- Big surf
- cross wind
- very large flies
- Long distance casting
- very strong fish from shore
- Fast current with repeating swings**

I am sure there are more and not all suck for everyone but here's my point:

If you have a flat-ass calm day throwing unweighted flies to tailers no more than 60ft away and have a guide on a boat to chase fish around, then no it makes little sense.

If the wind is slapping your lapel against your casting-side cheek so hard it sounds like the baseball card clipped to your bicycle spokes as a kid, the fly you are throwing is 11" long and the breaking waves stop at 85 feet from shore where 30 pound stripers are crashing bait, good luck with your single hand rod.

** in the case of repetitive presentations typically without stripping much line between casts, in current - a traditional Spey rod and casting style is best. Those who fish big rivers with single handers know how much of a pain it is working a swing in fast and/or deep currents without Spey casting.

But this is different than the above, which are two-handed overhead scenarios and call for an entirely different rod.

I agree, people think single hand casting translates into instant two-handed ability. WRONG. It doesn't take as long as learning how to cast a single did, but it does take some investment.

Another most common newbie error I see is to assume all two-handed rods are suitable for experimentation. Some rods cast like mush overhead while being Spey casting rockets.
 

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Another most common newbie error I see is to assume all two-handed rods are suitable for experimentation. Some rods cast like mush overhead while being Spey casting rockets.
I never thought of this because I am a newbie to the spey casting\fishing.:smokin: I have a TFO 14 ft 9 wt with a courtland 444 SL short belly WF9F. Is this combo better for overhead casting or is it a better for spey casting? Ok, here's the real question how do you tell if the rod and line set up is for spey or overhead casting?


I haven't even taking it to the water yet. I wanted to take it out tomorrow and give it a try. I figured that I have over this summer to experiment and try to learn some casting techniques so I will be ready for striper season come October.Sorry for all the questions but I am a newbie and wanting to learn.

Dan
 

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The two places that a DH makes sense is when beach fishing (overhead casting) and fishing a channel/under a bridge from the shore in the Keys (spey casting) with bushes/stuff behind you.
 

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line match

I never thought of this because I am a newbie to the spey casting\fishing.:smokin: I have a TFO 14 ft 9 wt with a courtland 444 SL short belly WF9F. Is this combo better for overhead casting or is it a better for spey casting? Ok, here's the real question how do you tell if the rod and line set up is for spey or overhead casting?


I haven't even taking it to the water yet. I wanted to take it out tomorrow and give it a try. I figured that I have over this summer to experiment and try to learn some casting techniques so I will be ready for striper season come October.Sorry for all the questions but I am a newbie and wanting to learn.

Dan
If that is a 9wt single handed line you won't like it...look about for a Hardy dealer and purchase a Mach 2 Salmon floating line ,this line has 2 colours and a wonderful line for newbies to learn with...and excellent for overhead casting off the beaches!
 

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Dh rod

Sorry about that. It is a cortland 444 SL short belly WF9F spey line. I took it out to the field to day and gave it a try. I done pretty good just playing around. I was really surprised at the distance that I could get with such a easy cast. I am going to the fishing hole tomorrow and pratice my casting.

Dan
 

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This double handed thing isn't just about long rods, its also about 9 footers etc.
I think people tend to forget that there is a finite limit on the 9 foot progressive casting style, for any kind of distance.
But if you also take into account that you can cast a 9 foot rod with two hands a lot easier than you can a single hander you can extend the 9 foot weight range to out to 15/17# and still have a viable casting rod.
I have a converted spin rod, a Shimano 9 foot surf rod that is now a 9' DH fly rod rated at 30/60g. It handles heads in the range 500 to 750gns quite easily, two handed casting style, it's a fast presentation and is a tough as old marine boots. I can't cast it one handed. Just can't bend it.
The current range of 9 footers are really very light rods and have serious limitations on big fish, even big permit on flats, and or tarpon. If I were to chase tarpon it would be with the Shimano thing. Killem' stone dead. No tom foolery.
But you can use rods, 14' long out of boats and get good results. A guy out here fished a 14 footer out of a boat a Weipa and killed the 9 foot types.
The 9 foot system is very ineffecient, but improves somewhat when you use 2hands.
Just remember God gave us 2 hands, why not use them. Or is there any reason why we shouldn't?
Flouting tradition maybe.
MaxG
 

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PS Shimano have a range of surf spin rods that have adjustable winch mounts that could be used as DH fly rods without any modification. You could look at those and do a two handed wave about. Rather suprising just how easy it is, and how effecient it is. Cheaper than most 9 foot fly rods as well.
Max
 

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Very interesting replies to my posts.... People are talkative enough when its about long DH rods and/or SH 9 footers, and the bad bits of both systems but get into the reality, like DH and SH fit ALL rods and the thing stops like a brick hitting the deck.
Maybe its a new kind of reality. MaxG
 

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Just for the record and getting at the original post, I find that my 15' Talon is the best roll casting device ever invented. And I do it off the local reef and get a hunky fly out to 70/80 feet without having any running line problems.
There are places the long DH rod will shine, and beat the crap out of 9 footers. Like fishing big flies at big fish off ocean rocks, wading esturaries and using single spey or roll casting techniques, covers more water than 9 footers more easily.
I personally wouldn't use a long DH rod off a boat but it can be done, but the thing I find ridiculousd is the way SH anglers look at the idea of DH 9 footers in the heavier classses.
And they don't seem to care that these type of rods might just be great for people with one hand casting problems.
Technically the present SH rod build is a throw back to the very early trout fishing method, like using a reel for storage and using the hand to play with the line.
The reel position was where it is because it didn't do anything but hold line and is positioned in about the worst spot on the rod for fish fighting effeciency.
Those bad things have been fitted into modern FF because of tradition rather than usability and common sense.
A thing that always has bothered me is the anglers reluctance to look seriously at A/R and geared reels, regardless of the fact that with other methods the most fervent FF angler would happilv use A/R and geared reels.
But if you pointed this out he would still grab a DD reel for SWF.
Another thing is switch rods, basically they seem to be a means of stepping across that gap between SH and DH rods, which really doesn't exist if you use the theory that it doesn't matter a dam how many hands you use to cast fly rods, or how long the rod is or where you cast it.
I think switch rods should be designed to switch from fly to spinning, to make it easier to be a straight out angler rather than a Spey/Fly guy.
My Shimano is based on that system, and I could happly use it for either use.
In my opinion the basic fault with 9 foot SH rods is that they are terrible at handling big fish basically because they don't get much past 1 ounce loads, which are very light loads really.
Cheers don't be too rough on me. Max.Garth
 

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i've watched this thread but haven't really answered it since my situation is rather unusual. being forced to use two handers has been an experience and i've had some frustrations but not with the rods themselves. they do pretty much what i want them to. most of my fishing is on the flats or in the surf and i've had no real problems. using regular tropic weight forwards and overlining has increased my distance and accuracy. undoubtedly they are better than they were before my accident. i do worry about dropping a big tarpon taper atop some tailing redfish but to this point (4 years and counting) i cannot really recall any that actually spooked when the line landed. shadows seem to be more of a problem than the actual sound of a big line landing.
the big rods are harder to handle in a boat but not appreciably so if you have someone to handle the boat. really big tarpon are a problem but that is more a function of depth than the unwieldness of the rod or so it seems to me.
if i coud get my hand back i'm really not sure that i would start up with single handers again.
 

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DH or SH, salt or fresh, Spey cast better.

DH or single handed rods, on the flats or on rivers, imo, Spey style casting, is the most effective and energy efficient way of casting. And, again, for what its worth, imo, there is almost never a need for the overhead cast other than in very particular circumstances. (Such as pin point accuracy when sight fishing dry flies on very calm and clear waters.)

With Spey style casting you spend less time with your fly in the air and more time with it in the water with the fish. The cast is far less effected by wind and I find it a lot easier on the body, particularly if you are burning up energy climbing up and down banks, over logs or in and out of a boat.

And, with today’s great lines and rods, you can Spey style cast with a single handed rod any distance you would normally be fishing with a single handed rod and overhead casting. A hauled Spey cast of whatever type will punch out what? Fifty, sixty feet with next to no effort?

Sure, by feeding line into the false casts while you double haul you can cast line further on a single handed rod. But, if your doing much of that kind of energy burning, aerobic style overhead casting you would soon tire out or move to a DH rod anyway, right?

In the Pacfic Noth West area I do a lot of coastal fishing so I need a powerful DH rod because of the amount of water I want to cover on a single cast, the frequent big winds and waves which I commonly have to deal with.

So I use 15 foot rod, 10/11 wt double taper floating line ( Floating line so I can get the wave action to do some of the work for me. Waves suck sinking lines, (literally). Plus, I use a fifty lbs butt to start off my leader so I always get turn over, even if I am tapering all the way down to a three pound tippet.

It can be hard work if you don’t use a little Akido-sense and work the rod, waves, wind and line to your advantage.

When I am fishing flats in the tropics such as you describe I have a dandy 10 foot, six inch, 6/7 wt DH travel rod that is quite manageable when I climbing in and out of boat.

However, in August I spent a week of fishing the BC/AB Elk and Castle Rivers and fished only with a single handed rod. The Elk and the Castle are narrow rivers in comparison to what I am used to but even on these waters I seldom found reason for using overhead cast. Made to no sense to do so most of the time.

To overhead cast I would have had to go further out into the water to get enough clearance to back cast as the bush and steep rock banks are pretty close in a lot of places. Not to mention the water was moving at a pretty good clip and wading fast water all day tires a guy out really quickly. So I was happy to cast Spey style from close to shore.

(By way Elk, Castle Rivers? Very fine. Excellent fishing, lovely scenery and nice people in that area. Dance with Wolves kind of landscape. I hooked up with a a lot fish while there, caught and released all of them but that part of the world hooked me and to date, no release. I am already planning my next trip)

To generalize the way I see it is:

Single hand rods and overhead casting was developed by guys fishing small slow waters wearing knickerbockers and knitted ties.

Double handed rods and Spey casting was developed by guys fishing big fast waters wearing tams and tartans.

And casting either way, overhead or Spey, with both single handed and double handed rods was developed by guys fishing both big and small, slow and fast waters wearing toques, ball caps and Stetsons.

So, what I guess I am saying is, in or out the boat, on the flats or in the river, conserve energy and for “Guide-ness sake” watch what you are doing with that darn back cast!(Grin)

Tight loops,
Scouter
 

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Right on brother. Cheers MaxG.






"Max there is game fishing, sport fishing and fly fishing, but if one really wanted to fish for flies, I guess the correct place would be the closest abbatoir".
George Brydan 1967.
 

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On a boat

I sometimes fish from my friends 24' cuddy cabin boat. Not the most friendly for fly fishing. The other 2 guys fishing are usually using spin gear, and i cast when conditions permit. I tried using a skagit head (on tfo 14' 9wt) with 12' t14 from the boat this year. This skagit is sized for my 7wt rod, overall system about right for overhead casting on the 9wt. This combo worked better than anything i have used in the past. I could OH, double, single or roll cast. It allowed me to fish on a breezy day where i would have been spin casting otherwise.
I like the 2 hander everywhere except from the kayak, including flats and normal wading. (I cast a 8wt, 9 footer using 2 hands & 23' shooting head when in the yak.)
I think that a 6 or 7 wt scando rod with a slightly undersized line is perfect for the flats.

jp
 
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