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First a little background. The first rod that Steve Built for me was a 14' ARE UHM 7/8. I had asked Johnny at ARE if he had any custom builds as I was not to crazy about the colors used in his standard build. I have and still love this 14' 7/8. I am able to dance with this rod and understand her every move. I also love a 12' 3/4 ARE UHM that I built for lighter work. I really didn't need anything else to cover everything I fish for but I have since added a 5 wt. and a 3 wt. quantum to the quiver and have no explanation for why I thought I needed these rods. I love them all. Before the WDFW again closed the Columbia River near where I live to steelhead fishing, I had a frustrating day fishing for two reasons, 1. I grew tired of chipping ice out of the guides and 2. with more pressure on the fish recently they seemed to have move a bit further out. I would continually see fish jump about 15' further out than I could reach with my current set up.

My Mom lives in Kooskia Idaho and I like to fish the clearwater when I to see her I had been thinking about getting a longer stick so I could cover more water with each cast so more fish get to see my fly each time I cast. Because of my recent frustration combined with liking to fish the CW and had been considering a longer rod anyway I called Steve and talked to him about what I wanted to accomplish and that I was thinking about picking up a 16' rod that would be easy to cast and help me obtain that extra 15-20 feet when casting without having to strip in more line. The result of the conversation was Steve developing a 16'7" 7 wt. rod with the new generation graphite. Steve had built something similar on an older generation graphite but had not yet tried it with the newer-lighter graphite blanks. About a month later Steve had a proto-type that he had his tester(s) use before he finalized the design and built one for me to demo.

I tested the rod for a little over a week. This rod is amazingly easy to cast long lines with and liked the beauty of the demo rod I just bought it instead of getting one built to my requested color scheme.

I am one month away from turning 63, and am 6'3" tall and average build...definitely not a Hercules type individual.

In the two weeks that I have had this rod in my possession, I have tried the following lines on this rod and these are my impressions:

Ballistic Vector XL 8/9 (660 gr) . This is the line that Steve provided with the rod for demo. This line is buttery smooth and seems to be built for this rod. If you like very smooth and a light feeling line, you will love this combination. I have not had a lot of time with it yet, but it turns over a 23' leader very nicely and at this point I have not put all of the line out of the guides, but have the knot to the backing between the reel and the first guide. I am easily reaching water that I was not prior to getting this rod and line. This line I will be using for days when I want an easy day and long casts

Gaelforce Equalizer 54 9/10 (585 gr.) (I had acquired this line my 14' rod and thought I loved it on this rod until I tried the 73 so I recently sold the 54.) very good but not nearly as impressive as the other GF that I tried.

Gaelforce Equalizer 63 7/8 (662 gr.) thank you Poppy) a little light for this rod. I should have requested a 8/9 to test drive.

Gaelforce Equalizer 73 8/9 (756 gr) (thank you Poppy) this was a very nice fit and smooth casting line. It was so easy to cast on my 14' rod that I bought one for it and almost decided that I didn't need the longer rod!!!. I returned the 63 and 73 demos and in part because Bruce Kruk said that I could cast the 83' on a 16' rod, asked Poppy to send me the 83 and the 15 M to test drive.

Gaelforce Equalizer 83 8/9 (817 gr.) (thank you Poppy). I will be adding this line to my collection even though I have only cast it once for about 30 minutes. I cannot believe how easy it was to handle this longer line on this rod. It looks like my days of needing to chip ice out of my guides when trying to reach fish out 100' are over. The only tough decision for me now is to decide if I want to keep the integrated line or if I want to have it made into a head. I am getting about 10' further with this line than I am with the Vector XL. It does take more effort to cast this line than the Vector XL though---it is 157 grains heavier. If you like a deeply loading feeling this is the combination that you want should you pick up one of these rods from Steve.

Gaelforce EEx 15 M #8 (thank you Poppy)--Nice casting and great turn over with a 10' intermediate poly. Had I not test drove the 83 with rod, I would have picked up this head for this rod. Definitely worth testing this line, especially if you are using a 14' or longer rod.

Nextcast Fall Favorite Gen 2 6/7 was not a good fit for me with this rod. It was both too short and too light. It worked well with my 14' ARE.

Nextcast Steelhead Finder 45: FI-7 ; FF-8 32.5' 600 gr; FF-8/9? 650 gr. I love the Steelhead finders, just not on this rod. These heads are just too short for this rod. They were not fun to cast at all. They are fantastic with my 13 and 14' rods.

Bottom line is WOW!!! If you are considering moving up to a long line rod, contact Steve and get in line to demo this rod, but don't do it unless you are ready to have a lighter pocket book, but if you like the feel of an easy casting smooth long rod it is worth the lighter pocket book.

cal
 

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First a little background. The first rod that Steve Built for me was a 14' ARE UHM 7/8. I had asked Johnny at ARE if he had any custom builds as I was not to crazy about the colors used in his standard build. I have and still love this 14' 7/8. I am able to dance with this rod and understand her every move. I also love a 12' 3/4 ARE UHM that I built for lighter work. I really didn't need anything else to cover everything I fish for but I have since added a 5 wt. and a 3 wt. quantum to the quiver and have no explanation for why I thought I needed these rods. I love them all. Before the WDFW again closed the Columbia River near where I live to steelhead fishing, I had a frustrating day fishing for two reasons, 1. I grew tired of chipping ice out of the guides and 2. with more pressure on the fish recently they seemed to have move a bit further out. I would continually see fish jump about 15' further out than I could reach with my current set up.

My Mom lives in Kooskia Idaho and I like to fish the clearwater when I to see her I had been thinking about getting a longer stick so I could cover more water with each cast so more fish get to see my fly each time I cast. Because of my recent frustration combined with liking to fish the CW and had been considering a longer rod anyway I called Steve and talked to him about what I wanted to accomplish and that I was thinking about picking up a 16' rod that would be easy to cast and help me obtain that extra 15-20 feet when casting without having to strip in more line. The result of the conversation was Steve developing a 16'7" 7 wt. rod with the new generation graphite. Steve had built something similar on an older generation graphite but had not yet tried it with the newer-lighter graphite blanks. About a month later Steve had a proto-type that he had his tester(s) use before he finalized the design and built one for me to demo.

I tested the rod for a little over a week. This rod is amazingly easy to cast long lines with and liked the beauty of the demo rod I just bought it instead of getting one built to my requested color scheme.

I am one month away from turning 63, and am 6'3" tall and average build...definitely not a Hercules type individual.

In the two weeks that I have had this rod in my possession, I have tried the following lines on this rod and these are my impressions:

Ballistic Vector XL 8/9 (660 gr) . This is the line that Steve provided with the rod for demo. This line is buttery smooth and seems to be built for this rod. If you like very smooth and a light feeling line, you will love this combination. I have not had a lot of time with it yet, but it turns over a 23' leader very nicely and at this point I have not put all of the line out of the guides, but have the knot to the backing between the reel and the first guide. I am easily reaching water that I was not prior to getting this rod and line. This line I will be using for days when I want an easy day and long casts

Gaelforce Equalizer 54 9/10 (585 gr.) (I had acquired this line my 14' rod and thought I loved it on this rod until I tried the 73 so I recently sold the 54.) very good but not nearly as impressive as the other GF that I tried.

Gaelforce Equalizer 63 7/8 (662 gr.) thank you Poppy) a little light for this rod. I should have requested a 8/9 to test drive.

Gaelforce Equalizer 73 8/9 (756 gr) (thank you Poppy) this was a very nice fit and smooth casting line. It was so easy to cast on my 14' rod that I bought one for it and almost decided that I didn't need the longer rod!!!. I returned the 63 and 73 demos and in part because Bruce Kruk said that I could cast the 83' on a 16' rod, asked Poppy to send me the 83 and the 15 M to test drive.

Gaelforce Equalizer 83 8/9 (817 gr.) (thank you Poppy). I will be adding this line to my collection even though I have only cast it once for about 30 minutes. I cannot believe how easy it was to handle this longer line on this rod. It looks like my days of needing to chip ice out of my guides when trying to reach fish out 100' are over. The only tough decision for me now is to decide if I want to keep the integrated line or if I want to have it made into a head. I am getting about 10' further with this line than I am with the Vector XL. It does take more effort to cast this line than the Vector XL though---it is 157 grains heavier. If you like a deeply loading feeling this is the combination that you want should you pick up one of these rods from Steve.

Gaelforce EEx 15 M #8 (thank you Poppy)--Nice casting and great turn over with a 10' intermediate poly. Had I not test drove the 83 with rod, I would have picked up this head for this rod. Definitely worth testing this line, especially if you are using a 14' or longer rod.

Nextcast Fall Favorite Gen 2 6/7 was not a good fit for me with this rod. It was both too short and too light. It worked well with my 14' ARE.

Nextcast Steelhead Finder 45: FI-7 ; FF-8 32.5' 600 gr; FF-8/9? 650 gr. I love the Steelhead finders, just not on this rod. These heads are just too short for this rod. They were not fun to cast at all. They are fantastic with my 13 and 14' rods.

Bottom line is WOW!!! If you are considering moving up to a long line rod, contact Steve and get in line to demo this rod, but don't do it unless you are ready to have a lighter pocket book, but if you like the feel of an easy casting smooth long rod it is worth the lighter pocket book.

cal
Congrats....you are about to enter spey casting and fishing nirvana as the pleasure of this style of angling reduces the frustration of stripping and shooting line.

Traditional Scottish spey rods, 16 to 18 feet, were favoured to easily cast a longer line while fishing Far and Fine Off. The size of the river had nothing to do with the length of the rod, especially for summer conditions with low clear water requiring a stealthy approach and presentation. 100 to 150 foot casts were necessary at 35 to 15 degree angles down stream to avoid spooking jaded fish. These longer casts were also necessary for wading anglers to be able to touch midstream or the shoulders of seams on the far river bank.

To paraphrase Jock Scot’s spey fishing strategy, it is better to fish with a rod that is too long than one that is too short.

Regards from the Restigouche....Jim
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It would have been nice to see some photos :)

Those 15M EESH's are like crack!! Very addicting!! They are shooting heads for rods that are +15ft ... shoot forever. Really fun when you feel the need to shoot line out :)
Personally, I would get the line for those fun times. They also roll out before touchdown and excel for delicate presentations. Although you have cast Gaelforce Equalizers before, so you know what I'm talking about, don't you?? ;)


Mike
 

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Discussion Starter #4
It would have been nice to see some photos :)

Those 15M EESH's are like crack!! Very addicting!! They are shooting heads for rods that are +15ft ... shoot forever. Really fun when you feel the need to shoot line out :)
Personally, I would get the line for those fun times. They also roll out before touchdown and excel for delicate presentations. Although you have cast Gaelforce Equalizers before, so you know what I'm talking about, don't you?? ;)


Mike
Yes, Mike I do know what you are talking about. I may yet pick up a 15M EESH to add to the collection but for now I want to spend some more time learning to dance with this new rod. I will try to add some photos of the rod next time I am able to get out.
 

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First a little background. The first rod that Steve Built for me was a 14' ARE UHM 7/8. I had asked Johnny at ARE if he had any custom builds as I was not to crazy about the colors used in his standard build. I have and still love this 14' 7/8. I am able to dance with this rod and understand her every move. I also love a 12' 3/4 ARE UHM that I built for lighter work. I really didn't need anything else to cover everything I fish for but I have since added a 5 wt. and a 3 wt. quantum to the quiver and have no explanation for why I thought I needed these rods. I love them all. Before the WDFW again closed the Columbia River near where I live to steelhead fishing, I had a frustrating day fishing for two reasons, 1. I grew tired of chipping ice out of the guides and 2. with more pressure on the fish recently they seemed to have move a bit further out. I would continually see fish jump about 15' further out than I could reach with my current set up.

My Mom lives in Kooskia Idaho and I like to fish the clearwater when I to see her I had been thinking about getting a longer stick so I could cover more water with each cast so more fish get to see my fly each time I cast. Because of my recent frustration combined with liking to fish the CW and had been considering a longer rod anyway I called Steve and talked to him about what I wanted to accomplish and that I was thinking about picking up a 16' rod that would be easy to cast and help me obtain that extra 15-20 feet when casting without having to strip in more line. The result of the conversation was Steve developing a 16'7" 7 wt. rod with the new generation graphite. Steve had built something similar on an older generation graphite but had not yet tried it with the newer-lighter graphite blanks. About a month later Steve had a proto-type that he had his tester(s) use before he finalized the design and built one for me to demo.

I tested the rod for a little over a week. This rod is amazingly easy to cast long lines with and liked the beauty of the demo rod I just bought it instead of getting one built to my requested color scheme.

I am one month away from turning 63, and am 6'3" tall and average build...definitely not a Hercules type individual.

In the two weeks that I have had this rod in my possession, I have tried the following lines on this rod and these are my impressions:

Ballistic Vector XL 8/9 (660 gr) . This is the line that Steve provided with the rod for demo. This line is buttery smooth and seems to be built for this rod. If you like very smooth and a light feeling line, you will love this combination. I have not had a lot of time with it yet, but it turns over a 23' leader very nicely and at this point I have not put all of the line out of the guides, but have the knot to the backing between the reel and the first guide. I am easily reaching water that I was not prior to getting this rod and line. This line I will be using for days when I want an easy day and long casts

Gaelforce Equalizer 54 9/10 (585 gr.) (I had acquired this line my 14' rod and thought I loved it on this rod until I tried the 73 so I recently sold the 54.) very good but not nearly as impressive as the other GF that I tried.

Gaelforce Equalizer 63 7/8 (662 gr.) thank you Poppy) a little light for this rod. I should have requested a 8/9 to test drive.

Gaelforce Equalizer 73 8/9 (756 gr) (thank you Poppy) this was a very nice fit and smooth casting line. It was so easy to cast on my 14' rod that I bought one for it and almost decided that I didn't need the longer rod!!!. I returned the 63 and 73 demos and in part because Bruce Kruk said that I could cast the 83' on a 16' rod, asked Poppy to send me the 83 and the 15 M to test drive.

Gaelforce Equalizer 83 8/9 (817 gr.) (thank you Poppy). I will be adding this line to my collection even though I have only cast it once for about 30 minutes. I cannot believe how easy it was to handle this longer line on this rod. It looks like my days of needing to chip ice out of my guides when trying to reach fish out 100' are over. The only tough decision for me now is to decide if I want to keep the integrated line or if I want to have it made into a head. I am getting about 10' further with this line than I am with the Vector XL. It does take more effort to cast this line than the Vector XL though---it is 157 grains heavier. If you like a deeply loading feeling this is the combination that you want should you pick up one of these rods from Steve.

Gaelforce EEx 15 M #8 (thank you Poppy)--Nice casting and great turn over with a 10' intermediate poly. Had I not test drove the 83 with rod, I would have picked up this head for this rod. Definitely worth testing this line, especially if you are using a 14' or longer rod.

Nextcast Fall Favorite Gen 2 6/7 was not a good fit for me with this rod. It was both too short and too light. It worked well with my 14' ARE.

Nextcast Steelhead Finder 45: FI-7 ; FF-8 32.5' 600 gr; FF-8/9? 650 gr. I love the Steelhead finders, just not on this rod. These heads are just too short for this rod. They were not fun to cast at all. They are fantastic with my 13 and 14' rods.

Bottom line is WOW!!! If you are considering moving up to a long line rod, contact Steve and get in line to demo this rod, but don't do it unless you are ready to have a lighter pocket book, but if you like the feel of an easy casting smooth long rod it is worth the lighter pocket book.

cal
Hi Cal, Thankyou for the great review. I have dappled in the ultimate Clear water rod over several years at the request of David Wang, my comp caster pro staff. I believe in the Chinese proverb, When the student is ready the teacher will appear. In this case I am the student, Cal prompted to take another shot a the clearwater stick with the newest graphite that I have been using for Meiser and Anderson engineering. The results are amazing. thank you Cal
 

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It sort of sounds like this rod's grain window is similar to my Mesier Highlander 16ft 6/7/8-5pc ... ??
My Meiser has a grain window of 500 to 800 grains.

Steve, I am taken back with your humbleness and humility my friend. After many conversations with you regarding line/rod marriages and witnessing your efforts first hand, I can attest that you are the "teacher and the master". My hat is off to you my friend :)

I still would like to see some photos of this rod. I know first hand that Steve builds a finely crafted rod and really wanting to see more photos of his handy work :)


Mike
 

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The only tough decision for me now is to decide if I want to keep the integrated line or if I want to have it made into a head. I am getting about 10' further with this line than I am with the Vector XL.

cal
You going to want to chop it. When I first tried the 73' on my 16 Meis I was at the backing knot and beyond within the first half dozen casts. It was so easy and pleasurable. Now you may not always be fishing out that far but it's nice to know you easily can. Don't forget you should be fishing these a steep angle but I'm sure you know that.

I also would like to see some shots of the new "weapon of mass destruction".
 

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Discussion Starter #8
You going to want to chop it. When I first tried the 73' on my 16 Meis I was at the backing knot and beyond within the first half dozen casts. It was so easy and pleasurable. Now you may not always be fishing out that far but it's nice to know you easily can. Don't forget you should be fishing these a steep angle but I'm sure you know that.

I also would like to see some shots of the new "weapon of mass destruction".
I went out and spent 3 hours getting better acquainted with this rod today. With the Vector XL, was hitting 140' 3 out of 5 casts. With my current skill level, I think that will be it for awhile. I took the Gaelforce Equalizer 73' head that I had poppy cut for me for my 14' rod. I was not nearly as happy with the cut line on this rod as I was with the integrated 83. I am going to have to get a smaller knot on the loop as the sweat spot with the line puts the running line inside the guides about 18". Once I get that dialed in I will decide on whether my next addition is an 83 and whether I keep the integrated head or get it cut or if I go with the 15M EESH. Bruce also likes them cut better, but so far I prefer the integrated line because I have an easier time getting to balance point without having to deal with the knot. I will post a photo of the rod tomorrow if I can get the phone to connect to the site.

How are you connecting your cut equalizer to the running line? I have tied a loop using a double surgeons know (overhand knot) and do not like having the knot inside the guides.
 

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How are you connecting your cut equalizer to the running line? I have tied a loop using a double surgeons know (overhand knot) and do not like having the knot inside the guides.
I know that Bruce uses the same method as you describe, a double over hand loop (Double Surgeon's Knot).
I add a small braided mono loop to mine. I trim the end of the fly line to have a nice point with a sharp razor blade and thread the braided loop in as far as just under the loop. I then tie two small nail knots at the end of the braided loop using a thin dacron (12lb) and apply a thin layer of UV Aqua-Seal over the knots and the rest of the braid. It remains nice a flexible and does not create a hinge point that will cause any cracking later on.

I haven't tried welding yet, not sure if Gaelforce lines can be welded easily. I'll let someone else figure that out :)

Where do you cut the line to make it into a head only version??
I'm cutting mine at the colour change and leave about 4 to 6 inches of the colour change attached to the head portion. It is the thinner section that gets the braided mono loop attached and so far it has been perfect results for me.

PM me if you are having difficulties posting photos :)


Mike
 

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I've been using the braided loop and a couple nail knots as well. A bit of Loon knot Sense and done. I was welding loops but they just don't last. Not with any line/head. I find they all crack behind the loop no matter what I do.
 

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Gaelforce
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I’ll post this again. For optimal performance ( very important) cut up into the head from the color change 6 inches to a foot. The loop to loop should never have to come back inside the top eye till you either catch a fish or reel in to move or go home.
these pics should help 😎
376864
376865
376866
376867
4181B282-02A4-426E-8EB2-BBDCD6B57A43.jpeg
CF9BB320-80C4-431C-B942-D14FF51E99A1.jpeg
A59EFFE9-FF17-426B-A22E-D2049DC67A5F.jpeg
E299BF14-0EE7-4D62-B1BA-C4372D952399.jpeg
 
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Make the loop anyway you want but again that cut point makes a world of difference
 

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Make the loop anyway you want but again that cut point makes a world of difference
This is how the cut head came from Poppy. I used the yellow loop to help protect the welded loop on the back end. Looks like I need to do some work on it and re-cut it on the other side of the the color change.

376869
 

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I know that Bruce uses the same method as you describe, a double over hand loop (Double Surgeon's Knot).
I add a small braided mono loop to mine. I trim the end of the fly line to have a nice point with a sharp razor blade and thread the braided loop in as far as just under the loop. I then tie two small nail knots at the end of the braided loop using a thin dacron (12lb) and apply a thin layer of UV Aqua-Seal over the knots and the rest of the braid. It remains nice a flexible and does not create a hinge point that will cause any cracking later on.

I haven't tried welding yet, not sure if Gaelforce lines can be welded easily. I'll let someone else figure that out :)

Where do you cut the line to make it into a head only version??
I'm cutting mine at the colour change and leave about 4 to 6 inches of the colour change attached to the head portion. It is the thinner section that gets the braided mono loop attached and so far it has been perfect results for me.

PM me if you are having difficulties posting photos :)


Mike
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SGS Rod 1.jpg

SGS Rod 1.jpg
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SGS-3.jpg
376873
SGS Rod 1.jpg
SGS-2.jpg
SGS-3.jpg
SGS4.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I’ll post this again. For optimal performance ( very important) cut up into the head from the color change 6 inches to a foot. The loop to loop should never have to come back inside the top eye till you either catch a fish or reel in to move or go home.
these pics should help 😎
View attachment 376864 View attachment 376865 View attachment 376866 View attachment 376867 View attachment 376864 View attachment 376865 View attachment 376866 View attachment 376867
Thank you Bruce. It looks like I have some work to do.

cal
 

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Gaelforce
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This is how the cut head came from Poppy. I used the yellow loop to help protect the welded loop on the back end. Looks like I need to do some work on it and re-cut it on the other side of the the color change.

View attachment 376869
Yep you will find a huge difference
 
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I must have misread your first posting of this some time ago ...
Howeve, I seem to be getting along just fine with where I cut them, 4" from the colour change and then added my loop.
The heads have been casting fine ... I am reluctant to chop again.
Maybe on my next line I'll try it your way Bruce.


Mike
 

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Thank you for the photos ... what an impressive rod build!!
Steve does immaculate work :cool:
What reel are you planning to strap to that stick??
It must be light in hand?? That Quantum graphite mix he has is impressively light. No comparison, but my 10ft 8wt Quantum is barely noticeable in my hand. I bet that 16'7" beast is just as light in hand.


Mike
 

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Gaelforce
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I must have misread your first posting of this some time ago ...
Howeve, I seem to be getting along just fine with where I cut them, 4" from the colour change and then added my loop.
The heads have been casting fine ... I am reluctant to chop again.
Maybe on my next line I'll try it your way Bruce.


Mike
You would be very very surprised how much better it is. Even with what you have going on or the full line the recommended magic SPOT is one inch of the green (head) inside the rod tip 🙃
This is from the genius himself James Chalmers
 
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