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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to build myself a spey rod as I can see how a two handed rod can help me expand my fishing opportunities.

I was looking at the Hook & Hackle website and they have Forecast Spey Rod Kits availabe at a decent price. Since I am on a limited budget this is a good option for me.

I will be using the rod for steelhead/salmon fishing on the Great Lake tribs in OH, PA and NY and also saltwater fishing from jetties/beaches for striped bass.

What would you guys recommend for a rod weight and matching line setup for the uses I have described above:

1. 13 ft 8/9 wt
2. 12.5 ft 7/8 wt
3. 11.5 ft 6/7 wt

As far as line choices go I will need something that allows me to fish different depths so I was thinking something like a versi-tip system.

Thanks.
 

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Iwan,

The Forecast rod blanks are an excellent value. They would be generally classified as a faster action Spey blank. I bought a blank and build kit last winter, not because I need any more fly rods, but just to see if a decent Spey rod at a low price could be had by going this route. I built the 11.5' 6/7, and it's a wonderful small Spey rod. A few reviewers have said that the Forecasts stack up to the alternative choices roughly inversely to their length; that is, the 11.5' is the gem, the 12.5 next. The 14' is a good rod, but other brands are quite a bit better in that length. So if you'd like the 11.5', you're in luck.

I've not used mine much because I have other rod choices. But I did use it a week ago Friday and hooked a nice hatchery steelhead. A friend who sometimes posts here also built this rod, and he landed several chum salmon and a small steelhead on his this fall.

BTW, the 11.5' is more of a 7/8 than 6/7 I think, as did the shop owner I bought it from.

Sincerely,

Salmo g.
 

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13' Forecast

I built the 13' Forecast. I currently have it matched with 8/9/10 WC: line-up is what I learned here. I had a pro cast it at the Sandy Clave and he confirmed the line choice. Can't tell you if it is a good/bad rod because I have no idea what I am doing yet, but I fish it a lot.

The reel seat that Batson sells did not fit the Ross CLA that corresponds to the 8/9/10 WC. I highly suggest taking the reel seat with you when you purchase what will sadly be the most expensive part of your outfit- the reel. I went with TFO's large arbor, and I really like it.
 

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Iwan,

salmo g and nextcast are dead on. The 11' 6' rocks. Are there better performing rods out there ... absolutely, but at a much higher cost.

I built one up shortly after the blank was introduced. For a crisper feel and a bit better performance, I suggest single foot wire guides on the top section along with short thread wraps and thin finish.

A 450 Skagit and 9wt tips or custom cut T-8 works well. The rod will take more grains than you might think. For a pure floater anything from 450 up to 600 grains will work. I prefer the heavier lines for floaters as they push the load into the midsection, which has a lot of power. Do not load it up for Sagit style as the tip will start to fold.

I have used the rod extensively and taken very hot native steelhead in the 12 pound range. You are not going to winch them in, but it will get the job done.

Rich
 

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That Guy in PEI.....
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I just had the 8/9 13'er arrive yesterday. No lines tried on it yet but i did waggle it for a bit and it feels pretty good,, if not a little on the slower side. I got it from James Mello on the Washington site and he did a great job finishing it out. We are done here for the year but the back yard snow casting season is just getting into full swing:hihi: Lots of lines and reels to try with it,,, although sadly:( ,,, no water.
I think i would like to try the 11'6",,, seems like a great rod for the money.
Salmon Chaser
 

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Salmon Chaser said:
I just had the 8/9 13'er arrive yesterday. No lines tried on it yet but i did waggle it for a bit and it feels pretty good,, if not a little on the slower side. I got it from James Mello on the Washington site and he did a great job finishing it out. We are done here for the year but the back yard snow casting season is just getting into full swing:hihi: Lots of lines and reels to try with it,,, although sadly:( ,,, no water.
I think i would like to try the 11'6",,, seems like a great rod for the money.
Salmon Chaser
So I sold the rod because it was fine with the WC 8/9/10 I had, but not for the super fast sink tip (type VIII). The rod is *really* nice with a dry line and I was casting a Delta 9/10. In fact that was the rod and line combo I used when on the Matapedia with John Hicks.

With that said, the rod didn't behave well with *any* Skagit setups I could find as it didn't have a stout enough tip. It took a lot of work to get the loops to tighten up, and according to folks in the know, it was because the tip was a bit "limp". This is what ultimately led me to sell it. Overall if you're fishing for Atlantics on the swing though with a dry line, I think you'll be pretty happy :)
 

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That softer tip is exactly why I liked it better with the lighter 7/8 short or mid-belly lines when I cast a finished rod, and why I liked all of the Forecast 2-handers with one size smaller short or mid-belly lines than the rod is rated. It is also why I didn't like them at all with long-belly lines. That soft tip is also why they don't like the type 8 sink tips, not enough tip strength to really pick them up out of the water column.

That said, the rod would feel right at home for most folks just starting out spey casting and many who have been fishing a 2-hander a couple of years would like it for dry lines as well.
 
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