Dave, check out the rodbuilding forum on washingtonflyfishing.com for information embedded in a thread about building a spey rod. The blanks seem stronger than rated. I hope to connect with someone at Sandy to try a few of them. Find me, and if I've connected with the person, I will steer you in his direction.
I just saw your question on the Forecast blanks and I thought I should reply. I am a custom rod builder and conduct casting instruction in Spokane, Washington. Out of utter curiosity, I purchased & just completed 2 days ago a 14' 9/10 Wt. Forecast blank from Batson Enterprises in Western Washington. Having been throwing Spey lines for some time now, and mainly using and building Sage given our location, It was an interesting experment.
The blank is not as soft as a traditional Sage 9140. It is closer to a Sage 7141 or 9141. The weight is a little heavier than the Sage and noticably heavier than some such as the RedFly from Redington. If you buy it in a kit form, it does come with basic Pac Bay components and a full cork lower grip rather than with a rubber butt cap. You could upscale that rod with H&H guides and a different lower grip and you would have a very nice rod.
I had a chance to throw the sample I just completed saturday and it throws pretty darn nice. Especially for the price!!! It also is a very nice looking rod as the blank is a medium blue with blue thread wraps. I just listed that rod on E-Bay two days ago should you want a closer look at what that blank looks like finished.
I will have both the 11' 6' 6/7 and the 12' 6" 7/8 with me at the Sandy clave. We will be down on Friday.
They are powerful rods with out being stick like. I am using a 8/9 Airflo delta on the 6/7 and a 9/10 Delta on the 7/8. Tip lines of similar grain weight.
The rods will load and perform well with lighter lines, but there is a lot of power in the midsection that won't get tapped into unless you load em up.
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