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Discussion Starter #1
I tried one of these at the Spey Clave on the Sandy a couple of months ago, and really liked it. I thought it would make a great light steelhead rod and not overpower the the occasional redside on the Deschutes. Has anyone on the board fished this rod?

Roger
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I must have cast the only extant example of this rod. Well, I've heard good things about Gary, and I liked the rod, so I'm going to go ahead and get it. Hopefully, I'll have it by the time the steelies start moving up the lower Deschutes.

Roger
 

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Junkyard Spey
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I do not know Gary Anderson but I have done a little sleuthing as to his rep and his product line. I think you will be very happy with a spey rod that he built.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I got the rod today and I'm thinking seriously about sending it back. It's a 14' 2" rod and the entire handle is only 22". For comparison, the handle on my 14' Redington is 29". In addition the cork is really thin. The impression is that it was made for a caster with short arms and small hands. I'm 5'9" and I use all of the handle on the Redington. Am I just being too picky here, or is a 22" handle really too short for a normal size spey caster?

Roger
 

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Here we go again!
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Actually this seems to be a trend as of late. The word I'm hearing from a couple of rod makers is that there are so many guys Skagit casting that the requests for shorter grips have led many rod makers to go to shorter grips as a standard on their rods. I have to say that I ain't no Skagit caster, still trying to get the basics down (no one down here does it and I have yet to actually watch anyone who's proficient at it) but it seems to me that it would be more utilitarian to have full sized grips and simply choke up on the grip to perform the Scandinavian or Skagit casts. (I really wasn't aware Skagit casters used a shorter grip placement). If I make adjustments for traditional spey casting on a rod that has the shorter grips then I'm holding the blank itself in my upper hand, and then what the hell's the point of having an upper grip at all! I have a rod that I dearly love, but it has a much shorter grip spread than I like and it does actually bother me constantly that it is so short. The top of the upper grip rests in my hand with only the pinky finger touching the cork, everything else is up on the blank :mad: I think it's a mistake if only that it puts casting limitations on a rod that otherwise would be capable of doing much more.

When ordering any custom rod you should be as specific as possible as to what you do and do not want on a rod and discuss this with the maker. Even then you are going to get the rod as the builder intended it to be built (it's his craftsmanship, and he's going to want it to look and perform a certain way, it's how he got his reputation in the first place) but you should still be able to have it tweaked to your liking. I'd call Gary and ask him to craft a different bottom section to your needs so you can actually enjoy the rod. He can always use the section you return on another rod since it is so new.
 

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Falconer said:
Well, I got the rod today and I'm thinking seriously about sending it back. It's a 14' 2" rod and the entire handle is only 22". For comparison, the handle on my 14' Redington is 29". In addition the cork is really thin. The impression is that it was made for a caster with short arms and small hands. I'm 5'9" and I use all of the handle on the Redington. Am I just being too picky here, or is a 22" handle really too short for a normal size spey caster?
I think it depends on the caster. I'm 5' 9" also. I keep my bottom hand close to my body just the way Juro told me too and find that I have a good 5 or 6" of cork above my top hand. The handle on my rod is 24" so 22" seems like PLENTY to me. If I put my top hand at the end of the cork I'd feel like my hands were WAY too far apart.

How close is your bottom hand to the reel? I keep my bottom hand way at the end of the rod. I'm usually only holding the end of the rod in the first three fingers of my bottom hand. (Like the underhand casting guys...)
 

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Junkyard Spey
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I'm not saying don't send it back and I would definately contact Gary to discuss your unhappiness, however I thought you said in your first post that you had tried this rod at the Sandy clave.

As to the short grip I will say this. As a seller of CND rods I had become quite used to a long grip. For a while I had access to a 9140 Sage that I cast from time to time if my CND demos were out. The grip on that Sage was quite a bit shorter then my CND and it drove me nuts, until I finally got used to it. After a time I got so I could cast that rod better then anything I'd ever used and it became one of my two all time favorites. I'm not saying this is the answer to your quandary I'm just say it might be. Your bottom line should be your happiness with your purchase.
 

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chrome-magnon man
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the short grips originated out of the Scandinavian underhand style. Goran Andersson and other underhand casters found that they did not need the long handles that were (are) common on traditional UK-style two-handers--infact, the long handles would interfere with the underhand style because casters would be encouraged to use to full handle length when casting. This tends to cause folks to use far too much of the top arm, and large sweeps of the rod make it difficult if not impossible to underhand cast. During the classic underhand cast the top arm/hand is held close to the body, and a shorter front grip facilitates this positioning (an extensive underhand casting segment is planned for the new RIO DVD due out later this year and we filmed stuff about arm/hand positioning that hopefully will make it into the final cut). For example, the longest rod in the LOOP stable is the 16ft Grey. Total handle length is 22.5in, and the foregrip itself is only 13-1/4in.

The Skagit casters had Goran Andersson as one of their original influences, and they took the underhand style plus other influences, and modified and adapted them to become what is now Skagit Casting, so it makes sense that some of the features of underhand casting (shorter handles, shooting heads) would find their way into the design of Skagit tackle.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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baldmountain said:
I think it depends on the caster. I'm 5' 9" also. I keep my bottom hand close to my body just the way Juro told me too and find that I have a good 5 or 6" of cork above my top hand. The handle on my rod is 24" so 22" seems like PLENTY to me. If I put my top hand at the end of the cork I'd feel like my hands were WAY too far apart.
I appreciate the vote of confidence Geoff, as I recall your lift and sweep became much more consistent as opposed to having the bottom hand out in front away from the body during the lift / sweep.

You might recall the bottom hand can travel away from the body with the rod drift into the d-loop provided it follows 'the elbow rule' and does not trunk. It quickly comes back in as part of the finishing stroke, of course.

However I am a 'top o the cork' kind of guy with the upper hand. The lift and sweep feel more comfortably leveraged with a good span of the hands, and as a vee-grip caster the upper hand tracks a long and true path while the bottom hand gets a lot of room to pull the butt in. This is just personal preference and not meant in any way to take away from the ultra-efficient motions of the underhand / scandinavian methods.

I guess in the end it's about where/how we individually derive personal joy from casting. I love the long smooth motions of spey casting, the unhurried grace of a long line sweeping around into position, the balances of pushing and pulling, the dynamics and kinetics, white mice and the spiraling snakes, and the hands spaced good and wide. Others would not.

Again, we're lucky to have so many choices in Spey gear nowadays!
 

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juro said:
I appreciate the vote of confidence Geoff, as I recall your lift and sweep became much more consistent as opposed to having the bottom hand out in front away from the body during the lift / sweep.
IIRC allowing the botom hand to get away from my body was causing me to tomahawk the rod.

juro said:
You might recall the bottom hand can travel away from the body with the rod drift into the d-loop provided it follows 'the elbow rule' and does not trunk. It quickly comes back in as part of the finishing stroke, of course.
I remember!

I find that I'm turning my body a lot more during my back and forward stroke and my arm movements have become very short and compact. (I sound like I'm becoming an underhand caster. :whoa: )

juro said:
However I am a 'top o the cork' kind of guy with the upper hand. The lift and sweep feel more comfortably leveraged with a good span of the hands, and as a vee-grip caster the upper hand tracks a long and true path while the bottom hand gets a lot of room to pull the butt in. This is just personal preference and not meant in any way to take away from the ultra-efficient motions of the underhand / scandinavian methods.
You also use a LOT longer rod than I do. The rod you were casting on the Nashoba was what? A 15'er?

Becasue I'm working with a shorter rod and doing a lot of grass casting I'm developing a much more compact casting stroke. (Although the grass casting is not helping me learn a good lift. The line slips through the grass too easily even with a grass leader.)

I wonder if the rod you learn to cast with determines your style? A short rod streers you towards a compact underhand style, whereas a longer rod develops a longer more sweeping casting style?

juro said:
I guess in the end it's about where/how we individually derive personal joy from casting. I love the long smooth motions of spey casting, the unhurried grace of a long line sweeping around into position, the balances of pushing and pulling, the dynamics and kinetics, white mice and the spiraling snakes, and the hands spaced good and wide. Others would not.

Again, we're lucky to have so many choices in Spey gear nowadays!
Yup!

Having your hands close together doesn't mean you can't make a long sweeping cast. It just means you don't have to move your hands as far to do it. :D
 

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just call him!

Gary can build you a grip twenty ft. long if that's what you want,he has the equipment and the ability,,,i'm totally uncertain about the rod you've mentioned,i was allowed to demo some rods and give input about different tapers in his `travel series',but these were heavyer rated than `6'=wt's.he's a super nice guy and a heck of a fisherman as well :hihi: ,he's been around for decades,it would take several threads to tell his story,and he's not done yet! ;) if there's a problem i'm sure he'll understand your unhappyness.the man has built a business on customers that trust him and his products;just call him! :D
 

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wow a 20 foot grip??? at todays cork prices that would cost about 400 dollars. :Eyecrazy: .. ok now we just gotta find a huge lathe to turn it on... :chuckle:
 

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he's got a pretty boss lathe!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

i've talked with while he did a little turning,i wish i had one!.it's in it's own room below the wrapping room,i'm assuming to keep the dust at bay from other operations,,of course with a twenty ft. grip it WOULD be a multi peice rod ;) i guess the guide placement would be an issue :chuckle:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I talked to Gary, and that conversation, together with the responses to my posts here have convinced me to give this rod a try as is. So my next question is: Will a long, light rod like this work well for Skagit casting? I see some potential advantages to switching to this style, IF this rod will perform well with shooting heads, both floating and sinking. I know for a fact my Redington 14' 9 weight will really sling a head and I see some real advantages in switching over to Skagit lines for all of my Spey casting.

Roger
 
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