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You're lucky to have that pond nearby... for me it has been super helpful to be able to practice on water within walking distance. You're also lucky to have accurate reports and access to one of the most famous salmon waters in North America. Just remember, it's important to correctly match your head weight to your specific rod. Regarding running lines, most experienced casters seem to use mono for greater distance, but from what I hear, it does tend to tangle more than fly line, and I use a stripping basket in the surf. For that reason, I started making my first DIY shooting-head systems with used fly lines for the running line. Number one: it's free, and number two: learning can be complicated, and I thought: I can afford to give up some distance to make this less frustrating than it already is. My strategy with fly fishing gear has been to start economically until I learn by experience which gear to spend my money on.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
at 67 and dealing with Lyme for the past 25 years, i'm not sure i can start economically and work my way up as i have in the past
 

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mkaye, I'm 63 myself. your age alone is a good indicator that 2-hand is the way to go. I find it much easier than one-hand for longevity on the water. Your shoulders and other joints will thank you. And if they do get sore... cannabis in the evening works for me.
 

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OK age is another factor in the decision. You will definitely be better off with a two hander. I am 67. I have been fly casting since I was 10 years old. I can bomb out 100 foot casts with the right eight weight rig. But at day’s end my shoulder will be really sore. The Spey rod will be so much easier on you and you will be making fishable casts sooner. Besides that it is a really fun way to fish.
 

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You have received some great recommendations so far. The only thing that I would add is that you can get a Loop Rod, now discontinued for a very good price at Ballisticflylines. I have a variety of rods including a Loop Evotech in a MF action. You will not be disappointed and if you ever progress beyond this rod's capabilities, you will always want a back up or a loaner. Clearance Archives - Ballistic Fly Lines
 

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Make sure you find a good instructor or friend who knows what he doing. and then practice and practice. Muscle memory.
 

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Discussion Starter #28
i thank everyone for their input
i think i know more now - it could be how much i don't know ;)
i am buying the Orvis H2/Mirage setup from Concrete Angler
i decided that buying midrange gear new/on sale was going to add up pretty quickly to the same price range

i read somewhere long ago that you had to repeat something 22 times to get some muscle memory - it is a lot more than that now!!
 

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Single hand casting ( Double Haul ) is a different skill set than using a 2 handed rod. I used the single hand rod for 20 years. Could cast 100 feet if there was enough room to back cast but never needed to cast that far. Could double haul and would spend hours lawn casting for fun. Until, 3 years ago spent 4 days in Florida casting 8 wt rods double hauling in wind etc... Came back to Maine and had a sore right elbow. It took me 3 weeks to figure out that my 4 days of casing caused my tennis/fisherman's elbow. I started to panic since April 1st ( Fishing season in Maine) was fast approaching. I thought what about the 2 handed rods. My first spey rod was a 5 wt trout spey by T&T. I thought others can do this so can I. I watched YouTube on spey casting (Lot's of new terms) and went down to the Penobscot River to try. I sucked! Ok, I'm not a quitter so back to the youtube then down to the river again. It took me about 4 weeks for me to say I've got this! It was very helpful to have experience with the single hand rods since that ability and feel handling a fly line was not new. To be really good at either it takes work and practice. I have only used 2 handed rods for the past 3 years. I have 3 spey rods and 2 surf rods. Hurting my elbow was the best thing to happen for me.
 
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