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Lately I have been jonesing to swing a fly with one of my double handers, unfortunately I don't live close enough to GL tribs for a Saturday afternoon drive. So, the next best thing? The Delaware for wild rainbow trout. I headed up to The fabled east branch of the Del armed with my sage z-axis 5126 Spey rod. Some folks feel that a 5 weight Spey rod is overkill for trouting applications, and for fish under say 15" you won't get much bend in your rod. However, the Del is known for uncharacteristically strong rainbows.

So I arrived to my destination and laced up the 5126 with an airflo #5 tactical steelhead @ 390 grains. I removed floating tip and attached a 13' type 3 sink tip @ 77 grains and a large hairwing streamer of my own design. That day the flows were high due to recent rains so the sink tip seemed like a great choice. I stepped out into one of my favorite runs with wide banks and begun swinging. The 5126 combined with this particular line is a match made in heaven, the tactical steel line gives me incredible versatility for use with tips heavier then poly's. As I started swinging I began to get in the zone, using pull mends I could feel the fly slipping into the bucket. Only after a half a dozen casts I felt an explosive pull, the 5126 bent so hard I could swear it was a steelhead ;) after a long 5 minute battle I tailed a beautiful 17"-18" bow. It was truly amazing how hard this fish fought, leaping in the air multiple times and screaming downstream almost taking me into the backing.

After this I moved down to a slower moving run and removed the type 3 tip and replaced it with a 13' intermediate tip @ 77 grains with a similar hairwing. This rig behaves much more like a scandi, snake rolls and touch and go technique is a dream with this setup. Swing step, swing step, enjoying the casting ease and wonderful turnover I got many strikes but didn't hook up, (I told myself it's b/c I de-barb my hooks ;) ) I finished up the day on this setup but didn't bring another fish to hand. All in all that one fish was totally worth it, and rekindled my faith in swinging for trout.

How do you folks feel about 5 weight DH rods for trout? After this experience I don't feel I was over-gunned at all, it seemed the tackle was perfectly matched to the conditions and fish.
 

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On big water like the Delaware River your outfit was perfectly matched for swinging streamers. That's what I would use or maybe even my 12.5' Echo DH II 6 weight. Your 5wt. 2 handed rod is the approximate equivalent of a 7 weight single hand rod so IMO you weren't over gunned. :)
 

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The d system

Is my stomping ground at times and i love to swing it with a two hander
The mainstem has been more productive for me in general but all branches at times can make an argument for using a two hander whether because of conditions or fly size
Id love to see a pic of the fly/s u used
Good luck!!
David
 

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How do you folks feel about 5 weight DH rods for trout? After this experience I don't feel I was over-gunned at all, it seemed the tackle was perfectly matched to the conditions and fish.
It appears you have found the answer yourself!

I think the rod action has more of an impact than the wt. rating, as far as the "fight" goes. I have both, the 4 and 5 wt. Dechos, and have caught trout and smallmouth on both. Anywhere from 10- 18". Plus tons of sunnies! :hihi:

I actually like the 5 better. It's got a bit deeper bend to it than the 4, which seems to have a more stout action. I've even caught smallmouth on my 7wt. Sage and had a blast. First generation Brownie- a noodle of a rod and I love it!

Like you said, match the rod to the conditions and the fish. I think it's better to be over-gunned than under anyway.

And yes, the Delaware and it's branches do raise some feisty ones!

Thanks,

-Bill
 

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I've been experimenting with an 11' #6 double handed rod for trout for the past few months, mostly nymphing it with a double taper'd line for trout averaging 15-25" with the occasional dink in the 12" and under range.

I've only felt over gunned a few times, but I think its all in how you handle the rod, and keeping it grasped lightly in your hands, as opposed to gripping it tight and yanking the fish around. I've still had fish boss me around and have me chasing them down banks, and of course with this rod use if I were to yank them towards the bank they'd come flopping across the water like a dead bird. But by keeping a light grip on the rod and not over-doing it you can handle fish in the smaller range quite nicely without being overly aggressive.

Reading discussions like this a few months ago is what caused the curiosity to turn to this 11' #6 into the everyday trout rod. What I've noticed is the double handed rod's bomb dry flies like no single hander ever will, works well with streamers and no real complaints as far as nymphing. These examples are particular to my home waters as I tend to fish big/fast/deep waters and the extra help from the switch rod has been amazing. I've dabbled on smaller waters, which is where I felt over gunned absolutely and would never recommend a rod of this caliber for. But fishing big heavy currents I didn't really feel to over powered because with the caliber of fish in the system & the heavy flows it was honestly easier to "fight" the fish through these heavy waters, where as the old 5wt SH rod took everything in it to get the fish to the bank in a safe timely manner. Would I recommend a #6 to someone about to buy a rod, absolutely not. BUT this rod, being more of a 5wt than a 6 to begin with, has taught me to loosen up on the grip and make what you have work. After nymphing it for this long, I feel a 10'-11' 4/5 weight would be the ultimate trout rod ever.

As mentioned by someone else, I agree it's better to be over gunned than under gunned as far as getting the fish to the hand/net as quickly as possible especially in the summer months of high heat. Just my 2 pennies on the subject.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Is my stomping ground at times and i love to swing it with a two hander
The mainstem has been more productive for me in general but all branches at times can make an argument for using a two hander whether because of conditions or fly size
Id love to see a pic of the fly/s u used
Good luck!!
David
I will certainly post some pics of the hairwings I use

the funny thing about Spey rods is, apparently they are rated as 2 line weights heavier than single hand rods. Now grain wise DH rods clearly require more. However as far as fish fighting power goes, it would seem my 5126 pulls more like a 9' 6wieght on trout. At least w/ my 5126 rod, it doesn't seem to leverage fish w/ as much power as a single hand 7 weight. What do you guys think about this?

I guess I have a hard time believing my 7136 has as much leverage against fish as a 9' 9 weight as well. Food for thought.
 

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I don't think your over gunned with the 5126 z I fish a 6131 onyx on the bow its my go to rod, we have bows and browns from 12" to 26" for me its more about the lines needed to cast the flies I chose to fish .
Tyler
 

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I have been using a Sage VXP 5120-4 with a 400gr Skagit short. The setup is a bit heavy for 12" and under fish but just fine for anything bigger. I think the line has a bigger effect on fighting the smaller fish than the rod does.
 

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Now grain wise DH rods clearly require more. However as far as fish fighting power goes, it would seem my 5126 pulls more like a 9' 6wieght on trout.
I have always felt this was the case, the difference between single vs. two-hand casting load (2-3 line weights different) compared to fish fighting power (1-2 line weights different). There are a variety of reasons: grains needed for spey vs. overhead casting, load generated with two-hands vs. single-hand plus hauling, and how rod length affects fish leverage.

At least some of the "objective" claims of a 2-3 wt difference between single and double-hand rods have their origin in the common cents system of rod rating. I'm not disparaging the CCS, but as a static measure, I do think it misses some dimensions of what's experienced in casting and fishing.
 

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Great posts. Putting together a trout spey setup for rivers here in Mont./Idaho right now and it's great to see the discussion.

Anyone here taken one of the new little Winston two-handers after trout? I'm picking mine up soon but haven't found much to read beyond some basic early casting reviews. Would love to hear how they've been doing on the water if anyone's got one.

Show us some of those hairwings when you have a chance! I've been playing around with some larger sedge-y patterns for later this summer but our pup keeps getting ahold of my elk hair stash...
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Ponderosa,
I had a chance recently to try out the Winston 5116 TH-MS, I'll tell you what it was a brilliant little rod, nice deep load, crisp recovery, I prefer this kind of flex over the newer Sage, Loomis fast graphite. I used a 300 grain scandi comp.

Personally I wish Winston had made the 5 weight at least 12' or better yet 12'6" & made the 4 weight 11'6" instead, my feeling is if you can effectively fish on smaller streams at 11'6" you can most likely get away with the 12'6" rod as well. If the water is wide enough to get your shooting head & running line out the rod tip for a reasonable swing, then you can most likely get away with a 12'6" rod.

What do the rest of you think about this?
 

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Ponderosa,
I had a chance recently to try out the Winston 5116 TH-MS, I'll tell you what it was a brilliant little rod, nice deep load, crisp recovery, I prefer this kind of flex over the newer Sage, Loomis fast graphite. I used a 300 grain scandi comp.

Personally I wish Winston had made the 5 weight at least 12' or better yet 12'6" & made the 4 weight 11'6" instead, my feeling is if you can effectively fish on smaller streams at 11'6" you can most likely get away with the 12'6" rod as well. If the water is wide enough to get your shooting head & running line out the rod tip for a reasonable swing, then you can most likely get away with a 12'6" rod.

What do the rest of you think about this?
That's great to hear. I liked the short time I spent with the 4 wt as it definitely felt more groovy when loading. That was of course in the context of casting a few other big salmon rods, and by comparison I think a lot of sticks might feel that way! It'd be interesting to get some info on the length decision for those in particular. They've got a different taper than a lot of the more 'switch' type rods and maybe that allows them to keep things shorter without compromising a more classic two handed feel. I wouldn't mind a bit more length. I'm still between the 4 and the 5 wt mainly for wind considerations, but think the 4 is better if I want to do more skating this summer.

Anyway, the original post wasn't about Winston's new stuff, so I'm sorry to have taken on that path!

Let's see some of those hairwings!
 

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I was out yesterday and had a ball. stopped counting at 7 landed and more than twice that in grabs. I was using a T&T 5w11'9 and it bent plenty at 15inch and under bows. I Used a 300grain skagit mostly as the rod is tippy for scandi. I added a sink tip 1.5fps and I was easily shooting lazers 60feet

It was windy but the 300 was fine. I am going to head up to a bigger River soon and would like to find a 12'6 DC 4/5 to go. I try and stick to 300grain for trout but looking at Meiser and ACR new 13' 5w that throw 350 sounds like great fun!

Lush life, I find there is a fairly significant difference between 11 and 11'9. I can cover my local river with 11'9 and easily with 12'6 but not with 11. The 12'6 might be pushing it really. Especially if water is low. So I can't say I agree that 11'9 or 11'6 will be as productive or useful as 12'6 in some areas. In others I'm sure it would.

Just my experience which isn't worth much

Consequently I could sight fish yesterday and II threw a lot of flies right in front of their noses and nothing until I found what they wanted, then it was non stop
 
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