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Many comments here suggest that spey rods for lighter lines can't handle sink-tips well. I haven't used any smaller than 8-weight myself, but my experience indicates that a rod can handle sinktips well if the tip is a size (or two) smaller than the designated belly.
As with any fly rod/line combo, the weight limits what size flies can be used, but that's to be expected. Thoughts? Observations?
 

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Light-line rods and sinktips

Nooksack Mac,
I heard the same but haven't found this to be true. Granted, sink tips aren't a pleasure to cast but often they're what's happening if you want to get some grabs. Since my usual waters rarely hold steelhead above the 10 - 12 # range, these would be the rare exceptions, 8 wts. and up really aren't required.

The rod I use most often is my Sage 6126 coupled with a Rio Windcutter 6/7/8 Versi-tip. Provided the current flow is favorable, it's not a problem going straight into a snake roll and firing a cast with the intermediate sink tip or the type 3 sink tip. The same would apply with a flip cast/single spey combination.

However even when the current flows are favorable, I find a roll cast or two is needed to bring the line up top when I'm using the type 6 sink tip. I'd encourage you you give these lighter rods a try as they're a helluva lot of fun on light to middle weight steelies. JB
 

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I've been working with some lighter line rods (6 and 7 wts.) and have had good success on DT's, Delta and Long Delta lines by just looping Airflo PolyLeaders on the end. Because they are lighter lines the PolyLeaders have been the trout weight models so I'm restricted to tippets of 12# or less. The 10' leaders turn over well with the Delta lines but need the DT cut back a little. The 5' leaders are no problem at all.
 

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sink tips

I have the Scott 1287 and have cut a loop into my Rio 7 wt mid spey so I can use tips from a 8/9/10 Windcutter. I do not have much problem with the snake roll or snap T even when using the type 6 tip. I really love this rod!!
 

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I've mentioned this elsewhere, but what the hell.

I fish an older 7136 exclusively. This past week I was throwing a WC 7/8/9 with a type 6 tip and a 7' Rio extra super fast sinking leader.
after a whole day the arms get a little tired, but i can shoot an amazing amount of line with that setup...

I have caught several 20+ steelhead on the 7136, including a 24.5 lb summer run on a dry.

I think the intermediate sink tip loads this rod best (with the Rio WC 7/8/9)

I don't imagine I'll ever use the 9 or10 wt. again. maybe for chinook?
 

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I use a newer Sage 71336-4 for summer work, and have been known to occasionally fish an 8 wt type 6 tip with a weighted articulated leech on that rod ... It won't win any distance contests, nor get applause for casting elegance (not that I ever would anyway ), but it works fine, My floater is 8/9 at the point of tip attachment. But really, when I know I'll be fishing tips for the day, I choose a different rod.
 
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