For the brownie, I've fished the Rio Windcutter 6/7/8 w/ tips -or- the Midspey 6/7 (light flex) 7/8 (full flex) on it a lot when it was my summer run rod of choice. Since then several new lines have come out that would probably be in the same grains / length / taper and thus real good on it too.
I have used the midspey 7/8, the long delta 7/8, the TT8/9 and the midspey 6/7 extenively on this rod. it will handle polyleaders well, until you get to the fastest sinking ones, then you might want to cut back a line for tips.
My personal preference for a dry line is the midspey 6/7. I have a Canadian friend who loves the RIO 7/8 midspey for summer work.
Search this site for past discussion on lines for this rod.
Try to get somewhere where you can test these lines yourself to see what works best for you.
To me the idea line for this light weight rod is the MS 6/7 floating line.
You can cast for hours with this line on the 7136.
Forget the sinking tips.
If you need to go deep, use a Boles Indicator and run a right angle tippet down to your sinking nymph. You will amaze yourself how far you can lob cast this rig up stream or cast it out and across stream with a modified Double Spey cast.
With the exception of the Trinity, I don't see adult steelhead being caught with steelhead flies with two handed rods, Spey Rods and one handed rods in our winter runs. Half pounders and the not quite mature one and two salt fish will pound flies. People in drift boats with guides get steelhead to strike as they dribble their flies down stream from the boats into where the steelhead are. I haven't seen a good steelhead caught by a fly fisher in the winter in about 10 years. I see them caught on hardware, bait and plastic worms, but not on flies by a wading fisher.
I will try the standard methods for a few hours. If there are steelhead in the river and no strikes. I take off my leader and flies and attach a Boles indicator and run a right angle tippet down to a sliding tungsten bead with a Fox Caddis Pupah or some egg pattern.
My 7136 with the WC 678 with tips 1 and two removed or my MS 6/7 floating line works great. It is very effective with 50 to 100' drifts after a lob cast up stream and a few mends down stream.
I don't pass judgement on anyone, to each his/her own, but my own experiences were to break thru rather than walk around. By sticking with the swing I found more spots where winter fish hold, better flies to get them to grab on the move, and landed some of the most memorable k-romers of my steelheading days on light sinktips and the swung fly.
As early as November 6th while summer runs where still being caught I've landed fish so spankin' bright their scales were falling off and there were dark brown sea lice on them.
I've hooked fish just above tidewater that took me screaming down the frozen bank in December, and had 4 fish days in February when the water was hovering at freezing.
It can't compare to the hook rates of drifting but it can be done. It takes a heck of a lot of persistence and luck. What it lacks in numbers it makes up for in satisfaction, IMHO.
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