The Loop Green is a much stiffer rod and they have about the same recovery speed. However, the stiffness of the Loop Green makes it a much, much different rod than the Steelhead Specialist The Loop Green doesn't bend into the butt unless you really put the wood to it, the Steelhead Specialist bend to the butt with a lot less force put into the cast. Both a very good rods, they are just very different actions.
Flytyer hit it on the head per usual. I can only speak of the 12' green and the Skagit Specialist though. It is like comparing apples and oranges. The green seems to have a uniform flex when compared to a specialist. My Skagit seems to get faster the farther you go into the butt and yet tip wiggle will dampen much faster. This creates stop points in the forward cast that are different for these two types of rods. The CND prefers to be stopped a little higher I think than most rods.
The Steelhead Specialist is probably the least progressive and stiffest of the CND line. However, compared to the Loop Green it is not nearly as quick. The Steelhead's action is really quite forgiving. While having a quick recovery it is progressive enough to give a good timing cushion - which is the hallmark of progressive action rods.
It is also the reason the Specialist is so versatile in terms of lines and appllications. It is stiff enough to handle shooting heads and short bellies, but it also has the capacity to progressively flex and maintain the casting load while using long belly lines.
I am definitely a fan of this kind of action, therefore I have never really liked the quickness of the Loop Green. However, the Loop Blue and the even slower Yellow are rods that have more versatility - I have used both and like them.
I have the Steelhead Specialist, and agree completely with your comments, Kush. I've got a shot at a decent deal on the Loop Green, and was curious how fast it is.
My followup question wasn't clear about which rod I was referring to. Let me try again:How much is the Loop Green 9140 like the Loomis GLX or T&T 1409?
Is it that kind of fast? It sounds like it's quite a bit more tippy than the Steelhead Specialist, but still somewhat progressive. Yet the comments above about little flex in the butt makes it sound like the Green is not progressive.
I can't answer your question about the rod comparisons, but the Loop should not be considered a 'tippy' rod at all. It is progressive, but pretty stiff. I'm basing my comments on the Greenline 9132, not the 9140, but I expect the rods are pretty similar.
The 9132 is my daughter's primary rod, and she loves it more than any other she has tried. It has seen extensive use this summer. I have recently been casting it to see what longer belly lines (she's been using a Windcutter 9/10/11) might be a good match, so I am pretty familiar with it. It is definitely not tippy, but it is fairly stiff and very fast recovering.
The Loop Greens are on a par with T&T and Loomis GLX for quickness and stiffness. All three of these rods (T&T, GLX, Loop Green) have the fast recovery, stiff action I like. Like it has been stated by several folks, the Green is a fast and stiff rod that is very different than the Steelhead Specialist.
Before I was with CND I fished a 14' Loop Yellow for the most part of a season and a 15' Loop Blue for half a season so I think I can compare them to the Steelhead Specialist fairly well.
I think the Yellow is considerably softer than the Steelhead Specialist, by that I mean it is more flexible - it promotes a very pleasant easy stroke and with my "long belly" default style it works very well.
The Blue, at least the 15' version is much more like the Steelhead Specialist than the Yellow. It is stiffer (faster) yet it will very nicely handle the longbelly lines I like to use. As a "big gun" I quite liked the 15' Blue.
The Greens I have used are just too fast - or stiff - for my style of casting. While clearly well-suited to the Scandinavian style of short heads and the underhand cast they are a poor match for my longer casting stroke. Definitely different strokes for different folks.
Don't get me wrong! I think if you were to go back far enough in the Forum Archives you will find that I have said that I think the the 14' Loop Yellow is one of my all-time favourite rods - though I no longer fish mine - I stand by that statement. It is a great rod.
On this you and I definitely agree - who cares about whether it is stiff or soft or slow or whatever... I don't profess to be a techno-caster - I prefer the "just huck it out there school" and so my use of the jargon may differ from others - but I know when I like a rod and I do like the 14' Loop Yellow.
I guess this discussion just points out one of the problems with talking about rods. We often use different words for the same rods/actions or whatever - and the semantic quagmire definitely gets in the way. This is why my mantra is cast them yourself - hopefully people who are interested in finding out about a particular rod live somewhere that Claves occur and can get out and put their hands on the rods themselves! Besides - actually casting the rods is much more fun than talking about them.
It is interesting how individual style and perception translate into our recommendations. I think we're headed in the right direction with lines, between standardizing weights and learning to use the casting weight concept. On rods it's harder to quantify, though Orvis tried (with pros and cons).
In the process of comparing the fast/quick 14' 9wts, I found something interesting in the Rio Spey line recommendations: The four rods that I've commonly seen referred to as the fast end of 14' 9wts are the T&T 1409, Loomis GLX, Loop Green 9140, and Sage 9141. I expected to find similar line recommendations in the Mid-Spey and Grand Spey categories, but they're not. (Giving A first, then B) The T&T, Loop, and Sage all are listed as A: 8/9 and B: 9/10 for both MS and GS. The Loomis is listed as A: 9/10 and B: 10/11. I've talked with a number of people in the last few days about these four rods, and nobody has given me any reason to think that the Loomis might be best lined one weight heavier than the others.
I'll concede that Rio's recommendations are a starting point only. Still, it's interesting to see a different recommendation for 1 of 4 seemingly similar rods.
The T&T rods use a single line designation, which is put into the more common double line designation the other manufacturers have used to date would have the 1409 designated as a 14' 8/9. The GLX has been using the common double line designation, so the 14' GLX is rated by Loomis as a 9/10.
The Loomis GLX and the T&T rods are pretty close in stiffnes and butt strength although they have different flex profiles with the GLX moving into the butt just a little quicker than the T&T and the GLX has a faster recovery rate than the T&T rods. Therefore, with the T&T 1409 and the GLX 14' 9/10, you are comparing rods rated for two different line wts. The T&T is rated for on line wt less than the GLX, which is why they use different sized lines.
Regarding Sage, I've found that if you take line weight the model number uses as the line to ballance the rod (instead of the commonly listed by fly shops and catalogs double line designation) they work best. In other words, the Sage 9141 should be considered to be a 9wt rod (not a 9/10 wt rod); thus it is best ballanced by the 8/9 lines.
As can be seen from the above, the T&T 1409 and the Sage 9141 are 9 wt rods (or 8/9's as the more commonly seen double line designation would be) and the GLX is a 9/10 (or actually a 10 wt) as it is designated.
As for how Loop rods are designated, I find I prefer to use the line number listed on the rod as the higher of the two common double line designations that has been in use on lines. Thus, the Loop Green 1409 would also be an 8/9 rod like the T&T 1409 and the Sage 9141.
Before I get beat up over this, keep in mind that those who are new to spey casting and those who like a higher load on the rod and resultant deeper bend usually like these rods with the RIO "B" line recommendation, which is one line size higher. And this puts the RIO "A" and "B" recommendations for these four rods exactly in line with the above.
Your explanation makes good sense, but highlights the difficulties encountered by those unfamiliar with those rods. The single/double/triple line numbering system combined with individual caster preferences A vs B make the sharing of experience on this forum very valuable to help with decisionmaking.
That is why the newly agreed upon by the major spey line manufacturers spey line standards are such an important development. Because the new standards will have lines designated with a single number+letter (number=wt and letter= belly length), it will allow folks to easily make decisions on what line to use with what rod simply by using the new line standard designation. And just like people do with single-hand rods go up a line if they want a deeper load, 2-hand users will do so easily and do it without confusion.
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