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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It was Christmas in September when my new Meiser arrived on the 3rd. I was looking forward to giving it a go.

Here is what I learned (I think):

Let me begin by providing a summary of my conclusions regarding the rod / line and then providing the path taken to reach those conclusions. Understand that, other than occasionally skating some flies and some light sub-surface work, my primary use for trout spey is streamer fishing. I do use trout scandi lines on my single handed rods for dries.

Like my previous steelhead rods from Bob, the quality of workmanship of Meiser rods are second to none. This new rod is light and a real pleasure to cast and no exception. The integrated line for streamers that proved to be the best (by far) was the Rio In Touch Trout Spey 275.

The following is my take on the performance of the rod and various associated trout spey lines. The lines tested with the rod are the SA 270 & SA 300 Skagit lites, the SA 240 Scandi lite, the Wulff ambush short 250, and the RIO In Touch Skagit Trout Spey 275.

While shooting head scandi lines coupled with mono running lines are my preference for steelhead rods, I think integrated lines are better for spey/switch rods 5 wt. and below. SA’s and Rio’s newer integrated running lines shoot nearly as well as mono without the hassle of connection loops.

All of my testing on the Skagit lines used the same MOW light 5&5 83 grain sink tip and the sculpzilla 14 grain fly—all with a 32” (approx.) leader. The SA Scandi lite and Ambush short were tested with a SA Sonar 35 gr. 7’ Poly leader with 32” tippet and the same sculpzilla.

During the past week, two evenings were dedicated to back-to -back line testing and 3 days devoted to fishing with the rod.

For the first evening’s testing, I started casting with the SA 240 scandi lite with the 7’ 35 grain sonar poly leader. I had suspected and was soon convinced that this light scandi combo was unlikely to work well with a cone head rabbit strip streamer like the sculpzilla-- even if it was pretty light. I switched to the Ambush short with the same sonar tip and, while it was better, I felt that it was more Skagit than Scandi and ended testing until I had more time to use it with the same Mow light used on the Skagit lines.

Both of the SA Skagit lite lines that I used for most of my fishing on Wednesday and again on Thursday morning appeared and acted differently than the lighter and heavier versions I had used extensively on both my 2 and 3 wt hydrogens and my 6 weight Sage One switch. Without lowering my casting hands and angling the rod to the side more than usual while firing (think overhanging tree casting), the anchor would pull almost every time on both SA skagit lines. I adjusted to make them work but was really happy to put the longer Wulff ambush short back on with the MOW tip. I was elated with that line on this rod.

The one unknown was still the untested Rio Trout Spey 275. When laid side by side with the SA Skagit 270 head I was disappointed to learn that it was identical in length and on average, the diameter was nearly the same. I was convinced that it was going to be a replay of the SA Skagit lite lines.

To my surprise, from first cast with the Rio trout spey the differences were apparent and remarkable. It floated much lower in the water then both of the unusually high floating SA lines. The result was increased rod loading and the absence of blown anchors. It became obvious as I continued to strip out more line that this line could not have been more different. I started standing up straight, raising the rod to normal levels before firing, and generally stopped nursing the line as I had with the two SA’s.

This line/rod combo was spectacular. I can’t imagine that any trout spey line/rod combo could work better. The difference in the casting characteristics of these two apparently identical lines begged the question about claimed weights. I have weighed the head sections of both the 270 SA Skagit Lite and the Rio Skagit trout spey and they are both spot on and 5 grains apart (less than 2% difference in weight).

I currently have a hydrogen 3 wt. that has been disappointing after owing a hydrogen 2. The tip section on the 2 wt. was stiffer than on the 3 and cast SA Skagit lite 180’s well. The problem was that the tip was fragile to the point that I didn’t want to get far from home with it. Redington was good about replacing the tips but the rod was given to a friend and has now been discontinued by Redington.

I also had a Sage One 4 wt. None of these rods were in the same league as the Meiser for quality of build. Because the Rio trout spey and Wulff Ambush short lines did not exist until very recently I won’t speculate about their relative casting performance on these other rods. I can say that no trout spey rod that I’ve owned previously has been such a pleasure to cast as this Meiser and none would so effortlessly put out tight looped 60’ casts as this rod combined with the Rio Skagit trout spey 275 line.

To be clear, I’ve not previously had as much trouble with blowing anchors on SA Skagit lites but It seems to me that the two new lines bought for this rod float higher than the other SA lites I own. I don’t know if they’ve changed the lines recently, found ways to increase the hydrophobicity, or what the problem is. I have seen this problem before with the Airflo G2’s and believe that they were the reason for the development of the lower floating Airflo Drivers. It seems to me that with the advent of newer very short floating heads that we are mostly mending running line anyway and that good reason exists to make those float as high as possible while remaining small in diameter. The need for high floating skagit trout spey lines remains unclear to me.

I will someday have to give the next size up Wulff ambush short a go on this rod since the tested version was 25 grains lighter than the Rio trout spey. My instinct tells me that I need to give my bride of 35 years a month or so to digest this months Visa bill first.
 

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Great report back. I have been experiencing blown anchors on my SA Speylite Skagit head as well and was just thinking it was me. I predominately use a SA Speylite Scandi head on my 3wt.
 

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Great read!

Rod and line testing is expensive, and fortunately my bride has not complain (yet). Before it was discontinued, I like Airflo Integrated Streamer-Switch Float (starting at 210 grains (may have even had a 175)). I am sadden to see this line disappear with the new and unimproved Airflo.

I just had Steve Godshall send me a replacement 320 grain "trouter" for another Meiser (4wt). Steve mention he help in the line designs for SRO, so the question

Have you ever thought about the Trout Spey Lines from SRO Ballistics?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Great report back. I have been experiencing blown anchors on my SA Speylite Skagit head as well and was just thinking it was me. I predominately use a SA Speylite Scandi head on my 3wt.
What weight Skagit SA lite line were you having trouble with and when did you buy it?

It's pretty easy to see that I have/or had a bias toward SA spey lite lines based on the number I took to review. I believe I have 7 or 8 of these lines from 180 to 420 and have seldom had problems before. The 270 and 300 were both new.

The reason for my question is related to a suspicion that something has changed in the material or manufacturing process recently.
 

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bdal,
300gr bought 12 months ago. I usually use RIO lines and this was my first foray into SA for two handed lines.

Very pleased with the SA Speylite Scandi, but the skagit just didnt work straight away. I have tightened up my stroke and anchor placement, swapped around with SA and OPST tips, but I have to concentrate to ensure everything sings.
 

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I have a Meiser 11’7” 3 weight & was casting both a SA 240 Scandi lite & a SA 270 Skagit lite & thoroughly enjoyed casting both. So much so that I bought another but heavier SA 270 Scandi Lite for another Meiser & will be watching out for a SA 300 Skagit Lite to use with it also, even though I was thinking of the RIO Skagit Trout Spey.
No blown anchors, but I was using a 10’ tip on it
 

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I have a Meiser 11’7” 3 weight & was casting both a SA 240 Scandi lite & a SA 270 Skagit lite & thoroughly enjoyed casting both.

No blown anchors, but I was using a 10’ tip on it
Newbie here. I'm fishing in the surf. When I change tips the line casts differently and I have to make adjustments to throw it. Bdal is on of the only people to list the grains of the fly he threw too. I also find that when I fish from 1 fly to 2 flys I again have to change the way I cast the line. I get the impression that a change of variables like fly, tip, or leader length will greatly effect our choice for the ideal line to throw it. Is this true of false?
 

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Newbie here. I'm fishing in the surf. When I change tips the line casts differently and I have to make adjustments to throw it. Bdal is on of the only people to list the grains of the fly he threw too. I also find that when I fish from 1 fly to 2 flys I again have to change the way I cast the line. I get the impression that a change of variables like fly, tip, or leader length will greatly effect our choice for the ideal line to throw it. Is this true of false?
Yes, leader length & the rod has a designated grain weight window. If your throwing head, line & tip in that grain weight, the fly or flies can cause a great deal of adjustment in your cast then the flies are to large or to heavy. I have been there & continue to experiment with flies but am learning the rod & line limitations. So if I know or think I know what flies to use, I take the rod for the flies I’m going to be casting.That’s one of the reasons I have 3 Meiser’s, the other is I really like Meiser’s. Below is a chart that I found somewhere on the net that I have added my rods to that work for me.
  • 12g/185gr – size 12-10 single hooks *11724C-4
  • 14g/216gr – size 10-8 single hooks. 11724C-4
  • 16g/247gr – size 10-8 single 1193S-4
  • 18g/278gr – size 8-6 single 12635C-4
  • 20g/308gr – size 8-6 single hooks 12635C-4
  • 22g/340gr – size 6-4 single hooks.12635C-4
Bigger the fly or heavier the fly the bigger the rod….mass moves mass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Newbie here. I'm fishing in the surf. When I change tips the line casts differently and I have to make adjustments to throw it. Bdal is on of the only people to list the grains of the fly he threw too. I also find that when I fish from 1 fly to 2 flys I again have to change the way I cast the line. I get the impression that a change of variables like fly, tip, or leader length will greatly effect our choice for the ideal line to throw it. Is this true of false?
I think you are right on. Your casting is even further complicated by exaggerated wind velocity issues.

Jdangler makes a good point. In my opinion, it's important when testing lines to use the same tip length and weight, the same leader length, and the same fly. Further, the lines to be compared all need to be tested in the same but varied river situations using the same but varied casts.

Two thing I should clear up: The 14 grain sculpzilla that I used has a casting weight (wet) of 22 grains. Second, for those who aren't familiar with MOW tips, a 5&5 Mow light tip is basically a t-8 10' tip -- 5 feet floating and 5 feet sink tip

Bram
 
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