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The wizards -- or possibly even subversives -- at OPST have made a bunch of videos showing the versatility of their Commando heads on standard size (9' and shorter), one handed, trout rods. The ease of skagit/spey type casts with standard tackle defies the traditional approach to fly casting we are all used to. One newer video demonstrates the use of a three wt 7 1/2' fiber glass rod paired with a a Commando head and a five ft floating tip delivering dry flies across stream w/o a hint of splash.

A few other videos have broken ground with standard length rods modified with a cork butt that allows for two handed casting. They are of course rated for the lighter Commando heads but also long belly lines that are 3x heavier than the rod recommendation for spey casts and more delicate presentations.

To my knowledge none of the major rod makers are offering 2 handed shorter rods although several custom rod makers do.

What do you think about this new wrinkle in our sport? There is a potential for substantially more of this approach coming into play as OPST is currently perfecting Commando heads in 7 to 10 wt range.

Regards,
DDB
 

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I think it's pretty sweet how they are opening up lots of opportunities to fish brushy streams that we otherwise wouldn't be able to with fly gear. There was a small creek in my area that we would frequent in the summer to get away from crowds and the heat. We would spend the day swimming fishing and picking blackberries. I remember the creek was FULL of smallmouth that we would catch relentlessly on UL spinning rods and rooster tails but I was pretty much unable to effectively fish my fly rod down there because it was so heavily overgrown. Boy what I would give to be able to go back there now with a 3wt, a commando head and a pocket full of streamers!!!
 

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As a bamboo maker and enthusiast, I have been trying many kinds of lines in an attempt to suit both single and double handed rods. Impressed by the videos that you refer to, with those short heads almost hanging in the air carrying those tight loops seemingly and effortlessly to the horizon..I recently purchased a 7/8 weight 350 Commando head to go with an 11' bamboo double handed rod.

Practicing over the last couple of days, on water, I could not quite replicate the casts in the videos, plagued with enthusiastic trailing loops as I was, at times; however I felt the potential of the lines. Initially I tried with 10' floating poly heads, which did not help matters, struggling to get that anchor. Switching to a 3 ips sinking poly leader was a revelation, as the line started to load the rod.

While on the water I swapped and changed with a couple of other lines in order to compare: Skagit switch and steelhead tactical. The Commando intrigues me more than the other two,being easier to cast, also comparing the Rio Flight plus one or two others which I have tried.

I am awaiting the delivery of a 150 grain 3wt Commando head from another forum member, to use with single handed rods both graphite (the now revered old model Sage light line) plus bamboo. I am hoping for more great things (having seen more videos), the design of the Commando heads is very interesting indeed.
 

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Currently saving for a Meiser long lightweight trout spey! Very excited about it... there was a thread about them but I can't find it right now.

RIO and SA make some really nice single spey lines that i find are fantastic on lightweight single hand rods too... a little more elegant if you will than the OPST.

Are you specifically talking about shorter rods with two handed grips though?
 

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I refer to my 11' Hardy Wye version double handed rod for the 7/8 weight and single handed(no handle extension) 7"9" Sage graphite rod (LL) for the 3wt, which could also be used on various light bamboo single handed rods.
 

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I've been on the band wagon for the OPST micro Skagits since their release. They're fantastic for small stream and large flies. Even soft hackles can be presented delicately. Bass or trout they're perfect. The only other product that comes close for tight quarters is the new SA Spey Lite Skagit or Scandi lines. Which are available with integrated running line. All other lines are designed to be used 3-3.5x rod length. The OPST and Spey Lite are designed at 2-2.5x rod length tip of the rod to fly. You can add your own bottom handle for shorter rods. Also check Jerry French's Pieroway Renegade rods from 8' 3wt to 12'6" 10wt. I think you'll find very little need for a bottom handle on a short 3-5wt. Lots of info at my blog: pureskagit.net
Tight Lines, Mike


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One last note. I've started my seven year old with these lines. Just begin with a roll cast. It's impressive to watch him deliver a fly 40-50' with a tight loop.


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