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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys:

My elbow has convinced me that it is not going to heal in time for this fall and that I need to save my elbow for saltwater trips, so it looks like I need a new spey rod. I own and have fished one of the first Sage 9140's that came out, for what 10-15 years? I have never been a fan of spey rods because I don't like the fight. After thinking about it a lot for the last year, I think the problem is that the 9140 is not a true 9 wt, but is more like my 12 wt tarpon rods. A 24"-25" one salt hatchery fish on the Deschutes will not even turn the reel handle. A 1 salt wild fish will take a little line but only 10-15'. The rod feels right for wild steelhead over 15lbs and is certainly adequate for Chinook up to 35 lbs., my largest. The other problems I have with spey rods is that they cast too far and make too much noise on flat water. I like to fish dry flies and I can't see a disco mouse in choppy water at 100'.

So here is what I would like. A true 6wt (or heavy 5wt.), 13'-14', more on the soft side (not an overhead rod) that will cast a dry line 70-80' and still has the backbone to cast a light sink tip (#II-#V) on a windcutter for late October and early November. I normally fish a 9'6wt graphite rod or an 8wt cane rod if the wind comes up, both with old Hardy & CFO click drag reels. I want to have that same feeling of not being in control when a 2 salt wild fish decides to head to the ocean. I want something that is too light to use in Canada.

Thanks for your help. I am not trying to put down spey rods. I just wanted you to understand why I prefer single-handed rods so that you could help me pick out a rod that fit my whims. Add to that, that I am 400 miles from a steelhead river and a fly shop that carries spey rods.

I have read all the old posts on this board and others, and still do not know where to start. Maybe a 5120?????? Or a Meiser 12’6” 4/5/6, or a Gary Anderson 13’ 5 or a Burkie 14’ 7???? Help!! Thanks in advance.

Mark
 

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loco alto!
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Your best bet might be to contact a maker like Meiser, Anderson, or Burkheimer and talk it through. There are rods out there, and others on the way. Perhaps consider upfront the line you want it to cast, as a starting point for discussion.

fwiw, I have a blank that Burkheimer rolled for me, akin to rods sold by Meiser and Anderson. It was marked 13' 7 wt on the receipt. It matches 6/7 wt spey lines and also a DT7. With a short-belly line it slices wind and casts tips. Good fun on 5-10 lb fish. If the T&T is considered fast, this one is med-fast.
 

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get acupunture. I am working through tennis elbow that was chronic. It was looking like I would only be able to cast (single)with my left hand. The treatments are working.
 

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Mark,

It's certainly true that spey rods handle lines heavier than the a same-rated single-hander. However, I don't agree (at least not completely) that they make too much noise on flat water. Fishing dries, one can normally avoid the "white mouse" casts to help eliminate noise. Also, there is enough variety of line tapers that you can find a line with a longer front taper that will be plenty quiet. The Wulff speys certainly are a quiet line; an XLT should also be quiet. With a shorter-bellied line, you're shooting more line, and so the surface disturbance of even a double spey is farther from the fish. You can always lengthen the leader since it should still turn over nicely with the power of a short belly.

As for not being able to see a dry in choppy water at 100 feet, try orange hair on the head for fishing with the sun behind you, and a very dark head when you are looking into the twilight.

I think your desire for sport and feeling out of control is a valid reason for wanting a very light spey (notwithstanding the likelihood you're probably fishing the same wt tippet regardless of the power of the rod), but noise and an inability to see the dry don't seem as valid of reasons.

Oh, regarding the elbow--if it is tendonitis, Glucosamine does seem to help in the long run. I'm sure you've already been trying the anti-inflammatories and ice? (Rest will be out of the question in the fall, but maybe give the steelhead bamboo a rest!)

I'm envious of your impending purchase of a lightweight rod; I hope to do the same one of these years.

--Bill
 

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So here is what I would like. A true 6wt (or heavy 5wt.), 13'-14', more on the soft side
If this is what you want, the 1307 T&T is too much rod for you. Don't get me wrong, I love the stick and it would be one of the last I parted with but it is not a 6 weight. It is a true 7 and when needed very capable of handling fish in the 15+ pound range.

Now the 1206-3 T&T might come closer to fitting the bill but it would not fall on the soft side. This is especially true compared to the 5120.
 

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I got into the two handed rods due to a torn bicep and rotator cuff injury 3 years ago in May.

This May I tore my bicep apparently in 3 places.

That has eliminated using my 7 weights, 9 weights and Meiser's Highlander until it heals.

Even my Sage 6126 is a little too much for more than about 30-40 minutes of casting at a time.

So I bought a Sage 5120, and it is an amazing rod. Forget the WC 5/6, it is not heavy enough to load the rod. The MS 6/7 dry line is great with the rod. The MS 7/8 with tips works very well. It also works with the Skagit 450 and 15' Rio Tips. It works best with the Rio 12' sinking leaders. In windy conditions I use the WC 678 with the MS 7/8 tips.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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I agree with Sinktip on the T&T's. I love T&T rods (as anyone who has been around the forum for a while knows), but they are not soft nor slow rods, which is what you said you are looking for.

As SSPey mentioned, a call or email to Meiser (who has an uncanny ability to size up what would make a person happy by talking to him), Anderson, or Burkheimer would be a very good way to get what you are looking for since they make rods that are of the softer, slower variety you are looking for.

That said, CND has rods in their Expert and Custom series (such as the Expert 1306 or 1307) that are of the softer, slower type you are looking for. If you contact Mike (MJC) at Redshed (one of the site sponsors), he could probably send you a rod for you to try since this is one of the many customer service things he does. Meiser could also probably provide you with a rod to try.
 

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I also recommend giving Bob Meiser a call and discussing your needs. Doing business with Bob is a great experience.
Chris
 

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Bob

has his own cheering section, for good reasons. I just ordered number five from him.
 

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I owned the CND expert, not alot of punch to it, o.k. not any punch to it. I ended up with the Loomis 13ft4in 5/6wt. Still a soft action, but moves a fair amount of line and a big fly well. Its my go to rod this time of year, 18in trout bends it very well, the avarage 10-14 incher we have here in the Muskegon put a fair bend in it. I have fished Lake Huron steelhead with it (5-6lb fish), hooked a few, landed none, immediatly into the backing on a Loop trad. 3, with very little I could do.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I assume you are talking about the Expert 6/7wt (verses the Expert 14',15' etc which are stout powerful rods). This rod loads properly with the 5/6 windcutter and Hardy 8/9 Mach I and should be rated 5/6 IMHO.

Of the Expert series, it's the one that requires a patient 'traditional' stroke yet to many this is also the good news - it allows an easy traditional stroke for effortless all-day casting. Nobuo calls it "very gentle"; it's not meant to have punch per se and is a nice trout/small searun spey. I cast this rod often to clean up my stroke again after power casting big rods, and enjoy fishing it for shad and trout.

On a related note in Spey casting (or any casting for that matter) throwing flies is a function of the line, not the rod provided the rod moves the line. In other words the line moves the fly, the rod moves the line, the angler moves the rod. So if two rods match the same line then usually the same flies should work provided the timing is correct through the whole linkage. If the angler has to push to move the fly, then the line is not doing it's job. Having to punch a fly typically indicates a timing problem or a mismatch between rod, line and/or fly size.

Going beyond the ordinary, with the through-flexing action of the 13' 6/7 I would have to believe a mini-Skagit head could be made to match it. Given that the Skagit masters prefer a similar softer flexing rod for most effective sustained load casting it's possible that a larger fly could be cast with the rod with less 'punch' with the right system. This would be an interesting thing to investigate as this is one of the things that Skagit casting is meant to achieve - the ability to fish big with small rods. The ability to reach into the deep part of the blank is beneficial to this end.

As an alternative the CND Speytracker 12'2" 5/6 is an IM8 ultralight spey that loads with these same lines (has the same power) yet it's super lightweight and built with a faster recovery rate material.
 

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Yes the 13ft 6/7. I fished it with the WC 5/6, a very traditional stroke indeed. I did enjoy fishing mayflies and caddis pupae with it, but it just didn't have what was needed to get a #2 beadheaded wooly bugger going. Same story I heard from most who have fished it. The Loomis on the other hand, with the exact same line on it tosses everything. It is more of a personal preference than anything, but I like the ability to throw wetsock style streamers during the day, or #2 foam wakers in the late evening.
 

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Sounds like a great rod, I'll have to ask Rick and Neil to let me have a try at the Salmon River Clave. If I have the time I will prepare a Skagit style head to match the 1306. Are you going to be there?
 

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The CND Expert 1306 is a great "trout" rod. It has a sweet traditional action. I love it for swinging soft hackles, my favorite way to fish for trout. I do not believe it was designed to throw #2 Beadhead Wooly Buggers or wet sock streamers.
If a person is fishing C&R and cares for the fish I do not believe it is the proper tool for steelhead fishing, as I know it (the Clearwater). I do have a customer that landed 8 steelhead, (up to 36") last year using an Expert 1306. That being said I would pick something a little heavier.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Thank You.

Thanks guys. I am now prepared to enter into negotiations for a new rod. Just hope that the kid's college fund can withstand the economic impact of said negotiations.

SparseHairHackle: While I agree with you that a good caster can spey cast quietly, most don't. In fact 80% of the people I see with a spey rod use a double spey with the wrong hand on top because they can't single spey. These same people froth the water in front of them. I can be setting in the camper tying flies and a single-handed fisherman will fish by and I won't even know that they are there. On the other hand, you can hear a two handed fisherman long before he gets to you and long after he passes. While some of it is the fisherman, a lot of it is the difference between overhead casting and spey casting.

Re: Dry flies - I actually find black the easiest to see most of the time with white a good choice in bright light, but I still find it hard to pick up the fly on certain runs and in certain light conditions in excess of 70'. Even then, I don't pick up the fly until it is part way through the drift. I can't tell you how many times I have seen a fish boil 6 or 8 feet away from where I think my fly is and after recasting, I'll pick up that fish. In the same vein, there have been many times when I can see my fly that the boil behind the fly is soo subtle that I am not sure that I really saw anything, but indeed, after recasting or changing flies, up comes a fish. My point being, that beyond a certain point (say 70' for argument sake, or 90' on glass) you are being counterproductive to cast further because you can't control the drift or see the fly well and if you can't see the fly you will miss a lot of the players that don't take on the first pass.

Respectfully,

Mark
 

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Mark Vegwert said:
On the other hand, you can hear a two handed fisherman long before he gets to you and long after he passes. While some of it is the fisherman, a lot of it is the difference between overhead casting and spey casting.
That's interesting. I don't think it needs to be that way. In most cases if a Spey caster is making too much noise they are trying too hard.

The other day I skipped out at lunch to make a few casts and possible catch a few bluegills. (Yes, bluegills on a Spey rod. :whoa: ) The water is a quiet mill pond. I didn't bring waders so I was mostly roll casting and overhead casting. To be honest I was frothing up the water pretty good and not catching anything. Once I settled down and threw some nice quiet casts I started catching fish on almost every cast. It's possible to fish quiet with a Spey rod.

The key is don't Spey cast if you don't have to. If your line is in the air it isn't frothing up the water. If you need to Spey cast take it easy. Cast gently. Use a light anchor or no anchor if you can work it. Make sure you lift the line off the water properly. If you need to tear the line off the water you are going to make a lot of noise. Don't cast a 90' if you can wade to 50' (or 40' or 30'.) Don't get caught up in the cast. You're there to catch fish not admire your casting ability.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
baldmountain said:
That's interesting. I don't think it needs to be that way. In most cases if a Spey caster is making too much noise they are trying too hard.QUOTE]

I agree. The problem is the fisherman. Not the rod.
 

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juro said:
Sounds like a great rod, I'll have to ask Rick and Neil to let me have a try at the Salmon River Clave. If I have the time I will prepare a Skagit style head to match the 1306. Are you going to be there?

No, I'm not, would like to but have burnt up most of my vacation time and our fall run hasn't even got going yet. In my thinking, I would go with a 350 grain body on the same lines as Rio's.
I wasn't meaning to come off like I was putting down the CND, just trying to give a description of it. Like I said I really liked it for bugs, just lacked to authority I was looking for. I'd say theres a pretty good chance that it is a very capable rod in the hands of a more skilled person than myself. Living in a region that has a bit of a "spey vacuum", trying rods, usually means buying them.
 

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Not at all Jamey, I was looking forward to putting more faces to names at the SR clave. Boy that Guiness looks good about now :)
 
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