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Discussion Starter #1
Mornin fella's, new here and have a question for you more experienced "swingers". I am currently fishing a Reddington Prospector 7 wt. loaded with a 475 gr. Skagit Max. and 10 ft. of T-11. The rod is advertised as a med. fast action and calls for a 500 gr. + or - 50 head. My problem is in launching big heavily weighted rabbit fur leeches (gives new meaning to the phrase "sustained anchor"). I have my eyes set on a new Beulah Onyx 13.7 or Platinum 13.2 both 7 wt. Please give me your thoughts on all three rods or would I be better off going up to an 8 wt. rod. Don't be shy your not going to hurt my feelings. I have already tried adjusting my casting stroke and timing to no avail, the rabbit just holds to much water. In appreciation for your thoughts I've included a little fish porn..........I hope.


Regards, Bob
 

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Im probably about as green as you are in the spey world, but from all the talking ive done with different people you probably want at least an 8wt. An 8wt will let you throw the big ol river chickens and tips of t-14. I was fishing yesterday and some dude was throwing 12ft of t-17 and big flies on his sage 8wt and they were sailing out there.
 

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Ethie24
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Beauty!

First of all ya don't need anyones help that fish proves that!!

As for the heavier rod/line. I think your setup is fine and most guys say the same that the leeches hold lots of water and make the cast a wee bit harder. Try not letting the anchor sit so long because its not just the line being an anchor now that T11 is sinking on the anchor cast and also that leech is filling with water so altogether its maybe causing too much stick. I would just try to shorten the time the anchor is in the water.

Going to an 8wt will let you go with a heavier head and will help pick that T11 up easier but the 475 should do it. Both beulah sticks are amazing, Ive casted both but particularly love the feel of the Onyx. Super light in the hands with a ton of power.

Hope this helps!!! Again its just my 2 cents!
 

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You will not be better off with an 8 weight until you work-out what is ailing your cast. The set-up, 475 Skagit Max especially, can easily handle the tip and fly without a doubt. Don't sink your anchor so much that it creates line stick and doesn't come off the water. If that's your thing maybe a heavier head would be better...

If you are set on another rod - I vote for the Platinum 7 weight. Very nice, crisp rod.
 

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Rod choice is 'purpose' driven.

Just my 2 pennies. Light tips/flies up to a 7wt. Chucking an anvil go to an 8 (or 9) depending upon the water in front of you.
 

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Before you spend money on a new rod , try going up in your grain weight for your existing rig. That stick will go 540 easy and you might be surprised what it will do for you with a heavier head.
In the event it doesn't perform to your liking , there's little to be gained in duplicating the seven weight. Expand your arsenal and add an eight and eliminate further guess work.

My money is on the heavier head solving your problem.
 

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A rabbit fly with large lead eyes is a heavy fly regardless. Try going to a 540 Skagit and 10' of t-11 or t-14 and I bet you will be surprised at the results. I have the prospector 6126 and have it lined with a 480 grain Skagit in the winter.
 

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Even less hard on the pocket is to tie such weighted rabbit strip flies with a narrower strip of rabbit skin....if you tie quite a few of these types flies, then get a whole rabbit skin of the correct colour and cut the strips yourself - commercially available strips often come in ~3mm (1/8") width strips....try some cut yourself at 2mm (or even 1.5mm) width, and you will automatically reduce the bulk of the rabbit (both skin and fur) by 33% or 50%, be far easier to cast, but the flies will still have the desired action & attraction in the water ;)


Mike
 

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Just step up to a heavier head. A 525 will still be well within the recommended grain range and will make casting tips and weighted flies easier.


Also, nice job on the fish, just keep 'em in the water man! In Washington state it's illegal to remove wild steelhead from the water.

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Lots of good advice fella's, much appreciated. I think I will try a 525 gr. head and see how that goes. I noticed this morning the problem get progressively worse the deeper I wade. I have increased my speed on the tear a little and actually dragging the fly several feet before the cast, it helps. On taking the fish out of the water...........guilty as charged. She was just too pretty to not get a picture. She was out of the water literally 15 sec. or less (camera was hanging in my mouth). She recovered quickly and swam off at good clip. Point taken though. I'll give the 525 head a go...........but that Onyx sure is Purdy.
 

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first I would get the short Skagit rather than the longer Skagit and step up to 525 - this will give you lots more grains per foot - I would also step up to T-14 tip and this get up should launch anything. Keep a very compact casting stroke and you should be good to go
 

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keep the rod, change the fly

Strip leeches and moals are the hardest flies to cast that I fish with. For that reason, I have been using them less and less. A nice intruder or squidro works just as well and are far easier to cast. My 2 cents.
 

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Funny how things work out. I just strayed from Intruders and Squidros cause I wasn't having any luck. I switched from t-14 and squidros back to t-11 and leaches last Thursday morning. Fourth cast.....bam! I'll not likely give up Intruders type fly any time soon, I just have a lot of confidence in black leaches right now. Still good advice, and your right they cast a lot easier.
 

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Before you spend money on a new rod , try going up in your grain weight for your existing rig. That stick will go 540 easy and you might be surprised what it will do for you with a heavier head.
In the event it doesn't perform to your liking , there's little to be gained in duplicating the seven weight. Expand your arsenal and add an eight and eliminate further guess work.

My money is on the heavier head solving your problem.
Yep, go to a heavier head, that should pull the heavy stuff. But timing is everything. You don't want your fly and tip to sink too much, but going to a heavier head, you will need to slow your stroke down. Remember there is nothing pretty about tossing bunnies, so long as the job gets done, that is all that matters.

On a side note, Any rod that pulls a Skagit @ 500+ grains, should be able to do the work you are asking. But you need to be able to cast the rod. So timing, technique, and feel also help in getting the perfect cast out. So a new rod maybe what you need. Not exactly an 8wt, another 7wt would work, but one that casts like you have been buddies for a long time. I have been through a few 7wt rods, and can tell you there are some that just don't fit my stroke, and therefore suffer when throwing the big stuff, which brings out all the flaws in your cast.

But don't just go buy a rod on all of our sales-pitched-favorites, go cast a few. I know a couple fly shops around here, that have a free for all cast sessions to try new rods. That is the best route. No need to waste money on another rod that doesn't fit your cast.

My .02

Avio:smokin:
 

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Beulah Platinum

My 13'2 Platinum 7 would cast 10-15 ft T11 with fairly large flies with ease. T14 works as well but shorter length.

I used a 510 Skagit Switch and it launches everything. Lots of mass to turn over the junk.

DH
 

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Regarding the rabbit fur flies, whilst tying these with the skin is easy and efficient the skin makes it hold even more water, try putting the rabbit/fox fur in a dubbing loop, cut off the skin and spin up a rope of fur, less bulk on the fly with less material to hold onto water, still plenty of movement from the fur, looks plenty leech like.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Ok, if you insist on tossing bunnies, yer' gonna' need a big stick. :chuckle:
Hey now, I've got a big stick..............it's just not stiff enough. I know a good portion of my issue in this particular circumstance is just me. This is only my second season with a two hander so I have much to learn. Last season was short for me as I broke a rib in late December just as I was beginning to figure a few things out. This season is off to much better start. Winter Steelhead with a fly rod is a tough gig, add to that my relative inexperience with a spey rod and I have my work cut out for me. I love Spey. I wouldn't even dream of picking up a single hander anymore for steelhead. I can reach water that I could only drool over before. I can see many benefits to being a member of this forum. Many good suggestions have been and I will apply them diligently. I try to learn at least some little thing every time I go out. Your help and advice can only increase my odds. Thanks again for the pointers. Time to get wet.........and cold, the wind is howling out of the gorge this morning.

Bob
 
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