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Discussion Starter #1
I have been spey fishing for the last two years, and though wintertime success is not very high, I truly do love the sport. I have had several different 7 weight rods and really enjoy the Echo TR, Echo DH2, and Beulah Platinum 1302 7 weight.

I have liquidated some of the old rods, and I'm now in the place of buying a new rod. I really love the Beulah Platinum, not sure why I sold it. I thought about the Onyx or a Meiser. I like Skagit lines in the 510-540 grains but want the rod to be light in hand. I'd like to keep the finished weight under 8 ounces. The rod would see most use throwing tips, but I like versatility. As far as action, I cast all the above rods fairly well though they are different. I prefer a deeper loading rod vs. something off the tip.

I will call Bob, but wishing some of you can share your experience with his rods. I like the rods and respect the beauty, but am leaning towards something a little less beautiful.

Will likely wait for the Sandy Clave but thought I would ask this esteemed group.
Thanks

DH
 

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It appears you have several 7wt rods.

For 'Winter Work' I'd recommend an '8.' Heavier tips, larger flies, etc., etc. Hopefully larger fish.:D If you have time to wait for the Sandy Clave that would be a good idea.

You get to try out several different combinations (as a norm) and see what fits. Rod/line combinations are 'like women,' some like Blondes, some Brunettes, etc.

fae
 

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A buddy of mine just ordered a 1307 Highlander classic. He had Bob send him a HC and an MKS, and we spent a frozen morning trading back and forth.

I loved the MKS with tips and the Skagit head Bob sent along, but the Highlander Classic really got both our motors running. With me it's no real surprise, as my favorite rod is my 12'6 67 HC. The 1307 is light and powerful, throws a scandi, skagit or mid belly with equal ease- just a phenomenal rod. I'll be getting one within the year.

I cast the HC 1308 a couple years ago at a clave- not on the water, but overhead (well, Belgian style) with a scandi head on grass. There may have been beer involved. Smooth, deep power would be my best description.

THe thing I've really come to like about the Highlanders (I have three at this point), an opinion that was confirmed by another forum member recently (first initial GR8) is the the feel is consistent throughout the line up. Just wonderful rods.
 

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THe thing I've really come to like about the Highlanders (I have three at this point), an opinion that was confirmed by another forum member recently (first initial GR8) is the the feel is consistent throughout the line up. Just wonderful rods.
I agree with this 100% A testament to Mr. Meiser's design skill and commitment to making consistently excellent fishing rods. From a rod design/makers point of view this is extremely difficult to accomplish across a wide range of lengths and line weights. Just damn impressive to take one sweet as butter rod like the 14' EVE and transform that into the full range of Highlander's that Bob offers to fishermen today, damn impressive.

James
 

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Meiser Rods

For what it's worth, I just got a Meiser Highlander Classic 13'6" 7wt from Bob just before Christmas. I absolutely love this rod. Despite the beautiful aesthetics, it is a highly versatile rod with a great deal of power yet super light. I got the standard finish that has a downlocking reel seat, so a heavy reel is not necessarily the answer for balance (although I like my reels on the heavier side...). First time out, I ran a 570 gr Airflo Skagit Compact, 10 ft of T-11 and T-14, and a big, flashy fly. The rod handled it no problem whatsoever, and you can feel the flex in to the grip, but it has a nice even progressive taper. At some point next fall, I'll be in the market for an 8wt, and I will promptly contact Bob again...

For reference, I also have or have had a Sage TCX 7126, VXP 6129, Echo TR 1307, Z-Axis 7110. The TCX is a special rod, but the Meiser has won my overall preference.

Good luck!
 

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What's your budget?

I dearly love my Meiser Highlander Classic 12'6" for 6/7, but I don't fish it during the winter. I have a number of 13-14 foot spey rods up to 10 wt, some of which retail for as much as a Meiser, but my current fave is among the most inexpensive - an Angler's Roost UHM12 14' for 7-8. Light as a feather and amazing to cast. So, if your budget allows, I'd recommend a nice Meiser Highlander or Mike Kinney Special - you won't regret it. And you would be spending your money on a fine rod, made by an American craftsman. But if you are looking at a lower price point, you might consider an Angler's Roost rod.
 

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If you loved your Beulah Platinum, you might like to give the Beulah Onyx a try. It's another rod that I think "hits the spot."

Sg
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Great Advice

My budget allows for a custom Meiser, Burkie, etc. I love the feedback and please keep it coming. The Higlander sounds like a great start.

DH
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Onyx

I'm hoping to give one a try. At the price, I'm at a pretty custom Meiser rod. It would take a lot of mojo for me to make that choice, not saying I wouldn't.:Eyecrazy:


If you loved your Beulah Platinum, you might like to give the Beulah Onyx a try. It's another rod that I think "hits the spot."

Sg
 

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With regard to the MKS and the HC, you can get deep loading from either rod depending on the lines used, but of course they have entirely different flexes. I have used both for many years. I'm not a rod geek so may not describe this accurately, but the MKS being a regressed taper will tend to flex under heavy load all the way to the cork, and actually almost seem to hinge at this point with very heavy loading or when putting the meat to a hot fish. When casting, it almost "slingshots" the line out from this lower "hinge". Its very stiff tip will unplug big flies with ease. A light line off this stiff tip will not dig deep to this point and so allow you to tip cast--but not quite like the "S" rods also made by Mr. M. The Classic has a progressive taper. Load it heavy and the bend will go progressively deeper at an even rate.
For me there is no better Skagit head rod than the MKS. But, I love the Highlander Classic so much I have stopped using Skagit heads and just fish long and midbellly lines with my 14 and 16 footers year round when on bigger waters.
This is me and am sure you'll find what appeals to you. Is wise to try them all and see. The Sandy is one good place to do that for sure. Good Luck!
 

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I never pass up an opportunity to sing the praises of Bob Meiser's MKS series. I am a diehard Skagit caster because of how easy it is on my aging joints and muscles. I have 13678 and 13689 and 13910 rods. While for me the 13689 is the rod I will take to my next life, all 3 rods excell at launching appropriate Skagit heads using remarkably little caster energy, if properly casted. Perhaps the most telling fact for me is that I haven't felt the need for a different type of rod in many years.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thank You

All great advise. What color are the MKS and HC blanks from Meiser? Can't really tell.

DH
 

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My Highlander Classic is a dark "charcoal" graphite color.

I just bought my 13' 6/7/8 Classic for Christmas. Wanted a longer line (35-40') like a Nextcast WA35-40 for less stripping on those freezing mornings, so I ordered a SGS Scandi (38.3' 501gr) from Steve Godshall (I've heard sits 10' from Bob) that matched the rod. Wow, what a rod. Just beautiful to cast. And when I want the heavy stuff, an Airflo 540 w/ T14 and a big fly, it sends it on its way without a hitch. Definitely worth every penny. :smokin:
 

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The beauty of a custom rod, to your choice of wraps.

'Claves' or rods stacked against a log; in one case a horse tie up thing. Your rod/old Hardy/Godshall line reel stands out from the rest of the rest.

I kid you not:' "That is beautiful equipment, may I cast it?" Guy looked like a 'train wreck' but he smelled of years of fishing' per the Dogs. Handed over the gear and "Dogs and I will have lunch ready for us when your done."

When it came to 'people' Sandy and Husky were never wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Purchase Made-Meiser

Thank you for all of your help. I ended up driving down to Bob's to test drive all three rod actions and to meet "The Team". Bob, Steve and Nick answered questions, provided insights, and just showed me an excellent time.

I liked all three actions, but settled on the Highland Classic 137678. The rod was amazing and just worked for my natural stroke. The MKS was amazing and unlike anything I have fished before. Unhindging was the right way to describe the delivery...it just bangs it out there when you use a good underhand cast. I might have one in my future.
The HC ended up winning the day. It just felt perfect in my hand.

I drove back to the shop, was offered a cigar, and handed a bin of cork to start the process of designing a grip.

I'll post photos when I get the rod. It's going to be great.

DH
 
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