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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry as I'm sure it's been discussed but I can't seem to find it using the search.

I'm brand new to two-handed casting and this is my first post. The ability to make longer casts, not strip and cast with little back space convinced me to get my first rod. I've one-handed casted for a while now.

Question. I know with single handed rods I like to balance my rods at a certain point on the foregrip.

How do you know if your two-handed rod is balanced properly? I'll be fishing with a CND 13'4" Solstice. I haven't gotten the rod yet but would a Teton 9-11 std or Islander 3.8LX work? Both reels are about 8oz. Any suggestions on reel weight or actual reels to use on this particular rod?

Thanks and I'm finding this forum to be very insightful.

Preston
Toronto
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I am certain you will get a range of answers as there is an element of preference in this - but my idea of balance (regardless of brand or model) is based on two criteria.

First I prefer the reel to feel neither too heavy for the rod or vice versa while in motion during casting. Secondly I like the rod to neither tip nor nod while swinging the fly as a result of the reel weight. If not noticable it then it's just fine.

I would balance the outfit with the working line out of the reel, a little swing tension if you can, and the cork held where you like. Put the top hand near the top of the cork and it should be balanced there, or close to it.

During the swing I like to hold with top hand gripped lightly near the top of the cork at the balance point comfortably on the same side of the body. I wade no further than my arm can hang without bending at the elbow, with occasional exceptions for really tempting spots. This promotes long easy days of fishing without strain on the arm. If the combination feels balanced for the majority of swings you make in a day #2 is good to go.

All this talk of swingin' flies has me dreaming on this working weekend... hope you christen your new rod with a fresh chromer soon!
 

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Junkyard Spey
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I can't speak about the Islanders but I think you will find the 9-11 RA will balance it nicely. I have used the Tioga 12 RA extensively on the 13' Expert and Custom series CNDs and they are just a little to heavy for my taste being spooled with Delta and Delta Longs and the head through the guides. Using Teton's specs the Tioga 12RA is 1.3 oz. heavier then the 9-11 RA.

If you tell me what line or head length you plan to use I will do a little weighing.later this morning and report back.

They are many great reels out there and it can be a hard choice. As I said I haven't used the Islander reels. I hear they are mighty fine. I have used Teton/Tioga products a great deal and have been very pleased with them both as a consumer and as a vendor.
 

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Ghetto caster
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wrx_canoe said:
Thanks and I'm finding this forum to be very insightful.

Preston
Toronto

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Discussion Starter #5
MJC said:
I can't speak about the Islanders but I think you will find the 9-11 RA will balance it nicely. I have used the Tioga 12 RA extensively on the 13' Expert and Custom series CNDs and they are just a little to heavy for my taste being spooled with Delta and Delta Longs and the head through the guides. Using Teton's specs the Tioga 12RA is 1.3 oz. heavier then the 9-11 RA.

If you tell me what line or head length you plan to use I will do a little weighing.later this morning and report back.

They are many great reels out there and it can be a hard choice. As I said I haven't used the Islander reels. I hear they are mighty fine. I have used Teton/Tioga products a great deal and have been very pleased with them both as a consumer and as a vendor.
MJC,

Thanks for you offer. To start with th/ line I'll be using is the SA Short 6/7. I'm also in the market for a tips system and I'm confused between the Windcutter 6/78 tips or the MidSpey 6/7/8 tips. I haven't heard of anyone trying the MidSpey on the 13'4" Solstice...not even Juro :confused:

I'll definitely check out the website support sponsorship. This site is far better than any monthly subscription to a magazine.

Thanks again,
Preston
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Sorry I have been trying to lay low but since you asked...

Yes, I have tried the Midspey 6/7 and the Windcutter 6/7/8 on the Solstice 6/7 and they are fine match-ups. I recommend them both. I've also tried the 6/7 SA someone mentioned and it's spot-on as well.

If you are going to use tips, my preference would be to go with the Windcutter w/ tips since shorter fatter heads push more tip density with less effort and the tip wallet comes ready to go (just add leader).

For summer work I would prefer the midspey dry or the SA dry. The Hardy 8/9 Mach I is nice on it as well, a touch light but appropriate for the application. (Personal tastes not withstanding)
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Preston...

I don't have a 13'4" Solstice in stock at present but I have a Custom 1307. With a Tioga 10 RA and a Hardy 8/9 Mach 1 (9.8oz) and the line through the guides the rod balanced about 2.5" down from the top of the cork. The 13'4" Solstice at 4" longer and with an uplock reelseat would be in pretty close balance at the top of the cork to my thinking.

My #1 Salmon with backing and a Delta 6/7 weighed 10.3oz. The Tioga 10 RA with a 6/7 Delta weighed 10.4 oz. I don't have a 9-11 RA in stock but the LA model @(8oz.) + a 6/7 Delta should weigh 11.4 oz.

I just mounted the Tioga 10 with 6/7 Delta in the uplock reelseat position with the line through the guides it balanced the Custom 1307 perfectly. I'm thinking any reel in that weight range that will hold the line you want to use will work to your satisfaction. For me a little heavy on the butt would be better then heavy on the tip.

Have fun with your new rod. It is a sweety!
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks!

MJC, Juro, et al.

Thanks for your insightful comments. I'm praying our rivers don't freeze up just yet...
 

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Discussion Starter #9
sva01 said:
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Seth
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Done! The value I'm realizing was worth a donation...let alone to receive access to the Newsletter and Videos.

I hope Dana achieves, and even exceeds, his target.

Preston
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Islander 4.0

I think you will need the Islander 4.0 reel. That is the reel that I will be using with either a Midspey 6/7 or WC 6/7/8 floater, no tips, with the same rod next year.

FWIW - Islander makes totally bullet proof reels.
 

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I do have Solstice 13’4” and use it with 8.5 oz Nautilus 10 (fully sealed drag) which balances the rod very well.
It holds 125 yards of 30 lb Dacron and 6/7 RioMidSpey.
I doubt you will need more backing for the fish you are targeting with 13'4" ( 6/7/) Solstice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
salmo said:
I do have Solstice 13’4” and use it with 8.5 oz Nautilus 10 (fully sealed drag) which balances the rod very well.
It holds 125 yards of 30 lb Dacron and 6/7 RioMidSpey.
I doubt you will need more backing for the fish you are targeting with 13'4" ( 6/7/) Solstice.
Salmo,

Is that the MidSpey Floating or with tips? Just curious how you find the MidSpey as I'm trying to determine whether to get the MidSpey w/tips or WindCuttuer w/tips.

Thanks,
Preston
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Dornblaser said:
I think you will need the Islander 4.0 reel. That is the reel that I will be using with either a Midspey 6/7 or WC 6/7/8 floater, no tips, with the same rod next year.

FWIW - Islander makes totally bullet proof reels.
Dornblaser,

Is this for capacity or weight reasons? The difference is 1.1 oz in weight (4.0 vs. 3.8) and 200 yards of 20# vs. 200 yards of 30# backing.

I have the 3.8lx already on my 7wt on-hander. Love it so far. It just landed it's first steelhead. However, I did notice one squeel of the drag as it was below freezing that day. I think it would be even worse if I submerged the reel in water. Wondering if I should get a fully sealed reel since I planon speying in very cold weather...perhaps a Waterworks...

The thought of buying a 4.0lx is appealing except the darn price.

Preston
 

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LX4.0 Islander black

I have one of these and am considering selling it. Anyone interested--PM me, thanks--haven't given any thought to the $$, yet!
 

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Lx 3.8

Preston,
I currently fish a Midspey 6/7 w tips on my sage 7136 and I'm using the LX 3.6 to do the job. This reel is a bit small but I think the 3.8 would be sweet. I've had to use gel spun backing and trim 10' of running line off my midspey. I'd love to use the 3.8 but I don't see the money for that coming my way anytime soon(still trying to make up my brownie pts after my first trip to Skeena country this year). The 4.0 might be a better balance, but if you've got a 3.8 you'll be fine with that (with gel spun).
The solution to your reel "noise" problem is Super Lube. My Islanders were doing the same thing and I took them into the factory here in Victoria. The cork on Islanders require some attention from time to time. Just put a small amount of Super Lube on the cork and you'll be good to go (Islanders work fine in cold conditions).
Midspey or Windcutter is another question. I fish both and really like them both. If you spend most of your time with heavier tips and weighted flies chances are you'll want the WC. That being said I'm from Ontario originally and most of the rivers don't need the heavy artillery thats used out west (Niagra not included). If you are new to spey fishing you may find the WC easier to learn on. I noticed in your first post you didn't want to "strip" as much. If thats the case the Midspey would be the better choice. The best way to go is to cast both before you buy. If any of your shops will let you demo the lines you could determine which you prefer.

Dan

PS If you don't buy before April you can join me on the Saugeen and cast the Midspey.
 

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Gel spun backing for cold weather

Hi, Preston. Must suggest to you not to even think about any gel spun backing for cold weather Steelheading. The reason is that when your hands get cold and somewhat numb, they naturally lose some feeling, correct? Its then you'll have a hook up with a good Steelhead and he'll take you into your backing. The Gel spun stuff will easily cut your fingers to the bone. I'd like you to see my index finger scar and have a picture of the blood trail I left for 100 yards getting back to my vehicle on a Feb. morning some years ago. I'd use nothing less than # 30 dacron wound on tightly, so it won't have a tendency to dig in to the other backing as per Lefty's advice to all Steelheaders. Hope that helps you. You can't go wrong with either the Teton or Teton Tioga Reels. I do believe that any reel will freeze up in very cold winter weather when it gets submerged. I may be wrong and there may be some reels that won't freeze??? I know the Tiogas I've used on my single handers for years have never failed me except my # 8 and # 10 when I've gotten them wet in single digit air temps. Talk to Mike at Red Shed as he markets the Teton Tiogas. Best, Stiver
 

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Preston--
I am using 6/7 floater and 6/7/8 WindCutter with tips which I have already had before I got the rod. I guess you could used MidSpey with tips.
Drop a PM to Juro . He most likely has already tried this combination ( 6/7 MidSpey with tip + 13’4” Solstice).
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Preston...

I believe the Solstice 13'4" will work quite nicely with the 6/7 Delta, 6/7/8 WindCutter, 6/7 Delta Long, or the 6/7 MidSpey. Also that these same lines will cast just as nicely with tips, if you use the tips furnished with the lines. I personally like the Delta or WC length lines but I also spend much time with the mid-lengths. With the WC head just out of the tiptop you are casting somewhere in the mid 70' range with no stripping. Since you are starting with a 6/7 SA Spey Short Head why not just loop it and add a couple of tips. The looping process is painless, doesn't cost much, and is pretty quick. There is plenty of really good info on looping lines on the forum. For starters look here:
http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk4/showthread.php?t=17206&highlight=loops
 

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Jolly Buddha
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I run 4.0 LX on all my 6 – 7 weights rods they balance fine. My stable of 4.0 LX are my go to reel’s for those long belly’s lines (Mid-Spey). Use to run Lamson 3.5 but they where a little small didn’t balance right.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Thanks!

Everybody...your comments are greatly appreciated. This site is an invaluable source of information.

Preston

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