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Discussion Starter #1
The Yak was great. It was my first chance to put the Sage 5120 to use. My original plan was chasing Cutthroat in the salt with the two hander and shooting heads, but now I know, it also makes the perfect Trout rod. Nailed a few and lost a few. That river is small above Eburg and my other Speys rods would have put the head 50 feet into the brush on the other bank. The bigger rods would be good below Eburg, but too big for trout. Not a problem for the 5120. It not only handled small river sections, but it didn't rip the jaw off the trout when raising the tip to keep tension. That 5 wt makes a big difference for two handing trout. It is such a light and delicate cast compared to a 15 foot 10/11 Spey. For line, I used a SA 7wt floating Steelhead taper and a mid spey 7/8 with the mid section removed. With the tips I could have dredged the bottom but I was down far enough with those bead head nymphs. It also handled #14 and smaller dry flies. It was so cool to not have to false cast all day.


The next time I will try some other things. The river can be 30 feet across at some sections and 75 plus, in others. To handle that I’m going to try the 15 foot middle section with tips on the airflo multi-head running line. I have tips at 12 and 15 feet. That will give me a shooting head that’s 27 to 30 feet long. With the underhand cast, I’ll be able to handle 30 to 80 foot wide sections of the river, at any depth.

This was my first time fishing for trout on the Yak, first time two handing for trout and first time catching trout with a Spey. All new and weird, to say the least, but know I have a lot of things to work out as far as technique and such. There is just nothing on the web regarding this and I know I must be in a real minority. If anyone could help me research more info, I would appreciate it. Does anyone else use the 5120?

Matt
 

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Matt,
I'm thinking seriously about building a 5120 to fish the Kennebec in Maine this Spring. Intended targets are browns, bows, landlocked salmon in the smallish range, and schoolie stripers. I'll already be bringing along a T & T 1208-4 for larger patterns (streamers mostly), but would like the 5120 along for all other applications (nymphs, terrestrials, drys, etc., from 16 to 8). Do you think that the 5120 can handle flies in those sizes, and what do you feel that the optimal casting distance range is with this rod loaded with a 5- or 6-weight spey line? (i.e. from how close to how far away can the rod be effectively fished)

Thanks,

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Chris,

Since that post, I've increased the grainage a bit on that rod. I used airflo 35 foot shooting heads in the 10, 11 and 12 wt, if it's real windy. I try to keep it in the 350 to 440 grain range so I actually need to trim the 12 wt down to 30 +/- feet. I think I said I used a 7 wt SA steelhead taper. It will take an 8 wt with no problems. In fact, try all your regular 8wt line you have on it. I have the 5/6 WC with tips I still haven't tried, but from what I understand, this spey line was tailor made for it at 330. Haven't used my 5120 since the Salmon and Steelhead have come in. Looking forward to this spring chasing cutthroat and trout again with it. This is a finesse rod that handles delicate, light flies #12 to 18 on 2x and 3x tippet out to 70 or 80 feet. It will fine tune your skills unless you like wind knots. Floatant wont last as long because your flies will be in the water a lot more than a single handed rod. Learning to release fish with a 12 foot rod is a bit of a trick, but can be done. I was little nervous one time when I hooked about 5 lb humpy, but I released it without busting the tip of the rod while it was flopping all over the place. I always use barbless.

Matt Burke
 

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I have a Scott ARC modified with a 3inch extension on the butt to create a 12' 6 wt. I don't believe Scott is making this rod any more---at least it was not listed in Kaufmann's 2004 catlogue. Used it on Rock Creek(MT) last Fall as a pure streamer rod. Used the Rio Midspey 6/7(really for another rod). Was able to sweep the river width where I fished. Moderate luck catching 14-16 rainbows, but oh what fun to cast. Could fish out 50-70 feet in positions not possible with a one-hander. Haven't fished yet, but have a Rio/WC 5/6 with tips and on the practice lagoon the floater and intermed. tips were great; have not gotten around to practice with the #3 and # 6 tips. I think we are on to something!
 

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I can vouch for Clyde's modified ARC 1196-4, which he loaned to me on the G.R. last fall after I broke one of mine ungracefully; I used his to catch a couple of nice steelhead.

Light spey rods are absolutely fantastic. The 1196 ARC is my alltime favorite spey rod; I've caught trout from a float tube in mine, all the way up to a 12 pound steelhead on the Dean. I also think that the shorter length makes it a better fish-fighting tool for its weight. One of my current theories is that I have been using heavier rods than necessary on a great deal of water. Either of those rods will throw heavy tips and flies with the right line, and a good distance too.

The ARC and the Sage 5120 are great with a Windcutter 6-7-8. Sage is getting a ton of credit for doing something that Scott did several years ago, but then again they were always better at marketing. After using either of those rods going to a 7 or 8 weight rod feels like a shovel.

Circlespey
 

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FYI - CND also offers the Expert 13' 6/7 which likes the 5/6 windcutter, Mach I 8/9 salmon - both lines that fit the 5120 from my experiences in casting both rods. It's a very light trout spey casting double-hander in the same class as the ones mentioned although I haven't cast the Scott. The 2004 retail price is $295.

I like to go back to this rod and practice with it every once in a while because it cleans up my stroke so much that it improves my casting with the big guns. I plan to use it on various fisheries closer to home than my annual pacific northwest trips, for instance landlocked salmon streams in New England.
 
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