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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at building a 5-wt. spey rod for chasing the browns, bows, and small landlocked salmon of the Kennebec in late Spring. I'd like something truly light to enjoy fishing this water, and intend to use it mostly for nymphs and terrestrials in the range of sizes 16-6. Besides the Sage 5120, are there any other rods available as unfinished blanks that can be recommended? I'd like to stay in the 5-wt. designation if at all possible.
 

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As noted in another post, the Sage 5wt is a nice rod..

but if you want to save more than just a few bucks take a look at Bob Meiser's 5-6 'switch rod.' This matched up with the light (5-6?) windcutter is a totally delightful rod.
 

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EAT IT!!!
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Flyfisha, not to dump on your parade but..... The utility of a two hander for trout fishing can be pretty limited. For across stream presentations, the length of a two hander can be nice for mending. High stick nymphing is a good example. For swinging flies a two hander is by far the way to go. If you have trouble physically casting single handed rod, a two hander can be a boon. But for fishing dries, both up and downstream stream on a dead drift, upstream nymphing, and for casting and retrieving streamers, a two hander can be quiet the handy cap. In presentations where line is being shot and retrieved as well as drying a fly, a two hander makes line control harder. I use a two hander for chasing trout only when the situation suits it, and I have to look very hard to find the situation. Luckily, for two months of the year, it is out my back door. The other 10 months of trout fishing are done with a single hander. Now if you tell me you will be swinging flies in the Kennebec, I'll be the first to tell you a light Spey is not only the perfect tool for the job, but the most fun way to fish. If you are going to be using other techniques, you might find the two hander reduces your effectiveness.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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Chris,

Nobuo has designed a very gentle spey rod in the Expert 1306, which although rated 6/7 likes the same lines as the 5120 you mention.

Although there is no compromise in the hardware, cork and workmanship the rod retails for under $300.

All three of the rods mentioned are superb choices from your sponsors!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the info Juro. So is it my understanding then that the 1306 would make a presentation on par with the 5120; that is, not extremely disturbing as the line lands on the water?
I had a look at the CND website, however I can't get a look at the rod itself as the photo links next to the Expert series rods are all non-functional. Also, and I think I may have asked you this before, any chance of getting one of these as a blank? I'd actually be willing to pay close to the price of the finished rod if I could build it myself. If you have any pictures of that rod, please send me a link to them.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I think that basically, I'm looking for a rod that fits the following description:

• 5-weight, no more than 6-weight
• At least 12' in length
• The faster the action, the better
• 3 or more pieces in the blank
• Available as an unfinished blank

Working within those parameters, are there one or two rods that fit the description?
 

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#&%*@^# Caster
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Take a look at the Meiser Rod and he sells the blanks. He has an 11'6" (maybe 9inch) rod that would almost fit the bill.

Also do not count out the switch rods by him as well. Only 10'6" but I can spey cast out to 90 feet with ease and present flies softly and still mend well. I would give Bob a call and let him know exactly what you are looking for and he can point you in the right direction.

If I was to consider a spey for trout that would be it. Anything longer in my mind is unpractical for trout unless you are strictly swinging streamers. For dry fly work spey casting is not accurate enough.

I think loomis has a rod in this class as well but I bet they do not do blanks.


-sean
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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The Expert Series is not available as a blank at this time (we get very few requests). You should definitely talk to Bob, who is himself a master rod builder.

My personal experiences with shorter lighter spey rods in general is that if the rod gets any shorter there's little advantage in a two-hander anymore. A single handed rod with a full flexing blank and good modulus makes a fine spey casting tool particularly when you use the line hand to single-haul during the forward stroke. The Sage RPL (now VPS) comes to mind, but there are so many good single handers on the market. The single advantage I can see is the practice you'll gain for full-size spey fishing.

As others have pointed out, the single hander is more suited toward traditional trout casting techniques and even summer atlantic fishing with dry flies. Therefore provided the single handed rod is comfortable... no downright enjoyable to spey cast, it's a more appropriate tool for the upriver fishery.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Bob and I have spoken at some length regarding light-weight Spey rods. Due to the success of his business he's not able to offer the rods as unfinished blanks any more, which is great for Bob, but not for me in this case. I understand your points regarding length of the rod. I think that what I may do is go for a 10' 5-wt. XP or even the St. Croix SCV in that same length and weight and overline it by 1 size (possibly with a Triangle Taper) in order to slow the blank action a smidge but still get the spey casting with it. 5-weight is really where I wanted to be with this rod, and I believe that the TT lines taper down to pretty small diameter at the nose. This should enable me to overhead and spey cast effectively with all manner of fly patterns.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Flyfisha1,

T&T just added model 1206 to its lineup of 2-handers. It is a 6 wt (actually a 5/6) that has a much faster action than the Sage or the CND Expert. Also, it is (as are all T&T's) available as a blank from any of its dealers. The Loomis 13 ft Streamdancer 5/6 would also fit what you are looking for; but as you already know, Loomis does not offer it as a blank. And you should not rule out the Sage 6126, which is also a 5/6 wt 2-hander.

Mesier's rods are also very hard to beat and his cosmetics is far superior to factory rods.

You have quite a few choices in a 12 to 13 ft 5/6 rod these days. The fastest one is the T&T 1206, the next fastest is a virtual toss-up between the Loomis 13 ft Streamdancer and the Sage 6126. As far as I know, only the T&T and the Sage are available as blanks.
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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I didn't mention them but Nobuo has designed a series of single/double trout rods overseas. This rod received a very enthusiastic response at the Denver Trade show. They two-hand spey and single-hand overhand cast really well. There is a possibility we will introduce them into North America but there is no definite date decided at this point. I'll request some demos for a little test fishing, will try to send one to you to try. They'd be ideal for landlocked salmon in the Northeast as well as cutthroats in the PNW, rainbows in Alberta, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Flytyer, thanks for the info. The 6126 is a 5/6, huh? I know it's second in terms of speed to the T & T, however at around $330 for the blank it's also about $110 cheaper than the T & T. If I'm looking for a rod to fish drys, nymphs, wets, terrestrials, and streamers, and want it for small- to mid-sized rivers, and mostly for landlocked salmon, browns, and rainbows up to 24", am I better off going with the 12'6" rod or one that's shorter? I plan to use the rod for both overhead and Spey casting, by the way. Now that I think of it, this rod will also see some limited use going for sea-run brook trout.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Juro, I'd be very interested to look at those rods you describe. Please let me know when they become available for testing.
 

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Pullin' Thread
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Chris,

The Windcutter 5/6 is the line I like on the Sage 6126. I am very aware that there are a lot of folks who overline this Sage by as much as 2 line sizes (going to 7/8 Windcutters) because they want it to be a slow rod. It is really a very nice medium-fast 5/6 rod that casts nicely. It would be very at home doing the things that you said you will be doing with the rod. Casts from 40 ft to as far as you want to cast a 5/6 rod work very well with this particular Sage (or the T&T as well).

I have a preference for the T&T simply because I like the feel and casting qualities of the T&T better. However, the Sage 6126 is a rod I could be happy with for fishing streamers, nymphs, hoppers, dries, and wets between #6 and #16. It is a very different rod than the Sage 5120. The best way for me to explain the difference between the 6126 and the 5120 is to say it is like the difference between a nice medium-fast 6 wt single-hander and a medium 4 wt single-hander. One is better suited to fishing streamers, big nymphs, big wets, and terrestrials than the other.

I would personally not use the Sage 6126 or the T&T 1206 on fish larger than about 5 pounds, which puts both of them in the range of fish sizes you are looking at.
 

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Hey Guys,

Actually I do have most of my blanks available to the rod builder.

The only rods that are presently not available to the builder are the 10'6"switch rods 5/6 through 11/12 and the 3 pc. 11 footers ~ 6/7 through 11/12.

The reason that these blanks are not available, is that the popularity of the finished 10'6" and 11's has surpassed my ability to keep up with orders.

Therefore I am in the process of going OEM production with this family of rods, making them available to regional fly shops as finished rods....But I will still build them custom to meet specific clientele requirements by request.

Hopefully in the future, this will allow me to have enough of these blanks on hand to sell to builders.

FlyFisha... I know from experience that the 10' XP will build up into an excellent "Switcher" to be used as either a single or two handed rod....Don't be afraid to call if you have any questions on building if you go in that direction.

Not to confuse the issue: But if you do want a longer rod, I do have a true 5/6 ~13' ~3 pc. fast recovery progressive. This is from my new series of Speys, and they are available as blanks. $195.00 to Forum members.

A sweet rod for fish from 2 to10 pounds. Perfect for large Trout and Smallies, 1/2 pounders, Grilse and Coastal Trout.


Meiz
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Meiz,
Thanks for the update; I had a look at your website earlier today but the Spey rod page wasn't available. What's the best comparison of your 13' 5/6; is it similar to the action of the 6126, faster, slower? I realize that the additional 6" of length might slow it down a smidge. Also, what line do you recommend for this rod?
 

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Chris,

I'd jump on the 13 ft 5/6 blank that Meiser mentioned in his post. His fast-recovery rods are very nice. In comparison to the T&T, it is a tad (meaning a very little bit) slower; but it has the fast recovery of the T&T. And at the price of his blank, you could build the whole rod for what the other blanks would cost.

Meiz,

At the rate you are adding new 2-hand rods, we will need a check-off list to keep up! We are very fortunate to have several dedicated rod builder/designer/manufacturers working on providing a full range of 2-handers to us fisherfolk.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Okay, so the longer rod will be fine for fishing in those conditions? Just want to be sure that it will indeed do what I ask of it. I have a couple of rods for tight-quarters fishing, I want this one for wide open spaces. Also, I don't want to be over-gunned.
 

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Chris, if you are looking for a "5" weight, you should consider that a windcutter line, or any spey line, is much heavier(about 2 line weights) than its singlehanded counterpart.
That XP sounds like what you are looking for but I wouldn't overline it.
I would also look at the Scott 6wt two hander. I Have one. It is pretty slow but fun.
Maybe we could meet up when you fish the Kennebeck and you could give it a try.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Hi Eddie,
I'm aware of the differences in line between standard and Spey lines; that's pretty much why I'm looking for the lightest Spey rod possible. But thanks for the concern, I appreciate it.
I hope to get up to Maine to fish the Kennebec at least two times this year; maybe we can meet up as you suggest.
 
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