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Discussion Starter #1
Hello folks, I'm real new to all of this so please engage your humor mode. Robert Meiser put me on the the Spey Pages -- thanks again Meiz (I didn't know about Meiz until after I'd ordered this rig. Next time Meiz!). Ok, here's the deal. I've taken the plunge into the world of two-handed rods. My goal is to use the Two-hander in the salt for the surf and jetties. My fishing area is Port Aransas/Corpus Christi -- Texas. All or this is complicated by the fact that I live in the West Texas Desert, 700 miles from the coast. Yea, its a long drive but I do it for a week or more at least one time a year and working on more than once. The problem is that I have no help form others with spey experence/knowledge around me. I purchashed a rod/reel based on the suggestions of the "Store". Here's what should be here Friday (I'm tracking it) -- a Sage 10wt 15ft TCR with a Ross Big Game #8 with Rio's 10/11 Scandinavian Shooting Head VersiTips, Rio floating running line. As I'm sure you know this was a sizable investment. Hopefully, I've ordered what I need. Anyway, the conditions/weather where I fish is very windy most of the time. There are a great number of BIG salt water species off of the Port A jetties. Big bull Reds, Tarpon, Jacks, Spck Trout, Spanish Macks, Cuda etc.. I wanted a big rod to throw big flies: clousers, deceivers, poppers, big baitfish patterns. As I have not done this yet, its my understanding that an overhead cast is the way to go with this rig. Like I said, all of it should be here Friday and by Friday night I'm sure to have some questions. In the mean time, are there any suggestions on starting out from you folks? I would be real interested in hearing from some one in Texas who uses a Two-hander for the Salt?? Any help will be greatly appreciated. Oh, yea, I am a good one-handed caster and have been fly fishing/Tying for ablut 30 plus years -- but this is a new trip! I'm not treatment resistant. Thank You Hunter
 

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due to my accident i use a two handed rod all the time in the lower laguna madre and in the surf. it will give you some advantage in the wind but its even more impressive on the flats. i have found that the true spey lines are too limp when the water heats up although they might do all right at present. as a result, i use regular weight forwards in our warm waters and overline a lot. for example, i find that my 8 weight 12 footer handles best with an 11 weight floater. it doesn't seem to scare the fish and kit carries large flies well. in the surf you will probably need a heavier rod and a lot of backing. the jacks and tarpon will probably not show up until the water reaches about 80 degrees, although some of the guys have seen tarpon rolling in the ship channels rather recently. my advice is to wait for the water to warm up a little more and for the fronts to calm down. once that happens the bay should warm up and the surf will do likewise. we normally start running the beach about may if there isn't a lot of sargassum which tends to mess up retrieves and crap up the beach pretty well. hard driving in a foot or more of decaying weeds.
the two handed rods are fun and they can cast a long way. hope this helps.
 

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Junkyard Spey
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Hey Hunter...

Welcome to the Spey Clave! Glad to see you made the trip from Gus'. Gus by the way is down there in Round Rock, TX (I think). He knows something about what your starting out to do so maybe you guys can "hook up" (no pun intended). On this site you will find some very talented two handed rod users, both spey and overhead. Some of the best in the world are regular visitors and lots more of the "jedi masters" check in from time to time. I know of a few users of two handers that reside in or very near Texas so you might find some people that can help you on a personal level. Also check out the Flytalk Forum for more great info. A lot of those guys fish the salt and again some very talented two handed users. http://www.flyfishingforum.com/flytalk/index.htm
Have fun!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks Jack

I'm not going to hit Port Aransas until the first week of June, water and weather should be settled down. I'll have a week to fish the jetty and surf. I'm also going to hit the Light House Lakes with the Kayak, the two-hander would, I think, be a bit much for that environment and I have plenty one-handers for that task. I spent a good bit of time fishing the surf/jetty last June with a 11wt Sage Xi2. It was fun but the heavy one-hander is tough to fish all day, especially with the large flys that I like to use. I'm working on a trip to the Lower Luguna/South Padre area maybe next Chrismas break. I've never fished that far down the TX coast. I've heard its a wonderful fishery -- big Reds/Trout and mabe a Snook. Thanks for your input. Hunter
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks MJC, I've been going through many, many past posts to try to get up to speed. There is a learning curve. This is a great site! I kind of wish there was a specific forum here just for two-handers in the salt. Would kind of ease the searching process. Thanks again Hunter
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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howdy hunter and welcome aboard...

i cast the tcr last week, the 9140 believe. too many rods cast that day so i don't remember exactly. however, i can tell you in my hands it felt insanely fast and when i had the timing and strokes right, that rod threw some line and nice loops. for me that means 70 to 80 feet to fish the waters where i am in washinghton state.

i would actually think that the tcr should be a great overhead rod especially with the scandinavian head setup you mentioned. i have used the same line on the cnd atlantis 1111 and found that it sings nicely with overhead casts as well as the hardy mach 1 + 10/11.

i also fish the salt, jetty types rips and use standard spey casts as well some overhead. off the beach and in the surf is where i like the atlantis.

good luck with your setup and by the way, you will like the ross big game reel. especially when you hook up!!

tight lines,
vinnie
 

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Hello Hunter and welcome.

I have never fished the Texas desert, but would strongly urge you to test the rod out carefully prior to removing the plastic from the grip. Although you can throw a lot of line with a 15' rod, it is a tiresome beast to overhead cast and fish for any length of time, and can be very difficult to land a fish with it from a jetty.

Additionally, with a lightweight reel, balancing the rod on the retrieve is an issue. I think the rod will feel exceptionally tip-heavy when retrieving with one hand, a condition which drives me nuts.

I think that most people who have been involved in this fishery for some time would recommend a rod of less than 14' in length for your application. Shorter two-handers will allow you to throw all the line you need, but are much easier to fish. I would recommend something under 13', but definitely NOT the Sage TCR 12 which has tiny stripping guides and a ridiculously short upper grip.

For Gila Monsters, an 8-weight should be plenty, but for Coyote, I would move up to a 10 :rolleyes:
 

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Welcome Hunter

You did make a sizeable investment. You should make 1 more, not so sizeable but very valuable. Contact a forum sponsor ( I know Red Shed has it) and get a DVD called "The Perfect Cast". It is dedicated to salmon fishing but has a great deal of overhead casting footage and discussion including explainations of the physics involved. It should be very helpful in managing that 15 footer and shooting head. You should be able to find a pond or lake to practice on, or at least a park lawn. I don't see why you couldn't throw some big crawdad patterns on lakes and keep yourself tuned up on your casting so you'll be on top of your game when you hit the salt.

Or you could lob some squeaky mouse toys at the neighbors cat :saevilw:

Word is that Simon Gawesworth's next video will have some dedicated time to 2 hand casting in the salt. Keep an eye out for it.
 

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Not in a boat

kyak or float tube for a rod that long, unless there is someone else to land your fish. I use Meiser's 11' 7" rod from a float tube and wouldn't want to go much longer. The shorter two handers make it easier to strip, as well as, make long casts.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all of your good words guys. I am really looking forward to this. I do have a small (500 acre) lake about 70 miles from here where I fish. If nothing else the drive is great, I always see tons of Mule Deer, Wild Turkeys, and quite often some nice Elk, and because its the only water for miles alot of bird life. I plan on taking the BIG rod out the first chance I get. I'm sure the resident bobber dippers will wonder what this big rod is. The little lake really is a nice Bass (Green Trout), Bream (fresh water Permit) lake and there are some big catfish in there. The two hander may be a bit much for the bream so I guess I'll have to work on a fly that represents a Little Smokey sausage for the cats (the lake favorite). Any ideas? I think its the smell that will be the problem. Thanks all Hunter
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I should have responded directly to some of your posts. Vinnie, thanks on the TCR info. The Ross Reel was the only part of the setup that for me was a no-brainer. I have 4 of the Big Game reels now a #4, Two #6s, and a #7. They are wonderful reels and the folks at Ross are outstanding to deal with. Peter, the Rio video is on the list. Even though I'll likely be doing overhead casts I would also like to learn the more traditional spey styles, so all of the video will be of good use. T-richerzhagan, the Kayak and two-hander is a funny idea. I use the kayak mostly just to get to a otherwise inaccessable area an get out and wade fish. Fishing out of the yak, even with a spinning/baitcaster can get hard on the old back. Moose, I did not know that the video you mentioned had overhead casting, great, I'll put it on the list to order. Thanks again all. Hunter
 

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a/k/a loophitech
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no problem dude. the new RIO video should be out by Christmas time of '05.


good luck and keep us posted on your progress. BTW, freshwater permit!! man i got a good laugh out of that one.

vinnie
 

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Hunter.

That is a really big rod for what you want to fish and where. However, it should be great on the Baja Coasts. My son is taking my Sage 10151 down this spring to do some coastal casting on the West Baja coastal areas.

For your casting, the Sage TCR 8123-4 or their TCR 9129-4 would probably be a much better rod. You might want to consider a trade before you use the big rod. Of course you could use the big TCR to hunt mule deer and wild turkey if it is too big to fish with.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Grandpa, I was worried that the 15ft 10wt would be too too big. I was finally able to get in touch with a person who does use a two-hander on the jetties and surf of Port Aransas. He told me that he considered the 15ft 10wt with shooting heads as "normal" for these conditions. I talked to him at length about it. He said that the Port Aransas jetty needs "as big a gun as you can bring." There is big wind and big fish. So, you may well be right, I'll have to see. As I've said, I'm way too new to this right now. If you want, check out Texastarpon.net there are some great pictures of Tarpon taken from the surf and jetties around Port Aransas and North Padre Island. The Tarpon population is coming back in Texas! Texas has even started a pilot restocking program for Tarpon on the Texas coast. If this Tarpon program does as well as the programs for red fish and speck trout I will be overjoyed. I don't mind increased license fees when the efforts pay off. Now, if we can get the Snook population up?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yea Peter that's what I was thinking. Kind of like using a single-hand roll cast to get a sinking line on top for a backcast. You know, I figured that if I'm going to have one of these rods I should at least know the casts associated with it -- that's part of the fun of it. One day maybe I can chase steelhead with it! Thanks Hunter
 

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To Hunter:

Okay then you will probably need a boomer rod. I was thinking about close quarter Red Fish and Sea Trout.
 

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Kayak

" the Kayak and two-hander is a funny idea. "

Hi Hunter - I do use my 14ft rod in the yak. Fishing from the yak is what got me started on 2 handed casting, With a 9' 9wt rod. You won't get any real power to the rod unless you are casting in line with the boat though. And this is not usually the case if you are in a little current. Have yet to spey cast from the yak, but might be good for a quick change of direction.

I have used a rio windcutter line and it works well for me.

The long rod will help you get beyond the boulders at the bottom of the jetty.

Have fun - Jay
 
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