I'm new to this forum and also to Spey rod fishing. Do you guys think that I'll be able effectively use my 15' St. Croix for this purpose? I fish for Stripers on sandy beaches, rocky shores and rock jetties.
I spent 9 days this past July at Cape Cod fishing with Juro, Penguin and other Forum members and Juro and I talked extensively about the use of double handers for stripers. For fishing the surf or situations where blind casting and distance are involved the double hander is a great tool. For sight casting on the flats, which is what we did most of the time it is not.
Your St. Croix 15' will be very effective for the above mentioned surf type situations. I used a fast action 13' rod as I thought it would be a little easier to handle, but the 15' would still be good.
You will probably not do too much actual "spey casting" but will instead be overhead casting. Therefore, you should look to getting a shooting head system that balances with your rod. The Scandinavians who do a lot over overheading with their double handers have developed some slightly longer shooting heads that load their rods well. The one I used was the Loop Adapted Line system. It was very good and I used it in conjunction with a stripping basked - very long casts were normal. I know that if I lived in srtiper country that my surf-type rod would definitely be a double hander.
While fishing on the ECVI for estuary coho about a month ago with my fly rod for a day, I noticed 3 people using their two handers and overhead casting them to get to the coho schools farther out. They had an obvious advantage over us with their longer reach.
I moved from the PNW in the mid-nineties when I was learning to Spey cast and took out my spey-separation anxiety on the coastal fisheries of Cape Cod for a few years with the two-hander. There were a few out there practicing two-handed flyrods since way before that but for the most part it was rare enough that I never saw anyone else doing it from the mid-90's to about 2000 despite having fished a major part of the northeastern coastline as a sportsman and a guide. I have actually put quite a bit of this investigation into writing in the flyfishing forum side, but those links have since fallen off. I will dig up some of those 'discovery' articles for you in case you're interested. At that time most of my investigation was met with disgreement from the locals, but the mentality has slowly shifted to seeing the virtues in surf flyfising over the years and I suspect that will grow with new rod designs coming soon :smokin:
The short version is:
- traditional spey action rods have limited application
=> because we strip the fly to the tip here in striperland
=> useless from rocks or boats (longer than a skiff!)
=> flies are too large and heavy for spey casting proper
=> many small fish verses few big ones
=> river like current not the norm
=> rod designs are just all wrong for the task
- 'euro' overhand two-handed rods have much more application
=> in big outside beach surf situations
=> overhand throws bigger flies, lines than singlehanders
=> still limited for flats work, etc.
=> rod designs are still not ideal
It wouldn't be the only rod I would buy for fishing the area for a multitude of reasons, but I never drive out onto Nauset or the Race without my 12'6 9wt 3pc Sage euro. It's not the best rod for the job but it sure beats killing myself with a single hander when the surf is sloppy and the 11wt line I can cast with it sure throws some big striper flies.
Have fun, perhaps we can discuss the merits on the beach one day.
Happy to report that I'm getting more comfortable casting my 2-handed rod. I've settled on 10 weight line and I think I'm going to try the Orvis shooting heads with this rod before the season ends.
I caught 2 more Striped Bass with the rod last night. The first on a white Clouser Minnow and the second on a black Deceiver.
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